VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: cab insulation?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
I think I have the cargo area of my 2007 e250 figured out. What's the best way to thermally insulate the cab? Is there room to fit 1/2" polyiso above the headliner or behind the door panels?

Are reflextix or ez cool the only options for these areas?

BTW - On a side note, I looked under the plasticy floor liner that came in the cab of the van, and the padding was soaked. How do I deal with this?

Thank you
I think the general school of thought is to leave the cab uninsulated, and put a barrier between the cab and the back of the vehicle. Metal, wood, blankets, drapes, reflectix, whatever you choose to keep it separate from where you are.

This is mainly due to difficulty in fully insulating the cab. The main limitations are going to be the floor, the doors, and the glass.

The glass you can put up reflectix/temporarily black them out when parked, which can help considerably. However you will still have the bridge of the exposed door frame and A-pillar bringing in unwanted temperature change.

For the doors, the lower part needs to have room for the windows as they are rolled down, and most likely the interior door trim, so you will have about 1/4 inch of space to insulate, which isn't much. You can prevent bridges and drafts, but that is about it. You could also choose to hang a wool blanket or other material, blocking off the entire door, but again it will have limited effectiveness.

As for the floor, you have some room to insulate, however the dogbox over the transmission/engine needs room to be pulled back, so you cannot have thick insulation all the way to the edge. You also have the plastic trim in the footwells to deal with. Again temporary thermal mass (blankets, etc) can be used to prevent what you can, but the effort vs results is not going to be great.

So this is why most people cover their front windows, and let the cab suffer its own fate while you put up a barrier between the living area and the cab.
We insulated the van first with Self Adhesive Foil & Foam Duct Insulation by Frost King from Home Depot. Then added fiberglass insulation. We were also able to do this under the header in the cab area.

On the floor I purchased a very large entry mat (4 x 8) from Lowe's.
Cut to fit. Hopefully the all rubber base of this will help keep out the
cold. When camping in cold weather we will add large plush bath mats.
Again also rubber backed, and plush on the top.

I think I will have to stuff large plush blankets up into the foot wells...
Could be better, but I don't like the cold.
Rinella, Re: soaked padding under rubber mat.
Has it rained recently where you're at?
My RV did that and i found holes in the trough area where wiper linkage is. Had a hard time finding this but this was the source of wet floor.
at first i just covered my windshield including approx. the 6" slotted cover for wipers w/a tarp when vehicle was sitting. I am about to repair this as i'm going over the whole RV. Dirt and leaves accumulate and then gets wet that over time rusts through.
I agree that there is no practical way to insulate the cab so you want to put up a thermal barrier instead. That's what I've always done.
re: cab insulation

I am going to install a swivel on the passenger seat so it can be part of our "living space." We will only have occasional nights in the cold weather, so my goal is to minimize the amount of work the heater will need to do. I ordered some prodex which is basically a cheaper version of ez cool. I think I'm going to use a layer or two behind the door panels and two-three layers under the vinyl floor. This stuff has an R Value of approximately one without the air space. I'll also use this material to make covers for all of the windows.

re: water under cab vinyl

No, it has not rained here recently. I have a leak that I need to fix under the break light, and the back is all dry. I think what happened is that the front has a leak someplace and it gets trapped under the vinyl. Who knows how long it's been wet. I guess when I pull out the vinyl to insulate, I'll try and track down the leak. wish me luck! I'll also take out the foam and replace it with the prodex since it is not absorbent.
Ah, ok. So for having the passenger seat part of the living area, I would hang a barrier that goes from behind the drivers seat diagonally to the passenger footwell. This would be in addition to a barrier between the passenger seat and the passenger door.

The reason to for the middle barrier is to isolate the drivers side and center console area. You wont be able to adequately insualte the firewall/dash and center console, so blocking those off would help. And again, eliminating the cold bridge from the frame of the door would help immenesely.

In my van I had a leaky windshield that only leaked when the rain was coming in a certain direction. I was unable to seal it up myself using sealant and had to have a professional reinstall it. They said that 90% of the gasket wasn't placed properly, so even though it looked arlight, it would never properly seal. Just another possible item to check for leaks in the front.
You've done a GREAT job to insulate the cab!! But I tend to agree that for the purpose of a swivel seat my first choice would be too make the barrier between the cab and living area large enough to go all around the seat. For example I might try two heavy sleeping bags (not mummies) hanging from the roof and put velcro where they meet so they seal well together. When swiveled to the rear throw the sleeping bag over the seat so it drapes down behind the seat toward the dog house and when turned for driving drape it behind the seat.

I'd also use a heavy mill piece of plastic to act as a vapor barrier (also with velcro in the center) to keep frost from the front window.

I think that would be cheaper, easier and work better to keep the back warm and might keep down the frost on the window which is always a major problem.