Kallie & Jon

Kallie & Jon

Professional Van Builders / Digital Nomads

Chapter 7: Sub-wall and Sub-ceiling Install

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6 Steps for an Easy Sub-Wall and Sub-Ceiling Install

Supplies Needed:

  • 5/16 plywood (walls/ceiling)
  • 3/4 plywood ( ripped into 2” pieces)
  • sheet metal screws
  • drywall screws
  • liquid nails
  • caulk gun
  • power drill
  • tape measure
  • circular saw
  • table saw
  • miter box
  • jigsaw
  • Scribe tool
  • pencil 

The purpose of the sub-wall and sub-ceiling is to have something to anchor your walls/ceiling to. We chose to use recycled pallet wood. There are many different options out there you can use for your walls: tongue and groove, bamboo plywood, cedar, to name a few. We decided on recycled weathered pallet wood for a few different reasons. 1: It was free material. We found a shipping company that discarded the pallets when they were done with them.  2. We love the rustic look of the weathered boards. 

Jon Installing Ceiling


Step 1: Scrape off all excess spray foam that covers your high ribs. You will need to secure the furring strips to these points and the excess foam will make it impossible to get a level and secure hold.


Notice the furring strips secured to the high ribs on the ceiling


Step 2: Rip Furring Strips

“Rip” 3/4 inch plywood into two inch strips. A rip cut is to cut the wood in the direction of the grain. These two inch pieces will be secured into place with sheet metal screws to the high ribs of the  interior of the van. These pieces are used as anchors for the plywood walls. Secure furring strips to the high ribs of the ceiling as well.




Notice the furring strips secured to the high ribs on the ceiling.

Furring Strips Install in white Ram Promaster
plywood sub-wall ready for install in white Ram Promaster
cardboard template for white protester van





 Step 3: Template your Plywood 

 Take  cardboard and template around the grooves and curvatures of the ceiling and the floor. After you’ve made your template, trace onto the plywood and cut out using a jigsaw.

 Step 4: Secure Walls into Place

Secure the plywood to the furring strips with drywall screws.

plywood sub-wall install in white Ram Promaster van.

Pro Tip: To minimize vibrations/squeaking between the plywood and furring strips, apply glue.

Step 5: SubCeiling 

Template your plywood for the ceiling being sure to work around the curvatures of the van.  Mark where your lights will be and either cut out the hole now or later. We chose to cut them out after the plywood was up with a hole saw.

cutting holes in the plywood sub-ceiling for lights

 Step 6: Spray Foam Wheel Wells and Insulate Windows and Doors

After your sub-wall is installed, spray foam the wheel wells. This will help with insulation and sound deadening while driving. 

Step 10: Wiring

Wire the fan up and enjoy the breeze!

More to explorer

Chapter 5: Solar

Mounting our Solar Panels ***Disclaimer: Be sure to read all included instructions that come with all of the components of your electrical

Chapter 4: Wiring

Planning Your Electrical Wiring in Your Van Build Disclaimer: WE ARE NOT ELECTRICIANS. Electrical work is really serious stuff. After copious amounts

Chapter 3: Subfloor Install

Three Easy Steps for your Subfloor Install Supplies Needed: Power Drill Sheet Metal Screws Sharpie Tape Measure Spray Adhesive Roll of Reflectix

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