Road Read – Down with the Man! I mean Main Floor! 8-10-16

Got a bit of work done over the weekend. Certainly not as much as I wanted to but  that is the norm.

I did some additional touch up painting on the Lizardskin. There were several areas where the masking tape pulled up more of the spray in insulation than I would have liked. There were also a few areas where I completely misjudged where I applied my masking and it left a gap of exposed paint that in hindsight I felt like would look better blacked out along with the rest of the spray.

So I re-masked the areas and just sprayed them with the Lizardskin Top Coat. It is in a spray can and while nowhere near as thick as the insulation application, it can help to hide minor screw ups like the ones mentioned above.

20160807_183018I needed to cut the two rear most sections of the subfloors in half. As mentioned in a previous Road Read, this was in the event that I ever needed to get the subfloors out of the van for maintenance, cleaning or repairs, I wanted to be able to remove them without having to take out much of the wall planks. I wish I had thought of this earlier because they are much easier to handle in smaller sections.

Also, while I had them out, I wanted to use the opportunity to get some progress done on the main floor.

First I figured out how to assemble the laminate flooring. (Hint – This is not how to do it.) I laid out enough that all of the subfloor would fit with room to spare all the way around.

20160806_081852I then traced the subfloor and then disassembled all of the sections. As I took them apart, I made sure that I label each one with an alphanumeric coordinate. Basically it started at A1 and ended at G720160806_100825.  A lesson I learned here was to make sure that you mar the section that you plan on on discarding. And ‘X’ or any mark will do. It may seem obvious when you are looking at it assembled but once all you have in your hand is an individual piece, it will make it easier to remember which part is scrap and which part is going into the van.

I also too the time to make the same tracing of the subfloors in the underlayment and cut them out.

After the tracing, it was simply a matter of cutting each section with a jigsaw. As I cut them I snapped them into place.

20160807_193912I am fairly pleased with the results. If I have to do it again (which I might if I choose a 20160807_194127different floor), I would probably try to make the tolerances a little tighter. While all or very close to all of the edges will be covered by either kick plates, cabinetry, or bedding, I think I could have made it fit slightly better. The other part of this that really sucks is that the floor material is absolutely poor quality. To make matters worse, I ordered this from Home Depot. It was cheap. Really cheap and I go exactly what I paid for. The shipping boxes were very substandard. It was hard to tell if any were really damaged on quick inspection at the store but over half were damaged pretty much beyond usage. Fortunately, I bought more than I needed for just such a scenario but I was still disappointed at how much time I had to spend figuring out what piece could be used at which edge based on it damage.


Regardless of whether I use a different floor in the long run, it will still be 8mm thick and this allows me to start on the van wall ribs and ceiling.

Thanks for all the questions and motivation. It is appreciated.

Keep the course,




Road Read – Another Take on the Wall and Ceiling Ribs 8-6-16

Well, that didn’t work.

I spent the last Friday morning working on the ribs for the wall slats and I have to say it was a pretty damn frustrating venture.

In the last Road Read (Road Read – Main Floors and Wall and Ceiling Panel Ribs ), I detailed out my plan to cut down and bevel some 2×4 lumber and attach it to the factory metal ribs in the van. This was going to allow me to attach the slats to the ceiling. Unfortunately, even after trimming down the lumber, it was still too rigid to form to the curvature of the roof. I tried a couple of different ways of slicing the  lumber to relieve stress so it would fit but it either would crack when I tried to get it in place or just would not form to the roof.

The ribs for the wall did not go much better. Instead of 2×4 lumber on the walls, I chose 1×3 wood. In my mind’s eye, I saw this as attached and having curvature that closely resembled the walls. While I could get it pretty close, it was a significant effort. And every time I would have added another rib, the pull on the interior wall to maintain that curve would have been magnified. Pretty soon, you have enough strain, that over time, it could have created a warp or the boards could have simply failed.

So after some time spent looking at the alternatives, I now have new ideas for the roof and walls.

First, the cut 2x4s on the ceiling are out. Instead of mounting the boards to the side of the metal factory ribs, I am going to mount the 1×3 boards directly to the bottom. To overcome the curve issues on the ceiling, I will be cutting the 1x3s into 5 sections with the center section being the longest at 25 inches. Not only will this solve the curve issue, by having a wide, flat section in the middle, the Dometic AC / Heat Pump will a better structure to mount to.

Next Idea Mounts


As for the walls, I will still be using the 1×3 boards. The difference here is that I am not going to have as much curve in the wall as originally intended. The boars will remain a bit straighter and while still having anchor points at the top and bottom, a spacer will be placed in between the rib and the van wall where the middle wall anchor will be. This will relieve some of the stress on both the lumber and the van wall. This is kind of a bummer because it cuts into the already very tiny living space. I am going to make the most of situation by adding additional insulation behind the slats.

While no boards were installed last Friday in the 9 hour period that I spend on this, I certainly would call it a wasted day. I got to spend some great, quality time with my Dad. I had some great Mexican food at lunch. I picked up all the additional lumber I will need for a while and I managed to get enough thoughts together to come up with a that I think will not only just work, but will work better.

Stay tuned and Keep the Course,