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Full Version: Insulation- Partial - How to decide
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I would like to convert a compact van (nissan NV200). I would insulate the roof and possibly one side (likely the side my bed will be on). Does anyone have any experience with partial vs full insulation? I am worried about moisture and condensation and problems that might cause, so I am not likely to insulate all sides. I may be in colder weather somewhat often. If you have done partial insulation- how did you decide which side to do and why? Would you use a different method/type of insulation for the ceiling vs the sides? Did anyone decide not to insulate at all due to potential mold/moisture?
Im in the Northern midwest and spend half the winter here. Ive covered everything thats metal with 1" or more of rigid foam sheet insulation. The windows are covered with same at night.

Using a propane heater with a front window down an inch when the heater is on works fine . The key, in my opinion is cover all surfaces that will get cold and condensate from a warmer interior. Metal and glass.

Cooler outside air brought inside to mix with heated moist air solves most of the problem. Keep in mind, just your breath will create enough moisture to fog a window in cold temps.

Also, the type of heater can reduce moisture.

Short answer, your going to be really cold if you don't insulate everything. Unless you are accustomed to winter tent camping.
On the roof  I hotglued rtech foam insulation right on the metal skin, with hotglue you have to cut in small sections and apply quickly before the hotglue drys which is maybe 2 minutes. 

Don't leave any gaps/space between the foam and skin that way you won't have any mold/moisture on the metal skin. I run a swampcooler every day and never had any moisture problems. When I ran a mr.heater is the only time I had moisture but I only notice it on my front windshield. In the pictures you can see how I install the foam, small square pieces, there are multiple 1/2" layers rtech foam. 
Foam insulation hotglues extremely well to other foam insulation and the hotglue makes for a permanent installation, I have had foam hotglued on the roof for almost 6 years.  

My advice is insulate everything, sides/roof/rear windows. The entire rear of my van is insulated, I no longer need the mr.heater. The lowest temperature I encounter was 32 degrees, if it got colder I would add even more foam. 

roof insulation

side insulation