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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a lot of videos from the Sprinter van conversions regarding sealing up the side trim panels (or whatever they are called. The plastic panels that clip through the wall into the cargo space). Once I got to remove my wall panels in the Promaster, I noticed sort of a similar thing, side panels seemingly fastened with some clips straight through. I have not come across any tips or videos specifically for this on the Promaster, are this panels already weather sealed, or will moist and water get through at any point? This of course matters when insulating the van, as I do not want to get any moisture into the insulation. I was thinking of maybe taking of the panels and sealing the clips.

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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You could run a bead of clear sealant where the black trim meets the metal.
 

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I didn't seal any of these spots, nor am I worried in the least. Reason being that I used XPS foam sheeting and secured it by using thin vertical lines of spray foam adhesive. Any moisture that might make its way in there has a direct gravity assisted path out, and there's nothing there to absorb water.
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Hi @McNulty

I often ponder what the right thing to do is. I think for the walls polyiso foil faced, possibility aluminum foil taped raw edges, vertical spray foam adhesive lines as detailed above by @JohnnyRambles .

Also I would start by cleaning all surfaces from debris like what is shown in your 1st photo (Im not convinced it will stay clean, but best to start out that way before insulating).

Also looking at your photo there was a “coating” spill “yellowish” epoxy looking runs down the wall. This liquid ran past the joint into what we refer to as the “lower rocker panels”. These rocker panels have drain holes & grommet plugs at the bottom of them as drains. My point is condensation or water will run down to the rocker panels & hopefully outside the van.

Now getting to your question; you can attempt to “leak proof” every hole, trim plug, etc with sealants. I believe that is a difficult task. Also depending upon how you use the van you could get condensation form on the inside of say the cold van skin. Not only should the insulation be “hydrophobic” IMO it should be closed as not to allow water accumulation or transfer. The insulation I am describing is Polyiso foilfaced with taped or sealed edges, or XPS, or spray foam. I would not use XPS on the walls or ceilings.

In the case of a van with an exterior metal skin (vapour barrier on the cold side of the envelope - dewpoint), it is a difficult problem to overcome.

I think the biggest threat is the sealant joints on the roof - those can fail and leak. That is one reason why I place the roof fan on the highest “flat - no corrugated” part of the roof.

Good Luck with whatever you decide upon !
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hi @McNulty

I often ponder what the right thing to do is. I think for the walls polyiso foil faced, possibility aluminum foil taped raw edges, vertical spray foam adhesive lines as detailed above by @JohnnyRambles .

Also I would start by cleaning all surfaces from debris like what is shown in your 1st photo (Im not convinced it will stay clean, but best to start out that way before insulating).

Also looking at your photo there was a “coating” spill “yellowish” epoxy looking runs down the wall. This liquid ran past the joint into what we refer to as the “lower rocker panels”. These rocker panels have drain holes & grommet plugs at the bottom of them as drains. My point is condensation or water will run down to the rocker panels & hopefully outside the van.

Now getting to your question; you can attempt to “leak proof” every hole, trim plug, etc with sealants. I believe that is a difficult task. Also depending upon how you use the van you could get condensation form on the inside of say the cold van skin. Not only should the insulation be “hydrophobic” IMO it should be closed as not to allow water accumulation or transfer. The insulation I am describing is Polyiso foilfaced with taped or sealed edges, or XPS, or spray foam. I would not use XPS on the walls or ceilings.

In the case of a van with an exterior metal skin (vapour barrier on the cold side of the envelope - dewpoint), it is a difficult problem to overcome.

I think the biggest threat is the sealant joints on the roof - those can fail and leak. That is one reason why I place the roof fan on the highest “flat - no corrugated” part of the roof.

Good Luck with whatever you decide upon !
Hi, and thank you for the detailed explanation.

And yes, as you have noticed, I have not cleaned the inside of the van yet. I am of course working on that :) Every surface will be properly cleaned before I do anything (sound deadening first tho). I'm just planning a little bit ahead, as I saw this when I started cleaning the van.

My plan so far is to use polyiso panels on all the flat surfaces, and foam to seal them in place and inside the struts (?) and other hard the reach areas ("closed cell" type as I understand. Still having a hard time finding the correct type though). XPS for the floor. I don't want to leave any exposed skin where warm air can condensate. For those non-flat surfaces, like wheel wells I plan to use Armaflex (also hydrophobic).

As for the lower rocker panels than, I just imagined that sealing off the entire area could potentially lead to condensation behind the insulation, but as you say, since it's a "drainage channel" it might be better to leave it open to allow water to escape? I've been looking at many conversions online (and at this forum too) and found it strange that none has mentioned the side panels as far as I can see. I mean, if they were leaking, only the slightest, then surely it would become a problem for any DYI self build. so I'm just trying to find the right approach for insulation in this lower channel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't seal any of these spots, nor am I worried in the least. Reason being that I used XPS foam sheeting and secured it by using thin vertical lines of spray foam adhesive. Any moisture that might make its way in there has a direct gravity assisted path out, and there's nothing there to absorb water.
Thanks for the tip! Basically, you left a path open to the drainage holes in the bottom, so not sealing up the entire channel. I will definitely look at this approach!

In my mind I just thought I had to seal up the entire channel, don't know what gave me that idea. Anyway, I've seen a few youtube videos from people stuffing rockwool and other non-hydrophobic insulation material down in that channel, and I thought "this is going to get moist or wet at some point" unless everything is sealed off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Started cleaning today, and «luckily» it was poring down. I noticed that from at least two of those panel lights the water was coming in pretty heavy.. dripping continously of water droplets.. so, I’m not going to leave that water flow to chance :p so it looks like they are coming off after all ;)
 

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The streaks in your inside photo aren't coming from the trim fasteners, which all look fine.

PM bodies are galvanized and don't rust out like (older?) Sprinters. PM rust stains/streaks seem to stay cosmetic. On PMs, the plastic trim fasteners are mostly down inside the rocker panels, which have rubber drain plugs under the van that can be pulled to check for and drain any accumulated water. You are right, it's a bad idea to insulate inside the rocker panels. There is also no benefit since it's below the floor.

What year is your PM? My 2017 3500ext doesn't have rear side-marker lights.
 
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