We decided to use earthwool to insulate the van, this is not the most practical stuff to use, but it is super warm and a decent price. We bought two rolls of 100mm and were donated another roll from our friend Chris (thanks Chris!!!). We quickly found out that insulating was not going to be the easiest job regarding the van, we do enjoy making life hard for ourselves after all. Its very important to wear face masks, gloves and goggles, because, even though the modern stuff seems better, it is made out of recycled glass bottles and therefore, still fibre glass, which is very irritating.
We were complete novices with insulation, and thought we could just tape it in…we quickly found out from a friend about the existence of spray contact adhesive (hooray!). This made fixing insulation to the van interior much easier and faster. We quickly coated the van but then came to the tricky task of lining the inside and sealing the insulation away from ourselves!
We started with 3 sheets of 4×8 ft 4mm marine play board. Quite thin, but we wanted to save on weight and needed it to be malleable to line the delicate curves of the LDV. We already had 6mm ply for the sides of the van from the previous owner, so they were simply screwed in again after the insulation was installed. They are a bit old and tatty but it made much more sense to reuse them. The first problem we had with lining the ply on the roof was that the screws pulled through the ply as we fixed them through the inner metal framework. We therefore opted for some nice batons to secure the roof ply in place and create some nice linear streamlines to facilitate our passage to dreamland.
Next was the upper side panels which was a tricky one, to measure the cut and then sculpt the ply to an aesthetically pleasing curve, while fitting snuggly with the rest of the ply cuts…a bit of an ordeal and took a while to fit, but the end result was really nice. Next the front storage area was built stronger with a beam to support and then insulated and lined. Arthur fought on with this one cutting two pieces of ply to fit nice and tightly in the front corners of the van. The doors were all then stuffed with insulation and the ply that was previously there fixed back in place. Giving them a cracking thud when you close them now!
Lining the van took us a lot longer than expected…fitting all the tiny bits and gaps were tricky. All the while the insulation was being fitted, the brackets for the bed frame had to go in at the same time, and because they would be bolted it and they would hang where the upper and lower ply on the sides met, it took a bit of figuring out, but they were finally secured in place. We bolted 8 heavy duty brackets which now support two frames. One frame, at the rear is fixed there permanently but the other frame can be removed and stacked on top of the other frame to give us a lot more space in the van to move around in.
We chose a high bed because we wanted to socialise underneath and have a living room there, this also means that we can use the space for transporting stuff if we want to. The bed is a total size of 210×164 cm, a huge bed, but packs down to much smaller and all the cushions, bedding etc can be stored there in transit. The frame of the bed was made with chunky timber 1 ¾” x 2 ¾”. Two rectangles were built and on top of that 12mm marine ply was used to make the bed.
Finally, to close this chapter, all the joins were sealed with wood seal, to ensure no nasty bits of insulation could get out, and also to give a nicer finish.