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Van Interior overhaul

Interior Overhaul: Van Life

With some big life changes happening for me, this project was put on hold. Now that my house projects are complete, I am able to finally work on the interior of the van. I am stoked to finally start this but I know this will be a beast of a project. I spent two days researching and making a list of things I needed to buy for the first stages of the overhaul.

First will be wiring the entire van so it will power my fridge, lights, charge various electronics and run roof vents. Then I will install the subfloor, add insulation to the walls and ceiling and then the actual finishing of the walls, ceiling and floor.

Let me back track. With the help of Nate, okay, he did the entire install, the roof vent was installed. I won’t go much into this as it was actually a really simple project. Trace the hole, cut the hole, add the weatherstripping, insert vent, screw down, done. I’ve since decided to buy another and will install that as soon as it comes in. I went with the vanair roof vent because they are small, they are very affordable, the reviews are great and because I have a roof rack that will often be in use, the normal van/RV roof vents were not an option (because they are huge!)

View from the outside: Closed
Inside View: Not fully installed

Okay, fast forward to today. Here are the before photos:

Everything inside
Nasty carpet

After ripping everything out:

Inside bare metal

I then went to Home Depot and bought supplies.


Nate is going to do all the power this weekend and I had today free so I did some prep work: subfloor. My helper for the day:

My three-legged helper

Step one: Make templates

Piecing together a template

Step two: Trace the template to the plywood (which by the way I went with 11/32″)

Tracing Templates

Step three: Get the jigsaw out and cut out what you need


Step four: I primed all the pieces of the subfloor with Kilz. I did this because in my research, I read about how another van dweller had their floor get mold and they had to rip it out and this was one of the steps they did. Since the inside of the van will often have water in it from kayaking, wet gear and dogs, I figured this was an important step for me.

Priming the wood

Next up: wiring and powering the van! Stay tuned.


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!