With increasing costs of buying purpose-built motorhomes, more and more people are converting vans into their own home away from home! Read on for top tips on insulating your van conversion.
When converting your van into a campervan your first task will likely be insulation. Insulating your campervan will help make a more comfortable environment while on your travels by controlling temperature change. In addition, where the right kind of insulation is used, it can also help to reduce external noise.
Finding the Right Fit
It is important to ensure that once fitted the insulation is continuous as possible. Leaving breaks between the insulation layer/s will force heat transfer through these exposed areas which can lead to greater condensation build-up and dampness. Ideally, for this type of work you should select insulation that is affected by moisture as little as possible.
Campervans, motorhomes and caravans are all susceptible to dampness, caused by both water ingress through doors, window seals etc and by condensation build up inside. Measures should therefore be taken to limit these causes of damp. Fortunately, condensation can be controlled by selecting the right insulation and installing it correctly! The appropriate application, limiting breaks in the insulation layer and installing a vapour control layer on the warm side (internal) of insulation will all make a positive difference. It is also likely that a combination of insulation types would be necessary to insulate effectively.
What insulation is best?
Sheeps Wool Insulation
Sheep's wool insulation such as Thermafleece Cosywool has many benefits, it has high thermal properties, is produced in slab or roll form and comes in differing thermal performances. Natural fibres are better at controlling moisture content than other conventional insulation types and are nontoxic/non-irritant meaning no protective equipment is required for installation. This insulation also has good sound-reducing properties. Both the roll and slab versions are flexible and easy to shape, ideal for stuffing into the bodywork and awkward areas. Various thicknesses are available from 50mm to 150mm.
Supasoft Recycled Plastic Insulation
Thermafleece Supasoft is made of non-toxic, soft, non-irritant fibres. It is also compressible and flexible making it very easy to install, requiring no protective equipment. Supasoft uses waste plastic and the cost is lower in comparison to other insulation options. It comes wrapped in conveniently sized bags at 50mm and 100mm thick.
PIR Foam Board Insulation
PIR boards are the highest performance option. Boards are rigid and don’t compress so they do need to be shaped before fitting. They are a composite of foil outer and foam inner and they resist water droplets/vapour. PIR boards would be best suited to the flat areas of the van and areas where thickness is critical, for example, the floor, although please note these boards are not structural so avoid at any point loading on the insulation boards. Various thicknesses are available from 15mm – 200mm.
Foil Quilt or Reflective Bubble Insulation
There are several benefits of foil quilt or reflective bubble insulation such as YBS Superquilt - it will provide UV protection, block out light and is very thin and flexible. The product is also easy to cut and nontoxic. These properties mean it is ideal to be shaped to the window frames and used as insulated window shades. Additionally, the insulation is very thin and waterproof making it ideal for use in any tight areas that require insulating.