Van Build | Walls

Ahhh walls. Let’s take a small space and shrink it some more… seems like a good idea, yeah?

Only kidding guys, although this is something to consider when deciding how to build your walls. Remember, lots of the vans you come across on Instagram are massive and can afford to use the space. If you are going to fully insulate, obviously you will need walls to hold the insulation in place. If not, our advice is to be creative. There is more than one way to hide sheet metal.

Lower Walls

We took a very basic approach. For the lower walls and the switch panel, we used a 3mm white MDF board. And for the upper walls, we did nothing. Well, maybe not nothing, as we said be creative.

Installing the lower walls was quite easy. Firstly, draw a rough diagram and measure all the edges, similar to the method used for the sheet vinyl on the floor. After that, mark your measurements onto the board and then you’re ready to cut. 3mm MDF is very easy to cut and while there are several different tools appropriate for the job, we found a Jigsaw the best. Finally, all that’s left to do is mount it onto the wall, for this, we used self-drilling and tapping screws for easy installment.

It isn’t perfect and definitely not structural, but it looks quite good. It serves the purpose of keeping unwanted debris from falling into the wall cavities. Exactly the same method was followed to install the switch panel. In order to finish, we used white silicone to seal the edges.

Lower walls installed
Lower walls installed with silcone to seal

Upper Walls

As for the upper walls, we decided to cover them in a non-conventional way. The ‘bed head’ is just a cheap tapestry hung on curtain wire, while the foot of our bed is set up with curtains, giving the effect of a window. And boy does it work, we try to peek out all the time…

You may say this is the lazy way, blah blah blah. However, it gives us more room, hides the insulation, and most importantly it allows us to sleep in comfort.

Bed head backdrop
Upper wall at feet end of the bed

All in all, this is a very basic design, but it works. It was cheap to install, and only took one afternoon to complete.

Equipment used:

  • 3mm White MDF board
  • Self-tapping screws
  • White natural cure silicone
  • Cheap Tapestry
  • Blackout curtain material
  • Windoware curtain wire/hooks

Tools used:

  • Drill and drill bits
  • Jigsaw
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Sewing machine (thanks mum)
  • Pliers

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