View Full Version : Interior finishes

07-31-2001, 05:40 PM
Well, I finally got my van back from the bodyshop! YeeeeHA!
Now I have to work on the interior. I've got a couple of ideas of what I want to do already, but I'm looking for more.
Has anybody done (or seen) something that was particulary nice?
A type of wall/ceiling treatment? Camping conversions? Anything you thought was particularly slick?
I'm especially looking for low budget (preferably no budget) treatments that still look sharp. I'm not really going for a show vehicle here, but I'd like something nice.
Anybody have a suggestion or two?

Rich Van Linkel
07-31-2001, 06:06 PM
If you are looking for something versitile, but nice, I stole this idea from Mini truckers, back when they were taking over the Van craze.
Build two seat/storage boxes over your rear fenders, use some piano hinges, pad and cover the tops of them. Pad and cover a piece of plywood that will slid in between the seats. Place a strip of 2X2 along the face of each seat so when you want to make up your bed you can slid the floor piece out and on top of the 2X2 rails. Stick an ice box at the end of the seat on the drivers side, cover the walls in carpet or paneling, put an animal print fabric on the ceiling. For a simple added effect you could build a wall behind the driver and passenger seats using wood spindals or some decorative plexiglass panels, don't forget to hang some beads in the passageway over the engine housing Ha Ha. If you have a panel with no windows in the side and rear doors you could continue the carpet or panel theme along the bottom half and frame some of your art work in the top halfs. Simple, cheap, functional, yet coooool. Good luck. The thing to remember with these rigs is you have the opportunity to express yourself, both inside and outside.


[This message has been edited by Rich Van Linkel (edited July 31, 2001).]

07-31-2001, 11:07 PM
The former owner of my van built a bed to go over the rear seats. He basically used a 4x8 sheet of plywood and covered it in carpet. He built a frame under it with notches. He made 6 removeable 2x4's, 3 on each side, for support. He used an inflateable mattress to sleep on. Sleeping bags could also work well, just don't expect a lot of room above you. If you have a cargo van w/ no seats, make a bed that folds off to the side. You could mount the bottom low and hinge it. Just use those cable straps that come on pickups and SUV's to support the side that go from the outer edge of the bed to above on the side. And you could add on some fold out legs for extra support. Whoa, I am getting too excited here. I wish I had a cargo van. The fold out bed came right off the top of my head. CCCCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!


[This message has been edited by tonye66 (edited August 01, 2001).]

07-31-2001, 11:38 PM
Yes, I do want some sort of bed set-up, since I'll use it for camping. I see some good ideas already. I also need to carry passengers now and then.
It is a cargo van now, no back seats. (Actually I don't even have a passenger seat in the front at the moment)
I've got side doors with windows & rear doors with windows. Everything else is wall.
I'd really like to have a set-up where a bench seat, maybe on the side, would be able to fold out into a bed. I'm not sure that's feasible though.
I've also thought about running a fixed bed across the back at the height of a seat back and mounting a bench seat in front of it, so I would hop over the seat to get to the bed. It would leave a space under the bed that could be acessed through the rear doors for cargo. That would kind of kill the van for major hauling jobs, but I do have a pick-up I could use for that.
It would be nice to have something convertible though, so I could use the van as a truck or an RV.
I can see this is going to take a lot of thought.

08-01-2001, 12:46 AM
I puzzled on what to do with my 108 for a while until the opportunity kinda presented itself. I was driving along and passed a construction/remodel site and sitting there on top of the dumpster was a 3 drawer cabinette like you would have under a waterbed- This was a pretty nice neighborhood and I lucked into a bit of custom kitchen cabinetry that was getting tossed- Oak & Birch.
What I did was cut the third drawer off and put some plywood on top, bottom and back- two connected drawers 48 inches wide facing forward one drawer facing back- by luck the whole thing is about 15 inches tall- I have a cooler about that size (24X24X15) built a couple of plywood boxes with hinged lids the same height to go over the wheelwells from the back of the side door all the way back. Piece of plywood 48X48 with pegs down into the drawer frames.
For extra tricky, detach the rear pegs, slide the back drawer and cooler and three extra large ammo cans full of spare parts fit in between.
Toss on a futon, and away you go.
I had originally been thinking about using a tube steel futon frame (90 degree lengthwise bend in futon when in seat mode) the right width.
The main thought with what I did being that the drawers are light enough, even when full, to pull out and put aside (leaving the wheelwell covers attached) if I need to go into paino mover mode.
Anybody eles notice that the doors are just wide enough to get a 48 inch piece of plywood in either flat or on edge?

[This message has been edited by Joe (edited August 01, 2001).]

08-01-2001, 10:52 AM
My 64 cargo has a removable bench seat in the back. I chiseled the floor mounts out of a junked aerostrar van and had them welded into the floor of my van. They just BARELY fit where I wanted them. Then, I used the REAR bench from an aerostar. It works well, but the bench is heavy. Also, I used the seat out of an early aerostar. The later models allowed you to put the seats in facing forward or backward, which is cool.

Another idea is this: I once owned a 78 ford factory conversion that had two bench seats bolted to the floor in the back. They could be used in several positions. They could both face forward. Or... They could be converted to face each other and a small table placed between them. Or... They could both fold flat making a nice bed. It was a pretty cool setup. You may want to look for something like that.


08-01-2001, 01:57 PM
I like the Idea of the futon. My dad was telling me of his friends early ford van. He Lined the walls, floor, and celing and with shag carpet, and he put a lazyboy loveseat with a fold out bed at the far back of the van so he could flip out the bed when he needed to take a snooze. He also gave me an Idea for a cargo van with windows in the back doors. He wired a light to each stoplight/turn signal and built a box to cover each window. He lined them with foil and installed the lights in them. Lastly, he painted a big black dot on each window. When he stopped, the lights lit and they looked like eyes. When he turned, the eyes would wink with the blinkers. That is a cool idea.


[This message has been edited by tonye66 (edited August 01, 2001).]

08-02-2001, 11:32 AM
My plan is to keep it versital too even though I don't know how to spell it. The plan also confirms my jcw adiction and it's not real cheap. But in my 108 window van I want to put 54" & 60" sofa beds for about $900. I'll be able to carry seven passengers and fold down the backs and have a bed that's 80" long; carry 4x8 sheet material; under the middle bench, room for the bass box and a container right by the side door; under the rear bench, room for the spare and tools. Maybe someday... Carl

08-02-2001, 08:58 PM
In my 69 I used one of those foam fold out couch/bed things that you usually see in dorm rooms. I built a shelf that surrounded the back ad sides, with switches and cupholders by the arm. The switches were for door locks, power sunroofs and interior lights. open the rear doors and there was space for two thermos 34 quart coolers. The rest of the interior was button tuck vinyl, paneling, gray carpeting and gray velour headliner with a light strip that extended from the center mounted front overhead console(for stereo) to the rear doors. Lights were old christmas lights that I grouped in 4's to run on 12v. (bulbs used 3v each). All this I did when I was in mymid 20's and making $6,000 per year! All it takes is judicious junk picking and searching thru the bolt end tables at the fabric store.

08-02-2001, 11:42 PM
My 66 has a steel sepearator wall behind the front seats with a locking door above the dog house.

There is a work bench with a vice and the whole back is filled with wleded in rollaway tool boxes for all my tools.

The floor is usually litered with broken locks, sawdust and old keys.



08-03-2001, 03:53 AM
My 69 panel was an old work van when I bought it, but that was years ago. Now the tired six has been replaced by a balanced and blueprinted 283, she has reclining buckets, refridgerator,sink, cd player,tv,and vcr. Oh not to forget the queen size bed that extends to the middle of the side doors and the front of the bed folds down into a loveseat, and I'm still nowhere near finished with her! It's always is a treat to go to one of the few drive-ins and back in the middle of the back row, open the back doors and relax and watch a couple of good movies.

[This message has been edited by Warlock (edited August 03, 2001).]

08-03-2001, 07:43 AM
I don't camp much or haul much so I'm keeping the interior of my vans simple. Black button-tuck panels for the walls and doors. Matching removable panels for the side and rear windows. Rubber pick-up bed mat for the floor with blue shag over it. Small custom-built overhead console to house radio and stuff. Button-tuck covers for doghouse and seats. It'll probably get more eloborate as the project goes on, but I aim to keep it simple.

08-06-2001, 02:41 PM
Fellows...after 25 years of camping in this van ,I finally finished it in 1/8 ply on the sides and roof, 1/2 on the floor. I finished it with Satin Verithane, Empty and finished. When I camp I throw my queen bed on and between the wheel wells,and the box speakers set beside the dog house. Whoola easy,cheap,real comfy and you can haul anything when not camping ..regards

08-10-2001, 03:25 AM

My 1966 is a cargo van with windows in the back doors but no windows in the side doors. There are no seats in the back section.
Since I am remodeling my old house, we have refinished an old clawfoot bathtub. It is stored in the back of my van for the time being. I found the claw-foot tub useful at a family reunion when we filled it with ice and kept our drinks and watermellon cold.

I plan to bolt some aluminum rails onto both sides over the wheel wells to hold a sheet of plywood for a make shift bed frame. (Double size air mattress with a 12 volt pump.) The plywood sheet will be split in half so I can remove it and set it between the wheel wells when I want to use the van to haul things. I want to keep it as functional as possible.

It also has a special boat rack on the roof to haul my canoe and ladders and whatever else wont fit into the van.
The van also has a receiver hitch to tow my utility trailer.

I used to have a 1967 Econoline that had a special box built over the dog house. I made it to tightly fit over the top cover and set down on the lip of the lid. The edge of the box was only about 8 inches high. It sure made a handy place for keeping those things that always fall all over. It lifted right off when I wanted to get to the engine. I might do that to this van too.
Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Mario and Vanquish