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Discussion Starter #1
How goes it Promaster community!

Purchased a used 2017 Promaster 2500 with 15k miles on it, so pretty much new. After what seemed like 100 hours of insulation research, I still cant make up my mind weather I want to instal insulation or not.

Currently living in Santa Cruz and will likely stay here or as far north as Oakland for the next few years - temperatures range from lowest 40 degrees to at MOST 90.

** I'd love to hear from California (or similar temperature ranges) van dwellers and their experience with or without insulation **

I'm honestly leaning towards going with out and heres my argument (please I'd love to hear arguments against them!) :

Moisture/ condensation:
Installing a maxxfan to allow good ventilation to combat the moisture.
Rain shields on the windows so I can crack them even when its raining.

Cold weather:
Investing in a really good sleeping bag and heavy blankets. I also have a big doggo I cuddle with :)
Ive also heard good things about small heaters??

Sound:
Wearing earplugs if its ever loud - not much of a worry though, very heavy sleeper.

Heat:
If its ever a nice hot day, I can't imagine wanting to spend it in a van???
Maxx fan and windows down and a quick drive around the block seems like it would cool it down.

I see my van as mainly a sleeping vessel, I'm going to be spending a majority of my time outside of it. I don't need it to be a luxurious thing where I'm needing for it to be comfortable all the time.

Thanks for taking the time to read!
Peace,
Nikko
 

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Insulate! No need to spend big money or even a lot of time on it. Forget all the sound deadening junk and just put 2" rigid foam in the walls and 1" in the ceiling. Cut it with a hand saw or serrated knife and if you really want to go crazy pick up a can or two of Great Stuff door and window foam (low expansion).you shouldnt have to spend more than $150 max and it will be just as good as a $600 job.
 

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Not exactly a van dwelling, but in my younger days I dwelt for a while in an uninsulated camper shell on the back of a Chevy LUV pickup.

Basically a ping pong table set over top of the wheelwells in the bed with a foam pad over top. All my possessions were below deck, the side "bubble" windows where covered with sheets and I had small awning windows on the sides. I slept in a down sleeping bag.

This was both semi-stealth camping in Mountain View and San Diego. Took a few trips to Santa Cruz and stayed in the Big Basin Redwood park for a while.

Never really got all that cold, a few times on the hot side in the Bay area. But at the time very few people had decent insulation or air conditioning anyway, so we just suffered through. Temperature never really bothered me much, but both locales are pretty mild and I was rarely in the desert, mountains or interior valleys, more often on the coast.

As they say, you can drive to pick your weather in CA. I'd say how much you insulate depends on where you want to go.
 

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I think a few evenings between dark outside and bedtime (hours really in the winter when it’s cold) would convince you to insulate the van! Its that time you need to be thinking about. Your own heat (and the dog) will make a remarkable difference in an insulated van and almost none in a bare van. Back in the day we carried a large candle in our VW bug, not to heat- it as you know they were not too good at producing heat, but for winter emergencies. If caught in blizzard or overnight with a mechanical issue and none on the roads to help, you just light the candle, bundle in the blankets we also carried and you would wake up alive. It’s not a small thing. We seldom use heat overnight down to 32º but we do run our Espar from 6pm - 9pm to be able to read, cook and eat dinner, and watch a video comfortably before we get in bed. At 40º+ you will need less heat but you will suffer if you don’t insulate!
 

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We use our DIY campervan for (at most) 2 or 3 night camping, sometimes interspersed with hotels. Camped from NH (up) to FL (down)

No winter camping, just April to October stuff. My van is a window van (not much insulation there)... no reflectix window covers, just cellular shades... insulation below the windows... working on the ceiling now, so our trips until now have been with a bare metal ceiling above.

Observations:

For hot days, the Maxxaire has done a fine job of cooling down a warm van, but it cools down when the sun goes down anyway. And I park in a site with shade if at all possible.

For cold nights, I carry a 120V 1500W space heater that has "taken the edge off" when it was as cold as 45 out at night. Off when sleeping but nice & cozy when we get up and turn it on. We use a sheet and a wool comforter for sleeping if it's cold. Or start the van and run it for 15 minutes with the heater on.... the heat will drive you out of the van!

Then there's the rain... if you haven't experienced the inside of a metal van with no ceiling insulation or cover, I can tell you.... it's LOUD! :D But, rather relaxing after a while! ;)
I guess it depends a lot on YOUR plans and uses...
 
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