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If you could do it all over again or if you've got the best insulation job around what is it?

I'm starting as soon as the snow melts to convert a 2002 GMC Savana into a year round living space.

Temperatures to be expected range from 40F to 90F although I'll mostly be trying to stay in the 50 to 75 range.... just because I can... Big Grin

The van has a single shell fiberglass high top installed with 2 sliding side windows. I'll be putting a fan roof vent in as well.

The fiberglass shell and the van walls don't have to be insulated the same way if two different ways would work better.

The only other proviso is that I don't want to lose too much room on the walls particularly in the van itself.

If you were me what would you do?
Personally, I opted to lose a bit of room using 2 inch insulation on the ceiling and walls. I think it will be worth it in terms of reducing energy costs, helping to prevent condensation and reducing outside noise. I bought it cheap off CLfor $5 a sheet (it came used off a roof that was reno'd) rather than Home Depots $33 cost. Its rigid foam board, blue, R10.
My old Open Road has a fiberglass high top with no side windows and no roof vents.

It has never had any insulation, and works perfectly.

Since you have the side windows, I wouldn't add a roof vent. I just use a fan in one of them, blowing either in or out, and it will give you all of the cooling power that a roof vent will without the leak problems.

In the winter, you want your ventilation low, because heat rises and you're heating from the top down. In the summer, use those top windows in conjunction with the low ventilation and simple convection can keep your van cool even without a fan. I only need to use my fan to initially get the heat out if the van has been sitting all closed up.
(03-10-2015, 05:11 PM)Off Grid 24/7 Wrote: [ -> ]My old Open Road has a fiberglass high top with no side windows and no roof vents.

It has never had any insulation, and works perfectly.

Since you have the side windows, I wouldn't add a roof vent.  I just use a fan in one of them, blowing either in or out, and it will give you all of the cooling power that a roof vent will without the leak problems.

In the winter, you want your ventilation low, because heat rises and you're heating from the top down.  In the summer, use those top windows in conjunction with the low ventilation and simple convection can keep your van cool even without a fan.  I only need to use my fan to initially get the heat out if the van has been sitting all closed up.

Unfortunately those two side windows in the high top have no way to be sheltered from the rain. If they were crank out windows it would be different but they are side sliders. They won't do me a bit of good in the rain.

They'll create a nice cross draft on nice days and let out heat on hot days but a roof vent with a Maxxair cover and fan is a wonderful thing to have.

I'll also be cooking sometimes in the van so I want the fan and vent for that too!

In nice weather with an awning set up and the doors open, one doesn't have to worry about insulation...it's the not so nice days, cold mornings and rainy times that one has to plan for.

It's been 20 or more years since I insulated a van and we used really old technology then. Products like Reflectix weren't even on the market IIRC.
I got some louvered covers made for my top windows from a guy with a 3D printer set up at Quartzite. Probably anybody with a 3D printer could make some for you.
you know closed cell foam that is flexible is readily available. it used to be called ensolite, they made backpacking sleeping pads out of it. it makes it easy to conform to radiuses. I have done that with a carpet overlay and it provides excellent insulation on fiberglass tops and truck shells. highdesertranger
(03-11-2015, 07:42 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: [ -> ]you know closed cell foam that is flexible is readily available.  it used to be called ensolite,  they made backpacking sleeping pads out of it.  it makes it easy to conform to radiuses.  I have done that with a carpet overlay and it provides excellent insulation on fiberglass tops and truck shells.  highdesertranger

Good plan for the fiberglass roof, thank you!

I was planning on covering something with vinyl for the fiberglass roof so that it would conform to the curves up there rather than trying to box things off. I figure every little bit of storage room helps.

I can use a layer of bubble wrap to give me air space for a layer of reflectix and then a layer of CCF to insulate and sound deaden. Although I like the sound of rain on my roof... Smile
the upholstery shop close to me sells closed cell foam in bulk 60" wide by however long you want. I know they have 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2. I believe they have at least one size thicker then 1/2 but not sure what it is. I like to take the 1/8 and bond it to cordura then sew it into cases for delicate things. like calculators, binoculars, etc. they make great semi armored cases. back to your top. if you do your top clean it really well, use the best contact cement you can get follow the directions on the can. it's easiest I find, to do the big square areas first then cut in your contours in with smaller pieces. don't overlap you seems, it's better to leave a small gap then to overlap a seem if you want the finish to look professional. let the foam cure for at least a week during this time check for adhesion you know spot that didn't bond good. if I find a spot I will make a hole in the middle of the spot and use spray adhesive to get behind the foam. it's best to wear glove for this, you will see why. then carpet it, I like the automotive type carpet that has a plastic like backing. this carpet is light weight and the plastic coating works well with contact cement. don't cut your carpet, I like to have as few seems as possible again do the large flat first only glue this area then attach that part of he carpet leaving the rest just hanging with no glue on it you might have to rig some type of clamp to hold the carpet up in place depending on the type of contact cement or you did not read the instructions. after this sets good, start working out to your contours if your have never done this practice on something. you make the cuts with a razor knife, you cut vees to do an inside contour it's kind of an art but is not hard. do one cut of the vee at a time. do one cut and glue it down lay the other side of the of the vee down and you can feel the seem now make the second cut following the seem. don't over cut, under cut is better you can always cut more don't cut the foam either. take your time the better you join these seems the better your job will look once you are done. if you happen to get glue on the finish side of the carpet have a solvent handy to remove it. I like paint thinner, it doesn't harm the carpet although it stinks for a few days. whatever you use make sure it doesn't harm the carpet. btw the carpet really helps it's like another layer of insulation and keeps the condensation from raining on you. like I said I have done this a few times and it makes a world of difference on fiberglass. highdesertranger
Great post highdesertranger. Thanks for returning the favor. Wink Seriously though, even I could follow what you wrote and believe I could do it too. Smile I wonder if there's an upholstery shop near here, hmm, using that closed cell foam to make protectors for fragile stuff would be awesome. Oh no, the gears in my brain just went into overdrive! Idea Dodgy
40F-90F? If I were you? Wool socks for the 40F, and take the socks off for the 90F.

Actually, I'm going to take my socks off when it hits 40F, I'd probably die in 90F.

Hank
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