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I bought a used 2016 cargo van to modify into a camper van. I live in Alaska so I needed it well insulated, with a heater and with a robust electrical system. Moisture from my galley as well as from condensation during cold weather was a major concern when planning and selecting materials. The basic set up is 1 inch of polyiso (R-Max) foam in the ceiling, and 1/4 inch AC plywood with Polywall glued to the plywood. The edge transition along the sides are PVC exterior door molding with grooves for the wire bundles as well as LED strip lights. The forward trim is also PVC material.

The really good things about the Polywall are that it is flexible, fairly cheap, easy to work with and it has an assortment of edge trim pieces to help with transitions. Its easy to clean and its reasonably durable. Since the van ceiling is wider than 4 feet, I had to join two pieces so there is a seam in the ceiling.

The insulation was held in place with blow foam. I initially used fiberglass driveway wands to hold the insulation in place while its was being glued. Then I used a couple of 36 inch long pieces of 1/2 inch diameter all thread to make a couple jacks. Those were very, very handy when I was working with the plywood on the ceiling.

I did not use runners or strip boards on the ceiling. I tried several different materials before I settled on the AC plywood. Neither the plastic type card board or 1/8" hardboard were rigid enough to provide a smooth surface since all of my attachment points are on the structural beams in the ceiling. The plywood was also more suitable for attaching the side and front edge trim pieces. Since the van ceiling is wider than 4 feet, I used a full width sheet on the passenger side. I left about 2 inches of overlap on the forward edge, which slides under the headliner. That overlap was useful for attaching the transition trim.

I used rivet nuts in the support beams to make installation and removal of the ceiling easy. I used 2 inch round anchor point fasteners designed to accommodate L-track style stud fittings (aka tie down rings). I bought those from US Cargo Control, which proved to be a very easy company to work for with fast deliveries. I also used L track and round anchor points on my floor and walls. The attachments on the ceiling will be useful for hanging a clothes line, partition, etc.

The PVC molding on the edges was time consuming to get it to fit correctly. Lots of router work for the wire bundle groove as well as for getting a channel to hide the LED strip light. But its very easy to work with and bends easily to the shape of the van. All of the fasteners holding it in place are from the back side of the plywood so no fasteners are visible when its installed. I made a few jigs to position the molding on the plywood when the plywood was install on the ceiling.

The trim pieces for the head liner above the front seats were also made with PVC boards designed for use as house trim. I used a heat gun, lots of time and several pieces to get a couple that looked decent and covered the ugly gaps in those corners. The trim pieces between the corners and the ceiling fan are 1/4 inch PVC trim routed and notched to catch the edge of the headliner.

I had all of the trim done and fitted before I attached the Polywall to the plywood. I could not get the recommended adhesive for the Polywall so I used Titebond Fast Grab FRP Adhesive. It was easy enough to trowel on and did not have any obnoxious odors. DO NOT use contact cement- it won't hold the Polywall. I can speak from first hand failure.

The Polywall on large piece of plywood is about 3 inches narrower than the plywood. The trim piece to cover the joint between the two pieces of Poly wall is attached to the large sheet of plywood. The smaller piece of plywood, about 8 inches wide, is on the drivers side of the van. The Polywall on that piece is about 3inches longer than the plywood and fitted to fill the gap on the larger piece of plywood. Once the largest piece of plywood and Plywall is in place, the smaller piece slides into place easily if you've got everything fitted correctly.

I have quite a few lights, probably more than I'll need. But better to have enough than to live in a dark hole. The round puck lights are from Amazon and easy to install using a 2.5 inch hole saw and a bit of filing to account for the springs which hold the lights firmly in place.

The ceiling fan install was covered in another post.

Materials
Plywood, PVC pieces and adhesive were all from Lowe's.
Round Lights- Amazon- Acegoo RV Boat Recessed Ceiling Light 4 Pack Super Slim LED Panel Light DC 12V 3W Full Aluminum Downlights, Warm White (White).
LED strip lights- Amazon- Hitlights Weatherproof Warm White LED Light Strip, 3528 - 16.4 Feet, 300 LEDs, 3000K, 72 Lumens per Foot. 12V DC.
The rivet nut setter, rivets nuts and were also from Amazon.
M6 x 25, 30 and 40 mm stainless steel flat head socket screws for attaching the round anchor points.

Pictures
1 and 2. Gluing insulation in place.
3.Using the all thread jack to hold the PVC trim in place.
4. The PVC side trim showing the grooves for the wire bundle and LED strip lights as well as the positioning jig.
5. The finished result.
6 to 8. Details of the front trim install.
 

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Looks well done. Please post up more pictures as the build progresses. That is quite a bit of light for sure, but your point is right on. Always easier to "unscrew" a lightbulb if needed. If the linear and round fixtures are on separate circuits, maybe a dimmer on the linear fixtures would be a nice touch.

Again it looks sweet.
 

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Really Nice! I?m getting ready to do my ceiling. The information from a van conversion shop says to just use fiberglass batting as vapor barriers can trap moisture especially in the walls. I know that?s a controversial subject as there are a lot of opinions out there. I concur on the 1/4 inch. It really makes sense. Looks great and finished!
 

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Really Nice! I?m getting ready to do my ceiling. The information from a van conversion shop says to just use fiberglass batting as vapor barriers can trap moisture especially in the walls. I know that?s a controversial subject as there are a lot of opinions out there. I concur on the 1/4 inch. It really makes sense. Looks great and finished!
I found this website helpful: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/heating-insulation/understanding-insulation-van/

I ended up going with 1x2 wood strips anchored to the walls and ceiling, with 1" reflective-backed polyiso foam board bolted over the wood strips, covered by plastic and 1/8" underlay. I went with the idea that the wood strip air gap behind the insulation allows for some airflow behind the insulation, obviating the need to worry about having zero moisture back there.

I chose the above rather than spray foam (not easily reversible) or fiberglass (settles in a moving van, unhealthy to breathe).
 

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I found this website helpful: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/heating-insulation/understanding-insulation-van/

I ended up going with 1x2 wood strips anchored to the walls and ceiling, with 1" reflective-backed polyiso foam board bolted over the wood strips, covered by plastic and 1/8" underlay. I went with the idea that the wood strip air gap behind the insulation allows for some airflow behind the insulation, obviating the need to worry about having zero moisture back there.

I chose the above rather than spray foam (not easily reversible) or fiberglass (settles in a moving van, unhealthy to breathe).
Good read, Thanks!
 

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I use a 25 year old travel trailer at the dog shows. When I put it away I put a dehimidifier in it on a timeclock for 30 min a day until no more moisture collects. Keeps it nice and fresh and dry. Also charges at the same time.
 
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