Van Fit Out - Advice Needed

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Forum topic by Peter101 posted 05-07-2019 12:40 PM 309 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Peter101's profile


9 posts in 139 days

05-07-2019 12:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: heat shrink conduit van electrics

Hey all, I’m ply lining the back of my VW transporter van as it has been getting pretty beaten looking over the years.

She’s an old model (2001) and still running great so I want to hold on to her as long as possible. I use it for carrying tools and machinery around the county so it has taken some heavy service over the years.

The ply wood installation will be fine but I’m going to install one of those new LED interior lights in place of the old bulb one. Electrics and wiring are not my strong point. The cable that’s running down behind the ply – should I cover it with conduit or heat shrink?

Any of you guys done an installation like this before?

5 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile (online now)


9529 posts in 1528 days

#1 posted 05-07-2019 12:47 PM

If it’s behind the ply, I would just make sure that any connections are properly insulated and that any rub points are cushioned to prevent rubbing. I don’t see any reason to use conduit or other encasing in this application.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View CWWoodworking's profile


484 posts in 568 days

#2 posted 05-07-2019 02:22 PM

I don’t have anything to add except post some pics when your done. I am somewhat a van enthusiast. I am looking to upgrade to a new Ford Transit Hopefully soon. Won’t be doing many mods to it except possibly adding seats

View MrRon's profile


5485 posts in 3633 days

#3 posted 05-07-2019 05:14 PM

There are many battery operated LED lights that could be used in your van without worrying about wiring and higher voltages. They can operate for many hours before you need to change batteries.

View awsum55's profile


517 posts in 898 days

#4 posted 05-07-2019 05:40 PM

The wires should be safe behind the ply, but if you plan on attaching anything to the plywood, make sure you either route the wires in a safe place, or run it through conduit so you won’t be able to damage the wires by accident.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Peter101's profile


9 posts in 139 days

#5 posted 05-21-2019 09:41 AM

Thanks for all the advice, it was a big help.

MrRon, I did think about the battery option, it makes a lot of sense, but I was just eager to try my hands at a simple electrical job. Especially when it’s my own van.

HobieKen, you were right. There was no need for the conduit. As it happens there wasn’t a lot of space between the ply and the van roof anyway. I just used some adhesive lined heat shrink instead. Some of this stuff did the job and it was cheap:

I ran some 2 core thin wall cable down the roof and used the adhesive lined heat shrink at the connection on the light fitting. I think this was a must to prevent damage to the electrics. The back of the van gets a lot of condensation during the winter so that electrical connection point needed to be sealed up right.

It wasn’t the hardest job in the world. And I’ll tell ya, it does feels great when you do it yourself.

Thanks all.

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