Headroom Highlights

Another chance to get some vannery work done presented itself this week. A lot of prep work has gone into getting to where I am now. Plenty of time spent sitting in the van looking at its curvy shape and my wood stock (giggle) Working out the best way to get the most features I want into the space has meant that progress has been slow, up until today, when some of my plans started to become a reality.

The space over the cab was always going to be a challenge, it is not flat on any side except the base. I have managed to insulate and clad it using hardboard sheets I had lying around from a house project. These worked really well because they bent nicely to the curve of the roof and pressed the insulation into place which will stop it moving. They are held up with many screws and then bent metal brackets to wedge them in place. Seems to do the trick, we shall see if it lasts.

The ceiling was a particular challenge. I have 3 flush mount LED lights along the centre of the van which won’t cause any problem. Only a nice sized hole is needed for each. However I have a string of surface LEDs which I want to use to add some colour and ambiance to the space. Mounting these so they are not directly visible is a challenge. My first thought was to run them the length of the van down each top corner between the wall and the ceiling, some sort of cover would provide a dual purpose of hiding the join and the LEDs. But because I want a full height cupboard on the left this would be completely hidden and pointlessness one side.

The design I have settled on is a dropped panel down the centre of the van with a stepped edge. It encroaches on my precious headroom by about 30mm but serves many benefits.

  • The LEDs are hidden from direct view meaning the ceiling will be illuminated without glare.
  • The light will wash out over the rest of the ceiling evenly on both sides
  • I can/will try to make the board “hover” without seeing the fixings
  • It will house the LED downlights neatly
  • The vent cover will be recessed into it on some sort of sliding mechanism
  • It should be a smooth surface so even if my head does hit is, nothing should be poking out

The hard board goes up so easily. A benefit of making the ceiling in three parts is that I can handle it all on my own… just about. After the side hardboards were screwed into place, the batons went up running the full length of the van ceiling. This is what the floating board will be attached to and hide all the wires and connections.