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Discussion Starter #1
So, I have read over threads in a variety of forums for building headliners.

I was prepared to use 1/16" ABS sheeting over thinsulate batting, then glue carpet or headliner fabric over the sheets, but, I am concerned about moisture accumulating behind the sheets.

So my question is this:

Could I insulate with thinsulate batts and use carpet alone to cover the ceiling and hold the batts in place without a structural surface? I'd use contact glue to attach the batts to the sheet metal. The carpet would be lightweight I/O, attached to the central ribs with a strip of ABS.

My only concern would be if the carpet sagged, so I have some ideas about how to pull the carpet tighter, possibly gluing the strips to the carpet or using some kind of tacking to gipo the carpet, then slotting the strips so they can be used to tension the carpet.
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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Not a good idea. Thinsulate needs to expand to almost 2" so this idea would compress the Thinsulate, which reduces its effectiveness.

You should not be concerned with moisture if you are using Thinsulate and ABS sheets. What do you think the moisture will do to these materials? I would do the ABS sheets or Lauan wood and wrap in carpet or headliner fabric. I used Lauan and wrapped in foam backed vinyl. Looks great.
 

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The space for insulation is almost exactly 1" between the ribs of the ceiling. Why not glue rigid insulation that won't collect moisture such as polyisocyanurate which us foil covered and then glue and attach the sheet to it and the ribs. I didn't opt for the sheet goods and just glued headliner material to the insulation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The space for insulation is almost exactly 1" between the ribs of the ceiling. Why not glue rigid insulation that won't collect moisture such as polyisocyanurate which us foil covered and then glue and attach the sheet to it and the ribs. I didn't opt for the sheet goods and just glued headliner material to the insulation.
This ^ is an option, probably easier up front, but it makes doing alterations more difficult once the headliner material is glued to the sheets.

So the reason I'm worried about moisture trapping is more a problem with rust from condensation that the materials being affected; though I suppose moisture is not great for wiring or glue.

The space is one inch, which is what I planned to use; ie 1" batting.

The question I have is whether a thicker headliner like I/O carpet could be suspended without sagging; the batting woudl be glued in place, so it woudln't put much weight on the headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So RD, I was looking at your outfitting and it gave me some good ideas, thanks for the pics!

What I'm thinking now is that I'll use the rigid sheets, attach the headliner to the sheets, but not glue the sheets in place.

Instead I will use strips running along the ribs to hold the sheet/headliner assemblies in place!

The bulkhead storage will cover the ends where the headliner junctions the walls, so that's an easy cover up, I just need to figure out a nice transition at the back and side doors.

I might just get something done this weekend other than my house remodel!!
 

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The front is not too bad, you can taper a piece of solid wood from the center to each edge, mark the thickness which changes along the van. The same idea can be done at the back but it is harder to make a tapered piece and also curved along the roof. I left the rear light in place and made it work. The strips along the ribs worked very well and in my case they are removed to add or adjust wiring as it runs in the ribs. The sheet goods should work great. Lots of waste though as they will be something like 29 inches wide by the width of the van. My error may have been in cutting the insulation sheets 4' long so each roof section has a seam.... something I can find now and that I could have avoided. The headliner I got at Joann's didn't cover imperfections as well as I thought it might. The side door is easy, a piece of your sheet goods from the door top to the roof material.
Best luck, you will make it work.
 
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