camper interior transformation continues

Interior transformation

Whilst toying with different ideas for the overall design and finish of the buses interior, I had bought a full bare set of Customshop Designs Splitscreen Camper Van Door Cards in preparation to help finish off the interior. They’re made of 3.6mm WBP moisture-resistant plywood, cut using original templates to provide an accurate fit. The ply panels are really impressive, as is the accompanying customer service and speedy delivery, what more could you want – highly recommended!

Their full kit includes;

  • 2 x Front Kick Panels
  • 2 x Cab door cards
  • 2 x Cargo Door Panels
  • 1 x Opposite Cargo Door Panel
  • 2 x Wheel Arch Panels
  • 2 x Rolled Boot Panels
  • 1 x Tailgate Panel

Although at the time of ordering the panels, we had not actually decided on what sort of finish or look we were going for with the camper interior, although we had no shortage of different ideas! However, I was really keen to get some music in the camper this summer, so this would mean if nothing else, the front cab interior panels would need to get fitted before the various components could get fitted in place.

Customshop Designs 3.6mm ply Splitscreen panel set
Customshop Designs 3.6mm ply Splitscreen panel set

Vintage interior fabric

Fortunately, Lorna had found some interesting looking, vintage rusty-red coloured suedette fabric in a charity shop that we decided we could ‘upcycle’ and use for the door and front cab kick panels. It would not be enough for the entire interior, but a bit like a traditional Westfalia interior, we thought we would have a different scheme for the driving area and look at different options for the rear ‘living’ area.

a rusty coloured suedette fabric for the front cab kick panels
a rusty coloured suedette fabric for the front cab kick panels

Custom kick panels

With the front cab kick panels, I had plans to install some front component speakers, so before getting the panels covered and fitted, I spoke with Car Audio Solutions (South East) Ltd to get the wiring fitted and run in place first. When you see the amount of cabling that gets used, it’s almost as much as the main electrical loom for the camper itself! Having got the electrical infrastructure and cables all safely installed and connected up to the leisure battery, it was time to modify the kick panels to fit the speakers.

additional component speaker holes cut in the plywood kick panels
additional component speaker holes cut in the plywood kick panels

Bringing the sound to the front

With the speaker holes positioned and cut out, along with a routing point for the cables, it was time for a test fitting. A little bit of fettling and adjustment was needed to get the fit right to the specifics of my bus, then time to get them covered and fitted in place…

some fettling of plywood kick panels to get a good fit in the bus
some fettling of plywood kick panels to get a good fit in the bus

Fabric fitting

The rusty coloured suedette fabric was roughly cut to shape for the various panels. Lorna’s experience and judgement here was great. She managed to get enough fabric cut out to cover the two kick panels and both cab door boards, result! The ply panels and the rear of the fabric were then sprayed with contact adhesive and the fabric pieces then slowly rolled flat into position on the corresponding panel. The openings for speakers, fuse box, speedo cable etc. were then cut out and the excess fabric folded back and glued to the rear of the boards.

spray adhesive and a rubber roller to fix the suedette covering in place
spray adhesive and a rubber roller to fix the suedette covering in place

The moment of truth, speakers fitted in place ready for a test fitting in the bus…

speakers and covered kick panels fitted in place
speakers and covered kick panels fitted in place

Speakers fitted

Not too bad for a first attempt! A bit of a learning curve (and research!) for us both having never done this sort of thing before. Some finishing off required and then on to do the cab doors next. It’s amazing to see the visual transformation that fitting the panels makes to the interior feel of the bus! 🙂

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