Cutting Holes for Windows & Vent Fans in the Sprinter

So the flooring and insulation was pretty straight forward and nothing really special other then make sure you do it and don’t rush it.  This next step though is where people get a little scared, myself included.  It’s time to cut holes in the outside of your shiny new van!  Yes large holes that you can’t possibly repair.  This is generally going to be for windows in the side or vent fans or an A/C unit in the roof.  We elected to skip putting in windows but decided on a custom generator box instead.

The roof holes were actually pretty easy, or at least the first 2 anyways.  On the roof there are 2 spaces where the ribs stop and a space is left for a standard 14″ x 14″ cut out.  Measure and mark your 14″ x 14″, places some tape along this area, drill a hole and then use a jigsaw to cut out your square.  The tape is to keep the cut neat.  Our 3rd hole in the roof was fro the back corner of the van where our wet gear storage closet was going to be located.  This did not have a flat area and we actually had to cut through the ribbing up top.

After knocking out these 3 holes we had to lay out the interior walls in the back and then come back to cutting out the generator box once we had exact measurements.

At this stage you also need to do any other modifications involving the roof.  We were putting an awning on so we had to bolt up the mounting brackets while we could still access the roof cavity from the inside.

Installing Walls in the Sprinter

Next is the walls, but before you put up the walls make sure to have all your electrical run.  We looked at our electrical layout and decided we could run it through the ceiling or behind drawers in cabinets so we just went right to the walls. We used a thin plywood called “Bender Board”.  This board is pretty flexible and allows you to shape it to the contours of the van.  The walls slope inward as you go up.  This is pretty light stuff.  Our main walls that were going to give the van it’s layout and structure were all located in the rear.  Here I had designed a wall to separate the garage from the living quarters with a tetris-like configuration to store mountain bikes, backpacks, wet clothes, the fridge, clothes closet, water pump, hot water heater, etc etc.

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