Carpet lining your van seems like an impossible task when you first start.
the actual process is not very difficult if you follow a few simple steps.
Even a novice can do it,
if you really put your mind to it,
use the correct materials,
and follow a good process!
In this article I am going to layout the materials you need,
and the process you need to follow,
to achieve a professional looking carpet lined campervan when complete.
Firstly, lets go over the materials you need to carpet line your van.
The material list is similar for both methods of carpet lining your van.
Heres what you need:
- A good supply of High tempeture spray glue such as trimfix or Polymat.
- More than enough carpet liner such as Veltrim, or easy liner.
- Plenty of latex gloves,
- A plastic straight edge for stretching and smoothing the carpet during application.
- A good strong Stanley knife, – with plenty of blades!
Here are some essential van conversion supplies that I use.
Now lets figure out which method of carpet lining you are going to use.
There a two main methods of lining a van.
you gotta figure out which method of carpet or felt lining you are going to go with.
1: Completely insulate the panels of the van using a good quality insulation.
2: Cut plywood to size and sheet over the insulated panels. you can attach the ply to the walls with self tapping screws.
3: And and once this is complete, then glue the carpet liner to the plywood base by hanging the carpet from the top by spraying a layer of glue to both the wall of the van and the back of the carpet.
Hold the carpet in place for about 30 seconds until the glue has set.
Then begin to work the carpet into place by stretching across curves and working it into corners.
Always make sure there is a good layer of glue behind the carpet at all times.
1: Insulate the metal panels of the van,
and cover holes using a strong duct tape or foil tape.
2: Fill the metal pillars with spray foam or fiberglass insulation. This will stop any cold bridging between the outside and inside and should help avoid damp spots.
3: Then spray glue the carpet lining and the bare metal with a generous layer of glue.
4: You need to shape the carpet liner around the joints between panels and pillars,
5: Mark and cut a piece of carpet about 2 inches larger than the panel you are covering and spray it with glue.
5: Then place the panel on top, making sure there are no wrinkles underneath.
6: Then fold the carpet over the panel edges to finish.
Fit the separate hard board cards over the insulated panels
This method is definitely tricky,
But if your van already comes with hardboard panels in the rear,
this method makes the best use of what you already have.
I prefer to use the plywood lined approach myself.
Although there is an extra step in lining the van with plywood first,
in the long run,
I think it gives a cleaner finished product.
There are other advantages to the fully ply-lined van also.
You can achieve a better level of insulation in the van by batoning out the shell,
fitting thicker insulation in the van,
And then plying over the insulation.
You can avoid any cold bridging effects by using better quality and more insulation in general.
If you plan on living in the van for an extended period,
A warmer van is most definitely preferable!
A fully ply-lined van allows you to fix units,
shelves and other essentials securely and permanently
in any position around the van.
A plywood wall can support much more than a hard board panel.
This is essential if you wish to have non standard kitchen units,
or a permanent bed area in the van.
Any unit you build can be fixed securely through the van.
Now you know which method you are going to use.
Lets get into the materials you need to carpet line your van.
The material list is similar for both methods of van lining.
Heres what you need:
1: A good supply of High tempeture spray glue such as trimfix.
2: More than enough carpet liner such as Veltrim, or easy liner.
3: Plenty of latex gloves,
4: A plastic straight edge for stretching and smoothing the carpet during application.
5: A good strong Stanley knife, – with plenty of blades!
Lest get into the process.
Heres a quick video to show the process:
1: Cutting the Felt / Carpet to size.
Start on a small panel to find your bearings!
A good place to start is the back door.
Cut your carpet liner about 4 inches larger all around the door frame.
Once the liner is cut,
Rest the liner down on the floor or a sheet of plywood.
The back side of the carpet liner is slightly harder and less fluffy!
Make sure it is facing back side up when placed on the floor.
2: Applying glue to your carpet liner.
Spray the back of the felt with a light layer of the spray glue.
Use a smooth consistent back and over movement.
overlap the spray slightly every time.
Now move on to the panel.
Spray the contact areas of the panel with a generous coating of spray glue,
using the same method of application.
3: Placing the carpet liner on the panel.
Start at the top of the panel.
Lift the liner up off the ground and let it hang freely.
Now press the liner against the top of the panel.
hold in position for 30 seconds so that the glue begins to set slightly.
Once the liner is hanging on the panel with the glue,
Begin to rub the liner onto the panel from top to bottom.
Working your hand around the material to get rid of any wrinkles.
You can stretch the material and mould it around corners,
Always rubbing with your hand to fix the liner.
4: Cutting off excess carpet liner.
After the carpet is fixed correctly,
And all adjustments have been made, its time to remove the excess carpet liner.
Use a sharp stanley blade to score the felt inside the edge of the door panel.
Make sure to leave a metal surface where the rubber door seal meets the door.
Because the carpet will cause the seal to leak.
Repeat the same process on the larger panels now,
For the larger panels,
you will not be able to spray the whole sheet of carpet before fitting it to the wall.
You will have to hang the carpet at the top first.
Then spray glue each piece underneath while working it onto the wall of the van.
It is a tricky process,
And you will need help if this is your first time.
Carpet lining a van with removeable panels.
1: Remove all the hard board panels from the interior of the van.
2: Remove all the plastic fittings, and screws.
3: Measure and cut the liner, leave 2 inches of excess liner around the edges.
4: spray the surface of the panel with a generous covering of glue.
5: spray the back of the liner, with a light covering of glue.
6: Fit the felt liner to the hard board panel and work it on with a smooth rubbing motion.
Work all the wrinkles out by rubbing, and stretching at the same time.
7: fold the excess around the back of the panel and glue in place.
8: punch a hole in through every fixing point.
Carpet lining the metal frames around the panels of your van:
1: Make sure you have all your insulating and wiring complete,
You will not be able to access behind the pillars or through the access holes once the carpet is fitted.
2: Start at the top and work down.
Cut a strip for the top section, leaving enough to overlap the edges into the removable panel sections.
3: Spray a generous layer onto the metal.
4: spray a light layer onto the back of the felt.
5: stick one end to the metal surface and work your way along the liner to the other end.
6: Go over the felt again,
stretch out the material to work out any wrinkles.
Carpet lining the roof of your van.
Carpet lining a campervan roof is a little harder, so you will need some help with this one!
1: Cut the liner with enough excess to allow for error and edging correctly.
2: spray the ceiling with a generous layer of glue before fitting.
3: Start at the front end of the van and spray a light layer of glue to the back of the felt about 4″ wide.
4: Fix the front edge of felt to the ceiling, hold it in place until it is set.
5: Now begin to work your way back along the ceiling,
Apply some glue to the back of the liner each time before you apply the liner.
6: Work the wrinkles out by stretching and rubbing at the same time.
How to carpet a wheel arch of your van.
1: When carpet lining a wheel arch, start in the middle and work your out.
Cut the liner leaving enough excess
to allow for good coverage and folding under the panels.
2: Spray a generous layer of glue to the wheel arch first.
3: Spray a light layer on the back of the liner.
4: Work the liner into the crease in the center of the wheel arch.
5: now start to rub from the center outwards,
Making sure you fix the carpet to the arch everywhere.
Remember, you can stretch the carpet to suit.