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#1 2019-03-24 21:10:21

Ricko
Member
From: SW Lancs
Registered: 2017-01-18
Posts: 185

Insulation

Hi, I've just finished doing a quick dismantle on the interior to fit some closed cell foam under the floor (it's like the stuff that camping mats are made from). I stuffed polystyrene in the wall cavities when I did the initial build.
I've got some foam left over and was thinking of insulting the roof. Is it worth it? I was just going to glue it to the ceiling and maybe do some kind of plywood ceiling too.
Your thoughts and ideas are welcome.


2004 Citroen Dispatch 2.0 Hdi

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#2 2019-03-24 21:45:06

Tiree
Administrator
From: Castle Douglas
Registered: 2013-09-20
Posts: 196

Re: Insulation

Hey Ricko ...

Had to think hard there about how I actually put my ceiling together! It's been a while.

I glued some battens onto the metal roof to later screw into through my ply ceiling [you need to remember where the are!].

Then I lined the ceiling with the bubble wrap insulation and stuffed foam in behind it too where possible.

Then screwed the [carpeted] ply on.

There's a structural bar runs across the ceiling about half way back which is fine, except that at the sides, your ply will be forced down away from the ceiling. I cut notches out the ply to allow it to sit nicely.

I can try to get some photos if that would help.

Good luck!


2006 Citroen Dispatch 2.0HDi bought in July 2013 - Partial camper conversion ........

mini_citroen-dispatch2.jpeg

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#3 2019-03-25 00:17:48

OAT
Member
From: Borders/Dales
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 263

Re: Insulation

I always think that any insulation is worthwhile, Especially the roof you would think.  Although I also think that insulating a van body is always going to be relatively ineffective. 

I have done all the easy panels and cavities in mine but not yet the roof.   Being a pop top means it's GRP.  There are a couple of battens and it's covered with a cloth liner.  I will get round to doing it with that camping mat stuff one day.  Easy to stick and surprisingly mouldable.  But with virtually all around windows my van won't ever be well insulated whatever I do.

With no covers on any windows, and completely open to the cab, mine seems to average 4 - 5 degrees warmer than outside.  That must be just by body heat and the regular brews.

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#4 2019-03-25 01:26:46

kenbw2
Member
From: Bradford/Preston/Anywhere
Registered: 2017-11-26
Posts: 288

Re: Insulation

I'm in the process of insulating my new van like this:

xRVNBIB.jpg

It definitely makes a difference. I have the same in my white van, and took some pictures when it snowed. Spot the bits without insulation! The blue arrow is where I have a cross beam supporting my shelves, which squashes the insulation.

acmYMxT.jpg
oCeJHPK.jpg


2000 Citroen Dispatch 1.9TD XUD9 Upcoming Camper
1999 Citroen Dispatch 1.9D DW8 Camper Conversion + full time home
1996 Peugeot 806 1.9TD XUD9 Spare vehicle
1998 Citroen Synergie 1.9TD XUD9 Snapped timing belt

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#5 2019-03-25 19:04:25

Ricko
Member
From: SW Lancs
Registered: 2017-01-18
Posts: 185

Re: Insulation

kenbw2 wrote:

I'm in the process of insulating my new van like this:

https://i.imgur.com/xRVNBIB.jpg

It definitely makes a difference. I have the same in my white van, and took some pictures when it snowed. Spot the bits without insulation! The blue arrow is where I have a cross beam supporting my shelves, which squashes the insulation.

https://i.imgur.com/acmYMxT.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/oCeJHPK.jpg

What are you using to insulate the walls????


2004 Citroen Dispatch 2.0 Hdi

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#6 2019-03-25 22:05:40

kenbw2
Member
From: Bradford/Preston/Anywhere
Registered: 2017-11-26
Posts: 288

Re: Insulation

This stuff: https://www.diy.com/departments/diall-l … 658_BQ.prd

Kinda like rock wool but not itchy, and can be jammed into tight spaces.


2000 Citroen Dispatch 1.9TD XUD9 Upcoming Camper
1999 Citroen Dispatch 1.9D DW8 Camper Conversion + full time home
1996 Peugeot 806 1.9TD XUD9 Spare vehicle
1998 Citroen Synergie 1.9TD XUD9 Snapped timing belt

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#7 2019-03-26 04:20:34

vaz2121
Member
From: SW. Scotland
Registered: 2015-08-31
Posts: 511

Re: Insulation

I think every little helps as they say and a point I noticed from Camping with the bike especially was extra layers to my under bedding made quite a difference and have tended to apply that principle to staying out in the trucks over the yrs and van ................Added a little extra to van floor as well when I had things to bits and like O. A. T......... I  have side windows and used some of that bubble wrap stuff spray glued to some thin hardboard type stuff that sort of fits into window glass aperture to compliment the universal thermal window covers/blinds we have for windscreen and front doors.... Helps with blocking light both in and out............

And as a point I knoticed with that Loft type insulation (I used to haul Super Glass{Stirling} loft insulaton for many yrs) best get good coverage but don't pack it in tight it needs airpockets .....and it definitely needs kept dry andwith a Vapour Barrier

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#8 2019-03-26 13:35:20

OAT
Member
From: Borders/Dales
Registered: 2017-01-03
Posts: 263

Re: Insulation

A really good scientific overview of insulating a van in the videos below:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDZBJw7cV2U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKy6WnFh368

Too complex and expensive to follow for most of us to implement I think but it does help to understand the principles involved.

Another problem with assessing the effectiveness of insulation is actualy measuring any real improvements made.  Outside conditions are unlikely to ever be identical on any two occasions so it is difficult to make direct comparisons.

More important than the actual science though is how it actualy feels.  Their actual insulation properties being almost nil,  I used to think the foiled bubble wrap type blinds were a total waste of time.    I usually prefer to camp with minimum windows covered whenever privacy allows.  If it gets to cold though I will put them up in even the most remote of places.  I don't think there is any measurable improvement but there is no doubt that I feel slightly more comfortable.  In really extreme cold though, I found the bubble wrap blinds more effective wrapped around me inside the sleeping bag than on the windows.

The coldest areas in my van are the door pillars and the seat boxes.  Good insulation of my mattress stops the cold radiating from the seat boxes.  But as my bed is through into the cab, it places my lower back area right in line with the cold radiating off the door pillars.  In anything less than warm weather, the difference in temperature here is quite uncomfortable and surprisingly even worse than anything coming off the glass.  The difference can even be felt through an arctic sleeping bag.  I always carry a couple of camping mats  and if needed I slide one from front to back between the side of my bed and against the front and sliding doors.  This eliminates the cold spot completely.

I doubt very much that the mat actualy stops any heat transfer, but I think by spreading it's effects across a wider area it removes the concentrated cold spot and helps equalise the temperature around the van.  Whatever the temperature might be, I think we feel localised cooler spots as uncomfortable.

Another point is that  without an ongoing heat source and however well insulated, any van will eventually end up at same temperature as outside.  Usually we would be adding heat all the time by driving, heating, cooking and even body heat.  Park up for much more than 24hrs in sub zero with no additional heat and apart from protection from wind chill, temperatures will equalise.

Sorry if I go on but I think a very import and and interesting subject which I have spent many a cold night thinking about.  I do a lot of winter camping, usually in exposed and elevated areas and I wouldn't do it if uncomfortable.  I think the best, and perhaps most crucial aspect of staying warm in a van in bad conditions is to have a sleeping bag appropriate to the worst temperatures expected.
Electric runs out, heaters fail, gas freezes, etc.

I would still add insulation wherever I could though.  Even thin carpet covering exposed metal and plastic makes it feel less cold and that after all is what we want.

Last edited by OAT (2019-03-26 13:43:32)

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#9 2019-03-26 15:15:41

k_wyndham_t
Member
Registered: 2018-06-01
Posts: 22

Re: Insulation

I used two layers of bubble foil then used a Taxi headlining, the headlining itself is really thick and so must work quite well to insulate too.

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#10 2019-03-26 18:27:20

vaz2121
Member
From: SW. Scotland
Registered: 2015-08-31
Posts: 511

Re: Insulation

A very valid point O A T all vehicles insulated or not will sooner or later equalize to outside ambient temp...... The insulation just slows the process down .......... Haveing hauled/pulled various Temp controled trailers around Europe/UK  there is quite a cost in diesel dependent on what temp what trailer and of course where your going....... The farther south -25 frozen to valencia will burn a bit of fuel simply because of temp difference outside  obviously just the same if on return we could have the fridge set to +25 to help ripen e.g. Bannanas as the temp difference gets greater the more effort needed to maintain what you require within...and I can confirm that on insulated curtain sided trailers we burnt more diesel to maintain the cool chain requirement although not as extreme as -25 (more like 0 to+5 = chilled)

And as you say if your exposed on top of a a hill  the "Wind chill factor" will come into play

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