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Full Version: Cardboard for insulation....Low budget fix.
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In an emergency I have found that cardboard, you know, big ones that are thick/corrigated(sp?), yeah cardboard works great in a pinch. If you are still freezing this winter, line your rig with cardboard boxes from wherever you can. I've done it and it has saved me a few times. Just thought someone might benefit...anyone else with low-budget ideas should post their own.
That may be OK as a TEMPORARY measure, but DON'T try it as a permanent or semi-permanent thing.

Cardboard is flammable, it has no insulation value if it gets wet, and it can support the growth of mold if damp.

I'm a pretty firm believer that having proper heating equipment is essential.

Emergencies are one thing, but living in your van you should not subject yourself to such emergencies. A heater would be a wise investment.
Well you can't run a heater safely all night long IMO. Also with a stripped out cargo van in sub freezing temps, the whole thing turns into a freezer within 5 minutes of turning off the heater. Sure it is temporary, but also free. One winter I has no headliner in my van an it created an artic blast from the roof to my face...paneled the roof with three layers of cardboard and I spent the rest of the winter 10 degrees warmer...sure kept the heat form my heat inside while I slept.

Never cought on fire(btw, you ever see RV furniture burn?), never turned into a mold-world(even in Seattle) and it never got wet becasue it was inside. Also kept the roof dry in this NW winter weather by eliminating condensation, no more ice.
I would take the cardboard to a recycler take the money you get for it and buy some real insulation. cardboard holds moisture, it is manufactured with toxic chemicals, it off gases. btw it didn't eliminate the condensation, it absorbed it. I would only use cardboard in an emergency situation. then I would be asking myself how I got into this emergency and the fastest way out. sorry for being negative, but it is not wise to use insulation that absorbs moisture. highdesertranger
Cardboard I hadn't even thought of using it's good to hear it works just in case.
corrugated plastic(I call it "evil arm cutting plastic cardboard" is used by some food companies who toss it once it's damaged) has a lower R value but wouldn't absorb moisture and won't burn as well.

Not to thread jack but what about polyfill? commonly found in pillows but also used as insulation in jackets, sleeping bags and even some vehicles.
Sorry highDESERTranger...but this was in Seattle during one of the wettest Decembers in recorded history...for it to have absorbed the moisture it would have weighed 100 lbs every 2 weeks. I was getting gallons each week off the inside of the roof. I lived in the DESERT before and I know about moisture now. Wanna talk about condensation, wetness and mold then I am your guy. I have been in Seattle for years and I know wet. You obviously heven't experienced the same things I have.

I am speaking from EXPERIENCE not opinion. Period.

Works great in a pinch for car windows too if once again stuck somewhere very cold for a bit.

A obviously this isn't a perfect permanant solution but I garuntee that if you find yourself suffering as I was, you will remember this.
Personally I like the idea of a thread filled with emergency fixes & helpful saves 2 get through until next check, enough money saved, etc because life is messy & not everything happens on our best schedule. Sometimes we don't have it to do the best job or even the better job, but just need something as a stopgap. Thanks NW Shorty Ford.

In his post OP asked for other ideas. With the caveat that cardboard isn't a great thing for permanent insulating, can we move past the should or shouldn't use cardboard & onto other ideas for making it through for those of us that don't have a large emergency fund built up yet.
Thanks gypsychic, I couldn't have said it better myself.
One sheet at a time... (yes we did)

R-Tech 1 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-3.85 Insulating Sheathing $11.48
Owens Corning FOAMULAR 150 1 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-5 Tongue and Groove Insulation Sheathing $19.37

We moved into the bus with no insulation other than the 1" stock fiberglass insulation in it during the NM winter. We slowly added what was available in our area (R-Tech with a radient barrier) Usually it was bought one or two sheets at a time. If you commit to buying either one thing per paycheck or spending $X per paycheck or even every other paycheck, you will make pretty good progress. For larger purchases, you simply save the $$ from one paycheck and add it to the next one (or two) paychecks.
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