Van Conversion Side Step Floor Extension

We extend our van floor over the side step and show you how to do a van side step extension in your van converison.
Van Conversion Side Step Floor Extension

To maximise the floor space in our van build, and as our couch extends on our sidestep, we decided to extend the floor out and build a side-step platform (plus, we need to have somewhere to put our shoes). We need it to be insulated, strong, waterproof, and lightweight, so let’s get to it.

1. batten

Our original van floor only came up to the bulkhead, which is long gone from our van. Therefore, we had to build a small floor extension out the front and over the sidestep to accommodate our couch.

We cut and stuck down short sections of our floor beams (using a Mitre Saw and Sikaflex Sealant) for the front part.

Thanks to our pre-planning when sticking down the main floor, we already had some beams extruding for the side step. We cut lengths from the remainder of the wooden floor beams for the perimeter border and legs, but didn’t attach these yet.

van conversion floor framing
van conversion floor step extension

2. INSULATE

Even these simple rectangles had kinks and notches in them! We measured and cut some 25mm PIR Board to fit in these gaps, secured the front floor insulation and sealed it in with aluminium foil tape. 🌡️

van conversion floor step extension

3. WE NEED MORE PLYWOOD?

Since we somehow had no pieces of 9mm ply big enough, we went out and bought one. It had to be 9mm as that is the thickness of our original floor. 💸

We then cut and shaped 2 pieces with a jigsaw: one to fit the front area and one for our side step extension.

Since the floor had quite a few kinks in it, it took a few tries to get them to fit properly. We also stained the ply with the same woodstain as the main floor for extra protection.

van conversion floor step extension

4. STARTING THE FRAMEWORK

The next morning, we cut a piece of 3mm hardboard that we had spare to go under the floor step extension, and we glued this to the beam extrusions and clamped it in place to dry.

This hardboard is only to keep the insulation in place.

van conversion floor step extension
van conversion floor step extension
van conversion floor step extension
van conversion floor step extension

5. MORE WOOD CUTTING

We glued the outer perimeter beams to the hardboard and then cut more slices of wood for the legs of the step.

We built a ‘bridge’ leg (a very strong design) and had a simple L-leg in the corner. These were screwed and glued together, and all the wood was painted with outdoor white wood paint for protection. 🖌️

van conversion floor step extension

6. ADDING CARPET

Since the underneath of this step will most likely be shoe storage, we cut up the front door mat we had and fit it into place (don’t worry, there was another front door mat spare for the house).

van conversion floor step extension

7. it all comes together

We put everything together once the paint and glue dried despite the rain.

We put our cut insulation into the wood frame, which fit easily since it had zero kinks in it.

Next, the legs were wedged into places and screwed into the frame of the floor step extension.

Then it was a matter of putting on the pre-cut and stained 9mm floor pieces and screwing them down to the blue wooden support beams. We also screwed the front floor piece down as well.

We pre-drilled and countersunk the screws in to give the floor a flushed surface. 🔩

van conversion floor step extension
van conversion floor step extension

8. ONE LAST BRACKET

We knew we needed one more bracket, on the corner without a leg, and after testing its strength the floor definitely dipped down in that spot.

After accidentally breaking a rivnut gun (not entirely our fault), we got one that worked, riv-nutted two threads into the van, and secured a beefy L-Bracket to support that corner.

We had to remove and modify the lower sliding door stop (by cutting a notch out of it to get the door to close), but all corners are fixed and secure. 

van conversion floor step extension

9. JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!

It didn’t break!

van conversion floor step extension
van conversion floor step extension

quick look

  1. Follow floor beam + insulation process
  2. Cut, shape and stain 9mm ply to fit extension
  3. Frame the floor extension step
  4. Create wooden legs
  5. Add carpet to step
  6. Screw everything together
  7. Add final L-Bracket with rivnuts

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