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Van Ceiling

This part of the project was fairly intense for one person. It didn’t turn out as nice as I would have liked and I will make notes of what I would change but here is what I did. I cut 1/4″ ply to the width I needed and cut them in segments because I knew with all the holes I needed to cut out, having a one piece panel would be difficult. I painted each piece white and started from the back to the front.

I made sure to mark and cut where I was going to add the recessed lighting. I then used self-drilling screws to attach the panels to the metal ribs in the ceiling. I quickly learned this was going to be labor intensive for one person, even with the smaller panels. So I made my own little helper. This was a HUGE help.

Ceiling jig

Even with this, the panels were not all that easy to hold up and screw into the top. Because of this, I have more of a gap from panel-to-panel than I would like. If I were to do this again, I would recruit help. If you are reading this because you are researching, plan to recruit 1-2 people to help you with this stage.

Once the paneling was done, I then cut cedar wood for a decorative look. I got these tongue and groove boards as a pack at home depot and just ripped them to the width I wanted. I added a constructive adhesive to the back, pressed it to the ceiling and nailed each piece. While this was not the most difficult job, it took a ton of time! If doing this again, I think I would have made these a bit wider (I like that they are not all the same width) and a bit thicker of wood to give a bit more depth to the ceiling, I was just super worried about not adding much because I wanted to be able to sit up in bed without hitting my head and every inch mattered. I am beyond happy with the choice of cedar however. It helps keep the nasty wet smelly kayaking gear and dog smell to a minimum.

And finally, the ceiling was complete. The lights were super easy to install. I bought these lights off amazon and I absolutely love them. I am extremely happy that I spent the money and installed a 2-zone LED light switch because these bad boys are bright! Trust me, just do it if you are adding lights.

Next up, the floor!




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!