Nice. When the kids stop coming on holiday with us, it'll be fixed rear bed all the way
Anyway. The latter half of December was spent measuring and ordering parts. How people converted vans before the internet in general, and ebay in particular, was invented, I have no idea. Shortly after Christmas, some actual forward progress was made, starting with some lines on the floor:
Which we then promptly covered with a load of wood:
25mm battens stuck to the floor with Sikaflex, which is fantastic (but also evil) stuff. The gaps in between got filled with 25mm Celotex insulation a bit later on. In the foreground you'll notice the corner of a seat, here they are mocked up in position:
I wanted the rear seats bolted directly to the floor, so the floor was put in around their final position. The rear seats came from an ex-council Mercedes minibus that a local bloke was converting into a camper -- he was in a wheelchair, the bus had a lift at the back but more seats than he needed. £60 for three seats was a bargain even though we only needed two -- they only had four sets of legs between the three, so it all needed taking apart and putting back together in a different order. Built-in seatbelts, not the nicest fabric but that can be sorted.
The other important bit of floor is this:
which is where a load of pipes and cables cross the van. Water tanks are underneath, kitchen's one side and washroom the other, so the water needs to get from one side to the other. Similarly, the leisure batteries go under the rear seats and cables need to get to the kitchen side. If you're planning to convert a van and take just one thing from this thread, take the service trench
Then we needed to cut a load of plywood for the floor, which necessitated a bit of CAD:
Yes, that's Cardboard Assisted Design. Bit surprised at the branded cereal packet, it's usually Sainsbury's own-brand round our way. Must have been an offer on. But I digress. A bit of circular and jigsaw action later:
Probably didn't need to be quite such a neat fit given that all the edges will be hidden by wall linings or furniture, but never mind. The rest of the floor continued in a similar vein.
Then the fun really started. A lot of measuring and even more masking tape:
ERMAGERD I GONE DONE DRILLED HOLES IN THE VAN!!11! AND THEN ATTACKED IT WITH A JIGSAW!
Continue until this happens:
Clean up the edges with a file, slap some paint on to cover the cut edges. Then stick some timber around the inside -- the Seitz windows we're using are designed for a minimum wall thickness of 25mm, which is a bit more than the 1ish mm of the van sides, so you need to make up the thickness:
(Yes, that's the other side of the van, forgot to take a picture of the sliding door side at this stage). The other nuance is that the windows are designed for completely flat sides, like a coachbuilt motorhome or caravan. The sides of this van are slightly curved, which gives two options. First, you can not worry about it, bosh the window in and let it pull the panel flat at the edges. It's OK unless you look pretty closely, but the distortion is more obvious on non-white vans. We went for the second option, which is to curve the face of the battens and only have the outer frame in close contact with the van sides in the middle. You have to do some extra sealant work on the outside, but you might want to do that anyway. Presto:
Then do it all again on the opposite side, which involves taking out an anti-vibration strut across the panel:
Useful bit of weight saving:
I should point out that you can't just cut out random bits of steel on a whim, but these ones are OK to remove -- they're spot-welded top and bottom and seam-sealered to the thin panels to stop them drumming (a bit). The window and frame do the same job. Cut another hole:
Wood blah blah fit window:
Once more for luck:
(Epic exposure fail in that one, sorry.) All of which left the inside looking like this as of the first week of January. Yes, a few showers may have possibly made things awkward: