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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm about to supersize from a Promaster City Wagon (which I've loved) to a high top camper buildout. Primary question is how can I preserve interior height and still get some insulation both on floor and ceiling. I know I won't be able to stand tall in the vehicle.

Also, I assume with a bed going front to back the 159" wheel base is a better option for me. correct?

If you have advice for tall campers I'd appreciate it. I am enjoying several threads and have learned a great deal already so I hope not to be redundant in my questions.

I want to purchase soon and begin the work. thanks in advance.

halcannon
 

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A contributor here from Florida (Unik) insulated under the floor with rigid foam to help dodge super-heated pavement...


I admit that gives me the willies thinking of grass/trash fires winding under the van... But there may be a good solution like 0.032" aluminum sheet held off the foam by 1/2" or a stucco-like coating parged over the foil faces of poly-iso...
 

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Another option: The Pop-Top

While I did it for the kids to be able to sleep four, one unexpected positive is it adds a lot of headroom even with the pop-top down! I can just stand in a fully finished PM low top with the pop-top down (I'm 6'3"). This is just in the cut-out area, but that is the "living area" where you need it. That's more head room than a high top. Another plus is sleeping up there. I believe it is about 80" long.

And now I hear that Colorado Camper Van is doing pop-tops on high-tops. So if you need a ton of headroom, that would be it.
 

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I'm 6'3" and can fully stand in our high roof. I did 1" polyiso, 1/4" ply, 1/8" mass loaded vinyl, 1/8" floor for a total floor stack of ~1.5 inches. 3/4" polyiso with 1/8" ceiling covering, so just 1/8" drop below the ribs. You could drop down to 1/2" polyiso on the floor and get pretty close to being able to stand.

The floor insulation only helps in certain situations from a temperature perspective, but definitely helps with overall noise level.
 

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That insulation is good for 400º and reflective foil faced...
Rut-oh. Be careful with generalizations on possible occupied structures, got to protect our sleeping women, children and/or drunks... I've seen hidden plastics ignite on a car chassis from not very much heat. Actually noticed it out on the street from inside the house after running in to answer the phone... that much excitement probably is or should be illegal. Uniks' youtube channel had a Jul 13, 2015 video that showed what he used...

Johns-Mansville 800-series fiberglass board: Okay, that fiberglass is good to 800°F, but NOT a true foil, facing is limited to 150°F before PVC coating over foil/mylar degrades. (http://tinyurl.com/ycfhwb44) Too thin of plastic to be a fuel source hazard but it isn't metal foil.

So, the part of that insulation job worth worrying about is massive gobs & rows of Great Stuff Big Gap spray foam used in video -- > ". ..these products are combustible and will burn if exposed to open flame or sparks from high-energy sources. Do not expose to temperatures above 240ºF." That is exactly something to avoid since dried grass, leaves or trash happen. There is a fire-block spray foam that does degrade w/ incomplete burn from heat exposure, doesn't melt but chars in place to block flame spread, that and a good paint for a moisture barrier w/ fiberglass rigid board might be fine for remote boondocking, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I like the Transit but not crazy about rear wheel drive and also, I really have liked my Promaster City Wagon. Just minimizing the floor and ceiling insulation I think will be enough. thanks
 

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Thicker floor insulation under bed and cabinets can offset thinner in aisle area. That's what I did-1.75" vs .75". Carpet pieces where u walk feels great n adds very little thickness.
 
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Even though it won't help you, it'd be nice if taller buyers mentioned to Fiat/Chrysler that they should also manufacture the high-roof body for North America.

Our high roof ProMaster is actually the "mid-roof" Ducato, with the higher roof coming close to 7 feet of headroom; comparable to Transit and Sprinter high roofs.

For camper conversions the extra height would offer many additional design options.
 

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The highest roof Sprinters and Transits look top-heavy and awkward. The highest roof on the Ducato is hardly noticeable from our high (mid) roof, probably because it is balanced by our wide stance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I enjoyed reading about your PM conversion. Cool ideas. thanks. I'm looking at a used 2015 2500 hight top 159" diesel with 38K miles on it. Someone started to do a conversion but did not get too far. Its selling for around $25k and unfortunately at a MB dealer 1000 miles away. I'm tempted. Diesels are getting rare. I see you spend time in the hot and dry of AZ. Have you ever heard of anyone using a TurboKool evaporative cooler. I'm a desert rat so like swamp coolers. They are so simple and take little power.

best, Hal Cannon
 

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Hal- I am quite familiar with evaporative coolers as I have a large MasterCool for my home there. It is perfect in the dry desert environment and can make our house too cool to be comfortable so it is on a thermostat to cycle it on and off.
I made a cooler for my van that uses a small pump and the Fantastic Fan. See:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50722&highlight=evaporative
I have no experience nor do I know anyone with a TurboKool. I have looked at them and felt they were expensive for what they must be. Spending time in the North-East in the summer I have less confidence that they would be fully effective here. Hot weather in the SW (avoiding the monsoon season) would make one worth a try. I assume we would have plenty of power to run their fan and pump unlike AC which would be useless off grid.
RD
 
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