Is this bad advice for flooring?

Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
I watched this video by a guy who was installing a floor in a self-build -

The video is 10 mins long, so just in case you don't want to watch the whole thing, I'll list the 2 points that made me feel uncomfortable. The first is the way he attaches the battens. He lays out the pattern, and then drills pilot holes through the wood and the metal floor. He then drives screws down to secure them. Obviously this creates a good solid structure, but my feeling is that it could introduce potential rust problems in the future. My inclination would be to glue the battens to the floor - would this be a better option?

The other thing he suggests is an engine oil wash over the battens and the floor. His theory is that this gives protection if the van develops a leak, but I think it creates a serious health risk, I think I would prefer to use a decent paint,or maybe even just leave it untreated.
 

DuxDeluxe

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 10, 2008
11,323
31,522
Planet Zog
Funster No
3,243
MH
A Class Le Voyageur
Exp
since 2008
That is awful..... trying to do it all on the cheap. Those floor boards must weight a tonne. Cowboy

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
Well I'm economy minded (cheap), but that doesn't mean I need to drop quality. I'll probably use pallet wood for cladding for example. The Convoy is a 3.5 tonne, twin wheel version, so I hope that I'll be OK for weight. The payload is about 1.5 tonnes, and fuel economy doesn't seem too bad when loaded. Headwinds and trailers seem to knock the fuel consumption, and a lead foot doesn't help.
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
3,309
1,524
West Midlands
Funster No
17,624
MH
A-Class Fiat
Did not watch the video. Did he insulate? I'd glue, to avoid penetrating the floor. I'd prefer insulated board and glue that to the floor.
Watch the weight. It all adds up and 1.5tonne may seem a lot but is easily eaten away.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

TheBig1

LIFE MEMBER
Nov 27, 2011
12,288
17,197
Dorset
Funster No
19,048
MH
A class
Exp
many many years! since I was a kid
Both stupid ideas. Bond down some insulation board and then a 9mm sheet of plywood to that. Holes in the floor mean rust points. Old engine oil is carcinogenic, so causes cancer and stinks

Use lightweight ply for your build. It may cost more but gives a better finish and doesnt eat up the payload
 
Jan 11, 2010
1,931
4,054
Chester
Funster No
9,901
MH
Auto-trail
Exp
Well that`s our 11th year & still loving it.
Oh dear, obviously the guy is young and hasn't done his home work, he clearly should have used stainless steel screws, first checking he wasn't going to put a hole in any wiring or brake pipes under the floor.
Gluing would have been the better option but the whole thing has been a poor choice of materials but we all have to learn so carry on fella and good luck to you.
 
Oct 29, 2008
3,598
2,515
West Yorkshire
Funster No
4,712
MH
PVC
Exp
since 2008
If you must use battens anywhere surely pressure treated timber would be the choice. But battens on the floor Nooooo

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
At the moment I'm using a couple of layers of carpet as a temp. solution. I want to check for rust, and think about a bit of trunking for wiring, before I do anything permanent. It's an ex-RAF crew bus, so there is what looks to be rubberised flooring underneath For the floor conversion, I was considering using Celotex with a thin sheet of ply on top of it. Is this a good idea?

I like the idea of sheep's wool for the walls btw.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
21,202
25,746
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Should be titled How Not to Build a Van Floor. If he wanted the batterns rot proof should have used tanilised timber.
Bet it will be well overweight a lot of those older vans were only 2800kg.
 
Jan 27, 2018
138
66
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido &Bongone
Wool for the wall insulation is a good idea. The best for a vehicle is a 50/50% mix of sheep mineral wool. This the best of both worlds in terms of insulation and structure resistance to condensation , i bought by accident without knowing it was the best for the job.
 
Apr 27, 2016
1,403
921
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
If you put two metals together in damp conditions you will get 'electrolytic corrosion' if the metals are not exactly the same. The car makers have learned this lesson, the hard way, over the years. Even stainless steel will rust in those conditions. Screws in a metal floor??

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
With the weight of that floor it'll be self righting should he ever roll it.
Don't joke about it. I drove down the A3(M) in high winds the other day,and the van way waving about a bit. I dropped down to 35mph as a precaution. This is one disadvantage of high tops.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Vipar

Banned
Jun 8, 2019
970
2,312
Bexley Kent
Funster No
61,505
MH
Autocruise starlet 2
Exp
May 2019
Why do you think that the highway maintenance people leave all those sandbags laying on the temporary signs? They are there for you to load into your van as ballast.šŸ˜‚
 
Sep 26, 2013
2,551
2,134
Market Rasen
Funster No
28,295
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2003
I bonded battens to the floor with Sikoflex 512, celotex insulation between then 9mm ply on top.
If you use thinner plywood than 9mm it will not be strong enough to stand the foot traffic or furniture.
 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
If you use thinner plywood than 9mm it will not be strong enough to stand the foot traffic or furniture.
Good point, does it have to be thicker to stop stiletto heels puncturing it. :)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Oct 20, 2018
628
697
Teesside
Funster No
56,835
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
I watched this video by a guy who was installing a floor in a self-build -

Obviously this creates a good solid structure, but my feeling is that it could introduce potential rust problems in the future.
Don't know why anyone is bothered what he does, the van is rusty and knackered to start with. He proudly shows where a new large patch has been welded to the floor. A few more screw holes in a rust bucket will not make the slightest difference.

Different if it had been a new van...
 
Feb 22, 2011
3,775
3,909
Newcastle under Lyme
Funster No
15,397
MH
Hymer B544 A Class
Exp
Since 2015
A few more screw holes in a rust bucket will not make the slightest difference.
Oh no it won't, his mate told him. The one that did the welding sprayed some stuff around and told him "it'll never rust now"

:rofl:

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
Hey, don't knock the old vehicles. I'd prefer to have a vehicle that I can maintain, and not have to join all the new vehicles that I see being moved on the back of recovery trucks. Rust is only really a problem if it is left untreated in my opinion

I don't have a rust bucket, because the water doesn't stay inside it at the moment. :)

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Oct 20, 2018
628
697
Teesside
Funster No
56,835
MH
C Class
Exp
Since 1990
Hey, don't knock the old vehicles. I'd prefer to have a vehicle that I can maintain, and not have to join all the new vehicles that I see being moved on the back of recovery trucks. Rust is only really a problem if it is left untreated in my opinion

I don't have a rust bucket, because the water doesn't stay inside it at the moment. :)
I'm not knocking it, but it does look as though there's been a significant amount of rust left untreated for some time. Wonder what its like underneath? Cars/motorhomes whatever. I don't fancy grovelling around on the floor in winter keeping things on the road these days. Been there, done it and got the tee shirt. Now all our vehicles, including the moho have a 5 year warranty.
 
OP
Wild Brambles
Nov 11, 2019
431
1,780
Hampshire
Funster No
66,761
MH
Van conversion
Exp
2 years
It really depends on the vehicle. My Convoy has got a chassis, and that is sound, but I do need to add a bit of extra protection. There is rust on the non-load bearing parts of the body, but that should be easy to repair or replace. Well I'm not sure about lifting the plastic roof, but I'll be here next summer discussing that.

It will suit me if I can get 5 years of cheap living/motoring out of it, and that should be manageable, if I'm sensible about the work I do on the van, and I listen to the advice that I'm getting.
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
37,542
27,388
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
I would have got its MOT before starting. At least I'd get a year out of it.
Imagine the disappointment after finishing the conversion and the tester just laughs while failing it on structural integraty.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Funster Discounted tickets to the NEC Show
SMC Motorhomes Newark
Rhino Installs
Friendly professional service from qualified technicians
Johns Cross
Safeguard Motorhome Insurance
Top