An episode in which I attempt to glue Veltrim vehicle carpet onto one of the campervan walls and get very frustrated at how it won’t go round double-angled corners without needing to be cut. Unless I’m just an utter numpty of course, which is entirely feasible. I get glue all over myself and both sides of the carpet so move on to fixing the LED lights into the camper ceiling then I try to screw the ceiling into place only to discover the hole for the vent has mystically moved itself by about 1cm, causing much head-scratching.
Fixing carpet onto the walls is an art in itself. I bought quite thick (4mm?) Veltrim which appears to have no stretch in it whatsoever and in hindsight was a bad choice but I went for it because I imagined the really stretchy carpet would be so thin you might see the metal of the van through it, which I wanted to avoid. I should definitely have bought that though because the Veltrim really, really, did not want to bend round complex curves.
It was fine on a simple one-way bend but when you get to the corners of the van at the back, it would not stretch multiple ways and I ended up having to make cuts in it then either fill the gaps with offcuts afterwards, or cut it, make an overlap, and cut out the overlap. Either way you can see the joins quite badly. A proper, thinner, “four way stretch” carpet would have avoided this.
It helps to have an assistant as well when you’re doing any large areas. I had to use spring-loaded extendable poles (as seen in my insulation video) to try to hold the carpet in place while I glued the top section in place, then when that had stuck I could remove the poles and begin to glue the bottom and also work the carpet around the corners (unsuccessfully, as just described)
The spray glue (“Trim Fix” cans) goes everywhere! Even though you try only to spray it onto the wood lining and the back of the carpet it somehow gets all over the place. Luckily my sister located a very, very old packet of wipes called “Stain Removers” at the back of a cupboard at her house and these get the glue off afterwards while leaving the carpet unmarked.
In terms of the ceiling, I’d cut two thin ply boards, one for the front half of the van, the other for the back. I drilled screw holes into them for both the wiring from the LED lights and to hold the lights into place. I added extra wood underneath the mounting holes because the ply itself was so thin, to give the screws something to grip.
The ceiling panels were to be screwed into place using self-drilling screws at the front, into the metal ceiling of the van (on a rib, not the roof itself! I didn’t want the screws poking through to the outside of course!) and wood screws into battens I’d glued in the middle and rear of the van.
Annoyingly when I put them in place, the rear panel somehow didn’t quite line up with the hole for the ceiling fan anymore, despite cutting it to shape previously. I had to try to file and shave a small amount out of the hole to make it fit.
Also I needed to feed the wire for the vent’s 12V power out of the side of the vent and along the inside of the roof panel to where I’d previously run power cables. This meant drilling a hole in the vent, which at first I got on the wrong side as the wire would hit one of the wooden supports I’d put up for the vent.
After much palaver, everything was sorted and I screwed the ceiling panel into place but – oh my – trying to screw the bottom trim panel onto the Fiamma air vent was a pain; there are four screw holes but as soon as you hold the panel up you can’t see where the screws are going and the holes have no “guide” in them to ensure the screws line up with the respective holes in the top of the vent. Half the time I tried screwing them in, it seemed they simply went up the side of the vent! It was a monumental irritation which to this day I’m not sure if there’s a proper way of doing.
Products and tools used in my van build (affiliate links)
Heater unit: https://geni.us/Van_PropexHS2000
Portable toilet: https://geni.us/Van_Toilet
Sink / hob: https://geni.us/Van_SinkHob
Mains charger: https://geni.us/Van_MainsCharger
Solar charger: https://geni.us/Van_SolarMPPT
DeWalt jigsaw: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltJigsaw
DeWalt drill: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltDrill
DeWalt mitre saw: https://geni.us/Van_DeWaltMitreSaw
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