5. Walls, insulation and ceilings…oh my!

It has been a few weeks since our last entry, things have been happening, but very slowly. This is partly because Steve can only work on the van when he’s not at proper work, and partly because he is doing an amazingly detailed and precise job…no bodge it and scarper here!

So, previously on A Van and a Plan…we had sound proofing and a floor. Next came walls, insulation and ceiling…


The insulation is an eco one made from wool, from B&Q, it was not cheap, but better than polystyrene boards as it can be moulded around all the awkward shapes in this surprisingly curvy van! Another addition that can be seen in these photos is the network of electrical cables. These are for the lights and electrical sockets.

Next, before the ceiling could be fitted, we had to cut a hole in the roof!! Humans create a lot of moisture just by breathing, and we do not want this moisture staying in the van and making everything mouldy. So we bought a caravan roof vent, and, on one of the hottest days of the year, Steve was up on the roof, cutting a hole and trying to make a flat, square vent fit a ridged, curved roof…


Then we could continue with the ceiling…sound proofing, insulation and board, plus the ceiling LED lights:


It is amazing how quiet and cool it is inside now, and, I imagine it should be nice and warm in winter!

So, that was all the basic foundations complete…time consuming but SO worth doing properly and well. I cannot over-emphasize how much work Steve has put in, making sure that all the panels fit the curve of the van exactly…such a high standard! Having had a leaking, non-insulated van for many years, he is determined that this one is going to be better insulated and vented than our house!!

Coming up in the next episode..we talk interior furnishings (Yay!) and lots of boring but important and essential electric stuff (Yawn!)…I may have to refer to the resident electrician (AKA Stevie) for that bit…back soon!

3. We buy things and the conversion begins!

I know this was going to be all about sound proofing, insulation and ventilation but that’s a bit boring, so let’s talk about SHOPPING!! We have been buying, and parcels have been arriving. Some of it WAS the serious stuff, ie soundproofing and insulation; but the rest was fun stuff: beds/sofa, cool box, kitchen equipment, lights etc. Here is the first load of purchases:

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It may not look exciting, but that is our sofa, our bed and our dining room table!! The sofabed is basically 2 chair zed-beds that we got cheap on e-bay because nobody seemed to want lime green. These will sit across the back of the van as a sofa during the day and unfold into a bed at night. The 2 blue plastic trays will be our tables:

Look! They have folding out legs and the top lifts up to reveal a secret compartment!! I think I’m more excited about these than anything else…

Our awning has also arrived:

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Sitting here on top of that very interesting soundproofing (more of that later). This is a stand alone awning that can be left at a campsite whilst we tootle off for a day at the beach. This is what it will look like:


And we also have lights, LEDs, four of ’em:

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There are still a few more parcels to arrive, I shall update as and when.

So, today Steve started working on the van properly. First he went off to buy the plywood to line it all:

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And then, the boring essentials…rust spots were identified, rubbed down and repainted with rust proofing and paint:


Yes, the paint is green, because we had some already and you’re not going to see it…little savings here and there all add up! So that is drying out now, and the next job will be soundproofing. Every separate panel in the van was measured and numbered and Steve painstakingly spent the evening cutting out the pieces, like the little elves from “The Elves and the Shoemaker”


Tomorrow he will be cutting struts of wood to go across the floor and will fill it with some old polystyrene sheets we salvaged and the layer of sound proofing.

That’s all for now, hopefully we will get quite a bit done over then next 3 days before Steve is back at work. By the way, just for the record, I AM helping too, as Rita his helpful assistant…mostly cleaning stuff when needed, making cups of tea and holding his tools!

At least I’m more help than Archie, the bagpuss…it was way too hot for him to do ANYTHING today:

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