Joining the Walls and Ceiling – A Rewarding Effort

(Yes, the garnish will be installed soon for the ceiling vent fan!)

Today was another great day.  Once the April rains subsided, it was time to hit it hard again.  Today I had to make a little box down the driver’s side to join the ceiling and side wall together.  Yesterday I did the short wall on the passenger’s side.  Today was more challenging since the thing was eight feet long.

Since there aren’t a whole lot of ways to finish off this beast, I wanted to share a tip with you about how I did the L-shaped pieces.  I used three lengthwise furring strips:  one for the attachment to the ceiling, one for the attachment to the sidewall, and one for the joining of the 90 degree corner.

Putting up with the furring strips concealed was a bit of a trick.  It didn’t go smoothly the first time, that’s for sure!  There is no sin in tacking things with a nail or a screw. 

These are the steps that made it very quick and easy!

1)  Attach an 8′ furring strip to the roof by screwing it in so it lays flat and connects with the roof furring strip.
2)  Measure the horizontal paneling piece you will need (it will jut out 5 or more inches).  Cut it.
3)  Staple and nail a furring strip (narrow side “standing up”) lengthwise.
4)  Staple/nail a second furring strip to the same paneling strip on the same side as the other (forming a “U” shape as you look at the end of it.
5)  With the smooth side down (and the legs of the “U” up), attach the furring strip to the vertical wall.  The furring strip will be concealed.  You might have to fasten it at an angle. I used high quality exterior wood screws that are really aggressive and it is very solid.
6)  Simply raise the horizontal piece and staple the vertical paneling (mine was 6″ x 8′) to the top furring strip and horizontal piece.  There is a lot of leeway and you can bend things a bit.  I stapled and nailed to increase strength.
7)  Trim the bottom.  If things fit closely, the gaps will be minimal.

For now, I plan to leave the overhead boxes open, particularly the one by the bed.  That little channel could come in handy for cables, fishing rods, etc.

Tomorrow comes some of the less enjoyable tasks:  Finish the bulkhead (passenger side) and find a way to enclose more of the back of the van (aesthetics).

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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