Van Build: Sound Deaden a DIY Campervan

Sound deadening time!!! Having a bare metal shell of a van really makes the acoustics go wild so we thought it's about time to deaden the metal panels 🚐

Written By Freedom Strider

On January 11, 2020

Our van is quite noisy, having removed literally everything, so we need to sound deaden it ourselves. We bought a big roll of sound deadening and got cutting up and sticking, to make our van sound less like a metal vibration machine, and quieter and comfortable to live in. This stuff is much heavier that we thought, although sound deadening works by making the metal dense so the sound can't vibrate it...so it makes sense I guess.

1

Knock Knock

Okay, you can stop knocking now, the sound will not change until you put some sound deadening on it. 🔕

Not every panel in the van needs sound deadening. First off, the van manufacturers have already introduced certain levels of sound deadening in the shape and design of the van, such as in any creases or braces that you see. 

Naturally, parts of the van you’re going to cut out like windows, roof fan, and skylights won’t need any (no need to waste material).

It is also only the flat panels which will need sound deadening, so tiny areas or panels with natural contour lines can be ignored. 

sound deadening - van conversion
sound deadening - van conversion

TOP TIP

You only need to sound deaden 30% of the surface area in order to sound deaden an area properly. Using more material won’t sound deaden it much more, it will only waste material and add more weight (and sound deadening is HEAVY!!)

If you have the length and width of the panel you want to cover, multiply each by 0.55, and this will give you the dimensions of the deadening pannel you roughly need to cut in order for it to cover 30% of the area of the panel.

2

Get measuring

We drew up a sketch of the panels, and got measuring. Then we calculated their surface area of each section and calculated 30% of those areas which gave us the scaled down area for the sound deadening sheet, and we used those to mark our cut lines.

sound deadening - van conversion

3

slice and dice

We bought a 4.66m x 0.75m Dodo Deadmat Sound Deadening Roll.

Since we wanted to waste as little as possible, and the roll was 75cm wide, this meant we often worked in multiples of 5 to cut our sound deadening sheets to size. 📐

We labelled each area, marked it out with a sharpie and straight edge, and sliced through the material with a crafting knife. They didn’t have to be exact, and there were a few rough edges, but this worked perfectly, and it was very easy to work with.

sound deadening - van conversion

4

sticky sticky rolley rolley

Once all the sections were cut, we grabbed a hard roller, a heat gun and a pair of gloves and got sticking.

The air temperature was about 2°C (hence the gloves), and since the sound deadening sticks best in warmer temperatures, we used a heat gun to warm up the freezing metal before sticking. ❄️

It only took a few seconds for the heat gun to warm the area so we had to be careful not to overheat things. 

We heated the metal panel and the sound deadening, peeled off the backing and stuck it on, using the roller to squeeze out air gaps. 

sound deadening - van conversion
sound deadening - van conversion
sound deadening - van conversion
sound deadening - van conversion
sound deadening - van conversion

HOUSESIT

quick look

Quick Steps Overview:

 

  1. Identify panels to deaden
  2. Measure panels
  3. Mark and cut sound deadening
  4. Peel and stick the sound deadening

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