Vinyl Wood replacing carpet question

Hello All, I’ve recently started working on a passenger van to use it for camping. One of the first things I wanted to do was to install vinyl wood flooring to replace the carpet. I’ve seen lots of videos and some seemed like a bad idea for the integrity of the floor. (Ex. Screwing straight through the metal floor)

There were two main flooring strategies I liked.

One where they glued wood down in between all the ribs of the floor. Then layed the plywood on top and screwed it only to the wood boards below.

The second was to lay insulation into the ribs of the floor, and then glue the plywood to the top of each rib.

Out of these two, which one would you suggest? Or do you have another strategy that you think would be better?

Here are pics of what the floor looks like now. Thank you for your time.

I could only put one image so this is a small section of what the floor looks like under the insulation left behind from the carpet.

I’d go first layer soundproofing, then thermal insulation, then level the floor etc. Including wheels. That should make driving much more enjoyable.

That about sums up my plan, but what about actually securing it to the floor? I’m trying to avoid screwing straight through the metal.

Greetings & Welcome!

You’re going to want to keep the layer between the carpet & the metal floor. It is a thermal and fireproof barrier to keep the exhaust system from catching anything inside the van on fire.

Personally, after having wood, vinyl, and carpeted floors, I think carpet is the better choice for many reasons. Interlocking foam flooring would be my second choice.

For wood or vinyl, I would just lay down plywood on top of the thermal barrier and attach your flooring to that. Once there is stuff on it, it won’t be going anywhere except in maybe a violent roll over crash, in which case any other method may fail as well.


"Be creative & recycle, reuse, & repurpose." ~ The Camper Van Man

I have that same black under carpet padding/insulation (?) that is pictured in the OP. The carpet in my van was trash, so I’m removing it. But the padding under it looks good.

Can you tell me what it actually is so I can look for it if I need to buy more, and what it’s R value is if you know it?



The ones I’ve seen are some type of heavy felt that is fire resistant, and mold resistant that wicks the moisture away from the metal to the interior where it can be evaporated out.

My van was gutted when I bought it, so I just went to a wrecking yard and found similar vans to salvage all the interior parts I needed to restore mine back to stock except for the rear seats. I also grabbed non-stock swivel captains chairs for the front from a conversion van of the same type. Sure made my job easier, and everything was a perfect fit.

So if you ever need more, I’d just get it from a wrecking yard. I got my dog house insulation that way too. Now my van’s as quiet as a Cadillac going down the road.


"Swamp coolers for the win to beat the heat." ~Road Warrior