With the gearbox fixed, it’s now time to start focusing on fitting some suitable campervan flooring. The first job is to take out all the seats, rubber matting, and hardboard floor panels.
Taking the seats out turned out to be trickier than expected. The bolts were rusted and wouldn’t budge. Finally, after a couple of hours of grunting and groaning (and plenty of WD40) they were out. We were now left with a pile of seats and seatbelts on the lawn!
We then set about removing the thick rubber matting and heavy duty hardboard floor panels. This exposed the floor so I could have a good look at the condition of the floor pan.
Inspecting the floor…
After close inspection I found a few suspect areas. And though they weren’t yet rusted completely through, given another winter the chances of a hole appearing seemed very likely. I decided that now was the ideal opportunity to repair them before I started building the interior. So next day, out came my welder.
As you can see from the pictures below, the two weak places in the floor were around both rear wheel arches, so a generous patch was welded over the dodgy areas.
We need to find some cheap campervan flooring…
With the repairs done, the next job was to lay down some new floor covering. After researching suitable campervan flooring, we settled on three possible (cost-effective) options: carpet, vinyl flooring or laminate flooring.
All have their pros and cons…
Carpet Flooring: Offcuts are cheap and we thought it would be warm and help with soundproofing. It would be relatively easy to fit too. Then we thought a bit further! We imagined coming in with wet boots or spilling a mug of coffee. Carpet is easily stained and smelly if it gets damp. We ruled out the carpet and moved on.
Vinyl Flooring: We really liked the idea of vinyl flooring and thought it would be easyish to fit. But then we realised that as our floor pan was ridged and most vinyl flooring is pretty thin, we’d need to have a decent subfloor laid or it could end up looking like a ridge and furrow field! As we were trying to do things on the cheap, we weren’t prepared to put down a sub-floor. So we decided that vinyl wouldn’t make good campervan flooring for our conversion.
If you are prepared to do things properly 🙂 then vinyl would be a good choice. On Amazon you can get vinyl like this eXtreme Vinyl Flooring – it’s 2m wide and you choose your own length, in 1ft increments. (If you click on the supplier’s name you’ll see they do other designs and widths too.)
If you are doing things properly, you may also want to lay a Thermal and Vapour Barrier to help prevent mould and damp.
Once we’d ruled out the other two, then we went to our third choice…
Laminate Flooring: We knew it was pretty cheap and that we would only need two or three packs. It would give us a practical, hard wearing and easy to keep clean surface. Besides that, it would provide a good solid base to build off without us putting in a subfloor. So in the end, that’s what we chose to use: normal run-of-the-mill, domestic laminate flooring.
It was cheap to buy too! It only cost us £21.00 for the complete floor.
Installing the campervan flooring…
Luckily, we’d kept hold of the Transit’s original heavy-duty hardboard and rubber matting flooring. After I’d repaired the floor pan, I relaid it and it made an excellent base for the laminate boards. (It also improved the insulation and soundproofing.)
Fitting the flooring was pretty straightforward except for the wheel arches. When it came to fitting around them, I used a piece of wood about 3 inches long that I’d drilled a hole in to take a pencil. That way when I pushed the laminate board up to the wheel arch, I could trace the profile of the arch onto the end of the laminate board. (See the profile tool I made.) This worked pretty well. I wasn’t too bothered about it being exact, as I knew the wheel arches would be covered when we fitted the van out. Any mistakes I made while laying the laminate didn’t stress me out as I could just use another board or offcut.
As you can see from the picture, I left a 10mm expansion gap around the edges. Once the floor units and seating are fitted, the gap will be hidden. The exposed end around the side door and end doors will be covered up later using the Transit’s original plastic trim.
Right, that’s the campervan flooring done. So now, what are we going to do with the seats on the lawn? Put them on eBay, my wife said. No, nobody will want them, I answered. They might! She was right. We sold them for 50 quid! That’s more money toward the build.
Cost so far £341.00
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