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Old 01-15-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
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insulation

any advise on pros and cons for insulating floor,walls, ceiling. thinsulate, rigid foam, expanding foam, etc. or combo? where with which is best?
starting my first conversion with a 2016 MB 4x4.
thanks!
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:25 PM   #2
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Allswell, I'm gonna give you one piece of advice which I wish I had before doing it.
I've got an e350 and because of the way that Ford build vehicle bodies, it's pretty hard to get to the little holes between the metal sheets. I decided to use great stuff foam to fill everything up. After like 40 cans and a week I and my wife finished, the stuff is nasty, it sticks everywhere and once dries it'll take days to get out of your skin or hair and it'll never ever come out of clothes.
Now the advice, every time I get in the van and the fan was not running you can smell the foam, it also smells nasty, pretty sure there's a lot off VOC on it and since the area inside is small, the smell releases in no time, we have to keep the fan running constantly which is a pita at night when is cold because we have a propex furnance that we can run more efficiently without the fan pulling the air out, the insulation works pretty well though it can get below freezing and we would be pretty toasty inside .... If I was to do it again, I would choose something voc free or low voc, something like wool would do the trick and have many extra benefits to it, this is the one part in your conversion where you don't want to go cheap, think about air quality since space is small.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:42 PM   #3
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Seems like the choice these dsys is Thinsulate SM600L. It's a polyester insulation I believe. Works really well. Use spray adhesive to apply. Also dampens sound.


Definitely put some sound deadening on your panels. Helps with killing the deeper sounds and the thinsulate works well with higher pitch.



Reflectix is another good layer to add and it's cheap.



Google Van insulation and you will see a ton of posts and videos.



Rock wool is ok if you know it will be closed up and not get wet.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #4
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Thermozite is a good product as well.
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Old 01-15-2019, 03:53 PM   #5
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SM Texas insulation

I am concerned re the insulation package offered by SM Texas. No sound dampening. The walls have a denim fiber fill with 1/4" reflectix on ceiling. No vapor barrier - is this a problem? The extreme insulation package adds more reflectix in walls and ceiling and cork on the floor. Does this seem "enough"?
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:03 PM   #6
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Garage
First of were do you live? Dry climate or wet/ humid? We basically use different products depending on where the van is going to be most the time. Thinsulate if some where like pacific Nw, we also use a lot of thermozite too. I’ve got lots of thermozite & denium in my van along with reflective. I also have a lot of sound barrier.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:21 PM   #7
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I’ve searched this subject a lot and haven’t really found any definitive answers. Many people have their own theories and opinions.

I started insulating my van using a combination of Thinsulate SM400L and Reflectix. I found the 400 version very manageable (and less $) because it is a bit thinner than the 600. The Thinsulate is an acoustic insulation, so it helps tremendously with sound dampening. I am still working on the voyager style top. The problem I ran into is the Thinsulate started to sag when hung from above. The non-cloth side is supposed to be glued to the surface. The weight of larger pieces started to pull the layers of insulation apart. It probably works better on the sides.

To remedy this issue I cut 3” holes in the insulation and epoxied blocks of wood to the fiberglass. I then added a layer of reflectix and used the wood blocks as anchors for screws with large washers.

Reflectix is a radiant barrier and the foil only works with an air gap. The sandwiched bubble wrap provides a bit of an air gap but it is so thin it is limited. My hope is by having the thinsulate between, it will provide a lager distance between the reflectix and the exterior surface.. But I am not sure if having the insulation material there prevents it from acting like an air gap. I suppose it can’t be any worse than having the reflextix alone.

I am thinking of doing the opposite on the van sides. The reflectix needs to also function as a moisture barrier to prevent rust. I feel like I can get a better seal if I apply the reflectix directly to the walls.
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