Plywood van walls were the thing from the van build basics which first transformed the way my cargo van felt. It went from an industrial/shipping vibe to… something vaguely cozy within just a few days.
Why Plywood Van Walls?
I liked the idea of a wood aesthetic, but I didn’t want the walls to look too rugged. The idea was for a little woodgrain to show through lightly-stained walls to improve the sense of spaciousness in such a tiny area.
I opted for 1/2″ plywood, enough to provide sturdy walls. I have seen others use 1/4″ or even 1/8″ plywood attached to furring strips. In retrospect, this may have been easier to install (the furring strips would be easier to attach to the metal walls, and the thinner plywood easier to work with). Still, the strong 1/2″ plywood van walls are great for hanging things. I don’t have to worry about connecting things on thin wooden strips hidden behind the plywood. Rather, I can be guaranteed that the entirety of the wall can support most things.
- 8x 8′ x 4′ @ 1/2″ plywood, finished, high-quality (~$40/sheet)
- 1 1/2″ and 2″ self-drilling metal screws (~$10 / box)
- “Natural” (light colored) stain
- Cobalt drill bits (way better than titanium for going through metal)
- Power drill
- Circular saw
- Power sander (4″ round)
- Safety equipment