Preparing the structures inside the van

Refurbishing a van is done in several phases, and progresses according to your priorities. As members of the Atelier Co-operatif La Patente, we were lucky enough to have a garage to keep the van in so that we could work inside when it was necessary. The first steps of this refurbishing were focused mainly on insulation and working directly inside the van, as you have seen from our earlier blog postings. The farther we went, …

First of the Finishing Touches

Now that the insulation is done and the major part of the van is covered by plywood, it’s time to hide our mistakes. That’s one of the tasks that are less pleasant, because you don’t see the progress as easily at the end of the day. However, for a good final product, it’s an important step. In woodworking, when you make a hole in the wrong place, or a piece is worn out and you …

Refurbishing a van, end of plywood installation –photo essay!

It took us a few days, but we are making progress in installing the plywood. In hindsight, we can ask ourselves if it was the best solution, but installing the plywood everywhere will give us a cozy place to stay in, even if it’s hard to attach the wood to the metal structure exactly. Most of these things have already been said in earlier articles, so this article will give way mostly to photos..

Refurbishing the Snail: Plywood floor Part 2

Installing a plywood floor is not an “easy peasy” job; you have to deal with the different curves that a van like this one has. Even though we striated the planks, it’s not always easy to get the curve right or to properly screw in the plywood. The pieces that were framing the Savpropeana don’t always stay in one piece, and sometimes you can make a mistake when cutting it, and the plank blocks your …

Setting up the van Installing plywood

We have now finished insulating the back of the van and we’re starting the biggest part of the job, the part that is actually visible! The front of the van will be done a little later. The complexities of the shapes and the different curves are pushing us to go where we can make the most progress. We’re now at the stage where there is no going back: the walls. At the very beginning of …

Day 8 The insulating continues Walls and Floors

On this 8th day of working on the Snail, we are still making progress on the insulation. As we said before, we put fibreglass insulation on the floor and roof, and we covered it all with a vapour barrier in order to keep out the humidity. It was the first time that we had ever installed this type of material. It’s not the easiest stuff to work with, especially when you’re installing it in a …

Protecting the insulation: The vapour barrier

The advantage of doing a project like this, whether it’s Audrey or me, is that we are complete novices at it and we learn something new every step of the way. So, now we know: if you insulate, it’s important to protect the insulation from humidity. This is done with a vapour barrier. It could be paper or plastic on the one side, but the other side will always be aluminum. The vapour barrier serves …

Protection from heat, cold, and noise: Insulatio

We had visions of sun, palm trees, beaches, etc., at least that was our aim. Most of the time we would be able to say that sleeping under the stars in a place like this was idyllic. Imagining living in the van over the long term, you can imagine that we would sometimes have to actually be INSIDE the van at some inopportune moments. The sun can be a real scourge inside a metal box. …

Beginning of the transformation

Now that we’ve managed to take care of the rust inside the Snail, we need to make sure it doesn’t come back. Audrey had some antirust paint left over from another project, so we decided to use it to cover the inside of the van. The project in question wasn’t a big one, so there were a lot of colours left over. In a little while, we had a motley hippie van, decked out in …

Transformation Step 1: Cleaning

In order to get off to a good start on the transformation of the van, we had to start by deep cleaning it. To tell you the truth, we never thought we would go as far as we did, but it had to be done. We could only see the van’s true state after completely stripping it. Our starting point was a simple piece of plywood screwed to the floor. Not too difficult to take …