5. Walls – Insulation – Headliner

All of the wall panels are made from 5mm plywood called project board.  These were purchased from Lowes  Item #518477  Model #518477  RevolutionPly 5Mm x 4-ft x 8-ft Poplar Sanded Plywood.

This 5mm plywood is flexible enough to form to the contours of the walls.   This was covered in Duramax (Also, called marathon) tweed material.  Before covering with Duramax the wall panels were sealed on both sides with thinned polyurethane, a 50/50 mix of polyurethane and mineral spirits.  This was done to seal the wood and protect it from mold.   Then the inside facing side was painted with mold killing primer.

Duramax -Then the wall panel was covered with headliner material, which is like a ¼” foam.   At the time the cost of the headliner material was less than foam.  After, that the light grey marathon tweed cloth was applied.  This cloth is very durable, made of 100% olefin.  As seen in the video, I used DAP Products Weldwood Landau Top & Trim HHR Solvent Type Spray Grade Contact Adhesive.

This adhesive is expensive, and needs to be used with a respirator, or in an open air environment.  The fumes are really bad.  For the entire van build I used two gallons.   Most of it is a solvent that evaporates quickly.


Marine Vinyl     

Weldwood HHR Contact Cement       

J Roller     

Roller Kit    

Foam Rollers


Mini Paint tray liners

Polyurethane     Mineral Spirits   

Mold Killing Primer    

Headliner Material      

¼” Foam    


1/4″ 20 – 2.5″ Machine Screw     

Rivet NUT Tool

1/4-20 Steel Rivet Nuts

M8 Rivnut       M8 Bolts      5/16″ Rivnut

Ring Magnet    

Sill Sealer foam roll    

Vinyl Cleaner

Tweed Sample Card sources – Source #1    Source #2

Insulation – Deciding on what type of insulation to use on the van took time and experimentation.  At first I thought I would use wool.  But after experimenting with a wool sample I decided that wool retained too much moisture.

I also would not use spray foam.  Spray foam would cause a problem if you needed collision/body work done on the van, the spray foam wound need to be removed.  This would be costly, and may not be possible. If you have water intrusion, the foam will hold in the water.   In a YouTube video a man had water seeping into his van.  In the video it shows him trying to scrape out the spray foam in an attempt to locate were to water was coming from.  In the end he discovered it was entering from where the trim was mounted on the outside of the van.  It was a real mess!

After several experiments, which are detailed in the videos below, I decided to combine Polyiso and a polyester sheet.  The Polyiso provides R6 rating per inch, and the polyester sheet provides an air gap, and keeps the Polyiso from squeaking against the body of the van.   Most of the wall sections have 1.5” of Polyiso, the Ceiling is 1”.

Before installing the Insulation we used sound deadening material throughout the van.  We used just under 100Sq Ft for the entire Van Build.   We used Kilmat cutting it into strips.   No kilmat was used on the floor.

To hold the insulation in place I used insulation hangers.   These held the insulation in place while I put on the wall boards, and ceiling panels.   I am sure that the self stick on these will not hold long term.  They just need to hold the insulation panel on while installing the wall and ceiling panels.

Each Polyiso panel was cut to size and shape and then covered on one side with a sheet of polyester.  To stick the polyester sheet we used common weld-wood contact cement.  It can be purchased from Lowes or Home Depot.  This is the product number Item #41163  Model #00273

This cement should be used with a respirator, and in a well ventilated space.

After installing the sound deadening material and insulating you will find the van almost silent compared to what it was before insulating.

Headliner Insulation – Above the driver and passenger space is the headliner.  Behind this headliner is a lot of air space.  The heat from the roof above the headliner transfers a lot of heat into the van.   To reduce this we removed the headliner and insulated.  This process will take a day, but it is worth the effort.   Not only does it provide temperature control, it also reduces sound.

Low cost sprayer if you want to try that method https://amzn.to/3McBHvo

Allen Wrench Set       

Clip Removal Tool     

Trim tool w/replacements     

PolyIso –  Lowes Item #1097069   Model #ISISORMATS135237,   HomeDepot Internet #313501506  Model #637902  Store SKU #754404     XPS for Floor – Home Depot: Internet #207179253 Model #20WE Store SKU #1001965217

Carpenter Pencils 

Utility Blade         

Utility Blade Holder      

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. This does not increase the prices to you.
Share this: