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Full Version: Has anyone inspected for mold/rust in a van after living in it for years?
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....and if so, what climate did the vandweller keep the van in?  I read a lot of theory and opinions on vapor barrier vs. letting the rig breath, but I'd rather see real world examples.  Would love to hear about someone who largely traveled with the weather and perhaps gutted a DIY campervan after X number of years to redo it... what insulation method was used?  Was there mold?  Was there rust?  Thanks.
After 55 views, I suppose we're all working off theory? :o :p
Actually torn apart a van to specifically look for mold/rust etc....nope!

Been around vans and vanners since the mid 70's  - definitely!

Heard any one of hundreds of van owners complain about rust and mold when they tore out their old interior to build a new one.. not normally.

I had minor mold but the source of that mold was readily apparent. The previous owner had screwed through the fiberglass roof by using too long a screw, water had entered, soaked in to the pink fiberglass insulation he used and sat there, probably for over a decade. The other mold was found on wood that had been soaked by the same problem and also by a window seal that had failed due to age. I had to have 15 holes patched in the fiberglass roof, all caused by the previous owner and stupidity.

IF you use anything that is absorbent like open cell foam or pink fiberglass AND have leaks like from windows, etc. AND you have interior van walls that have existing bare spots on them then you might end up with rust.

Is it an extensive problem...nope!

Older Class Cs and truck campers are problematic because of water penetration where there are openings in the shell...around roof vents, windows and exterior lights, water and electrical connections etc. The butyl tape used for installation has a useful life of only about 10 years. Some fail early because of improper installation that is rampant in the RV industry.
(10-28-2017, 10:17 AM)Almost There Wrote: [ -> ]IF you use anything that is absorbent like open cell foam or pink fiberglass AND have leaks like from windows, etc. AND you have interior van walls that have existing bare spots on them then you might end up with rust.

Hrmm, so is it your opinion, that as long as you don't have barren walls for moisture to collect on, and no water intrusion... you can pretty much do whatever ya like for insulation? (glue hard foam straight to the wall or using denim batting.... etc.)
Once you're living in it, condensation from you is an issue. Also burning propane inside

Ventilation is the key.
(10-28-2017, 01:10 PM)AntiGroundhogDay Wrote: [ -> ]Hrmm, so is it your opinion, that as long as you don't have barren walls for moisture to collect on, and no water intrusion... you can pretty much do whatever ya like for insulation? (glue hard foam straight to the wall or using denim batting.... etc.)

I definitely wouldn't use denim batting, dunk your blue jeans in water and see how long they take to dry.... Rolleyes 

As to gluing insulation to the walls, I'd rather tape to the ribs and friction fit. The more glue you use, the more chance that hot summer sun will melt that glue. If the insulation panel isn't fitted well, it's going to detach and start to squeak.

I've lived in vans/RV full-time for the better part of 16 years and owned them since the mid 70's. I cook in them, heat them with propane, shampoo my hair when necessary, etc. etc. and have never had an issue with condensation that causes a problem. Yes, the windows will fog up on a cold morning if I have the heater running. It disappears quickly with just some ventilation like opening the side door.

It's important to remember that if you're cooking inside and the weather is nice, you're going to be opening a door or window anyways to let the heat out. If you're heating with propane you have a window open to provide the necessary ventilation.

If you're living in the van, the chance that you're going in and out the door multiple times a day and/or have windows open are really, really high.

The problem of condensation, rust, mold etc is a common possible threat posed by those who haven't done it yet. Those of us who are already living on the road almost always (some are just paranoid to start with) recognize that it's not the problem it's perceived to be.
I agree. I live in Vancouver BC where it's very humid. I've never had a problem with moisture but my van is well insulated and ventilated.
I had condensation and mold issues during the first winter I spent in my Dodge shorty. It was bad. I'd wake up in the morning with water dripping onto my face from all the moisture that collected on the ceiling.

I learnt that if I cracked the roof vent open, and turned down the heater to just take the bite out of how cold it is, rather then make it room temp, the condensation problem goes away. If its rainy/foggy I'll use a small dehumidifier when I have shore power.

For that van, I used standard foam board insulation I bought from Home Depot.

In my B, I have had zero problems with condensation, even during two months of torrential rains last winter, followed by freezes.
(10-28-2017, 11:33 PM)One Awesome Inch Wrote: [ -> ]I agree. I live in Vancouver BC where it's very humid. I've never had a problem with moisture but my van is well insulated and ventilated.

So you just glue closed cell foam straight to the van walls, then put up a veneer wall of sorts?