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Hey All,

Just purchased my brand new 2017 PM 2500 159" High Top yesterday, and am already excited about doing my research, and planning my conversion! As I mentioned in my introduction to the forum post, I won't be fully converting this fan for a few years or so (using it for my construction company for now), but figured I could slowly do the things that wouldn't get in the way of my business use, such as insulation, wall and ceiling coverings, temporary flooring, roof ventilation, swivel seats, etc.

I have a spray foam contractor friend who would give me a very good price on spraying my van with closed cell spray foam. I haven't seen this done too often, but my main question would be if it is worth it to spray foam into all of the channels and misc nooks and crannies that are all over the van. He has all of the special tips and injector tubes that would make it possible to pretty much insulate the entirety of it. Since some of the factory wiring is there, and I assume I may have some of my own wire runs in those channels, 1) Am I asking for trouble by locking it all in there? 2) Since the van is a big metal thermal bridge anyway, would it make a significant difference?

Thoughts? If there is anyone here who has done spray foam for their van, I would love to hear your input.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
If you can get a good price for spraying the van with urethane insulation, I think its a good way to go as long as the contractor has some experience with doing vans.

It is possible to deform the van skin if too much of the foam is sprayed on in one layer. If you ask the contractor about this and he is not familiar with the problem, I'd think twice about having him do it.

If you plan to add an electrical system in the back at some point, I'd figure out which of the frames you want to run wires in and not foam them. I filled some of the frame cavities with Great Stuff foam in a can, and it worked fine. But, some have reported problems with foaming the cavities like the foam not curing well and deformation as the foam cures. Maybe ask the contractor what he thinks?

Details on my DIY foam job: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/our-conversion-insulation/

Gary
 

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If I was using great stuff it would be the stuff for around doors and windows. It doesn’t push as hard and less likely to deform.
 

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I believe that I read on MsNomer build that there are small vents/holes for condensation to escape @ bottom of side panels.....best not to cover those....rust problem.....no experience myself but ....
 

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I believe that I read on MsNomer build that there are small vents/holes for condensation to escape @ bottom of side panels.....best not to cover those....rust problem.....no experience myself but ....
Sprayed properly and there should be no moisture there. It acts as it’s own moisture barrier.
 

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Two ways of looking at condensation: allow for it or prevent it. I assumed I would not be able to prevent it, so I allowed for it. The problem comes when you think you prevented it and didn't.
 

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Spray foam requires moisture from the air to start the catalyzing we see as rapid-set foam. Use a fogger style mister when doing large voids, keep adding small amounts of moisture as adding to something like the beams above the front seats... Without adding once its sealed the liquid turns into slime under pressure and drip for hours - cheap seat covers saved me while learning this...
 

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2015 Promaster 3500 159 Ext gas silver
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I used sheet polyurethane in the open areas and Great Stuff in the box beams and other nooks and crannies. One advantage of using the sheet foam is that your finish panels can be bonded directly to the foam whereas spray foam will leave an irregular surface. I placed most of my wiring & plumbing inside the insulated envelope so that it is accessible for repairs. I ended up buying all of my foam from a roofing materials distributor. They sell foam with FG on the surface which works very well with adhesives.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I can guarantee he probably hasn't done any vans before, but he did spray the interior of his own tool trailer with about 2" all around, so probably a similar concept there with the distortion of the metal concern. He has done plenty of spray foam jobs for me, so I know he is a very knowledgeable guy in his field.

Was not aware of the bottom weep holes, so that does make me wonder if it is worth the risk of completely sealing everything up if condensation would form and have nowhere to go....

I haven't gotten to the stage of thinking about wiring and electrical quite yet, but my intuition would be to keep as much of that on the interior of the van/home as possible, to keep things easy and accessible. Would have to figure out where to bring in the solar panel wires, but after that I think I would prefer to keep it all on the interior space, hidden of course.

I think dealing with the irregular surface would probably be difficult to trim, and would certainly take more time, but I don't think not having it 'bonded' to the polyiso sheets is a bad thing, since an air gap, even small, would theoretically help.
 

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I did this (spray foam insulation). A lot of work and not cheap. In the end, I found no improvement keeping the van cooler, and some improvement in keeping warmer and reducing noise. There are a very many nooks and crannies. I foamed some and stuffed thinsulate in the rest. I also installed a 3-layer thinsulate barrier between the cab and cargo area. On the floor I have a 1/2" fitted aftermarket rubber mat.

So somewhat disappointed with the result. I built a tiny house and the roof membrane "paint" I used on the entire exterior keeps the heat out quite well. Not saying to coat ("paint") your van but this would give a much better result. I'd say if you really want a good thermal result, build out the walls and install insulating panels. In this case the very many nooks and crannies are of no consequence. You of course loose some space and I did not want that. Also, I was interested in the concept of using foam in the otherwise unused spaces and not having to do any cutting and fitting (not my forte). I thought my van would be much cooler than it's oven in the sun but alas, not at all. (Note, my old white Econoline van was just as much the oven so it's not the color or model. This is why I wanted to invest in insulating my new PM.)

I black spray painted the foam except on the roof as I found this much more palatable in my dark gray van. I have found the foam on the wheel well covers is prone to damage from cargo but nothing I care about other than now there are chips without the black paint.
 
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