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Hey all,

First post here as I'm literally one day away from starting building my 2007 E250. I've gone through this forum quite a bit and almost all thread are regarding insulating your van from the cold. I'm driving through Central America (think sweltering muggy days) and into the Andes (ice cold nights). Not a lot of space, and trying to keep costs down so I'll look at vents, but stay away from any other sort of cooling.


This is the solution I've come up with - bubble wrap; reflectix; polyiso; paneling -

1. Can anyone tell me if this is on the money? And just how much space it'll take up with the paneling. The E250 is standard length, without the raised ceiling I so envy, so space is (as always) a premium.


2. I've read conflicting reports about ventilating this space, this site (http://www.camperize.com/watch-out-for.html) say to seal the space entirely, but others say to leave drain holes open to allow ventilation. Confusion reigns supreme on day 1.

Thanks
Perhaps you linked the wrong article, but I don't see any conflicting information there? If you actually found someone saying that you should plug the factory drain holes, just ignore anything else they say... Wink

The only ingredient you listed that has the potential for moisture absorbing is the paneling... 1/4" plywood sealed on both sides would be better from that standpoint. But hey, if it gets crappy down the line you can always replace it without too much trouble.

Sounds like a great adventure you have planned! Welcome to the forum, and I hope you keep us updated (preferably with pics!) Smile
(05-07-2016, 10:29 PM)BradKW Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps you linked the wrong article, but I don't see any conflicting information there?  If you actually found someone saying that you should plug the factory drain holes, just ignore anything else they say...   Wink

The only ingredient you listed that has the potential for moisture absorbing is the paneling... 1/4" plywood sealed on both sides would be better from that standpoint. But hey, if it gets crappy down the line you can always replace it without too much trouble.

Sounds like a great adventure you have planned! Welcome to the forum, and I hope you keep us updated (preferably with pics!)  Smile

Ah you've got that right. I can't find the other page, probably something to do with the 40 or so tabs open trying to keep track of different build ideas. Pics will come, I'm in LA building it solo so if I don't have my hands full I'll be happy to take some pics.
If heat is the main issue, and cold minor or unimportant, I'd just use reflectix, no other insulation of any kind. The Reflectix needs at least 1/2 inch empty air space between it and the sheet metal of the van.

I wouldn't do anything about a vapor barrier or seal any holes.
Bob
Reflectix in a sandwich is just bubble wrap with an r value of 1, name says it all, its primary function is to reflect.

I'd say the majority is right about not plugging drain holes, in that tropical you might even find you need more...do put the finest mesh screening over any vents (this cuts down their efficiency so they might need to be bigger) as them buggies where you are headed are evil!

I hear you with solo building & few pics! That said, do yourself a favour & take lots of pics!! Later on when you might want to describe your set up or redo some parts, a picture is worth a thousand words...and as many hours of 'trying to remember'.

Sounds like an awesome trip...there is a thread called "Captain's Logs"!!

Sent from my Z850 using Tapatalk
Thanks for the tips all, 

I've got limited time (on a visa), and I'm staying at an Airbnb place so working in someone's driveway. So while trying to maintain quality I am going to have to keep this build cost effective, and done fairly quickly. Two weeks tops, preferably a week! 

I'm going to go with polyiso only - 1 inch to the walls (only 0.5 will fit on the ceiling). Reflectix is another cost, and I'll hopefully be spending 75-80% of the trip in warmer climates anyway. 

Day 1 was spent in Home Depot, hopefully day 2 will be insulation, and day three I can think about paneling.
(05-08-2016, 09:32 PM)stevesgonewalkabout Wrote: [ -> ].... and I'll hopefully be spending 75-80% of the trip in warmer climates anyway.

In that case wouldn't you want the reflectix to reflect the heat away?
(05-08-2016, 09:32 PM)stevesgonewalkabout Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks for the tips all, 

I've got limited time (on a visa), and I'm staying at an Airbnb place so working in someone's driveway. So while trying to maintain quality I am going to have to keep this build cost effective, and done fairly quickly. Two weeks tops, preferably a week! 

I'm going to go with polyiso only - 1 inch to the walls (only 0.5 will fit on the ceiling). Reflectix is another cost, and I'll hopefully be spending 75-80% of the trip in warmer climates anyway. 

Day 1 was spent in Home Depot, hopefully day 2 will be insulation, and day three I can think about paneling.

I think some poly-iso is the way to go and I would stay away from the reflectix. But as already been said, with the warmer climates, insulation is less important. Put more emphasis on ventilation. At least a good roof vent: Fantastic and MaxxAir are well-known. I would prefer MaxxAir because it can stay open when it rains. An extra floor vent at the opposite end of the van will improve on that.

Enjoy your trip!

Van Williams
Watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aepHKxVPMNo
The insulation he recommends is similar to what vehicle manufacturers have been using for years to keep engine heat and noise out of the vehicle.
Foam will not absorb moisture, but if moisture condenses behind it, it won't evaporate easy either.