The van floor is corrugated for strength and rigidity, like truck beds.  I’ve seen a lot of people cut a bunch of little strips of foam or carpet padding to fill in the gaps and create a level surface, but I didn’t want to do that much work.  The foam is rigid enough that it didn’t really compress much over the peaks and valleys of the floor, even with a persons weight on it.  Plus, 3/4 inch plywood is going over the foam, further dispersing the weight.

Sliding door foot well area

Just in case there is a future problem, or for future projects that might require it, I want the floor to be easily removable.  This means that no glue will be adhering the foam board to the sound dampening on the floor.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, we need a template.

The floor, sadly, is not just a nice rectangle shape.  Along the sides are wheel wells, step wells, the fuel fill, and wall studs.  This makes measuring and cutting both the foam board and the plywood difficult.  Using old, flattened cardboard boxes, packaging tape, and scissors, we started to make a template of the floor that we could then trace onto the foam and wood.

We made a template of the entire floor before tracing anything.  That way we could figure out how to make the fewest cuts and have the fewest seams in the floor.

(Didn’t remember to take any pictures of the tracing and cutting, but you can imagine…)

Getting back to the removable floor idea, the plan is to bolt down three floor pieces.  The plywood will be varnished on the top and sides to help protect against moisture, and the foam board will be spray glued to the bottom of the plywood.

To save on the amount of glue used, it is just run around the perimeter and striped in the middle. The foam board on the walls have total glue coverage for strength.

Fast forward to the end product, and here we have two of the three floor pieces installed.  They just need holes drilled in the corners and through the van floor for bolting them down.  This does, of course, mean that we’ve lost 1.25 inches of headroom in the van, but that’s okay.

It doesn’t matter that the wood grain is mismatched in color because the rubber cargo mat (complete with padding) from the Chevy factory is going back in on top of the wood floor.  Using the rubber mat will be easier to clean, is padded and softer for kneeling on, and is resistant to any accidental spills.  There is still the last (third) small piece of flooring to make and install, but that can wait for a little while as we’re trying to move in ASAP and finish the van in pieces.

Again, I forgot to snap a picture of the finished floor with the rubber cargo mat in place, but it looks pretty much just like the picture below, except the walls and wheel wells are covered with insulation.

Toby is a blank canvas

As of this writing, which is being posted much later than had been hoped, we have been living in the van for nearly two months, and it has been working out pretty well!