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Discussion Starter #1
It's about time that I install wall panels. What materials are "best"?
I see most people using 1/8" or 1/4" plywood.
There are HDPE, ABS, polypropylene and other synthetic materials as well. Those seem good to use because they would be waterproof, mildew/mold proof, etc.

After that, what are the options for covering big rib sections? I was thinking of just using a thick fabric/headliner.

Mounting would just be done using self-tapping screws? I would also think that using the plastic push buttons for cargo door/wall liners would work as well.

Thanks for any helpful info!
 

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It is too bad more of these vans don’t come with the upper and lower side panels as an option. I ordered my van and included them to have coverings on the wall ribs and on the panels. They don’t include the high section unfortunately. This saved a LOT of work.
 

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I am thinking of going with "dairy board" also known as FRP wall board. I like that it is easy to clean it comes in a variety of colors and textures. It also resists moisture, rot, mildew, stains, scratches and dents. It is actually quite easy to install, either pre-drill holes (to prevent cracking) for self taping screws or the plastic push buttons for the cargo door/ wall liners. I only hesitate because it is a bit difficult to cut. Maybe I will use it for large areas and my ceiling, but all else I'll do the tape over holes method (so people don't poke their fingers in them) and use think headliner.

Also check out this thread. I just found it again searching "FRP". Some good info on what others are using or tried...Cargo wall liners...http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14905&page=7

Still thinking FRP on walls though and something more light weight for the ceiling.
 

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I am thinking of going with "dairy board" also known as FRP wall board. I like that it is easy to clean it comes in a variety of colors and textures. It also resists moisture, rot, mildew, stains, scratches and dents. It is actually quite easy to install, either pre-drill holes (to prevent cracking) for self taping screws or the plastic push buttons for the cargo door/ wall liners. I only hesitate because it is a bit difficult to cut. Maybe I will use it for large areas and my ceiling, but all else I'll do the tape over holes method (so people don't poke their fingers in them) and use think headliner.

Also check out this thread. I just found it again searching "FRP". Some good info on what others are using or tried...Cargo wall liners...http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14905&page=7

Still thinking FRP on walls though and something more light weight for the ceiling.
Thinking about FRP for the ceiling. Its kind of expensive to use on the walls too. I saw these MDF panels with different designs on them. But wondering if they are too thin to use as the wall panels without something more substantial behind them.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Reclaimed-48-in-x-8-ft-Smooth-Weathered-Barnboard-MDF-Wall-Panel/1000065005
 

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2017 2500 HiTop 159 Cargo Van white.
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Looking at a few things for my walls and ceiling. Found some corrugated polycarbonate panels in shiny white that are 12' x26" at Home Depot. They have foam fillers for the gaps. $33.00 each so 3 should do it.
On the lower sections of the walls I plan to use thin ply with cheap indoor/ outdoor carpet also from Home Depot glued on the surface.
On the upper sections I am going to use thin ply cut to size and then have my laminate shop surface them in shiny white Formica (we make custom white boards).
this is our off road motorcycle race van so the white boards come in handy for notes and schedules.
 

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I thought someone had them for sale on here. Anyone got a set?
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
One of our local lumber yards offers 1/8 inch hardboard with a great variety of finish patterns. They have a whole book of samples to choose from. We were looking for a light color that would make the van feel brighter and more open, but did not want to go with plane white -- this is the pattern we used
http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/our-conversion-paneling/
But, tons of choices.

Our ceiling is 1/8 inch plane white hardboard, which HD stocks. Thinking about changing this to real wood T&G strips.

Gary
 

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Thinking about FRP for the ceiling. Its kind of expensive to use on the walls too. I saw these MDF panels with different designs on them. But wondering if they are too thin to use as the wall panels without something more substantial behind them.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Reclaimed-48-in-x-8-ft-Smooth-Weathered-Barnboard-MDF-Wall-Panel/1000065005
You really don't want to use MDF anywhere there will be moisture unless you seal it all around. Thin MDF is basically crap - sawdust and binder compressed under high pressure. It has its uses but not as wall or ceiling or floor covering in a van.
 

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You really don't want to use MDF anywhere there will be moisture unless you seal it all around. Thin MDF is basically crap - sawdust and binder compressed under high pressure. It has its uses but not as wall or ceiling or floor covering in a van.
+1

By the time you get enough sealer on MDF you will have more $ in it than tempered hardboard.
 

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I am nearly done cutting and installing 1/8' plywood. A bit more flimsy than I would like. In the next phase I may use these panels as templates for white Celtec.
 

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I am nearly done cutting and installing 1/8' plywood. A bit more flimsy than I would like...
1/8" luan underlayment is not very durable. Still, plywood is better than plastics for stiffness and much lower thermal expansion. Five ply, 1/4" nominal thickness hardwood underlayment is $20 a sheet, but much better than 1/8" luan:

https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/panel-products/underlayment-panels/plywood-underlayment/1-4-4-x-8-integraply-underlayment/p-1444441905352-c-5711.htm?tid=5232619441834755537&ipos=3&bargainStoreId=3197
 

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Yep, the 6mm or 1/4" is a great material. In my application I am contouring it over more compound curves than I could get the 1/4 ply to make. The added covering of Ozite improves durability quite a bit, and the location of backing framework helps too. I am trying to maximize every inch of interior space I can retain.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the info, everyone.

Even though I'll cover a good portion of the panels with headliner/fabric, I really want a synthetic material for moisture management.

Yes, what thickness of Celtec was used?

Penda makes their liners in HDPE. They sell 50" x 28" flat panels, but that won't work for me in the window van. I would have too much leftover trim. I need 4' x 8'.
 

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...I need 4' x 8'.
Don't know if you have a Menards near you, but I've bought 4x8 HDPE there. This is link to 1/8" ($30 vs $54 for 1/4").
https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/panel-products/specialty-panels/plastic/1-8-x-4-x-8-hdpe-panel/p-1444424093411-c-14048.htm?tid=-4907945190738669550&ipos=2

Thermal expansion is a problem with plastics. I have the 1/4" HDPE just laying on the floor of our handicap van. There are no fasteners - just notched (with at least 1/4" gap) around the lift on one side and the gas filler on the other side to hold it in place. Leaving the side door open in direct sun turns it into a potato chip. It lifts about 1" at the doorway. It lays back down after cooling, but it doesn't seem like something you'd want as a wall or ceiling material where it's own weight won't be helping to flatten it out.

Here is a good link to some comparative data on linear expansion coefficients. You pretty much need polycarbonate or fiberglass reinforced for low expansion. I've never worked with the celtec mentioned here, but the PVC range listed runs as high as HDPE at the top end (110). Ideally you'd want to be near steel's coefficient of 12.

http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/linear-expansion-coefficients-d_95.html
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks, Carnut. No Menards in Dallas. Good to know about the HDPE expansion issue... why does Penda make all of their liners out of it, then??

I've seen some relatively cheap FRP sheets at Home Depot and might go with that. It's the 1/8" size, but it sounds like people think that's too thin. 1/4" is better? I'll be wrapping the material in headliner or some other fabric. Not sure if that will help stiffen it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
UPDATE:
I purchased 4x8 sheets of 3mm ABS plastic. The ABS is smooth on one side and textured on the other. It is the same plastic used in OEM panels. I have had them laying down on the van floor for a couple days without any off-gassing smells. The 3mm is flexible enough to curve around the upper section and floor.

Does anyone have recommendations on a panel mounting pattern?
Keep in mind that I have the window van so I'm thinking of having the panels cover a small portion of the windows to allow for a small recess to mount sliding shades.
I'm thinking of mounting similar to the way I did the floor plywood (3.25' wide by full height) so it should look something like this:



Should I be putting up plastic sheeting as an underlayment or just let it breathe?

The added covering of Ozite improves durability quite a bit, and the location of backing framework helps too.
Where do you buy Ozite? I went to their site, but the "Where to buy" link is dead.
Backing framework? Do you mean that you add strips of 1x4 to the ribs?
 
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