Panels 24” x 24” (6) – 1.6 48” x 48” panels @
Stud, 2” x 4” x 96” – 8 @ $6 each
Screen Pine Moulding ¾” x ¼” x 120” -- $6.10
OK, all the boxes have been built.
The cabinets were boxes, the bed
ensemble was a bunch o’ boxes, the sink was a
box, and the dresk was a box.
Boxes, boxes, boxes.
Well, they are done, and they were a big chunk
of the project, for sure.
I look around and think, “if I had to
live in this, as is, I could.”
And that’s a good feeling.
But, really, there is still a lot left:
the ceiling, the floor, the doors, the
blinds, and, yes, the walls.
And the walls are exactly what gets
done next (i.e., now).
I mentioned way-back-when that many of the
videos I watched showed vans in which the walls
seemed to be the very first thing done.
In fact, The Moose, my 2nd-ever
conversion van, had completed plywood walls and
floor when I bought him, but nothing else.
I’m not saying that those people were wrong, and
I would not argue at all with anyone who says
that I’m wrong, BUT by doing all those
boxes first, I’m left with not a whole lot of
wall to deal with.
In fact, just three 24” x 24” panels on
each side will do.
was one awkward thing first, though:
The Big Rib.
Yeah, that mid-van bulge was still a
big blue eyesore between the countertop and the
cabinets, and it had to be covered up.
well, build a … box … around it.
It was a simple box, at least.
It already had a top and a bottom. I
toyed with mounting an outlet in the front panel
of it – or at least the dimmer switch – but, in
the end, I forewent all functions and went for
A laser-engraved stag’s head adorns
that panel now, a fine complement to its brother
in the passenger side cabinet.
2x4 upright on each side provides enough depth,
and three 2x2 crossbeams (at top, center and
bottom) give it stability and provide attachment
points for the slightly recessed deer panel.
The frontmost stud is anchored with 2 long
screws into the step of the desk shelf at the
bottom and is attached with ZM’s at the top. The
rearmost stud is ZMed top and bottom.
There is a gap behind it, but that will be
covered by the next step: the paneling itself.
This took some figuring.
I wanted the walls to be 1/8” cedar
plywood, but I also wanted them to be sturdy
enough to support my head if I decided to lounge
against them while on the bed.
The back section of the ProMaster walls is built
to allow for windows:
it is about 6 feet of sheet metal, with
2 removable ribs about 2 feet or so apart. I
didn’t want to remove them; I needed them to
secure my walls to.
After much deliberation and gnashing of teeth, I
opted for three 2x4 studs secured lengthwise
across the ribs.
The top and bottom studs would be 72”
long, and the middle one would be 76”, to
account for the rounded corners of the frame
they would fit within.
Before I did any of that stuff, though, I broke
out the leftover roll of EZ-Cool insulation, and
several slabs of styrofaom that I’d been saving
from received packages at work, and spray-glued
them to cover as much of each section as I
I have to admit that I liked the look of the
tropical vinyl that had filled those spaces so
well for almost a year, but I was happy to
replace them with some heat protection.
On the few short roadtrips I’ve taken so far in
Blue Maxx, those steel walls heat up really fast
in the southern sun.
And since they are at both the head and
foot of the bed, it’s hard to escape that
radiant heat while I’m trying to sleep a little
never have been a morning person.
So, with the walls well-insulated, it was time
to mount the studs.
Bolts would have been ideal for that,
but the spaces in the ribs were too small for me
to get a nut around the end.
Hence, screws had to do.
I drilled narrow pilot holes through
the studs and used self-tapping screws that
would penetrate the steel rib.
The screw did have to bite its way
through the sides of the pilot holes before
reaching the metal, so the attachment won’t have
any rattle or looseness.
I paneled the driver side first.
The bottom stud received a double coat
of cognac stain because about half of it would
show below the panels. I always stained whatever
blue metal was still showing.
I had mixed emotions about that because
I am so crazy about the True Blue Pearl
exterior, and the interior of the flight deck. For
the Office, the Living Room, the Bathroom, and
the Bedroom, though, that color just did not
fit; it only represented spaces I was too lazy
Anyway, the 24” x 24” cedar panels fit snug up
against the bottom-back of the cabinets and fit
perfectly snug against one another.
I screwed them in as close to their
edges as I could.
I had picked up some very thin moulding at Home
Depot that I hoped would cover the seams and the
was just ¾” wide, and only ¼” thick.
They got cognac- stained as well, and
ended up being an excellent cover, as well as
fine dividers for the long empty wall.
The passenger side had a wrinkle in store,
though not that I wasn’t expecting it.
In order to put up the full-sized
paneling, I had to take down the temporary small
panels that held the DC outlets and USB ports. The
driver side one
just got removed and the dimmer switch was
relocated and rewired to the desk.
On the passenger side, however, I was keeping
the DC and USB, as well as the PS dimmer, and
all that needed to be properly measured,
drilled, lasered and rewired.
I took pictures of it all as I dismantled it so
I’d know how to put it all back together.
The dimmer switch needed a square
recess to fit into or the stem for the switch
would not hold the knob.
The laser did a fine job on this when I
first did it, but I burned a little too deep
this time, and ended up with a slightly wobbly
It’s the type of thing that, if you were paying
someone to do this, and you ended up with such a
wobble, you’d be irked.
Maybe even vexed.
But since I did it to myself and knew for sure
that I could live with it, I just shrugged it
was definitely not worth redoing that
whole panel just for a WK (wobbly knob).
The panels don’t extend all the way to the back
corners, but I have plan for those spaces
let you know when I figure out what it is.