Van Insulation


One of the most important items of any motorhome is thermal insulation to maintain a comfortable living environment, not only in cold weather, but also in hot weather as it help keep heat out.

The photo below show the rear of the van before any installation of thermal insulation. 

My new pole dancing club!!

The wife was not impressed with my idea of a pole dancing club, so I used the poles to hold in place some inch by inch beading around the roof while the glue went off. The squares of timber under the poles are the contents of my winter fire wood store... very useful stuff. Originally comes as either plywood or chipboard, twenty inches square with a three inch hole in the centre. 

'The wife' thinks the husband should write a book entitled One Hundred and One Ways To Use a Piece Of Square Wood With a Hole in the Middle!

Glue! I used a basic contact adhesive to stick the insulation to the walls. There is no need to get specialist glues for this job. I have been using Evilstik (a play on words from the original name of Evostik contact adhesive and the terrible intoxicating smell that comes from it) for years to stick thermal insulation, sound deadening materials in to generator and compressor housings which get extremely hot. 

The stuff I actually used was from They do it in an ordinary tin, and as a spray. Don't bother with the spray, unless you are trying to stick delicate material. By using a brush with the ordinary liquid, your actually helping bond the glue to the stuff your trying to stick, unlike the spray stuff which sits on the surface.

approx price £3.99

approx price £3.50

Loads more poles, this time supporting the 'Kingspan' insulation board (inch thick polyurethane foam, faced with silver paper) which has a very good insulation value. This insulation material is widely used throughout the building industry and comes in various thickness's (25mm, 50mm 100mm and probably others).

I purchased the insulation from:

Tel. 01544 260501
Fax. 01544 260525 

They handle all the rejects from the Kingspan manufacturer. As there had been quite a few people asking the price of the insulation I made a fresh enquiry (30th September 2003) for  a price on 10 sheets of 1" x 4' x 8' which came back at £8.64 +vat each and £10 for delivery to Ledbury (about 30-40 miles), can't remember it being that expensive before, they probably do a better deal for a larger quantity. 

I have recently learnt from a response to a posting elsewhere on the web, it may be worth telling them its for agricultural use (to insulate a barn?) then there is a possibility it may be cheaper. Worth a try :o) But you may find that the thickness varies a lot. They advertise locally, offering a 'pallet' of insulation material for £20 collected.

After the glue supporting the insulation had dried, I went round filling any gaps with expanding foam. Very drippy and messy stuff, so make sure you sheet up well as this stuff DOES NOT clean off easily when dry..

This is the foam I used from

price £4.19

If you wanted fire proof foam, there is this stuff, but I really don't think its worth the extra expense as its meant for inside service ducts of buildings.

price £9.99

Before covering the insulation, remember to add more cables than you actually require, as it save a lot of hassle latter on. I installed cables for lights, ventilation fans and sound systems, even though I wasn't intending on having some of them.

With all the insulation in place and all cables installed I covered the insulation board with the final roof skin. The stuff I used was PVC sheeting. six feet long, by about thirty inches, and about 2mm thick. Its original intended use is for manufacturing of PVC house doors. I purchased a load of reject sheets (couldn't see what was up with them). As long as its not cold, they cut quite easily with a sharp Stanley knife. One side has a removable skin to protect it during installation. I sliced it down so the joins matched the vans original roof supports. 

Sides now insulated. Showing the start of  pipework and more cable installation.

Inside the cavities, I gave it a heavy doses of Waxoyl. First I plugged up all the holes in the bottom of the sills, Waxoyled, then allowed the Waxoyl to set. After about a week I then removed the plugs and checked the vents were clear to allow any future condensation/moisture out.

Another view of pipework installation, the copper tubing had flexible tube threaded over it, to protect it from any chaffing where it went through any holes. All the tubes where cable tied into place to limit vibration, however the copper tube was clipped using wrap around copper 'P' clips, then a squirt of silicone around the clips, and inside the anti-chaff tubes to make sure no movement could occur.


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