Rethinking the Van Design Part 16 – Replacing a Wall Panel


For the original panelling job I used several sheets of hardboard which I contoured to match the little intricacies Renault felt were so necessary, such as rounded corners, weird recesses and welded joins.

They were all made to fit and covered the mass of Kapoc insulation I stuffed behind them to keep us cool in the summer and warmer in the winter.

One panel which really needed attention after the remap was the old kitchen wall. I revisited that panel early on when I fitted what was originally the kitchen window and then, when the kitchen and all its facilities were plumbed, wired and screwed in I had to go back again to remove a section so I could fit vents and exhaust ports.


The panel under construction. If you look carefully you can see Mariah Carey's snatch. Not that you'd want to.


With the kitchen gone there was a gaping, unsightly hole facing you as you opened the side door, reminiscent of Mariah Carey’s gusset I should imagine. With such an awful image in mind I actually felt a little sick every time I saw it so it had to be dealt with.

Aside from banishing the vile image of Carey’s oversized bleed chute the new panel would make the van look a lot tidier and act as a back for the new L-shaped couch.

The old panel went from the floor to the bottom of the metal beam which formed part of the Renault Master’s structure so there was always a strip of body metal under the window which didn’t matter while the kitchen was there as it was hidden, but with the kitchen coming out it just looked a mess.


Almost gone now - the horrific visage. No wonder I did this in the dark.


I decided to cover it while adding the new panel which I made from the 18mm flooring. The little ledge on top to cover the offending body metal was made from the same stuff; I just had to cut a couple of slots out of each end to make it fit flush and then cut it lengthways so it matched the top of the panel.

It wasn’t a long job, probably about half an hour in all but it has made the van look brighter and tidier. I need to oil it but that can wait until everything is finished.

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