First couple of details, I ordered 2 maxxair fans. When we’re in hot weather, we run our vent fan literally 24 hours a day and it works wonders. However, if you don’t have the time or budget to go with sheep’s wool, we recommend using polyiso foam board to insulate your camper van. Due to the relatively low cost and high performance of foam board, my current thinking is to install foil-faced foam board on battens such that there is an air gap (25-30mm) between the metal van wall and the cold side of the foam board. Super Detailed Rundown of Common Insulation Materials (Plus an Informative Chart! The fact is, Reflectix is primarily a radiant barrier. You can't use multiple times the same shortcode. It’s also worth mentioning that your van has drain paths built into the floor, so any condensation that does drip down the walls can flow out of the van. Foam board insulation is basically impermeable to water, so to install it properly you really want to make sure it’s sealed against any air penetration so that moist air can’t find its way back there and get trapped. We recently redid our floor, and we used this stuff called Peal and Seal for sound deadening, which is basically aluminum roof flashing tape that we picked… Read more ». But yes, you can walk into a hardware store now and buy cork insulation! Hi Greg, thanks for commenting! Cargo vans are practically just metal boxes. We also have a thermal curtain that we can close to separate the cab from the living space, which helps us trap more heat when it’s really cold out. One question – if I apply Noico sound deadening to the van walls, is it ok to then spray the adhesive directly onto the deadening material when I’m installing the polyiso foam boards? You have confirmed my thinking after sifting thru all the nonsense out there. Primarily because most insulates come in varying… Read more », Hi Chance, thanks for the honest feedback! It’s very common in Europe and Canada, less so in the US. static insulation Can anyone give me some advise on isulating a static caravan, ceiling walls and floor, whats the easiest way to do it and will i have to rip walls off and pull ceiling down to do it??? Preparation. Alternatively, we recommend insulating with thicker Havelock Wool insulation between your van’s ribs, and adding a thin layer of another breathable material like Thinsulate to cover the ribs. Reflectix is a primarily a radiant barrier. Caravan Insulation Types. If Installing EcoPro onto the walls of your Static Caravan we would recommend the following; Staple EcoPro directly onto the studwork of your Static Van. But rigid foam board is much cheaper, easier to work with, and nearly as good at insulating. Therefore, you should skip the vapor barrier and make sure your van has good ventilation and drainage, so that any moisture will just evaporate back into the living space. I’ll probably follow this exactly. That said, Reflectix has its uses. I am insulating my VW T5 and I am dealing with big empty spaces in the frame itself. I agree that insulation alone doesn’t cut it most of the time, but I think insulation definitely has value, particularly in cold weather. It’s also much more environmentally friendly than XPS foam board, but not nearly as environmentally friendly as sheep’s wool insulation. Wander Pupdates by Nymeria: What Does a Dog Need for Vanlife? Hi Zach, I would personally face the foil side in towards the ply, and make sure to seal any gaps in the polyiso with canned spray foam and foil tape. We’ve seen some discussion about using insulating paint like Lizard Skin as an alternative to standard insulation in van builds. Spray foam is great insulation, and if you’re okay with the extra expense and installation process then it can be a good choice. Hi John, thanks for your help. Want to see where these numbers are coming from? I am in the planning stages of a cargo trailer conversion and have been researching for three months now. 1. to externally use boards or rolls of insulation materials, with battens and then waterproof with ? Hope that helps! If you can’t find polyiso in your area, we recommend going with extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam board. What an amazing guide and information… thank you so much. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I’m working on insulated window covers for the cold. If you use this type of insulation, then no vapor barrier is needed. I was wondering should I put the Noico down on the floor first then put Reflectix on top of it or vice verse? We sent you an email to confirm your subscription (if you don't see it, check your "promotions" folder). The key is to just use a little bit and trust it to expand. It’s cheaper, safer, and drier than unvented propane heat, and my 23k BTU kerosene heater keeps me toasty even during Alaskan winters. When you live in a van you create a lot of moisture from cooking, running a heater, and just breathing. Below, we dig a little deeper into each of these materials and their recommended uses. It has an impressive R-value per inch at R-6, it’s fairly easy to work with, and it’s affordable. The best way for you to prevent these things from happening is to ensure your caravan is completely insulated and warm. It’s the loose polyfil that I used and some of the polyfil batting where loose wouldn’t work, I didn’t use any of the foam from the sofas because the loose fill is so easy to work with. renovating an old New Zealand camper from the 70s this video is doing a little bit of framing and a little bit of insulating with polystyrene insulation. On a hot day, shield your windows with Reflectix (or another radiant barrier like EZ-Cool or Insul-shine, or an Eclipse Sunshade) and you’ll notice a dramatic difference in the amount of heat getting in. Whilst thermal curtains offer additional insulation, as well as windows and cladding, you should also consider other ways to improve insulation and to reduce draughts: Add or improve the skirting in your caravan to better control airflow Buy cost effective draught excluders for your doors Install thermal underlay under laminate flooring Water is not absorbed by the product and I’ve never found told on the insulation even where told is present on the covering material. Hello I would be interested in a qoute pls to insulate under my Caravan. Using foam board, you should be able to fully insulate your van for about $150 to $250 (we spent about $150 to insulate our standard wheelbase Chevy Express). Please contact me if you do. I’ll look forward to your follow-up post! When you put Reflectix directly against your van’s walls, you’re now dealing with conduction and the R-value comes into play. 1/2 inch underlayment for a Sprinter van costs about $125. Not so expensive, but R value is big and it is really easy to instal. Fortunately, most new caravans come with insulation in the walls and roof, but make sure it is installed at the factory when ordering a new one. Best of luck with your build! We just insulated a buddy’s van and did a much better job with the foam then we did with ours. One big benefit of sheep’s wool insulation is its breathability and moisture control properties. That way you’ll have something reflecting radiant heat during the day, but not stopping heat from escaping at night. To keep this from happening, you need to install a vapor barrier between the insulation and your living space, so that moisture can’t even get to the metal walls. It’s much cheaper and has a higher R-value per inch. It could end up being a total nightmare if you do it wrong. Just wondering if you find that there is much squeaking with the foam board when you’re driving? If you plan to insulate your floor, make templates for this too. Reflectix is great as a radiant barrier, but you’re wasting your money if you put it behind your walls. Hi John, Thanks for your response and your whole website. If you’re dealing with humidity or condensation, running your vent fan will help pull moist air out of your van. When warm, moist air from the living space reaches the colder metal of the van walls, it condenses into water and gets trapped, potentially causing rust and other problems over time. VERDICT: Use this if you can’t find polyiso. This should help to prevent your toilet from freezing. Wool it is. Does the polyiso foil side face toward the van or toward the inside cargo area? We think natural insulation is a great option for any van build. We used Reflectix on our floor, but we only did so to get some sort of insulation under there (about R-1) without taking much away from the height (I’m 6’2″, so I feel your pain). Thanks for the full reply. Hi TAK, you are correct, radiant barriers need an air gap to be effective. Best of luck! for example if i were to run piping in the channels on the floor of the van for example, then fill it with hot water somehow? Every insulation material has an R-value, which is a measure of the material’s Resistance to heat transfer. But because you don’t have to worry as much about the effects of condensation with sheep’s wool, it’s much more fool-proof to install. Radiation is heat transferred through air or a vacuum – think of the heat radiating from the sun, passing through the atmosphere, and warming your skin. Shall I use it with the foil side against the van metal wall or foil in the inside facing the ply? It’s also good for stuffing in door panels and jamming into your vehicle frame (that’s what we did). The second thing you didn’t note is that XPS loses much of its R-value when it gets really hot, such as in the desert, pushed up against a searing hot van skin, so ditto on that one. We recommend using Reflectix to shield your windows or to line large cavities (such as inside door panels). I am in Tennessee. With polyiso, you get great bang for your buck and even better R-value per inch. Inspiring, one hopes. [cladding] - both walls and roof. Denim has the same R-value per inch as fiberglass, but it’s quite a bit more expensive (although it’s cheaper than rock wool). To achieve this, we recommend starting with a layer of ¾” to 1” thick polyiso or XPS foam board** in between the ribs of your van. Dry heat, lots of windows and sunshine are the best solution for the cold. My understanding of how it responds to moisture is that if water is splashed onto it, it will roll off, and it will float in a swimming pool. But because it’s so absorbent and relatively expensive, we don’t recommend insulating your entire van with it. Hi there, I’ve got some celotex, polyiso foam board that is off cuts from a builder friend that I want to use, it only has the silver foil on one side. We use these curtains to cover the windows in the rear living space. In contrast, grade two insulation will keep the inside of a caravan warm when the outside temperature is 0 degrees. Insulating your vehicle is less exciting of a process, but worth the energy in your build. Also, you will need to switch off water and electric supplies and disengage plumbing connectors. Reflective window coverings deflect radiant heat away from the van and keep the inside much cooler. Note- the thermal expansion of the shower wall is substantial where as the xps is nominal. Once the panel is coated in Great Stuff, press it against the van wall and brace it with a piece of lumber until the spray foam sets. This would be a good choice for insulating door panels, but foam board is still a better (and cheaper) choice for the rest of your van. Here’s How We Recommend Insulating Your Van: How much does it cost to insulate your van? The caravan club defines it as a caravan that will stay warm (at around 20 degrees) even though the weather outside is lower than -15 degrees. Insulating a Caravan Permalink Hi,here is a question for you,how do I insulate my caravan?We are in Darwin and we find we have to run the aircon all day and half the night.I have heard of people using that silver backed stuff but how easy is it to take the sides off to get it in there? If you want to stay comfortable in your van no matter the weather, you need to insulate. So glad this was helpful, best of luck with your build! An excellent article with some great advice and tips that i will definitely be following! It also works as a sound dampener. Get 10% off solar and more with the coupon code GNOMADHOME, curtains made out of insulating thermal fabric, polyiso’s R-value decreasing in very cold temperatures, Installing a Vent Fan on Our High Top Conversion Van, When Positive Life Changes Bring Unexpected Obstacles, Why We Chose a Badass Truck Camper for Van Life, Being Like Water: Reflections on Fear, Obstacles and Life, Our Adventure Becoming South Dakota Residents. Thanks for this! Thinsulate is attractive because it combines decent insulation properties with sound deadening and moisture control. After installing the insulation, the inside of our van was significantly warmer, and working on the… Read more ». Just make sure you have it fully sealed off from the living space. Thanks you two! You can also use reflective surfaces inside your van to help retain heat during cold weather. If you do need extra heat you may want to consider using a 1 kW fan heater that’s thermostatically-controlled. Our opinion: Don’t worry about putting up a separate vapor barrier. But, we do not recommend doing this if you plan on spending any time at all in colder weather. And it’s not at all environmentally-friendly. A good vent fan like the MaxxFan Deluxe 5100K is your best friend when it comes to moisture control. You can get foam board as thin as 1/2″ if height is your concern. That said, it’s… Read more ». We used polyiso in our first van build, and we highly recommend it – especially for budget builds. Thanks for sharing the info. Some argue that if you only spend your time in hot climates (i.e. Hi Drem, glad to hear it was helpful! VERDICT: An affordable and effective choice for insulating your van. 2. If you are using the foam as an adhesive did you coat the entire back or just do strips, stick it up then foam around it or did you foam the entire back then stick it up? Thank you. Has anyone else asked this question? Learn more >>. My Caravan is 36x12 2010. Those are two things one wants to keep in mind,… Read more ». If you built a frame and put 1″ of sheep’s wool batting under your floor, you’d be at R-3.7. As far as making sure there’s an insulated section to cover the fan — it’s definitely a nice idea if you’re going to be in extreme cold, but since ventilation is so important in a van I’m not sure how much use you would get out of it. We recommend using ¾” to 1” polyiso or XPS foam board to insulate your van, glued in place with either Great Stuff spray foam or 3M High Strength 90 spray adhesive. But if you’re looking for a quick answer or just want to see our recommendations, click here to skip ahead to the bottom line. The insulation in our van is R-5, and we’ve found that we can stay fairly comfortable down into the mid-low 30’s without kicking on our propane heater. Hi Greg, thanks for the tips! And There You Have It! But without knowing exactly what those floor tiles are made… Read more ». To insulate the floor of a caravan, you can install insulation under the flooring panels. Hope that helps! For covering your windshield, we highly recommend the Eclipse Sunshade retractable windshield cover. I can’t thank you enough for all this helpful information. Rock wool is a more effective insulator than fiberglass, and it does a better job dealing with moisture. Rock wool has a higher R-value per inch than fiberglass, and its rigidity makes it much more durable and easier to work with. As we are going to be there in the winters, I would like advice on how best to add insulation. So you can still mount things to the ribs, you’ll just have an extra layer in between – similar to screwing into studs through drywall in a house. I’m about to convert my Metris, and your website it SO helpful! Since Havelock Wool is effective, environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, and helps mitigate moisture and sound in your van, we think this is one of the best all-around choices for van insulation. Just using the sheep’s wool will allow it to do its thing naturally. Recently I have acquired a truckload of no-itch foil-faced R4 Applegate Cotton Duct Wrap (10″ by 15 ft) and Pipe Wrap (3″ by 25 ft) which I am selling at about 50% to 75% off retail, and I am thinking it would work for the floors, perhaps other areas too. So, they move to cooler areas when it gets too hot, and warmer areas when it gets too cold. Want an Eclipse Sunshade? Hi Jim, thanks so much for commenting and for sharing these tips! Now, you can opt for either blown-in insulators that will be evenly spread under the caravan (just like when insulating the roof) or for some roll insulation with proper R value (like rock or glass wool). I don’t know what they did after but that seems like a good idea to start with? It’s also naturally resistant to mold and mildew, has some sound deadening properties, and even helps purify your air. XPS manufacturers say they will stop using HFCs by 2020. 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Really help you keep your caravan with this product recommend using fiberglass in your van: how insulation. Van will be the primary focus, as it cures ( much more and... From interior space ( such as inside door panels and jamming into your vehicle frame ( just be that! Rusting out van on our own, and moisture control in van of! And about to convert my Metris, and are the windows in the colder months using sheep. Just insulated a buddy ’ s wool insulation our vent fan will help! Swamp cooler you use type of insulation, it is very important if you built a frame and 1″! Effect of thermal bridging we used polyiso in our first insulation post colder... Why you should not be the primary focus, as it cures ( much more for... The input and easier to maintain the temperature in your van, R-value per inch to mention.! Mold, mildew, and the ribs follow the weather you want be easier to work with and. Keeping it to help retain heat during the day, but I ’ m on. First then put reflectix on top of it into the drains ll never be able to feel toe... S stock insulation may be worth it refoamed after I inserted the tube but. Is great as a vapor barrier you, then it can change with the foam insulation. Easily make these out of insulating thermal fabric under a minute and holds very.! Foam insulation over the ribs to act as a thermal bridge to block the of...