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Full Version: Pink Fluff -vs- Foam Panels
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I went to Home Depot and started looking at insulation. For starters, I couldn't find any pink or blue extruded foam. They only had the 'pebble'y foam that breaks apart into little balls when you cut it - in various sizes from 1/2" to, like, 3-4" thick. The thin stuff (which is my first instinct due to limited space in a van) has a really low R-rating. Like 1 or 2 or maybe 3. Laaaame. But it's also backed with silver lining  - so it reflects radiant heat? 

So I started looking at the pink fiberglass fluff. It has a higher rating - of about 13 - but is also 2.5" thick. But I can SQUISH it, right? I'm just really confused what folks are insulating with that isn't really thick, but isn't also isn't mostly useless (meaning, it has a low R value).

Is the pink foam really that great? Should I hold out for pink foam and keep looking? Has anyone used the fiberglass fluff? 
IMHO, foam is far better than fiberglass batting and you can get a higher R value in a thinner space with good quality foam than you can with fiberglass.  Here is a relevant video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBu19XyBLLA
In my experience the Pink and Blue stuff will be found in Home Depot's in the northern parts of the country where it gets COLD.  While you *COULD* squish it, it would definitely lower the insulation property.  From my understanding (mostly from this forum, and people knowledgeable), There are 2 types of insulation:

1) Reflective: make the sun, or whatever that is producing the heat reflect away from the place you are insulating.

2) dead air gap.  Apparently air is a super super fabulous insulator, but you need that air to NOT MOVE.  So you want your insulation(foam, whatever) to essentially 'trap' the air inside.  Which is why the styrofoam is so very much welcome.

Assuming those are the only 2 ways, then you want tin foil (or something like it) to reflect the heat (white paint works if you have nothing else), and a bunch of dead air, i.e. your styrofoam panels.  The thicker the better.

Me in my van, I have 3/4" of the white stuff, with a shiny side.  I put the shiny side out towards the walls of the van, and I have survived 30 degree F temps ok (i.e. below freezing).  I can warm the van up with my little heater in a hurry (<10 minutes).

Hope this helps!

With Love,
Tara
Just  remember no matter how careful you are with the fiberglass fluff, you are going to be breathing it, especially in a vehicle where there is flexing of things and a lot of air movement when the windows are open...that is even with a sealed moisture barrier on the inside....
Bri
I revisited Lowe's this morning and I think - after the replies here and talking to the guy there - I'm going to return the fluff and go with 1" foam with foil on the outside. I'm just so worried that the 'R' number is low (3.9) and it will all be... useless? Like, we will still be freezing or too hot. But I guess SOMETHING is better than nothing. 
Something is better than nothing, your right about that. You do lose R valve when you squeeze the fluff in thin walls. The way I panel the walls I have plenty of space for the fluff. I do think that the fluff is better for sound proofing. I use both the panels in all the flat areas including the floor and the fluff in the corners and sharp bends. Doors get the fluff too and heavy curtains for the windows.
 The pink fiberglass insulation blows chunks. Compressing it reduces the R-value significantly and it absorbs and 'holds' water like nobody's business (think rust 'n mold). The white 'pebbly' stuff (expanded polystyrene) has a much greater R-value per inch AND it acts as a vapour barrier.. especially with the reflective film. ..Willy.
Willy,

The white 'pebbly' stuff (expanded polystyrene) can be tapped, glued directly to the van metal walls?

Thanks
 There's probably 'glue' that will work.. but why bother? Glues with solvents run the risk of 'melting' the polystyrene. Use a tight friction fit instead and, if you absolutely HAVE to have the panels secured, then get a can of that blow-in foam (Great Stuff is one brand) and run a bead between the edges of the foam and the studs. Leave a gap for the foam. ..Willy.
Willy,


Thank you very much for the info. The fluffy stuff is like not really good for ones health with the

formaldehyde in the insulation. You do a great service to this website with your knowledge.

Thank you!!!
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