Paneling the Ceiling (Part 3)

Paneling the Ceiling (Part 3)

May 21, 2015 Categories Camper Van

This is part three; here is part one and part two.

After restocking my lumber supply and picking up a few other things last night, I started today by adding a small piece of window screen to the top of the battery vent in order to keep bugs from crawling inside. Nothing fancy.

Since I had lumber again, I finished paneling the ceiling (“upper walls”). There was only one piece left to add.

I boxed in the rear half of the ceiling area where the extended top overlaps with the sheet metal body. It creates a small shelf area about 48″x8 1/2″. It still needs a trim piece on the front, but that won’t get added until later. I’m also pretty sure I’m gonna turn that area into a small cabinet for bathroom supplies; soap, shampoo, TP, maybe a first aid kit, etc. Seems like a good place to store it all.

There’s a larger shelf area in the front of the van where I plan to keep my backpacking and hiking gear. At 48″x28″ and 18″ high, there’s plenty of space for me to store my two backpacks and my shower tub/equipment. I’m not sure if I want to turn that area into a cabinet or not.

Next up was connecting the ceiling area to the walls where the extended roof meets the sheet metal. A lot of people just angle boards to follow the curvature of the wall more, but before I even started building the van, I decided I was gonna use this area to add some recessed lighting. First, I cut some boards to bring the upper walls down to slightly overlap the lower walls.

Then I added some small strips of wood on the top of the lower walls so that I would have something to nail up into. I left gaps in the places I knew the lights were gonna go, as I need every possible inch in that area as possible since it’s such a skinny board that runs down it.

With the strips in place, it was time to add the board the lights get set in. Since the walls taper in towards the rear of the van, I had to cut the board to match the angle of the walls. While cutting the holes for the lights, I made sure to test fit a light in each receptacle to make sure they’ll fit later. I’m not gonna install them until after everything is stained. Once they go in, it’ll be pretty difficult to get them out.

Lastly, I added some corner trim to clean up the look. I had to cut just over a 16° angle out of it to match the slope of the wall. This allows it to sit flush on both sides. It looks really good. I can’t wait until all the other trim work is done so it looks this good.

I finally feel like it’s becoming less of a van and more of a camper now that the walls are pretty much done. Yes, I have trim work left to do, but there’s not a lot of sheet metal showing anymore and that makes me happy. Too bad I still have two or three weeks left before it’ll be done. I want to be on the road already. Those National Parks aren’t gonna visit themselves!

One thought on “Paneling the Ceiling (Part 3)”

David Michael · December 12, 2016

Again, awesome job. Thanks for sharing.

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