The Side Panels and Headlining

The Side Panels and Headlining

Beauty comes from the inside.

During the planning phase it wasn't clear to my father and me whether we should install proper side panels to the van, just because it didn't seem as important as for example the kitchen. It was kind of decided for us when we went shopping for material for the conversion.

For the side panels and headlining we used the following material:

  • light grey faux leather laminated with 3 mm thick foam (side panels)
  • light grey faux leather without foam lamination (headlining)
  • pinewood panels 4 mm thick
  • spray adhesive
  • self-threading screws with light grey caps

We started out by taking the measurements and creating stencils for the new headlining. On the picture above we already cut the back part of the headlining with the jig saw and afterwards treated the edges with sand paper. The headlining consists of two parts, one above the bed and the second one above the living area. We used self-threading screws to mount the headlining on to the van's body.

At the time the covers fit on the two skylights even with the thicker headlining mounted but as we drove Willi through Scotland the clips that held the covers got looser and one of them fell off. I am thinking about installing a new skylight with vent fan and rain sensor anyway...

Also, we measured out where we wanted the LED lights to go - two above the bed, one above the kitchen and one above the dining area. I drilled holes of about the size of the cables for the lights and cut the faux leather.

We left the back columns of the van free from the side panels and the fact that everything back there is curvy and not at all straight again meant a lot of measuring and making stencils for us.

I coated the pinewood panels using spray adhesive and an electric tacker. For the headlining a used a different brand of spray adhesive than for the side panels. This brand wasn't as suited for the fabric, I guess, so this is why in some spots the faux leather hangs off of the pinewood panels. I will probably correct that once I install a new vent fan.

Except with the spray adhesive on the headlining it turned out pretty neat and I've persuaded myself that the faux leather laminated with the foam also adds to the insulation.