Wood-cladded ceiling: A new video on YouTube shows how to clad a van, camper or panel van with kiri (botanical name: paulownia). tephan from the Männertours channel stocked up on paulownia boards for this purpose. 50 per cent less weight. That’s a must watch!

Stephan gets straight to the point. It’s about weight. His Sprinter weighs around 2.4 tonnes when empty. Not much weight left for a bed, storage space and whatever else you need on the road. Around one tonne, otherwise the van will be too heavy. “Of course, I won’t start nailing any old ceiling plywood or tongue and groove boards from the local DIY store to the ceiling – and then have an extra 80 kg of storage to transport”.

That’s why, says Stephan to his camera as the landscape passes by, he is now driving to the KIRITEC company: They apparently make a super light wood. Paulownia. “And an important, interesting and good thing about it is that it doesn’t come from China”. Full stop. One more sentence on conventionally produced paulownia wood, then cut. Stephan is now at our depot in Tönisvorst. Ready to collect the wood.

Paulownia vs. spruce: cladding for the ceiling weighs only half as much

The video, which has recently gone online, shows step-by-step how Stephan processes our wood and attaches it to the ceiling of his van. He also places a piece of paulownia and a piece of spruce on the kitchen scales and compares their weights. Cladding made from our wood actually weighs just under half as much! Stephan: “See… It’s like a feather. That stuff weighs nothing at all”.

If you want to watch the whole video, click here.
By the way: Stephan was building camper vans long before people started filming and uploading their projects onto the internet. In his van, he not only clad the ceiling with wood, but also the walls.

His “Männertours” channel involves friends of unusual vehicles from Cologne and the surrounding area who often have to carry out inventive repairs on their tours. The group got together in 2013. For example, they travelled to Spain with Trabants, across the Alps with mopeds and to England with mobility scooters. The most successful videos have been viewed several-hundred-thousand times thus far.