Campervan Renovations: Part 3
Insulation and New Wall Panels Campervan Renovations: Part 3
Insulation and New Wall Panels

This is the third part of our Campervan Renovations series.  To see where it all started, you might want to check out the two previous posts:

Part 1: Pre-Renovation Tour
Part 2: Gutting The Interior

As you will remember from the previous post, after removing the old bed/dinette and carpet, we pulled off the old pink wall panels.  Underneath, we found 22 year old foam insulation, which had begun to disintegrate, and had a number of large gaps.  In this post, we’ll show how we replaced this old insulation and installed new wall panels.


This is a reminder of what we found under the old panels.  Many of the pieces of foam appeared to have been simply snapped by hand until they roughly fit.  Everything was just loosely sitting in place and nothing was sealed.


So, we took the van for a trip to Home Depot, and picked up some new insulation and some modern wall paneling.  It was at this point that we realized just how handy a cargo van could be… which got us thinking about how we might be able to maintain some of this utilitarian functionality after our renovations.


So, while Paula pulled down the old foam, and vacuumed the area…



I began tracing the original sections of paneling onto the back of the new ones.



Once the area was cleared of debris, we began adding new insulation.



We did our best to get as tight of a fit as possible.  We will be spending a lot of time in this van during the summer, and the better job we do now, the cooler we’ll stay later.


At this point, we decided to take a break from the insulation and installed one of the wall panels.  After it was traced, we simply cut it out with a jigsaw and made some minor adjustments with a utility knife.  We were really happy with how it looked once it was in place.


Once all of the gaps were insulated, we sealed all of the cracks with vapour-barrier tape.  And yes, we did notice the irony of covering the walls with pink foam after trying so hard to rid the van of pink carpet and fabric…


Next, we added the side wall panel.  No more pink. What an improvement.


The rear panel was then traced, cut, trimmed, and fastened using an impressively strong adhesive.


With the passenger side complete, it was time to move on to the driver’s side.


First, we had to remove the old TV/VCR cabinet, which also contained the thermostat and a switch for the antenna’s power booster.  This meant we were left with an octopus of electrical wiring.  We’ll deal with that later.

Then the side and rear panels were removed, which exposed even more poorly placed foam insulation.


With the dinette benches removed, previously hidden electrical wires were now exposed.  In order to install the wall paneling over top of them, I chiseled out a shallow groove so that the cables could lay flush.


Next came more insulating…


More taping…


More trimming…


And another wall complete.


Meanwhile, when Paula wasn’t helping me with insulation, she was busy re-covering the valances that hide the messy wiring along the top of the walls as well as the inside of the rear door.  We chose a chocolate brown fabric to match our new paneling.


Here, you can see the re-covered rear door panel and the re-covered valences installed at the top of the walls.

In the next post, we’ll show the construction of our new bed, complete with storage space and my solution to maintain the van’s original cargo functionality.


  1. Jo says:

    What an awesome job you two! You make an incredible team, can’t wait to see pictures of the finished product… All over Canada! Xo

    1. Derrick says:

      Thanks for your comment Jo. Paula and I have really enjoyed working on this project together. July is coming quick and we can’t wait to get it out on the open road! :)

  2. Sha says:

    SIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK :) you two handy folks are gonna leave and never come back to work after a summer in your new ride :)

    1. Derrick says:

      Thanks Sha. You might be on to something… A number of our friends are convinced that we’ll hit BC and never return. We’ll see :)

  3. Ron says:

    Awesome job. Love the wood paneling. Can’t wait to see the rest of it.

    1. Derrick says:

      Thanks Ron! We should hopefully have another post up soon…

  4. Ian says:

    Nice Boat!

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