Stripping the interior and building the sub floor and sidewalls was fairly simple. My cuts over the wheel wells were less than accurate but it came together well. If you plan on doing this in an Astro or Safari Van, I recommend having a grinder with a metal cutting wheel. There are tons of random brackets and bolts to remove.
Stripping The Interior
Plastic Trim Removal – This is a surprising easy step. It rips right off with a little force. Pulling the furthest forward section was a tough call. I pulled it on the driver’s side and left the passenger side intact. The areas around the rear seatbelt bolts was a little stubborn but it broke off with assistance from a pry bar.
Astro Van Rear AC and Heater Removal – The rear heater core and AC ducts/core take up a ton of space. I don’t use the rear AC or heat either. I also didn’t want to mess with this stuff myself. I was having new shocks and a ball joint installed by a Craigslist mechanic (worked out but not recommended) and asked him to look at removal for these. He bypassed the heat and just pulled the rear AC. It wasn’t charged and I’ll eventually cut all the rear piping, block it and recharge the front. Removing the disconnected heater unit required some grinding on bolts but it busted free.
Seatbelts and Rogue Bolts
There are bolts and brackets with rivets. I spent an hour or so grinding away to remove everything so the plywood could sit flush and all the surfaces were roughly evened out. I borrowed a grinder and it was a huge help for this.
I still haven’t really figured this one out yet. This was a wheelchair van and there are random bundles of wires. Electricity is not my specialty and I’m taking it to the pros for this one. I’m sure they can test, cap and/or remove anything excessive.
Campervan Sub floor Install
I should have picked up new insulation but ultimately used the old stuff. I covered holes with duct tape and filled in the old seat rails with insulation. Then I laid down 7/16 OSB with cut outs for the wheel wells. It was on sale for around 17 bucks a sheet at Home Depot. 3/4″ sheet metal screws straight to the metal floor ridge-lines tacked it all together.
I added Reflectix to the side walls and racked up more OSB here as well. I had to grind a few more brackets off before getting the walls up but they were fairly easy to install. I was off-square on the top and should have followed the lower window ridges better but I ultimately compensated with the framing.
After I got this sheet lined up and drilled down, the walls were set and ready for framing. Tokk me about a half day to strip the interior and get everything setup.