Ok but WHY avoid stripping a conversion camper hi

I have been stalling for 2 days to take the next steps and doing my van so obviously there’s some hesitation which I’m acknowledging here by asking a question(s) to you beautiful people.

I love the character of my GMC Savana it has wood trim and LED lights some of the things don’t work back here but it’s still pretty.

What I don’t like, is the fact that the decorative side paneling especially in the rear of the van runs out about 6-7 in from the side of the van… On each side… Which amounts to quite a bit of square inches, cubic inches, it’s a lot of f****** space!

I don’t know anything about the electrical system or the wiring. I really just want to build a bed back here so I’m not sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

I also want to remove the carpet and put even cheap wood or vinyl won’t absorb moisture and smells like his old carpet does.

And the fact what I’m guessing is the factory insulation was not intended for living in. It gets quite hot during the day and quite cold in the evenings. Would it behoove me to at least stuff the doors with fiberglass to add some extra insulation and then put the original panels back on?

I do love the sliding screens which help held in my reflectix while still allowing me to use the bottom slide thing on the windows for ventilation.

I doubt that any of these pseudo questions will be able to be answered via a forum thread. But I thought I’d try?

So why would be stripping this be not the best idea?

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After many years of experience & experimenting, here are my conclusions:

A) Never tear out a nice factory interior unless it is totally beyond repair.

B) Carpet is much better than hardwood or vinyl, it stays warmer in the winter & cooler in the summer. If it’s in poor shape, or you otherwise want to protect it, put a washable throw rug on top of it.

C) An ozone generator can be used to kill ALL germs, and even mold & mildew, as well as remove all odors or smells.

D) You don’t have enough room in a van or motorhome to add enough insulation to truly make a difference. Climate control can only be truly accomplished through good heating & cooling methods. Added insulation can help with sound control, but don’t rely on it for temperature control. Normally passenger vans are already optimized for passenger comfort & a quiet ride and it’s best not to modify it other than removing excess seating to make room for other things. “Move” your furniture in and secure it, don’t “build it in”. Existing seat & seat belt mounts can be used to secure your new furniture.

Hope this helps a little…


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller


It does actually thank you.

some of the padding in the original carpet is very thin I can feel the metal underneath this is mostly a problem when I’m sleeping on the floor. With a platform bed it should be fine. And I do like a nice rug to pull the room together.

Question -

Is there a separate thread for ozone generators?


You should never be able to feel the floor through the carpet. Typically these have 3/4"-1" wool felt pad under the carpet. Perhaps a previous owner removed it.

I’m not sure whether we’ve discussed ozone generators here or not. I didn’t get any results via a search.

I worked construction for 30 years, and we often dealt with leaky houses full of mold and mildew. Once the leaks were solved, the ozone generators would kill all the mold & mildew without having to tear the house apart and start over. A friend once bought a car that reeked!!! Someone had once spilled milk in it. It was only a year old, and he got it for $100 because of the unsolvable smell. One hour with an ozone generator and it smelled like a new car again, and the smell never came back.

Another friend bought a motorhome that had previously leaked at the roof vents. The visible damage had been repaired, but once it was closed up for a while, you could smell the mold/mildew hidden in the walls. A couple hours with a ozone generator killed it all, and the odor didn’t return until the roof vents started leaking again a year later. Resealed them, used the ozone generator again, and now 5 years later, still no bad odors.

Needless to say, I’m a believer in ozone generators.


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller

Ok. Thank you. I will look into that!

You could check in your local graigslist/facebook etc if someone would rent you an ozone generator for a weekend.

You cannot be inside when it is running and whole space needs to be well vented afterwards. Also note that ozone degrades organics such as rubber (seals, rubber bands in clothes etc) so you might want to double check nothing important is left inside before treatment.

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Hi do you have any photos of ways you have secured furniture using the seat and seatbelt hooks? What if the back does not have any mounts…is there a way to secure furniture without ripping out factory interiors?

I I would also like to know a way to secure the furniture without ripping out the insides. Right now my daughter just uses the seatbelt in the back is an oh s***! Bar. When we’re on back roads.


I’ve done it two differeent ways over the years, both equally successful.

My first go round, I built an L out of plywood and anchored the bottom of the L to seat anchor points, and a small triangle at the rear of the L kept the back from collapsing. I then bolted my cabinets to the L shaped plywood, without so much as a single new screw hole to the interior of the van. It was very sturdy.

In later builds, I realized the back of the L wasn’t needed, only the floor piece. The combination of the positioning of the seat anchors, and the plywood base plate prevent the cabinets from tipping all by themselves.

This diagram might help explain it:


The seat anchor point(s) will hold the cabinet base to the floor, and the front of the cabinet base will prevent the cabinets from tipping.

I’m pretty good at building, but not so good at explaining, so feel free to ask more questions and I’ll answer the best I can.


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller

No… That was bloody brilliant. And while I’m reading, I’m smacking my forehead that I didn’t think of that!

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Another tip you might find useful is to use sliding doors on your cabinet fronts. They stay closed while driving, and don’t require any extra interior space to open and close them.


"Stay home, stay safe, and remember social distancing." ~ Van_Dweller

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Just getting started on mine too, but this gives you the bed as well as a place to sit and eat (play games). Hope it helps.

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