The new crossbeams have been painted (yes red, what else?), bolted securely into place, and I've eliminated the few bits of existing woodwork that stood in the way of my upstairs plans. It's all slowly coming into view, and whatever fears I had about the potential lunacy of cutting out my entire roof have now completely evaporated.
The van had been out of commission for the past week, as I was nervous about driving it without any crossbeam support, so it was sort of reassuring to take her out for a spin today and not have the whole thing collapse in on itself. But since I've replaced VW's measly two crossbeams with six, maybe I shouldn't have been too surprised. Best of all, I lost precisely zero solar panels. during the drive.
Now that I have a solid and flat canvas to work with, it's time to build out the upstairs. I'm digging the red beams so much that it'll sort of be a shame to build over them, but I just might leave them exposed downstairs.