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Looking for flooring options for a stepvan that will predominantly be used in cold weather (like Colorado winter temps) and will need to withstand a lot of animal traffic and mud and melting snow, and damage from ski boots etc etc.  Currently have aluminum diamond plate on floor which would be perfect due to durability except it isn't insulated. Very little floor surface though will actually be exposed because with current design, most of the vans area will be covered by cabinets or a bed. So a few questions to those who have lived in these conditions:

Is throwing down a carpet runner sufficient? Is the process that some go through to insulate the entire floor with rigid foam and then put subfloor and finished flooring on top that much warmer and worthwhile?

Are there condensation issues that can affect floor if cabin temps are kept in the 70s or does heat stratification generally mean condensation sticks to roof and walls and doesn't affect floor?

Would applying some sort of barrier under the vehicle assist? Like a foil reflectix underneath vehicle to trap heat radiating from under vehicle?

Simplicity, durability, and frugality are important to me....aesthetics not so much.
Oh, and a further question somewhat related. If bed is elevated 4 feet above an uninsulated floor, is there a danger of condensation underneath and mold growth? Does using slats under mattress instead of solid plywood solve this problem by creating space for mattress to breathe?

Very inexperienced with cold weather, hope to draw on others experience with these matters.
here's what I do know.

aluminum is an excellent conductor.
the aluminum floor will be the same temp as the ambient air.
IMO you need some type of insulation and a plywood floor wouldn't hurt.
then throw a throw rug over that.

highdesertranger
I used 1/2 foil faced polyiso foam board with plywood over to protect the foam. I had experience in winter temps with metal floors and won't do that again. two brands, R-Max and R-Tech.
^^^ What Weight said. For durability you might put down linoleum over the plywood and then a rubber backed rug. I have a pair of down booties that I use inside when it is cold that you may find useful.
How about rubber floor tiles like those used in weight rooms?
Insulation is to keep heat from escaping it is not there to prevent the cold from getting in.

Heat moves towards cold. Metal conducts heat very quickly so a metal floor, window frame etc will quickly remove the heat from the interior of your dwelling space. Many object such as electronics and also the radiator in your vehicle that need to remove the heat have metal cooling fins which draw the heat the heat away from those objects such as the hot liquid in a radiator.

Most vans do have metal surfaces all around them. A few vans have fiberglass bodies for the rear. Fiberglass does not conduct the heat as rapidly as metal.

The goal is to slow down the escape of the heat using materials (including an air gaps) that don't rapidly conduct heat. The resistance to conduction heat of various materials is called the R value. The R in R-value stands for resistance.
Insulation is to keep heat from escaping it is not there to prevent the cold from getting in.

Heat moves towards cold. Metal conducts heat very quickly so a metal floor, window frame etc will quickly remove the heat from the interior of your dwelling space or quickly bring it into a cooler space. Many object such as electronics and also the radiator in your vehicle that need to remove the heat have metal cooling fins to help quickly dissipate the heat.

The goal is to slow down the escape of the heat using materials (including an air gaps) that don't rapidly conduct heat. The resistance to conduction heat of various materials is called the R value. The R in R-value stands for resistance.

Most people do not understand how insulation for keeping a space comfortable for dwelling works. Remember it is not about keeping the cold out, it is actually all about slowing down the movement of heat which is true for winter and of course also true in summer.

So if you are trying to stay warm in winter then you don't want to have metal surfaces that extend through to the exterior of the van as they will conduct the heat out of your van very quickly.

Modern metal window frames made for homes now have thermal break materials between an outer metal frame and an inner metal frame to slow down the transfer of heat. Decoupling of the layers of metals helps.
How about 12V in-floor radiant heating?
Hmmm...so it seems that I cant escape floor insulation according to most replies and the logic makes sense. I remember Bob from this forum stating in one of his videos however that he lived in alaska without any floor insulation. Wonder how he did that?

I understand the cold floor pulling heat out but my understanding is that because heat rises it would mostly remain up by roof and there could be a temperature differential as much as 30 or 40 degrees between the ceiling and floor. Does floor insulation really alter this? Also, because the column of air seperating the warm from the cold wouldnt there be minimal conductive loss at the floor...and if diamond plate were polished and reflective it would inhibit radiative heat loss. Im okay with floor being 20 degrees if air up in bunk is 60 and it doesnt necesitate a lot more energy to maintain this.

Bobs no floor insulation video intrigued me. Either he is part yeti and the cold doesnt affect him or there is something to the no floor insulation thing...
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