Very important note: Before you start making holes in your bodywork, make sure it is allowed according the legislation in your country, so your van is homologated.
Once everything is clean and all rust stains are treated, it’s time to costumize your bodywork.
Depending on what you’ve planned to build into your van, you will have to make some holes in the bodywork. We had to make 5 holes:
– Roof hatch
– Shore power plug to charge the battery
– Ventilation grill for the battery and general air circulation
– 2 holes for the diesel heater
We outsourced the installation of our windows as it is important for the vehicle inspection that they’re officially placed. And also because it is a delicate job to make everything leak-proof. Make sure you check it is allowed to make the holes you need and never make holes in the weight bearing parts of your bodywork!
Small, round holes you can make with a hole saw, depending on the size of your hole.
For large holes you can proceed as follows: First you can tape and draw the lines of your hole on the bodywork. When you have correctly marked the hole, you must drill some small holes, with an iron drill, in the middle or on the edges of your marking. From these drill holes you can start cutting your main hole with a jigsaw, specifically for metal.
When you’ve cutted a hole, you have to sand the edges and treat them with an anti-rust agent (like hammerite) to prevent rusting. Make sure it is dry before you install the parts.
The parts have to be fixated into the bodywork with silicone sealant to make everything waterproof. When the parts do not proper connect to the bodywork you have to fill gaps with extra wood and/or silicone sealant. This will depend on how much space is left between your bodywork and the part you want to attach.
You can find more details on how to cut holes and make everything waterproof in our guide about placing a roof hatch.
Shore power plug
Water resistant roofing tape/strip
Beams for framework (22x44mm)