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Floor Basics

The OEM vinyl floor and the sliding door plastic step cover were removed. The low portions of the corrugated floor were filled with 1/2" closed cell foam. The OEM tie down D rings at the bottom of the walls were removed. 3/16" x 2" angles were fabricated to bolt to the tie down bolt holes. The vertical leg of angle is drilled for the tie down bolt and the horizontal leg has two tapped holes to bolt 1/2" plywood to the angles. A 1/8" loaded vinyl sheet covers the corrugated floor and the 1/2" closed cell foam. Then a 1/2" plywood floor is installed over the vinyl. The 80/20 floor framework bolts to the plywood. Plywood acts as a thermal isolator so 80/20 does not become same temperature as van body.

The walkway portion on top of the plywood is a 1 1/2" thick composite with a bottom 1" layer of rigid insulation, a 1/16" shower wall fiberglass in the middle, and the 3/8" gym mat rubber floor at the top. The 80/20 framework (1 1/2" series 15) bolts to the plywood. The walkway composite floor is stacked between the 80/20 framework. The purpose of the raised floor is to provide a base for the cabinets, provide 1" of rigid insulation and allow the electrical wiring cords to run from one side of van to the other side in the floor. The 80/20 top slot also allows installation of female eyebolts anywhere in the 80/20 to provide cargo tie downs. The design also thermally isolates the 80/20 framework from the Transit steel body.

The portion of the floor that is under cabinets and benches has 1 1/2" thick rigid insulation on top of the plywood floor. The shower water tank sits on the plywood floor without insulation between tank and floor.

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    1. Remove the OEM vinyl floor and the plastic sliding door step cover.

    2. Build the 80/20 (actually T-Slots) framework using the lightest 1 1/2" extrusion and custom fabricated connectors. Framework is the base for the two rear bench seats, the sink and the refrigerator/shower cabinet. They all bolt to the floor 80/20. The 80/20 floor between the cabinet bases where people walk is filled with a three layer composite. The area under the cabinets is filled with 1 1/2" thick rigid insulation. The connectors are fabricated from 3/16" aluminum angle and flats using a chop saw, a drill press, a 14" band saw, a deburr belt sander and a hand tapping machine. Connectors are easy to make and allow non-standard dimensions. Standard 80/20 connectors are 1/4" thick and have the holes in the wrong location. I used 3/16" aluminum and offset the holes in the angles so I could use carriage bolts at the angle connectors. Also used elastic stop nuts instead of lock washers and nuts. I used all SS fasteners which is not necessary. With SS fasteners an anti-seize paste is required to prevent galling.

    3. Fabricated 80/20 structure on top of the bare corrugated Transit floor. Made the joint angle connectors. Made the angle connectors for the four "through the floor" bolt holes. Next made the angle connectors that are required to bolt the 80/20 framework to the plywood floor. The plywood to 80/20 connectors are bolted to the plywood floor with 5/16-18NC x 1 1/4" elevator bolts. An elevator bolt is like a carriage bolt but the head is thin with 1 3/16" diameter head. They are located in the plywood above the low parts of the corrugated floor. Want the heads located where they can depress the 1/2" closed cell foam that is installed between the floor corrugations. Added 1/2" thick plywood strips in several locations between the framework and the low spots between the corrugations. Strips were also added at rear and sliding door openings. Drilled the two new floor hold down bolt holes.

    4. Cut the 4" square air vent in the floor just in front of the left rear wheel. It will bring under van air up past the refrigerator coil and out the roof Maxxair fan by natural draft without needing to run the fan. Located and punched three holes for the drain hoses. Used a 1 3/8" diameter electrical knockout punch. The 1 3/8" diameter holes are for the shower drain, the sink drain and the propane tank enclosure vent hose. All three hoses are 1" coolant hose from NAPA that is 1 5/16" OD. Sink and shower drains are 1" OD SS tubing. The Propane enclosure has a 3/4" copper coupling that is about 1" OD. Drilled two new 11/32" holes to anchor center of 80/20 floor in the back. Used two existing holes in Transit floor at the slider step to anchor the framework at the step.

    5. Removed the 80/20 framework. Cut out four pieces of 1/2" plywood for the floor. Two seams. One seam is on the van centerline and the second across the van just behind the sliding door opening. Across the van seam is 68 1/4" forward from start of floor at back of van. Floor starts in back flush with the face of the rear door framework and extends forward 130" behind the front seats. Marked the plywood from below for the 4" square air vent cutout. Drilled up through the van floor through the plywood for the four framework anchor holes and the three pilot holes for the 1 3/8" drain holes. Located the seven perimeter angle anchors that bolt the plywood floor to the D-ring bolt holes. 7/16" - 20NF x 1" bolts fit the metric D-ring threaded holes. The location of the D-ring threaded holes forced the bottom leg of the angle to be under the plywood. Tapped two 5/16-18NC holes in the 3/16" x 2" angle and put a 1/8" x 1" flat plate on top of the plywood. Used 5/16-18NC x 1" hex bolts to sandwich the plywood between the angle below and the plate on top. Vertical leg of angle bolts to the D-ring threaded hole. The perimeter anchor angles have different hole locations for the D-ring bolt holes because the holes are not the same distance up from the corrugated floor. The D-ring hole on the "B" post behind the driver was too low for the angle attachment so a 1/2" plywood plate was made.

    6. Reinstalled the unpainted plywood after holes were cut or drilled.

    7. Reinstalled the 80/20 framework on top of plywood so I could mark the plywood for the locations of the elevator bolt holes. Removed the framework and plywood to drill the elevator bolt holes. Installed the perimeter D-ring angles. Removed the plywood for painting. After paint dried I added the elevator bolts. Used polyurethane adhesive to glue bolt heads to the plywood. Temporarily used a nut and fender washer to hold bolts until adhesive cured.

    8. Filled the low portion of the corrugated floor with 1/2" thick closed cell foam.

    9. Installed 1/8" thick loaded vinyl over top of corrugations and the foam. Three pieces. A 42" wide center strip and two side strips. Used 2" wide vinyl tape to cover the two seams. Seam location was over a low point in the corrugated floor. Drilled the vinyl from below for the holes and cut the 4" square opening from above.

    10. Reinstalled the plywood with the elevator bolts installed as studs for the 80/20 framework attachment. Bolted plywood to D-ring holes.

    11. Used Locktite PL S40 window, door, and siding sealant to seal the perimeter and the seams of the plywood.

    12. Put a layer of 1 1/2" thick rigid insulation under benches, sink, and refrigerator/shower cabinet. Did not put 1 1/2" rigid where the shower water tank is located.

    13. Filled the floor between cabinets with the insulation, fiberglass sheet, and the 3/8" gym mat.

    14. Used "Great Stuff" gaps & cracks insulating foam sealant to fill around the edge of the rigid insulation and the van walls.

    Lessons Learned

    Floor was time consuming to make. The only change I would make if I did it again would be to change the method of anchoring the plywood to the D-ring bolt holes. It was tedious to get the holes in the plywood to line up with the tapped holes in the angles. Instead I would make 1/2" x 1 1/2" aluminum blocks that had a hole for a flathead bolt in the D-ring bolt holes and a tapped hole for the angles used to bolt to the plywood. Angles would sit on top of plywood and use an elevator bolt to attach plywood to the angle.