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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Thanks all for valuable input and ideas! There are indeed a lot of knowledgeable and experienced users in this forum :)



Thanks, I'll look more into what options I have in this regard. I've also seen the health concerns regarding different types of mineral wool, at least if not properly incapsulated. After all, I'd like to make a healthy living environment :)

I might also have to test my approach during the winter, and add a layer if it is not sufficient. For example, I'm planning on 25mm (1") Armaflex on the bulkhead and headspace section, so I guess I'll have to test this in practise to see if its sufficient (this is to save precious space, and also oddly shaped parts where its hard to fit solid insulation panels).

Regarding the ribs, all good and valid points. I'll make sure to cover all metal faces, after all, this is where most air is most likely to condensate first. My initial idea however, was that stuffing ribs with some sort of "soft insulation material" is a very quick and easy fix, if it adds any benefit that is.



I might be reading too much into this though, who knows. Anyways, all of these polyethylene based products (adhesives and / or sealant products) like Great Stuff, as far as I can see are highly toxic (at least until cured). Now, having said that, I believe products made for indoors use obviously should be OK to use and not pose a health risk, even long term. But now, since I've been reading up on the safety data sheets on all these products (I'm probably the only one bothered to actually open these boring manuals :D), I've decided to go the route of some more environmental friendly and Isocyanate-free products. The downside of course is that they cost 3 times as much, but I'm willing to pay, at least for ease of mind. I'm probably being paranoid, this is the "no skills" part of me doing research of stuff I know little to nothing about, but I can live with being called paranoid just fine ;)

As for the insulation panels I've ordered aluminium face PIR panels from a Finnish company FinnFoam that make them for their saunas. If they can use it in their highly moist saunas, I surely can use it in my van :D

As for your other question. I will use the van for weekend trips to the mountains for skiing, and my more "long-term" plan is to quit my job and go around Europe for a year or two living in the van. So I wanted to prepare it, at least to a degree, to handle both hot and cold weather. When I say cold, it's not extremely cold, maybe -10degC give or take.



Maybe my math is completely wrong, but how do you get those extreme numbers? I mean, the PIR panels I'm looking at I'm looking at is rated to 0.022 W/mK. A thickness of 50mm should be around R=2,27? (0,05/0,022). My math is probably ****.. or maybe mineral wool is the way to go after all ;)
Hi,
Remember R value ins US units is about 5.7 times greater than R value in SI units.

US R value is in: sqft - F - hr / BTU
SI Rvalue is in: sqm - K / W


I did do a test on the Armaflex type material - basically just like the test mentioned above for the other materials. My conclusion was that it looks like a good material. It insulates well, and did not absorb any measurable amount of moisture. Its so easy to bend around corners and curves - very nice to work with. Only downside I saw was the expense.

Gary
 

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Interesting. what types of fasteners are you suggesting I should use for PT wood then? I might just get regular wood for the rest of the van to avoid such headaches. Did not think of that.
This is one of those things I haven't really researched. I guess the treatment can cause corrosion.
Do contractors always use galvanized nails at interior shear walls where the plywood is nailed to the PT sill plate? I doubt they switch out their nail guns for the bottom of the wall. Personally I guess I'd grab a bag/box of HDG (hot dipped galvanized) screws since that's easy enough.

Here is what Simpson says about fasteners in dry applications:

"The mudsill is a location that is considered dry in comparison to a deck, for example. For wood that is installed and remains dry, the corrosion potential will be comparatively low. Regarding code issues, section R317.3.1 of the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) addresses fasteners for pressure-, preservative-, and fire-retardant-treated wood; Bolts of ½" and greater do not need to be hot-dip galvanized steel, stainless steel, silicon bronze or copper."​
I haven't read much of the IRC, but it looks like they consider dry applications to have low enough corrosion for 1/2" fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Hi,
Remember R value ins US units is about 5.7 times greater than R value in SI units.

US R value is in: sqft - F - hr / BTU
SI Rvalue is in: sqm - K / W


I did do a test on the Armaflex type material - basically just like the test mentioned above for the other materials. My conclusion was that it looks like a good material. It insulates well, and did not absorb any measurable amount of moisture. Its so easy to bend around corners and curves - very nice to work with. Only downside I saw was the expense.

Gary
Aha, of course, that makes perfect sense :)

Regarding Armaflex, indeed it is more expensive, thats why I'm only using it for the curvy and hard to reach bits in the van. I was actually thinking of using a 50mm type in the roof, but I got a quote today from my local supplier, 600$ for 5m2 (whatever that is in square-feet). So thats a no! PIR all the way it is :)
 

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The type of fasteners you use would be dictated from the type of PT.

Remember @aaronmcd & I are in North America so your PT could be different chemicals than ours ( Canada & USA). In Canada it is typically;

CCA
ACQ
Borate

Yours has a colour of borate (but that is from my memory of looking at your photos a few days ago - I have spotty Internet where I am currently)
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
It's time for an update I guess. And I'm embarrassed about my lack of real progress, but I'll get it together now that I'm out of "winter depression". It's been the two worst months in as far as I can remember, only raining and really shitty weather, so I've focused on skiing and drinking :D Anyway, I've done quite some extensive research on electrical systems and how to build a bathroom, so I've made use of the last months to do research and planning. Hopefully that will help me speed up my build going forward.

Anyways, from last time when I was asking you guys questions about insulation, I'm now almost finished insulating the van. I've complete the PIR insulation and managed to source some Thinsulate which I stuff into all small spaces, pillars, ducts and so on. Its quite time consuming getting the insulation everywhere, especially the hard to get areas, where I've pioneered a "pull the insulation by a string" method I've developed. I've pulled thinsulate into all the door- and window frames, and every other possible place where there could be a thermal bridge. I've used Armaflex in the difficult places like inside the doors, wheel wells, etc. I might get some mineral wool in the end, for the big spaces, and seal it off properly, otherwise thinsulate will be quite costly in the end.

I also made to size cardboard batteries to help me design the garage space. Also, I've placed all the gear I will bring in the van in the garage space to see how much garage space I need, especially how tall the bed frame needs to be. Luckily it seems it will fit everything I need.

A few new mistakes I've made:
  • Installing PIR insulation first. I've now blocked off access to quite a few places where I'm now struggling to get the thinsulate in, like those semi-open wall channels.
  • Waiting with the framework and wooden structure until insulation is installed. Should have started with the wooden frames.. would have made things easier.
  • Waiting with cables until wooden frame and insulation is installed. Should have installed some conduit at least in the process, now its too late.
  • Non compatible plusnuts (tool was too small). Now I have many "spinning" plusnuts in the sockets. That is oh so annoying. Not sure how I will fix it though..maybe sikaflex to the rescue.

A few pictures follows :)

Next steps, I really need to pull some cables before its too late..

Anyways, sorry for the lack of updates, there will be more in the coming months. Its finally above zero outside, so its slightly more comfortable working on the van :)

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
There are plenty of ways to hide them before the walls go up. I intentionally didn't hide mine before insulation, so they were reachable, in the event of as problem.
Yeah, I'll figure something out. It was just frustrating when my master plan with pre-pulled conduit all of a sudden did not work out as I imagined it :) Todays lesson, try and think more than one step ahead :D
 

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I’m running my wiring purposely as much as possible inside cabinets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 · (Edited)
I’m running my wiring purposely as much as possible inside cabinets.
Yes, thats what I will do as well. But there are a few cables that needs to go in the walls, ceiling lights, Maxxfan, etc. I think I have figured out what I need. But, for someone that just recently figured out the difference between AC and DC, well, it was quite some work to figure out what I needed :)
 

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Yes, thats what I will do as well. But there are a few cables that needs to go in the walls, ceiling lights, Maxxfan, etc. I think I have figured out what I need
I did regret it on the ceiling, more for how my furring was placed (i have a tin ceiling, furring in 24x24 squares) so I had to do a lot of jerry rigging, redoing... Figuring out what to do when did not come easy, for a multitude of reasons. My build was like a puzzle, with lots of trial and error.
 

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My build was like a puzzle, with lots of trial and error.
I've done two conversions now and started both with a "solid" plan that changed substantially mid build. I think that having your initial plan blow up is a requirement for joining the RV Conversion Club.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I've done two conversions now and started both with a "solid" plan that changed substantially mid build. I think that having your initial plan blow up is a requirement for joining the RV Conversion Club.
I'm starting to get that feeling too :) I had to redesign the bed solution today too. I've designed everything to the last detail on paper, and suddenly, standing inside the car and taking measurements I realise that its not even close to going to work :p Or the impossible struggle to align the ceiling lights perpendicular and evenly when the frame cross-beams get in the way..
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Finally! I got to the point where I can start building the interior :) I've put up a vapor barrier and sealed off everything, so now its time to actually build something where I can see some progress. I've only left a few spots open where I plan to cut holes in the chassis, rear fan / air intake and a gas water heater on the side. My OCD is not happy with taping the cables directly on the insulation (as opposed to pulling it inside the frame as I should have), but give it a few days, and I might be able to sleep properly again. I've pulled cables to ceiling lights and roof fans too..

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Slooowly making some progress. I've had to redesign things again, as dimensions and placement of things just don't match my carefully planned drawings :) For example, I realised the top loading fridge I already have, won't fit under the seating area as a planned (on sliding drawers), so I've had to scrap that design and thinking of buying another fridge that will fit in a cabinet.

I've prepared and treated the panels for the walls, so these will go up soon (thinking for simplicity to mount the ceiling first though). I've also done some more fun stuff, and as you can see from one of the pictures, I've got some of the electronics and finding best placement of the equipment (on a wheel well cutout).

I do have one question for you guys though. I've been thinking of "redesigning" the air- and water heating solution. Originally, I planned for a diesel heater (Webasto) and a separate propane water heater for shower / tap (IMASS). I'm opting for the quality brands for peace of mind when it comes to this type of equipment, although I've seen many people are happy with the "chinese diesel heaters". I don't like to gamle with monoxide poisoning, and also try to minimise the amount of equipment inside the cabin using propane. However, I recently came across a combined device from Truma, air- and water heater in one unit (with a 10L hot water tank), which looks like a very good fit for me: Combi D 6 E - Inform now.

Anyone with experience with these units? They seem to be "popular" in professional builds. The upside is one less unit on propane, takes less space, and most importantly, it has a very small footprint on the outside of the van. As I'm trying to make the van as "stealth" as possible, this unit has only a small air vent / inlet as opposed to the regular propane heaters with bigger faceplates.
The downside? The ridiculous price, as it will set me back approx $4000 (keep in mind though, things are generally a lot more expensive where I live than the US).

Also added a picture of some snowboard fun this weekend.. :)

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Slowly making some progress. Panels on the walls, its soo nice to actually see a big difference, looks like progress :) So I've put all the panels on the walls, painted. I know, its going to be a pain in the ass making the cutouts in the van for later, but delivery time for my water / diesel heater is 6 months+, so I figured i'll postpone that problem to future self.

Also mounted some of the electric equipment, getting ready to connect stuff as I go along. I also tried to drill a hole in the bulkhead to connect a DC-DC charger to my battery, but I guess the circular drills a had was for wood and not metal.. have to try again.

Finally I've made the framework for the shower. Took a long time to get everything straight and perpendicular and in level. My bathroom panels will be here in two weeks time, so the rest of the inventory will be built based in the shower corner..

Since the waiting time is so long for most electronics these days, I've made most of it in cardboard to design everything around it.. like the fridge and water heater. Hope I've made it to spec and close enough :)

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Go Flysurfer!! Where do you kite? Or do you snow kite? I think you'll have more room than you can imagine under the bed. I store 15 kites, 2 TTs, 2 surfboards, 2 foilboards, 4 foil setups, 8 wetsuits, harnesses, helmets, bars, etc. And stuff for living in the van full time.
 
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