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Ra-flect Laser-Perforated Radiant Barrier
#1
Shocked 
Hi all,

I have a compact SUV (1998 Honda CR-V) I'm converting into a camper, and I've gone ahead and removed all of the pretty plastic interior parts so that I can add an insulation layer. It seems vehicle insulation is one of the most confusing and contentious aspects to a conversion, and I've watched all the videos and read all the articles I could find on the subject. I understand that installing a vapor barrier is recommended only in certain situations/climates. I found this product (Ra-flect Laser Perforated Radiant Barrier) and wondered if anyone here has had any experience with it, or perhaps even an opinion one way or the other. I believe it's typically used for attic insulation. I like the price point, and the product literature makes this stuff sound really appealing.

My plan to travel to all sorts of climates makes the insulation issue harder to figure out, I know - if I knew I'd be in either a warm climate or a cold climate most of the time, this would be a piece of cake, I imagine.

Thanks in advance for any comments or advice on the matter!
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#2
that is not insulation. it's a radiant barrier. highdesertranger
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#3
warm or cold climate, I don't think should make a difference on what insulation you use. In the summer insulation will keep the heat out and in the winter it will keep the cold out. The thicker the insulation material the better results you will get. 

I'm always adding extra rtech insulation to my van. Foam is thick and not for everyone but it works very well to where in the summer I can park in the hot sun close all my windows and stay in my van all day long with just a small swampcooler to keep me cool. When you can achieve that then you know your insulation is working good. 

The radiant barrier will probably work best in the windows where it can reflect the sunlight. I think its too thin to actually do any real insulation. I don't think a vapor barrier is needed in a car/van, I run a swampcooler almost everyday for years and never had any moisture/mold problems.

rtech foam I use (home depot 8 dollars for a 4x8 foot sheet)
   
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TinaTomato (11-20-2017)
#4
(11-19-2017, 09:01 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: that is not insulation.  it's a radiant barrier.  highdesertranger

I'm still undecided on which insulation to use, but I was asking whether anyone had insight into the specific product, Ra-flect - a vapor barrier - and would it be worth the trouble to install in my SUV - it would be between the metal and the insulation.

I do realize that this stuff isn't insulation - I've been checking out poly-iso, and, as jonyjoe303 mentioned, r-tech is a decent choice (but I think I'll need a less rigid product since my space is teeny-tiny, with tons of curves to cover).

This Ra-flect stuff is a radiant barrier that's perforated, which, based on my limited knowledge, would serve to control the condensate since it has a vapor permeance of 6.9 Perms (whatever that means  Shy). Just wondering if I should bother with this extra step (and expense).
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#5
on a house the condensation would escape to the atmosphere. where is it going to go inside your van? the sheet metal will not allow it to escape. ventilation is the best way to deal with condensation. highdesertranger
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SondraRose (11-27-2017)
#6
(11-20-2017, 08:51 AM)highdesertranger Wrote: on a house the condensation would escape to the atmosphere.  where is it going to go inside your van?  the sheet metal will not allow it to escape.  ventilation is the best way to deal with condensation.  highdesertranger

The literature for the Ra-flect stuff seems to indicate that the perforated nature of the design would help with condensate - trapping it, maybe? Not sure, that's why I'm here, asking the seasoned experts, (such as yourself) of the vehicle-dwelling community. I do plan to install ventilation as well (I wish it could be the ever-popular "Fan-tastic Fan" but it would be too large for my build). Here's a quote from the Ra-flect spec sheet to give you an idea as to why I'm so fixated on the stuff:

"Our Laser Perforated Radiant Barrier has a vapor permeance of 6.9 Perms in order to allow the passage of water vapor through the material and making it suitable for almost any installation location without worrying about possible condensation issues.  The tiny perforations allow the structure to breathe while still creating an air barrier, making it a suitable alternative to your standard house wrap."

They make it sound like if there was a chance of any condensation, the perforations would come to the rescue, pulling moisture away from the surface you're protecting. I'm a lay-person if there ever was one, so thank you for weighing in on this.
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#7
no it doesn't trap it allows it to pass through,

"to allow the passage of water vapor through the material"

says it right there. like I said in a van where is it going to pass through to? I would save my money and not worry about this step. just insulate and keep it aired out. actually the best thing to keep condensation at bay is to have some type of material(carpet, hull liner) on the ceiling and walls. that will trap the condensation but you still must air it out plus the material traps dirt and odors. highdesertranger
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TinaTomato (11-20-2017)
#8
(11-20-2017, 09:23 AM)highdesertranger Wrote: no it doesn't trap it allows it to pass through,

"to allow the passage of water vapor through the material"

says it right there.  like I said in a van where is it going to pass through to?  I would save my money and not worry about this step.   just insulate and keep it aired out.  actually the best thing to keep condensation at bay is to have some type of material(carpet,  hull liner) on the ceiling and walls.  that will trap the condensation but you still must air it out plus the material traps dirt and odors.  highdesertranger

Great advice - thank you! I feel like I need to pony up a consulting fee at this point.  Big Grin

What's your opinion on jute padding? I'm also wondering about Acoustical Underlayment from Home Depot (doubling up on it for thickness) - any thoughts?
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highdesertranger (11-20-2017)


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