Daniel Groves

Show Nav

Planvan: New floor and insulation

Published: 28 May 2019 · Tags: planvan, van

The start or a horror sttory as I go to insulate the floor, and things go wrong.

In May 2018 I decided to buy a 2010 VW T5 GP as a conversion project. So far I’ve changed the wheels, sound-deadened, and insulated the van. With an upcoming late winter-trip to Cumbria on the cards, I decided it was time to crack on and finish the insulation by pulling the floor up and laying insulation below. Had I realised how much of pain this would turn into I probably wouldn’t have bothered doing it so close.

It’s three weeks out from the departure for Cumbria, almost to the day, and I’m stood there pulling the carpet up off the floor, watching as my floor comes away in pieces attached to the bottom. Underneath looks like it’s been soaked at some point, and the further I go the more rotten it looks and the more screws I found in the Plywood sub-floor. Long story short: the previous owner has screwed the ply directly through the metalwork of the van, and this had resulted in some water ingress which had puddled and made the sub-floor rot.

 alt: A patchwork floor as I sealed all of the hoels from the screws and treated everything with Rust-Oleum to be safe.
A patchwork floor as I sealed all of the hoels from the screws and treated everything with Rust-Oleum to be safe.

The next day was spent wire-wheeling anything that looked like potential rust: any paint bubbles, missing paint or holes were all cleaned up for surface rust, and a drill was run through each of the screw holes to ensure they are rust free, before the entire floor was given a coat of Rust-Oleum to be on the safe side, and then all holes were sealed with Sikaflex to ensure the van was once again watertight.

 alt: Battening the floor to level out the ribbing prior to adding insulation to help with warmth and road noise.
Battening the floor to level out the ribbing prior to adding insulation to help with warmth and road noise.

The next step was to cut and bond — with yet more Sikaflex — 9mm battens down into all of the gaps between the metal ribs on the floor. This brings everything up onto a single level, which is then ready for some insulation to go down on top, and finally, a brand new 9mm ply floor built to order for me by the team over at CJ Van Designs just outside of Swindon. I was super impressed by the work these guys did, the floor was a perfect fit, and had been routed all around the edges to clear the welds. It also has metal insert to hold the two pieces of ply flat, stopping a gap appearing between the two halves of the ply.

 alt: Brand new 9mm flooring goes in
Brand new 9mm flooring goes in, thanks to CJ Van Designs.

I laid Altro Walkway on top of this in midnight blue to provide a nicer non-slip and heavy duty finish and finally cut the holes through for my load rings which now have the OEM black plastic trimming around them to keep everything looking tidy. The final step was to run a bead of Sikaflex all the way around the edge, partly to hide any small gaps (hey, vans are complicated, nothing is straight), but for the finished photos, you’ll have to wait until the end of the electrical fit out.