camper van roof
The Road

Safari Van Conversion 1.0 – Interior Ceiling

I’ve been thinking about the van a good bit, mostly plotting and making plans that I don’t really know how to sketch on paper. I walked outside to look at the interior and ended up pulling the carpet off the current camper van ceiling. It came down pretty easy, no tools required other than a box cutter to trim around the interior light and wiring. The carpet was pretty ugly and nasty so it felt good to rip it down.

I also removed the boards holding the front and rear sheet metal segments to the roof. The rear one had not structural value and only had a few screws holding it together. With it removed, I now I have a nice shelf to work with. The front board held the headliner and gave the sheet metal support. I will brace that eventually and have that area over the front seat as a nice storage shelf. There was also a thin board flush along the rear roof. It was used to hold the carpet. With that one removed, I now gained some head space.

Camper Van Interior Ceilings

spray paint primerMost of the conversions I’m seeing online have nice insulated wood ceilings that give a cabin look. The style is really cool but my fiberglass top has several tough curves and I don’t want to lose that head space.

I went to Lowe’s and walked around looking for ideas. I hate walking the big hardware stores when I am brainstorming. Every customer service person asks to help and I have to throw out the awkward I don’t know what I am doing, leave me alone look.┬á

I ended up stopping in the paint isle and bought a few cans of spray paint primer. I hit the ceiling with a few coats of primer over the course of several days. It was cold outside and took some time to set and clear the fumes from the interior.

light blue spray paintI went back and bought a light and dark blue can to test as well. Spray painting the whole ceiling seemed like a quick and easy way to get that part of the conversion completed. The light blue seemed a little feminine for me so I went with a darker color. In hindsight, I think either way would have worked. The light blue did look nice.

I hit the ceiling with 2 coats of the dark blue over the course of several more days. It doesn’t look bad. I’m planning on adding PVC rod tubes with black paint so that should add some contrast on the ceiling.

spray painting fiberglass

It took some time to dry and air everything out but the dark blue turned out ok. Next step is to start stripping the interior plastic trim, old camper flooring, bolts, seat belt hardware, etc. Also to build out the fly rod tube system.