EEeK!!

suneye

Full Member
Are you sitting comfortably then I will begin: We had decided to trade in our much loved transit for a high top van. We don't have a drive or anywhere to work off the road so when a friend said that she knew of a van for sale that someone had started but had to abandon because of illness we decided to buy. We understood that the van was insulated and the bed was in, a heater and batteries. Since October we have replaced the bed base, insulated the garage, put in electrics, gas, a kitchen and a composting toilet. The water tank is in place but not connected up yet. Christmas we were staying at my daughters so we put a mattress in the back and tried it out. It was FREEZING in the van!! So much so we came home Christmas day. This lead us to do a but of investigation and it turns out that the 'insulation' is old fibreglass like you get in the loft with the silver bubble stuff over the top!! The floor has fiberglassed (?) ply over the same. What do we do now???? Rip everything out? Pull out what we can? :cry: All any ideas considered.
 

wildebus

Full Member
Are you sitting comfortably then I will begin: We had decided to trade in our much loved transit for a high top van. We don't have a drive or anywhere to work off the road so when a friend said that she knew of a van for sale that someone had started but had to abandon because of illness we decided to buy. We understood that the van was insulated and the bed was in, a heater and batteries. Since October we have replaced the bed base, insulated the garage, put in electrics, gas, a kitchen and a composting toilet. The water tank is in place but not connected up yet. Christmas we were staying at my daughters so we put a mattress in the back and tried it out. It was FREEZING in the van!! So much so we came home Christmas day. This lead us to do a but of investigation and it turns out that the 'insulation' is old fibreglass like you get in the loft with the silver bubble stuff over the top!! The floor has fiberglassed (?) ply over the same. What do we do now???? Rip everything out? Pull out what we can? :cry: All any ideas considered.
well "....the 'insulation' is old fibreglass like you get in the loft with the silver bubble stuff over the top!!" is nothing unusual whatsoever.
(having said that, I would not use loft fibreglass insulation, but the more modern rolls of non-fibreglass loft insulation replacement, but the actual insulation properties are pretty similar).
If you were to rip out that existing, what do you think you would be putting in its place?
 

GEOFF

Full Member
Were you using the heater. If it is cold outside, without heat any van will remain cold, insulated or not. If the FG is dry it should still help to keep the van warm. Any vapour barrier should be on the warm side. Geoff.
 

suneye

Full Member
We were never cold in our old van and used it in colder weather than Christmas this year. I would expect a layer of solid insulation like celotex or kingspan or if the budget stretches aerogel .
 

wildebus

Full Member
what heater have you got?
I have loft-style roll insulation in the lower half of my van sides, plus the silver bubble-foil on top. The upper half are all single-glazed windows so no insulation there.
Had the same setup in my last three vans and when the temp gets below freezing, the heater is more than capable of keeping the interior warm enough.
 

suneye

Full Member
We have a diesel heater and I guess we will have to get used to using it more than we are used to. Never had to use it much in the old van as I said because it never got really cold at night in the van.
 

Millie Master

Full Member
I have always said to anyone who has asked, the singularly most important aspect of a vans conversion is the insulation.

Very sadly a lot of people skimp on insulation and end up regretting it....... BIG TIME.

So for me, yawn, yawn, here I go again, if a job is worth doing it is surely worth doing well and by that I mean don't skimp on the materials being used and don't rush the installation because otherwise you will end up regretting it!

Personally I would never, ever use rock wool insulation because of the simple fact that it wicks moisture like a sponge and once it is wet it is not only virtually impossible to dry out but it looses almost all of its insulation properties, so for me it has to be closed cell foam either in sheet form, such as Cellotex or similar or best of all, closed cell spray foam.

Phil
 

suneye

Full Member
I have always said to anyone who has asked, the singularly most important aspect of a vans conversion is the insulation.

Very sadly a lot of people skimp on insulation and end up regretting it....... BIG TIME.

So for me, yawn, yawn, here I go again, if a job is worth doing it is surely worth doing well and by that I mean don't skimp on the materials being used and don't rush the installation because otherwise you will end up regretting it!

Personally I would never, ever use rock wool insulation because of the simple fact that it wicks moisture like a sponge and once it is wet it is not only virtually impossible to dry out but it looses almost all of its insulation properties, so for me it has to be closed cell foam either in sheet form, such as Cellotex or similar or best of all, closed cell spray foam.

Phil
I agree unfortunately we assumed this had been done🤦🏻‍♀️(Lesson learnt). We are thinking rip out everything to bed/waist height and at least do up and over the ceiling and the floor properly. 😩
 

wildebus

Full Member
....Personally I would never, ever use rock wool insulation because of the simple fact that it wicks moisture like a sponge and once it is wet it is not only virtually impossible to dry out but it looses almost all of its insulation properties, so for me it has to be closed cell foam either in sheet form, such as Cellotex or similar or best of all, closed cell spray foam.

Phil
The old Fibreglass insulation is like that and I had that in the T4 van when I bought it and removed it all to put better quality stuff in.
However it is simply not correct to bundle all loft-style insulation into a generic "rock wool" (rock wool is a specific and wide range of products made by ... Rockwool) description and say what you said. Many types, and certainly the type I (and thousands and thousands of others) have used does NOT absorb moisture in any way.

Sure, there are many ways to insulate, some better than others, and some more expensive than others, but to make such sweeping statements is wrong.
How important is insulation anyway? well, it depends on the vehicle base and what time of year you camp anyway. You have a vehicle where it is only possible to insulation 50% of it, the relevance is a lot less than ones which are more like a cave with minimal windows as heat will escape regardless. A reliable heater is much more relevant (if that was not the case, you wouldn't bother putting a heater on in a cold bedroom in a house).
 

suneye

Full Member
My concern is not just the cold because as you say it is possible to heat a cold space, but also the heat. It was always possible to keep our old van cool, how do you do this if it’s always going to be the same temperature as the air outside?
 

Millie Master

Full Member
The old Fibreglass insulation is like that
Dave; I thoroughy went into the matter of glass fibre insulation when doing up our current property and I am afraid to say that almost all reports I referred to slated glass fibre when used in close proximity to a very cold exterior surface as they all talked about wicking of moisture etc.

Phil
 

Millie Master

Full Member
My concern is not just the cold because as you say it is possible to heat a cold space, but also the heat. It was always possible to keep our old van cool, how do you do this if it’s always going to be the same temperature as the air outside?
My 'Millie' has proved to be nothing other than brilliant in both cold (down to lower than -10C) and very hot weather.
 

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wildebus

Full Member
Dave; I thoroughy went into the matter of glass fibre insulation when doing up our current property and I am afraid to say that almost all reports I referred to slated glass fibre when used in close proximity to a very cold exterior surface as they all talked about wicking of moisture etc.

Phil
yup, which is why you can get alternatives to glass fibre for loft insulation! my "loft" insulation IS NOT GLASS FIBRE
 

Nabsim

Full Member
I have met a good number of folks on the drive this time who live in their vans year round. I have now stopped asking them about insulation as by far most of them don’t have anything. They just use diesel heater and/or wood burner and that’s it. What did surprise me about this though is they don’t seem to have condensation problems. I know they don’t have misted up windows in a morning and I see them jump out the van in tee shirt and shorts from heat inside. Bet Nigel could give us an insight into this.
 

trevskoda

Full Member
Dave; I thoroughy went into the matter of glass fibre insulation when doing up our current property and I am afraid to say that almost all reports I referred to slated glass fibre when used in close proximity to a very cold exterior surface as they all talked about wicking of moisture etc.

Phil
I agree about wicking, but my van had it from new so i bubble iso over it,we could not find any replacement in N Ireland and to costly to bring from England as i had to do with most of the stuff i required.
 

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