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Full Version: Vapor Barrier and Air gap Ideas
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Ok, after watching a lot of YouTube and reading articles and forums this is the idea I have for insulating my van. Any suggestions on improvements will be appreciated.

I'm thinking bubble wrap (the large bubble kind) against the skin of the van (bubble side out, flat side in for circulation) then polyiso (foil side in or out?). Would I still need reflectix or a sound deadener? If so, where would the sound deadener go? Between the bubble wrap and polyiso is my guess.

Voices of experience needed.
I'd just do it all with polyiso and call it good.
Thickness would depend on how cold or hot where you want to be is.
YMMV
(03-29-2016, 02:29 PM)rvpopeye Wrote: [ -> ]Thickness would depend on how cold or hot where you want to be is.
YMMV

I want to be EVERYWHERE!  Wink  But I do have it in my mind to be, basically, a snow bird. North in the summer, south in the winter. There will be exceptions for holidays, visiting family, but basically want to be where the temp is in the 70's during the day and cooler at night.

Would the backing on the polyiso be enough vapor barrier?
Put in a roof vent, and do not worry about getting fancy with layers.  There is a layer of waterproof steel on the outside.  A single layer of poli, double sided if you can find it, should do the trick.  If you will be in extreme climates a plastic sheet under your interior siding is always a good idea.
What you 'insulate' with depends entirely on the lifestyle you intend to lead!

Need protection from the cold - then insulating with polyiso is the solution. Use 1/2" thick in multiple layers because it bends better around the curves of the van. Overlapping the layers so that you don't end up with the seams all in one place is a good idea.

Need protection from the heat - then reflectix over a dead air space (bubble wrap) offers that when done properly.

Need both - then layer from the van skin in - bubble wrap; reflectix; polyiso.

For example, I never intend, and will do anything I have to, to stay out of the cold (anything below 35-40 is too cold IMO). I was more worried about moderating heat because I know only too well how hot the inside of a van can get on a hot sunny day. I chose to only install bubble wrap/reflectix and skipped the polyiso entirely. So far so good!!

People living in more northern climes who can not just escape by driving somewhere else, well, they need more insulation from the cold and less worry about heat!
(03-29-2016, 03:05 PM)Almost There Wrote: [ -> ]Need both - then layer from the van skin in - bubble wrap; reflectix; polyiso.

Yeah, this is kinda where my thoughts were. I'm pretty ok with colder temps but I hate getting hot enough to sweat. I saw a lot of people using the reflectix straight on the skin of the van but my old science classes kept telling me that a layer of air between would be better insulation against the heat. I am leaning heavily toward bubble wrap, reflectix and polyiso just to get the best possible results the first time. I hate having to go back and re-do something because I skipped something that turned out to be needed.
(03-29-2016, 03:24 PM)Michelle (GMC Gypsy) Wrote: [ -> ]Yeah, this is kinda where my thoughts were. I'm pretty ok with colder temps but I hate getting hot enough to sweat. I saw a lot of people using the reflectix straight on the skin of the van but my old science classes kept telling me that a layer of air between would be better insulation against the heat. I am leaning heavily toward bubble wrap, reflectix and polyiso just to get the best possible results the first time. I hate having to go back and re-do something because I skipped something that turned out to be needed.

Your old science classes have done you good!!

 A lot of people don't bother to even go to Reflectix web site and read. Thermal insulation ratings vary from nothing to really good depending on what it's installed in and how it's installed.

Since they don't have a section on mobile living the closest comparison to installation is in a steel building like a quonset. A dead air gap is definitely required to provide a heat barrier.

Here's a link to my build thread where I showed how I installed the reflectix:

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thre...g-Arabella
Just read the entire thread on your build. Great job! I don't have the money to get that fancy on my interior since my van is 27 years old and 181K miles on the engine. Most of the money I get from selling my car (after paying back what I borrowed to buy the van) is going to go toward making sure it's mechanically sound. Breakdowns suck. I have countertop that's already in the van but it's covered in car paint so I'm researching paint removers.

I was thinking about renting a jig saw when I get to that point. Do you think it was worth it buying one or would you have rented one if you'd had that option?
(03-29-2016, 04:54 PM)Michelle (GMC Gypsy) Wrote: [ -> ]Just read the entire thread on your build. Great job! I don't have the money to get that fancy on my interior since my van is 27 years old and 181K miles on the engine. Most of the money I get from selling my car (after paying back what I borrowed to buy the van) is going to go toward making sure it's mechanically sound. Breakdowns suck. I have countertop that's already in the van but it's covered in car paint so I'm researching paint removers.

I was thinking about renting a jig saw when I get to that point. Do you think it was worth it buying one or would you have rented one if you'd had that option?

Buy one!

They are not expensive. Here's a link to HomeDepot page- either of the first 2 will do fine, no need to go for the $99.00 one... Big Grin

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Hardwar...92Z1z141kh

You also won't get a build of much of anything done in a single weekend so there's no sense in renting one.

Better yet, borrow one... Angel

Oh, yea and buy a big package of mutiple types of blades for it, you'll need them!

You also might find that by the time you're put money in to paint removers and a lot of time and elbow grease, that you'd be better off replacing the countertop. I wanted mine done in laminate but couldn't find a part sheet and wasn't buying a full sheet so mine is 1/2" plywood that a girlfriend did a faux marble finish on for me. I make sure I protect it with pot trivets all the time because it's not heat resistant but it works for me and looks great.
I was just on YouTube and re-watched Bob's video of your van. I didn't realize until I started re-watching it that it was you. I got an idea from your van the first time I watched it in regards to the toilet. I looked up the C Toilet and saw how much they cost and said nope. So I got to thinking about how it could be done a lot cheaper. It's basically a basin with the back missing to drop solids into what amounts to an old fashioned ice cream churn and a drain on the front that goes into a jug for the liquids. Finding an old fashioned ice cream churn could be problematic and the way the churn is set up the solid would likely drop onto the mechanism. So, I was also looking at ways to wash clothes and found this: http://www.justforappliances.com/The-Lau...er_i460607

I think I can use that for the solids since the hole looks big enough and you "churn" it by putting the lid on and rotating. Now I just need to devise a way to separate liquids and solids.
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