Where does the build start?


Hello!! Myself and my partner have recently obtained a 307 Mercedes from 1979. It’s beautiful and is in really great condition. My partner has been a HGV mechanic for over 10 years so all of that part is (thankfully) covered! We are just starting to rip the ‘Austin powers’ inside out and then begin remodelling it for our layout.

I guess my main question is how do you start!? Once we have a shell, how do we stick up the insulation? Do we do the flooring before beggining the inner wooden structure? Or do we build the skeletons of the storage and bed first then put the flooring down after?

We both DIY and just want to get stuck in with this part so we can begin the build!!

Thank you to all in advance!
Kelly & Peter

P.s. we live on a very very very small island in the outer hebredies (200 people, corner shop, 1 pub) so getting materials can be hard as we don’t go to the mainland very often so we need to know exactly what we need before we go and get it all. We know what insulation we want to use. Just don’t teally know the order! :woman_shrugging:t4: Thanks again!! :bus::dash::sunflower:



The best place to start is by NOT stripping the floor/walls/ceiling out. Insulation is way over rated, and still requires active heating or cooling to accomplish anything anyway. Insulation also has a nasty habit of creating hidden mold and moisture problems if not properly installed, and 99.9% of all builds, it isn’t properly installed.

If the floor/walls/ceiling are good, keep them and you’ve just saved enough to pay for everything else you need.

The next thing to do is NOT build anything in. Keep everything modular so you can just move it in and secure it. This approach gives you a lot more flexability.


"I can live like a king because I work like a dog." ~ An anonymous vandweller


Hi there,
Ah I totally understand what you’re saying. In this, we have already ripped out everything so we have a bare shell, luckily for us we found a tiny bit of rust that needs welding so I’m glad we caught it earlier than later, we also found (only after ripping out the insulation from the 70s) that a little mouse had been living in there and left lots of ‘toilet things’, nut shells, ripped up paper and tunnels throughout the now shredded insulation.
We’re redoing this all, not just because of the mouse, and the rot on the wood we found, but also we are snwoboarders so will be heading into the snow very often so we’ve figured a good base is the best option.
We’ve kept a lot of the framework attached to the van intsf and the fibreglass too so hopefully we can just replace the wooden beams that have corroded, do the welding and be on our merry way with wiring and insulation! :grin: any more advice is greatly appreciated!



ahhhh… So it didn’t have the factory interior to start with… That’s a whole different story. It’s factory interiors in passenger vans that you want to keep.

May I suggest that you run your wires where you’ll be able to get to them instead of buried in your walls. It’s the pits to tear walls apart to get to wiring.

Anything you need help or suggestions for, just let me know. I have quite a bit of experience. One suggestion is to put sliding doors on all your cabinets, including in front of drawers. The sliding doors stay closed while driving without the need for latches, and they don’t intrude on your interior space when you open them.


"I can live like a king because I work like a dog." ~ An anonymous vandweller