How I Build My Van Conversion Wall (Right Side)
After laying the floor the wall was the next stage in the van conversion build.
Stage 1: Wood Strips
First I had to screw wood strips to the wall so when I come to putting the tongue and groove cladding on I have something to fix it to.
There was no certain place I had to screw them on so I used the vans metal frame as a guide. Just cut wood to size, drill holes in the metal for the screws and then screwed the wood on.
Stage 2: Insulation
I used two types of insulation in my van.
- Bubble foil insulation: This went on first directly to the metal walls. Just cut to shape and glue on with adhesive spray glue. Using this as a good base layer of insulation and will stop any damp getting on the metal causing future rust.
Loft insulation: After every 3 to 4 boards of tongue and groove cladding screwed to the wall I would then stuff this insulation behind it with as much as I could. I did this routine all the way up the wall filling every little space.
Stage 3: Cladding
Putting on the tongue and groove cladding took a lot of patient as I wanted them to fit perfectly on the wall. This stage should not be rushed. Theres nothing worse than cutting a piece of wood and its wrong, unfortunately I did this a lot by getting excited and not concentrating.
My routine was
- Mark where screws would go (screw in to wooden slats).
- Drill small holes through the cladding where I had marked so the screws would not split the wood.
- Counter sink the holes so the screws would tighten nice without the wood splitting.
- Screw the tongue and groove cladding on the wooden slats.
Stage 4: The Window
My idea for the window was to have a window sill but this proved to be very tricky and was the hardest section of the wall.
Each side, bottom and top part of the window was screwed in to wooden slats.
I wanted the wall to have round corners to match the window shape but I had no idea how to make a curve out of wood using the materials I had. So the idea I came up with was to fill the corners with expandable foam, put filler in and sand to a perfect round corner.
Once hardened I cut the top layer of the foam off and then spread filler in the corner.
When the corners dried I spent some time sanding them to get a lovely smooth corner. I was very worried that from the vibrations while driving it would cause cracks in the filler but surprisingly none has appeared yet, but I shall be ready with the flexible filler if one does occur.
Since the walls are going to be painted it does not matter to me about using filler. If I was going to stain the walls then filler would not be an option as it is hard to stain and makes the wood look patchy.
Doing the window like this might not have been the correct way but it was the way I choose to do it.
Stage 5: Joining To The Ceiling
The last section of the wall is to join it on to the ceiling. This was done by simply fitting a piece of tongue and groove cladding on the angle to cover up the gap.
Overall I think I have done a good job on the right wall. Yes there are things I would do differently next time but this is all new to me and learning as I go. I’m happy with it and myself and that’s the main thing.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Please feel free to comment as all feedback is appreciated and I shall reply to any questions you may have.