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Full Version: Headliner & existing floor carpeting
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I just got my 1997 Econoline 250 cargo van with 160k+ miles. It was a fleet vehicle and came with a stock headliner and stock carpet over stock rubber on the floor and (an exposed) rear a/c unit (controlled by a secondary knob below the main one on the dash) mounted on the rear driver side.

Is it recommended I discard the stock headliner and bottom mat/carpeting for proper insulation? Should I keep that rear a/c unit?

Thanks for any advice!
depends on what you want to end up with. if you have the jute insulation under the carpet and rubber I would replace that with something that doesn't absorb water/moisture.

Get rid of the carpet. No matter how careful you are eventually you will drop water on it. If the van is well insulated a wet carpet will never dry out. Its not fun having to walk around in a wet carpet. Getting rid of my carpet was the best thing I ever did.

On my van I also removed the original headliner and installed rtech foam insulation. But Its best to do it after you figure out if you will be installing solar panels/roof vents. Because once you decide to cut into the roof some of the headliner will have to come off, might as well replace it then. Foam insulation works alot better then the original headliner.
Thanks for the input - I’m finally getting the van back from some needed repairs (all new spark plugs, coils, fuel pump)... needless to say I’m tapped! Anyhow, I’m going to have to do this slowly in steps and while I live in it (I have to be out of my current place at the end of next week.

From the replies it sounds like the immediate things I should do:
- ditch the rug (after I use it as a template for the wood floor and keep the rubber mat underneath)
- insulate the walls and cover them
- I’ll keep the headliner for now, but will remove when I install a vent and insulate

I will want solar, but not in the immediate time with it being winter in the Bay Area and funds being low.

That being said, I will need to decide on a heater ASAP, but without a vent, will opening the front windows a little bit, even though I will have a blackout curtain up, be sufficient to use a Buddy heater safely?

No advice on the A/C unit? It works great, it is just exposed (used to be a Comcast work van, but not sure what they would use it for, unless it was an event van.
The unvented propane heaters should not be used when sleeping.  The blackout curtain will help reduce the condensation on the inside of the windshield but not eliminate it.  A propane heater will make condensation much worse. 

The air conditioner at least needs to be protected from damage.  Removing it will not be cheap.  To keep the front ac working the system must be evacuated, rear disconnected and plumbing sealed, then remaining front must be evacuated and recharged.  Just tearing out the rear will leave you with an open non cooling system.  The compressor won't have proper lubrication.  Turning on the defrost also turns on the ac compressor so at least that must be disconnected.  I would keep it.