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Old 11-27-2011, 04:44 AM   #21
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. OK, I understand now about the VanRug - seems like a cool idea but unfortunately it's not available for Dodge vans. So I guess the issue of the price and how to remove the current mats and padding (it looks like it's meant to go on bare metal) is a moot point.

Mike, thanks for the explanation of the isolator. The only part I understood was the last sentence, about how it keeps the house stuff from draining the vehicle battery. But that was a help. And yes, the bed is not a priority now; the flooring is.

About the carpet tiles, recumbentfalcon - I had thought of those, just couldn't find any that seemed of good quality, and Home Depot doesn't carry them so I couldn't look at them there. But I'm wondering whether they'd have the same shrink/expand problem that vinyl tiles would. About putting them over the wood - that takes me right back to the beginning of this thread, the other pieces of wood. This van's cargo area is so big that 1 sheet isn't nearly enough to cover it. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures, but there's almost 4' of space between the end of the one 4x8 sheet I bought and the back door. And then there's those little spaces on the sides that I'd have to fill with something.

About gluing the plywood to the floor - you don't mean gluing it to the mats, do you? Would it be stable that way? Or did you mean pulling up everything that's currently on the floor and gluing it to the metal? Honestly, I don't even want to think about that.

I'm really starting to get overwhelmed here so I think I need to review my options. I'll do that offline so I can have time to add things as I think of them. If anything changes I'll let you all know.

Thanks again for your help.

Meg
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:32 PM   #22
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Quote:
About gluing the plywood to the floor - you don't mean gluing it to the mats, do you?
No, I meant to the metal floor, not the mats.

I mentioned DensShield before (elsewhere) as a flooring underlayment - 4x5 sheet is $12 - 4 x 8 anbout $27 - and you cut it with a razor knife. Water resistant. Lighter. MUCH easier to work with. No power tools, a small handsaw for cuts not a straight line. I know you already bought plywood, but it seems (forgive me if I'm wrong) you went into it without really knowing how the plywood was going to lay down. Geberally, two 4X8s each trimmed to half the width of the van. so if the van's 6' wide, the boards are cut to 3X8. Then each one is notched for a wheel well, and they are butted together in the middle of the van. The extra length is made up with another piece of plywood. I know you're trying to get by inexpensively, but there's going to be wasted wood.



I don't know about shrinking/expansion of vinyl tiles. I made a wet area for the kids in the basement and put vinyl squares on concrete floor - easy cleanup. Haven't noticed anything and it's been about 10 years. I don't see a problem with carpet tiles, either. Got a stain? Replace the tile (buy a few extra),
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Just checking back in. It's hard to believe it's Saturday already; I guess time does fly when you're having fun. (or not.)

I'm still working on the flooring stuff. Didn't get as much accomplished as I was hoping because the weather turned on me - snow and cold temps for the last 3 days. But it's in process. I did return the 3/4" plywood and the tiles and am now working on an alternative. I'll report on that when it's further along, some of which will depend on the weather. (I know, it's bad timing to do this kind of thing in winter. But I don't have a choice; I can't afford to wait until spring.) In the meantime I'm just doing regular work inside. I'll be back in touch when I have more to report.

Again, thank you all for all your suggestions.

Meg
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:08 AM   #24
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Snow? Denver? You're joking?
We haven't had much if any here yet, but it's just around the corner, I can feel it.
Still the biggest hurdle to cross when working on vehicles is finding someplace comfortable to do it.
If we still have our van when next we move, it will have to have a large heated garage.
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Old 12-12-2011, 06:13 PM   #25
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Snow, yes - unbelievable but true In fact, *3* snowfalls. Seriously annoying. (Normally I like snow - when I can watch it while sitting inside someplace warm.)

I did manage to move the van to a spot on a side street - quieter and with less traffic to make it sway every time someone sped by. It made the process much easier.

And here it is:



Thin plywood between the metal slats and on the sides (to even the floor out), 8 lb carpet pad over that, and carpet over the pad. The worst part was sawing the plywood for the side pieces; Home Depot cut a lot of the big pieces (more that I think they were supposed to), but I ended up with another 8 or 9 for the sides. I thought it would be easy to do because the stuff was so thin. It wasn't. I won't go into the details here - suffice to say, *never again.*

The pad and carpet came from a small warehouse not far from here. The prices were so good I opted for the densest pad they had, which was the 8#, and got a 6' x 12' piece. And there in a row of (boring) beige remnants was this one medium gray one that was almost exactly the size I needed - 5'7" x 12'. I used all but a few really small pieces, especially after I decided to try covering the wheel wells with it (pad first, then carpet). I don't how insulating it will be, but they sure do look a lot better.

To do the carpet and pad I used a paper template. That was kind of a pain because of all the "nooks and crannies" on the sides and the fact that I had to piece the paper because it was only 2 1/2 feet wide. Then I had to clear space on the floor of my apartment to cut it out. But it was a lot easier to lay after that, and I think took less time because there was no patching. I highly recommend it.

I do have two suggestions for anyone doing this. First, if you're cutting carpet that's sitting on top of carpet put a piece of scrap wood between what you're cutting and the other carpet so you don't accidentally cut the wrong stuff (not a good thing, especially if you're in a rental unit, as I am. I'm glad I thought of this before I started.) Also, make sure your template and the carpet you're cutting are both facing the same way; the carpet will be upside down (you have to cut it from the bottom side) so the template should be too. Otherwise you will cut your carpet wrong. (Guess how I figured this out. Fortunately I discovered it fairly early; there was only one piece to patch. The other piece I cut, before I realized I had to flip the template, was for the wheel well, and since they're in the same place on each side that worked out. Sigh of relief...)

I'm sure many of you reading this are now going "well, duh." But if you don't have experience with any of this - as I didn't - I'm passing it along.

So as far as I'm concerned this part is finished. This thread is about the flooring so I don't want to get too off-track here, but since someone talked about the bed early on I'll say I'm going to try to use my futon frame. I just need to get risers for it because it's currently too low to fit over the wheel wells. But if I can find or make those then I don't have to worry about that. I don't really have the time or money to make or buy anything new, anyway.

That's it. Next major hurdle - electricity.

Meg
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Old 12-12-2011, 07:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Wow, I'm impressed. You did it! You seemed to be a bit discouraged in your last post so I wasn't expecting to see a finished floor so soon.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:58 PM   #27
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Nice work on the carpet. The flooring solution looks pretty good. You'll probably get some decent insulation
from the wheel wells, with underpad and carpet. My wheel wells are under the bed benches and are still the
way GM created them, no extra anything added by Roadtrek.
I'm impressed.
You didn't mention whether it's permanent, or could you lift portions of it to run wiring under it if necessary?
Ideally, it might be easier to connect things inside the coach area of your van, when you get to that point, as
you did mention electricity is the next project.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:10 PM   #28
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Default Re: Flooring question: How to deal with small spaces

Thank you both. To go in order - Yes, I was discouraged; actually, this whole process (the conversion, not just the flooring) has turned out to be harder than I thought it would be. Money and time have been big issues throughout as I'm running out of both of them but I think I also got information overload and went into "analysis paralysis." I don't mind learning, but there was too much too fast with all of this. (I'm now trying to avoid the same thing with the electrical.) At least with the floor done I can start figuring out how to "arrange the furniture." And that carpet makes the van look at lot better - more "homey." It's actually nicer than what's in my apartment!

Mike, are you saying there's bare metal (or maybe rubber mat) under your beds in the RT? I'm surprised to hear that. I've always been really impressed with Roadtrek's quality and that doesn't sound like something they would just leave, especially under the sitting/sleeping area. I decided to cover the wheel wells mainly because I knew the bed was going to go over one of them and I was worried about the cold - or heat - radiating up from the metal. It was fiddly work because by that time there wasn't much carpet left, so there's a lot of patching; maybe you can see some of it in the picture. But I'm glad to hear that it should be good for insulation. I still have that rounded area behind the driver's side wheel well to cover; there wasn't enough carpet left for that and the padding just refuses to stick to it (I used double-sided carpet tape). Either it's the cold temps here or maybe the padding is too stiff, or maybe both. But if I have to I'll figure something else out for that.

Is the flooring situation in my van permanent? No, the carpet, padding, and wood could all come up easily. That was partly because I was reluctant to screw things into the floor (I was afraid I'd puncture something underneath) but also because I'm not sure how long I will be using this setup; if I like full-timing I want to upgrade to a "real" RV when I get my finances back on track, and if I don't then I plan to resettle somewhere - probably the Pacific Northwest - with a job and another "sticks & bricks." I was somewhat concerned that the carpet/padding etc. wouldn't stay put but was hoping the weight combined with all the crevices it was fitting into - which I guess is another good reason to have cut it all in one piece - would keep it from moving around. So far so good. And when I start putting stuff on top of it that should secure it even more.

So yes, I could run wires underneath. Right now, though, I don't know how much I'm going to need that; the latest thing to overwhelm me is the electric so I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. I really don't have a lot of electrical needs so I'm hoping I won't need to have a lot of wiring. But yes - if I had to I could run wiring underneath.

Meg
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