Before you can fit ply panels you need to make sure that you are buying the best ply for the finish you are after. There are four main types of ply panels you can have in your van. We reccomend ply between 3-6mm.
Trade ply- These ply panels have one real purpose and it is to protect the metalwork and any cabling. They are typically 6mm ply and although they are practical they don't always give a professional and neat finish.
Factory ply- These, as the name suggests are the ply kits that come with the van from the factory. These are almost always held in with the plastic clips. These can be reused and carpeted a lot of the time but are sometimes damaged if the van is second hand.
camper/day van interior panels- These are the CNC cut panels that are built for the van and will fit the contours of the van.
Custom ply- For some vans, there are not currently camper/day van interior panels available. Vans such as the Vivaro's and larger vehicles which are not VW or Mercedes do not have the range available. In this case, you will have to custom make the panels.
Fitting ply panels in your camper van
The van we are using as the example is a VW T4 and for this make and model, we were able to buy a ply lining kit. We get ours from Custom Shop Design.
Step one- Remove any old brackets and fixings
Before you can start installing your new ply lining you need to make sure the surface is flat, remove any old screws or brackets which are in the metalwork.
Helpful hint- If the screw has snapped the easiest way to remove them is with a pair of mole grips. Tighten the grips onto the screw and turn it anti-clockwise, the application of WD40 will also help.
Step two- Ply panel mockup
Once you are happy with how the interior of the van is looking you will need to mock up the ply panels. Now, although they are specifically cut to fit your van we find nine times out of ten they will need a little modifying.
Start by putting the panel loosely up against the part of the van it will be applied to. You then want to push it into its place and make sure that it fits flush. If it doesn't then have a permanent marker and mark the area that needs cutting.
Helpful hint- When reducing panel sizes always start small, take no more than 1cm or 2cm off at a time. You can always cut more off but is more difficult to add it back if too much is removed.