Cutting a 14” square hole in your new van to install a vent and fan has been covered extensively on various forums, Antoine and Isabelle’s FarOutRide Transit blog, and elsewhere, but I’ll write up my version anyway.
Back when I thought I would have access to an adequate machine shop with my TechShop membership, I decided to build bed and cabinets from 80-20 T-strut extrusions. I’ve never used aluminum extrusions before - most of my experience is with wood, so this would let me learn something new.
This is a temporary floor, so I’m using cheap 1⁄4” maple plywood, mainly to see how well it stands up. We decided to paint it with remaindered house paint, again since it’s temporary.
Between track saw and jigsaw, I’ve cut the 1⁄4” maple ply to fit, and test fit in the van. A good Thanksgiving project. I’m quite pleased with the tracksaw, although the Makita instructions are pretty brief and limited. I’m not convinced I’m getting the precision that it’s capable of, but it’s good enough for this project.
Rather than deciding on a final floor for the van, I decided on some cheap 1⁄4” Maple plywood from Lowes and remaindered paint. That will let me build a template floor and test it out before deciding on a final floor.
My plan for the floor is to build something completely removable. Many people will glue down their floor to ensure it’s secure, but I’ve decided to anchor the floor only at the 8 lashing points. Simple and easy to change out later if needed.
Now that we have our van, the process of conversion seems pretty overwhelming. It feels like a huge cavern, filled with options and possibilities. I’ve been reading and researching for a couple of years now, so now everything gets real.