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Discussion Starter #1
Getting ready to order insulation... man, I've never been more confused!!
Tons of suggestions, but that's kind of the problem... I was hoping that there
was one preferred product.

Having said that, I'm debating between Thinsulate or rigid foam insulation board.
However, today I found this foam sheeting from Promaster Acessories. It's pre-cut
to fit the PM and the backside has a psa adhesive... it glues directly on the sheet metal
and supposedly aids in noise reduction and also has an R-value of 38 at 80 degrees. I have
no idea if that's a good rating or not, and it's also very expensive... but looks like it would
save a lot of time.

Has anyone used this product or have any opinions about it?

Here's a link http://www.promasteraccessories.com/insulation.php

Thanks,
Tom
 

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People who are not familiar with a procedure or a product invariably go overboard. They mistakenly over do everything thinking that if "X" is good then "XY" will be much better..

I've worked with insulation in my career for well over 50 years and I can assure that just as long as you do a fairly decent job it makes no difference what you use. The product you linked to is fine but certainly very overpriced and I find the supposed R value of 38 to be a stretch at best. There is NO, I repeat, NO valid reason to adhere most insulation to the exterior body of the van, especially with any stiff product. If anything it is a poor idea and totally un necessary especial with foam based products. It will not squeak. Insulation works by creating entrapped air in the product. Pack insulation in more that designed and you defeat its purpose not make it better. There is NO reason not to simply buy inexpensive foam panels from the local box store as thick as will reasonable fit in the void and place them in place, hold them temporarily in place with tape of some type and use door & window foam from a can (Great Stuff, for example) to fill any voids in the panel. Do not use regular foam from a can or have it professionally foamed as it will over expand and cause you body to have strange bulges.

You should easily be able to buy enough foam insulation to insulate a 159 van from top to bottom for well under $300!

People make insulation a van much, much more complicated and difficult than necessary because they are afraid and/or just simply don't know any better.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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When I asked promasteraccessories how are they are getting r-38, they said the r-38 number comes from the supplier, the end.

It's to good to be true, run away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Kov,

Are you saying there's no need to use the Great Stuff to glue the rigid panels to van?
Everything I was reading about this process claims you should or moisture can
get behind the panels and not be able to dry out.

In your build are the panels loose to van walls, but held in place by Great Stuff around the edges?

You're correct, researching this had convinced me that insulating the van is super complicated.
In my case, it's both... I'm afraid... and I don't know any better :).

Thanks for helping.
 

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Use it to fill in gaps around the edges. You are only treating problems for yourself by gluing everything down and the van is designed with drains for any condensation that might occurs at the bottom of the sides - don't fill them in.
Unless you have a wet bath inside your van you shouldn't be getting any condensation problems anyhow.

Be aware that many others here will vehemently call me crazy and a few that know better will agree but that is the nature of life. Remember, more is not always better, especially concerning insulation. Do your best and it will be fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Phil,

I'll definitely read through this.

Is this the method you used?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Kov,

No wet bath... this is going to be a mobile work shop. We fantasize about using it for camping in the future,
but for now it's how we pay our bills.

We (wife & I) work in this thing all day, so air conditioning in summer and a heater in the winter is needed.
The only time we have a condensation problem in our current van is on extremely wet humid days...
everything gets coated with moisture. Hope to improve this in our new van with better venting.

Thanks for all your helpful comments.
Where in New England are you from? We're in Connecticut.

Thanks again.
 

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I just returned from the Cape of Cod and we slept with the van closed by mistake one night, temperature in the 50’s and humid anyway. All the metal and glass in the van was dripping in the morning. Ventilation is your friend so have some awning type windows and a vented fan to fix it. We don’t run the fan at night unless it is hot and have not had the condensation problem in any significant way with our camper awning windows open an inch or two and the Fantastic Vent open a couple of inches.
KOV and I are both in NH.
As for the insulation KOV is right but using the progun and great stuff is so easy and allows you to slightly undercut the edges that it is worth it. A fabric product like Hein’s Thinsulate to pull inside the ribs would be a good additional product.
https://www.amazon.com/GOCHANGE-Exp...rd_wg=uIoFN&psc=1&refRID=42WETFM6KCY1MWAXQW29
https://www.amazon.com/GREAT-STUFF-...rd_wg=uIoFN&psc=1&refRID=42WETFM6KCY1MWAXQW29
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3M-Thinsula...hash=item1ead2f222b:m:mQsMt9R9kVO_5FNr6jaI3KQ
 
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Take my info and credibility for what it's worth. One could go crazy reading thru insulation threads about what's better or worse. If a diy'er stops in and asks what I recommend I'll tell him what I'm using currently, my preference changes periodically. I like to mix things up and try new things. I'm a believer that something is better than nothing, if a product comes on the market and I believe it to be decent I'll try it out. That being said I've tried most things on the market except for spray foam. I always start with a resonance dampening then insulate from there. After dampening I use closed cell foam yoga mats and foil backed blue jean insulation on top of that, then fill in the gaps with recycled jean material. This is the process for my personal vehicles. For client builds we do dampening, and foil backed blue jean material making sure to leave an air gap along the bottom so gravity and airflow can do their work.

We have a meetup at our shop every Wednesday and once I took the laser thermometer and shot the outside and insides of everyone's rigs (15) give or take a couple, there was really no noticeable difference to write home about. Some are really high dollar builds over 100k and others simple home builds. That's why I say something is better than nothing. I'm planning my lt40 build and I've been collecting wool sweaters from thrift stores that I plan to use. To each their own, when you couple the insulation with a fan and a heater most folks will be happy with whatever they decide on. Spend a little or spend a lot, I can count most temperature differences 1 hand between a $100 job and $1000 job.

Here's a little experiment for those who live in Arizona in the summer and North Dakota in the winter. If the vehicle is sitting closed up with no airflow from a fan or heater that vehicle in Arizona during the summer is going to be hot regardless of the insulation. Same being said for the North Dakota rig in winter. Yes insulation helps but it's nothing to lose sleep over unless you don't have a fan or heater:)

That's my experience
 

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DuroSpan Insulation Board

I was at home depot looking at the Polyiso board as I will be insulating soon -- next to it I saw this DuroSpan Insulation Board and don't remember you guys mentioning it. I searched here for "DuroSpan" and had no results.

It's 2" thick, has a slightly higher R-value than the 1" Polyiso and has foil on one side.


 

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They've added a trick to the ancient white 'styrofoam' insulation panels by adding a thin film vapor barrier on each side - the stuff absorbs moisture, long term R value of 3.9 per inch and I'm not finding the working temperature specs online... 200°F is possible on bright sunny windless days.

Also remember the flammability limit building codes on products like this depend on 1/2 of gypsum Sheetrock board between it and the living space, seeking out the lowest risk insulation would be a plus. The polyiso foam board I believed was the safest happens to the the product used on the London Grenfell Tower exterior cladding: given enough sustained heat & open flame it merrily burned but the time it took to reach that point was longer than competing products.
 

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"The polyiso foam board I believed was the safest happens to the the product used on the London Grenfell Tower exterior cladding:"

Source?
 

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The cladding had polyethylene core.

The build had polyiso exterior insulation https://www.celotex.co.uk/

Real world testing, styrofoam cups hold hot liquids as long as the temp is below 212, Dart cup manufacturer

How long? Don't know.

If your insulation is burning I would get out of the van, styrofoam and burning are always connected for some reason.

You can heat and bend styrofoam at around 165° and somewhere north of 212° it flows.
 

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I was at home depot looking at the Polyiso board as I will be insulating soon -- next to it I saw this DuroSpan Insulation Board and don't remember you guys mentioning it. I searched here for "DuroSpan" and had no results.

It's 2" thick, has a slightly higher R-value than the 1" Polyiso and has foil on one side.
Hi,
The picture looks like styrofoam. It has a worse R value per inch than polyiso, but, to me, the worst thing about it is that is maximum service temperature is about 165F, so on a hot day the styrofoam near the van skin would likely degrade or melt from the high temperature.
I've melted quite a bit of styrofoam in solar projects -- finally just stopped using it.

-----------

Overland -- not understanding why you would want to use a cotton based insulation that absorbs water?

Gary
 
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