Panelling & Insulating the Van

The first step in most conversions is to panel and insulate the van.

Bear in mind at this point that you might also want to run hidden wiring for your electrics (e.g.ceiling lights) and install structural timbers for your furniture to be built onto.

Commercial vans are often ply-lined already – if that’s the case and the plywood is still in good condition, why not save yourself a job and reuse it? I’ve done this twice and it saves both time and money.

Even if the van walls are fully panelled out, the roof probably won’t be. In the past, I have used lightweight 3mm plywood, although this is not thick enough if you want to hang/fasten anything to the ceiling (apart from lightweight stuff like lights). Next time round I might use slightly thicker plywood. (Click here for plywood.)

Here are a few photos from the insulation and panelling of my van. First step was to remove the floor and side panels – the pieces of wood on the floor are about to become battens to raise the floor and allow insulation to be placed under the floor boards:

Van floor before insulation and boarding
Van floor before insulation and boarding

Next step was to cut and Sikaflex (caravan adhesive) into place the batons and then unroll the loft insulation between them.


Click image to view details of the Sikaflex Adhesive
Click image to search for Sikaflex on eBay

Spacing the batons the same distance apart as the width of the insulation rolls makes this very quick and easy:

Insulating the floor and wall panels with wool loft insulation
Insulating the floor and wall panels with wool loft insulation

In case you are wondering, the loft insulation was natural wool and bought from B&Q on a discount day. (Alternatively, I have seen it on eBay – click here). It is stuck down using this, which was purchased for the carpet lining, to come later:

Styccobond Contact Adhesive - used for sticking carpet lining and insulatin to panels
Styccobond Contact Adhesive - used for sticking carpet lining and insulatin to panels

Most people seem to buy this glue in spray can format but I prefer painting it on and I think that this way is less wasteful and messy, too. It smells quite exciting, however, so make sure you keep the van doors open while you are doing it…Click here to buy this glue on eBay

(Make sure you buy a good quality glue. Cheapo alternatives have a habit of softening in hot weather – causing your carpet lining to start peeling off the roof and walls of your van.)

Once you have completed all of your insulation and hidden wiring, etc, it’s time to put the panels back on. You should be left with something that looks pretty similar to what you started with – but don’t be disheartened, insulation really makes a lot of difference:

Insulation completed - note colour-coded wires
Insulation completed - note colour-coded wires

Note: You may notice in the picture above that the nearside wheel arch isn’t boxed in or insulated. The problem was that when it was boxed in, the seat/bed wouldn’t fit over the wheel arch properly. This is quite a common problem, I think. What I did instead was to cover the wheel arch in thin rubber foam and then carpet over it. This has worked well with no signs of damp/condensation although in seriously cold conditions it might not be ideal.

Next: Fitting windows

Back to Conversion Guide Index

Disclaimer: All material is provided for information purposes and is my opinion only. I can take no responsibility for the accuracy, suitability, reliability or safety of the information in this guide.

58 thoughts on “Panelling & Insulating the Van

  • February 23, 2010 at 7:22 pm
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    Great info but what size batons did you use and what thickness plywood for the flooring!
    Lots of info otherwise but I think these would be important….to me anyway.
    well done though!

    Reply
    • February 24, 2010 at 9:46 am
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      Hi David,

      I was restricted by the fact that the van was a low roof model – so I wanted to minimise the amount of headroom that I lost by insulating the floor. With this in mind, the batons I used for the floor were roughly 50mm x 25mm – in otherwords, the floor was raised by about an inch. The plywood I used for the flooring was the original plywood floor that came with the van – already cut correctly to shape. I think it’s 18mm thick, but you could probably use 12mm without any problems, too.

      Hope this helps, I should have put the baton sizes in originally – just forgot!

      Roland

      Reply
  • May 31, 2010 at 3:10 pm
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    hi, just wondering if you used a vapour barrier when fitting the insulation, heard some folk do this as an added ‘weapon’ against condensation
    cheers

    Reply
    • June 1, 2010 at 10:03 am
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      Hi Simon,

      I’ve not heard of a vapour barrier but I do know that some people Waxoyl the inside of the van before fitting insulation and panelling to try and protect the metal from corrosion. I didn’t do this but can see that it might help.

      Regarding condensation, one of the main things I do to try and control it is to ventilate the van thoroughly every day when camping – usually in the morning. It’s also important in a small van to have as much ventilation as possible while cooking, as this tends to create a lot of moisture and heat.

      Cheers, Roland

      Reply
  • June 6, 2010 at 7:34 am
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    Cheers Roland, the waxoyl idea sounds interesting.
    all the best
    si

    Reply
  • July 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    Thank you for the simple instructions really appreciate the no nonsense approach. I am doing a conversion and the more I research the scarier it gets because there are some people that take it too far!!

    cheers

    Reply
    • July 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm
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      Hi Benny,

      Thanks for your comment, glad I can help. My conversion is pretty simple and basic compared to many – but it’s surprisingly usable too, as long as you don’t expect too much. We’ve spent up to four weeks away in it (on aires and wild camping, not using campsites much) without any sense of major deprivation!

      The conversion can be a bit scary to start with – as you say, there is a lot to think about. After a while, I realised I had to stop researching, make your plan and start doing the conversion – otherwise there was a risk of researching forever and never getting to the conversion!

      Roland

      Reply
      • December 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm
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        Thanks for a very helpful commentary on your project. You are right about the research and not getting out and just doing it – you find so many things out as you go that you cannot pre-determine regardless of how much research you do.

        Reply
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  • August 31, 2010 at 11:59 pm
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    Hi Rowland

    My van is already fitted with panels on the side but not on the roof. I had thought about sheep wool insulation but I was worried about it going mouldy as I have wet kit in the van frequently. Also I am reluctant to loose too much height as its is an Expert and space is at a premium. I was wondering if there is a thin, synthetic, perhaps with a reflective surface available?

    Many thanks
    Wendy

    Reply
      • December 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm
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        In Aust after talking to a few people they suggested using a “closed cell foam” (EVA and PE types) which will not absorb moisture and you can purchase it in large sheets or cut from 2m wide rolls and in various thicknesses – it acts as thermal insulation as well as sound insulation. Clark Rubber in Aust sell this product with a foil backing one side that improves the thermal qualities, but that then attrats the question of “dis similar material reacting” wiht the foil.
        I assume you must still get condensation in air spaces though, but if well ventilated I am also assuming that will dry out and the closed cell foam will not get mouldy and smelly from dampness – this applies to under floor, side and roof pannelling. Will not be as easy to fit as the insulation material, but will probably be my choice when I get there.

        Reply
  • September 2, 2010 at 10:22 am
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    My local builder’s merchant has rolls of insulation which is ultra thin but has about 6 times the insulating properties of ordinary fibre rolls. It’s pretty expensive, but if you need to maintain the space to a maximum, it may be worth using. Research and a good session of asking questions may show up something even better.

    Reply
  • September 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm
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    Do you think there might be a proublem fitting reflective insulation, as it contains aluminium, wich may cause a galvanic reaction with the steel of the van panels, causing corrosion, espeically in damp conditions.

    Reply
    • September 8, 2010 at 10:55 am
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      Hebnig,

      The honest answer is that I really don’t know! The van’s paintwork might be enough to prevent this but I don’t have enough engineering knowledge to give a definitive answer. It’s certainly true that condensation does occur behind panelling and can, in the long term, cause corrosion.

      Does anyone else have an opinion on this potential issue?

      Cheers, Roland

      Reply
  • November 9, 2010 at 8:53 pm
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    hello all. ive seen some really good info on here but there is still 1 thing that i cant get my head around. when i ply the roof i have got 3 low wattage downlights and just need to know if i can wire to the existing light wires and put a basic switch to them.
    thanks.

    Reply
    • November 10, 2010 at 10:08 am
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      Hello Paul,
      You could wire your lights into the existing wiring but if it’s a normal van, the existing lights will be wired to the starter battery. If you use them for long periods of time, you will run the risk of being let with a flat starter battery next time you try to start the engine.

      If you want to power your new lights from your leisure battery then you will need to run new wiring to do this.

      Hope this helps,
      Roland

      Reply
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  • December 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm
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    As far as the Sikaflex goes, were there specific places you used the 221 as compared to the 512 ?

    Reply
    • December 12, 2010 at 7:47 pm
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      Hi Ken, Sorry, the picture is a bit misleading. I actually used 221 for all of it. I am not exactly sure of the difference between them (for detailed specs, try – it seemed to work well although the 221 I used around the windows is now starting to crack/perish very slightly, which is a bit of a surprise after just 2.5 years. This area suffers a lot from running/standing water and we live by the sea, too (salty air) which may not help. It could be UV damage too – it is pretty much the only place we used Sikaflex that is permanently exposed to sunlight (when we get any!).

      For data sheets for the Sika 221 try here (221). I can’t find a 512 on Sika’s website anymore – but there is 521UV which sounds good.

      For details of Sika’s designated caravan and motorhome products, click here.

      Cheers, Roland

      Reply
      • December 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm
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        As general information for others, on the Australian web site ref. http://www.sika.com.au/cmi/transport_sealing.htm, three products 221, 521UV, and 265 are listed for Transport applications – 521 appears to specifically be for external exposure uses while the 221 is for general purpose (and I would assume internal) uses – that I guess would explain your issue around the Windows with 221. The 265 is listed for large heavy panels.

        Thanks for your site Rowland
        Ken

        Reply
        • December 13, 2010 at 10:32 am
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          Ken, Thanks for the extra information. Lesson learned for me, I suppose – next time I use a sealant externally I will choose one with a stronger rating for external use, specifically UV resistance. In my defence, 221 should be ok – on the (UK) data sheet it specifies “resistant to ageing and weathering exposure” and explicitly lists that it is resistant to “fresh water, sea water and limewater”. I suppose the only thing it doesn’t state is UV resistance, which is obviously important.

          Thanks, Roland

          Reply
      • February 26, 2011 at 7:28 am
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        Thought I would add this for information – found the 512 listed on a UK leisure store – search for 512.

        http://stores.ebay.com.au/weekendleisure

        Now what the difference is between 521 and 521-UV I am not sure – it seems there are many Sika products not listed on their web sites at different times.

        Reply
  • December 12, 2010 at 12:02 am
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    Hi Rowland

    In Aust insulation from cold is probably not as big an issue as in the UK, and for the floor I have been considering just laying a thin sheet of closed cell foam (1/8 to 1/4″) and laying the floor on top of that – more to provide protection and friction between the board and the metal rather than thermal and noise insulation. Would be curious on your thoughts – this would also reduce the lost headroom due to the batons.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2010 at 8:38 pm
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      Hi Ken,

      That sounds like a sensible idea. Cold coming up from the ground is a big problem here in Europe, especially in a van like mine with no heating. However, where cold isn’t such an issue, your idea sounds like a good compromise to maximise headroom – Roland

      Reply
  • December 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm
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    I’m experiencing my first winter unintentionally full-timing in a self-converted Iveco Daily. I made the mistake during the summer of getting bad advice from the internet. Consequently, I’m about a quarter way through completely re-building the interior of my van. There’s so much advice out there, it’s really important that you can tell the difference between one persons experience and another persons well meaning but ultimately amateur and untested theory. My downfall was taking seriously the opinions of posters who would start a post with “I’ve never done it myself, but if I did……”
    Also, occasional summer use of a coach built ‘fibre glass’ RV is not the same as occasional winter use of a metal van. And full time living – well that’s a completely different ball game, forget ‘camping size” sinks and cookers etc. Making up a bed from a sofa every night is OK for a holiday, as is seats made of foam blocks. My van has a luxury hand made bed and a (hollowed-out) leather sofa containing batteries and water tanks in the arms as well as storage underneath!
    I’m very aware of the effect of damp and condensation: Twenty years ago, me and two mates moved to London living in an empty transit van, the floor slightly insulated with bin bags! It took about four years before the whole of the back section rusted it’s way clear of the chassis!
    On a happier note, this is my actual recent experience of insulating theory and method.

    Forget about airflow – that only applies to buildings made out of bricks, not a big metal freezer box. Air equals moisture. I’ll repeat that because it is fundamental. Air equals moisture. You need to achieve a SOLID sandwich of materials with as little air as possible. Some materials will crumble to dust over time with all the flexing that the van body undergoes. You don’t need a wet soggy pile of expanding foam dust sitting around the bottom of the walls. Some materials are just not nice to have around, such as basic loft insulation, which is designed to be put in a place where nobody lives i.e. a loft.
    I’ve heard that some cheap automotive carpets used on ceilings can shower you with fibres forever. Anyway, this is what I’ve done and how successful it was:

    First build – Celotex/Kingspan panels stuck on with Sikaflex 512 with Sheep’s Wool to fill in awkward gaps. Lots of air floating around between ply wall/ceiling panels and van body. This produced severe condensation on every metal body panel which only came to light when a gentle rear collision knocked all the water droplets simultaneously from inside the roof and wet patches began to appear straight away on the interior. A lucky accident I guess.

    Second attempt- large and expensive quantities of Sheeps Wool to eradicate the air gaps.
    About fifty percent improvement.The problem is the actual point of contact between metal and insulation will always creates condensation if the temperature difference is too great. What you need is a material which is solid and doesn’t transmit cold.
    Current and so far perfect solution, having removed an infinite amount of old Sikaflex from the van body with Stanley blades:

    1. Stuff Sheeps Wool in every hollow strut and crevice of the van. Not a half hearted poke, stuff it in using sticks whatever to ensure there is a little air as possible in these struts. Really push it in. These struts seem to get colder than the panels.
    Next, and a miracle solution in my books, use rolls of self-adhesive 4mm rubber underlay to cover all of the metal. It’s expensive – currently fifty GB pounds for ten square metres. It comes on a roll about a metre wide. But on it’s own it can almost completely eradicate all condensation.
    2. But first, fill in all the indents on the roof with shaped pieces – this minimises the amount of tiny air pockets when the actual sheet is stretched across these indents.. Remember, less air equals less condensation. The more care you take here, the more you can control the problem.
    3. Now, stick sheets of rubber across all of the metal. This – on it’s own – will stop, in my experience, ninety five percent of the condensation straight away, even without further work.
    4. Now you need to completely fill the void between rubber-coated metal roof and ply panels with very solidly-packed insulation. Sheep’s Wool is by far the best solution – safe, no gloves or masks needed, absorbs any latent moisture and converts it to heat, easy to handle and tear, extremely quick. And very expensive. But if you are intending to use a van in cold weather or even if you just want to do the job properly, I strongly recommend you use expensive self adhesive underlay and expensive Sheep’s Wool.
    5. Finally, fill in between battens with tight-fitting Celotex/Kingspan panels.
    6. Fix ply panels and cover these with a warm material. Make sure that there are no gaps where interior moisture-laden air can seep into the voids behind the panels.

    This sandwich of rubber mat, Sheeps Wool, Celotex, ply wood and interior material covering has proven to be – in practise – an excellent design.
    It’s also important to be aware that, some parts of the van get colder than others. Crucially, where side panels are welded together with a rim (like a biscuit tin lid on it’s side), this rim gets very cold.
    I originally fixed the ply wall panels to these rims directly. The points of contact were very obvious from the inside – they were covered in ice, even when the outside temperature had risen!!
    I subsequently covered these rims with the rubber underlay before applying the whole sheet over the area so that they have a double thickness. Also, I’ve put rubber strips on the ply panels where they touch the van body, so these contact points in effect have three layers of rubber.

    Around the rim of the matress, which touches the wall panels, I’ve also used rubber underlay to stop damp forming where the hot mattress touches a cold wall panel. This also has worked extremely well.

    The bed base has been modified so that all joists and the contact points between these bed frame joists and the van body are covered in thick pieces of rubber cut from camping groundsheets, about 8mm thick. Wherever wood touches metal there will be localised damp and ice.

    If I were to start again, I would try to avoid fixing any of the interior structure directly to the van body. Recording studios are built this way, with a room constructed within a room, none of the structural parts are attached to the exterior. The studio is actually a self contained floating unit sitting on large rubber ‘joists.’ I would use this method to build a cage of battens within the van , sitting on and wedged in by rubber ‘joists’. This may seem a little over the top, but if like me you must have a metal van for a camper or motor home (I’m a travelling musician) then you have to respect the fact that these vehicles were not originally designed to be inhabited by people. When building a van in the Summer and Autumn, you can’t really imagine just how different it gets in the winter when you are living in a box made of cold metal sheets. Brrrrrr!!

    Reply
    • December 16, 2010 at 2:28 am
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      All I can say is Wow !!!!! Thanks for the post.
      I was told by a couple of places the rubber was probably not the best option (rubber underlay at least) as it will break down and would absorb moisture and that could also lead to mould and smell over and above the condensation / rust problems – hence to use Closed Cell Foam product which would not absorb moisture. I would have thought wool insulation would do the similar – interesting point about what the wool does with moisture – had not heard of that.
      I take the point about filling all the gaps and for the under floor I am currently trying to find the right type of closed cell foam I can lay in a sheet under Plywood that will compress enough on the ridges of the floor to force it down in the valleys and have a completely “in contact” seal against the metal.

      Reply
    • December 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for such a detailed comment that’s clearly based on real experience. You are right that to eradicate condensation behind the panels you do need to go to greater lengths than I have done – I am sure there is some condensation behind the walls of my van, although hopefully the carpet lining reduces this. On the other hand, for people who only sleep in the van for holidays, there is a balance to be struck with cost and time vs. insulation quality.

      Thank you for detailing such a comprehensive method.

      Cheers, Roland

      Reply
  • December 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm
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    Just a few corrections and comments:
    I didn’t mention the most important layer – the vapour barrier. Condensation is caused by moist interior air hitting cold spots, it’s important to keep that air in the van.Somehow. The rubber performs this to a certain extent. I’m also covering my interior walls with the rubber as an underlay just to be sure… By the way, the air trapped in the roof void will stay as a gas as long as it doesn’t meet with interior air. It seems that the current favoured method though is professionally-applied expanding foam, not the stuff in tins. Doh!

    Reply
    • December 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm
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      I saw somewhere in my “trawling” the Expanded Foam method which makes a lot of sense. I guess logically and ideally you need something between the metal shell and the interior that is a very poor thermal conductor, non absorbing, sealing, and fills all the cracks and crevices.

      Reply
  • June 28, 2013 at 6:00 pm
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    regarding insulation. for my floor i used some old closed cell foam camping mats (had them over ten years and as good as the day i bought them), and bought a few more.. they are thin, mold to the contours, easy to glue down, thermal and moisture repelling and fairly cheap though some are better quality than others, you get what you pay for…I also noticed a remarkable difference in road noise…so quiet in the back now.

    Reply
  • September 21, 2014 at 11:43 am
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    hi, just come across this very useful post, as I’m at the stage of insulating my van i keep swaying from foil bubble wrap insulation and this stuff, think the b an q plastic stuff sounds good though….. One question, what about sounds insulation???? i was intending bubble wrap, sound proof, then buble wrap again. ….. hope this gets read and adice given cause I’m totally confused! ! haha cheers, Rich

    Reply
    • September 22, 2014 at 9:39 am
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      Hi Richard,

      Any insulation should help dampen sound a little, although if you are serious about sound insulation then the good stuff is the heavy self-adhesive insulation you stick to body panels to dampen vibration — Dynamat is a well-known brand, but there are others.

      For a van, this would translate as Dynamat, then thermal insulation, then interior panelling.

      Regarding the pros and cons of different types of thermal insulation, I’m not sure how the foil/bubble wrap type compares with fibre/wool loft insulation in terms of performance, although obviously one is much less bulky than the other. Anything is better than nothing, though.

      HTH, Roland

      Reply
  • November 9, 2014 at 5:31 am
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    Hi Richard, I guess you’ve probably started now, but here’s my view after four years of full time living in a self build panel van. The first and most important question is, how do you intend using the van? Occasional summer use and full time winter living are different ends of the scale, so it’s wise to build accordingly. No point spending lots of time and money if you don’t need to. This is where I made mistakes originally, I took advice which I now realise was only relevant to ‘campers’ using their vans mostly during warmer months. Unfortunately it was the middle of winter when I realised this. It’s a common problem on forums, people give well meant and tried and tested advice, but if you don’t know how and when they use their van, you can end up coming unstuck. And some people just have opinions, no knowledge, no experience , just opinions. Worse, some bad advice gets repeated so often, you end up trusting it. My own method (which I outlined in, err, some detail above) has seemed to work well. The science is important to understand: Breathing produces moisture, moisture creates water when it contacts a cold surface. So, you just need to stop the two from meeting. My first line of defence is a sealed wall and ceiling covering . I used 4mm self adhesive rubber mat from Been & Queued. It’s quick and easy to apply and the effect is immediate and stunning. More importantly, I also applied it directly to the metal as a last line of defence. Being self adhesive, there is no air gap between it and the metal: it just stays warm regardless of the metal temperature. My van is toasty warm most of the time. My expensive gas heater is still in a box four years after buying it (but not for much longer) and winters have been sometimes challenging, at least at first, but mostly it’s been really cozy. Before God created double glazing, central heating and energy bills paid in arrears, people used to do strange things to keep warm in the winter: wearing jumpers, thermal underwear, hats, thick socks and even blankets on laps! I know that might seem bizarre to people who’ve spent their lives walking around their houses in winter time dressed in t – shirts and shorts, but I used to do it myself in the Sixties. I resurrected these ancient practises in my van and I can tell you, it works and I feel a bit more connected to the seasons instead of living in a constant artificial summer climate. Anyway, going off topic, but only slightly- I’ve discovered that an important part of living in a van is your own behaviour. You can’t have endless supplies of water, you have to change the way you use it instead. Same goes for electric, gas and heating. Here’s my final tip for now- weigh your van, calculate the remaining payload and keep a check on what you’re adding. It soon mounts up, 5Kg here, 5Kg there. Do it! Weigh it this week. You’d be surprised how little payload most vans have. Big heavy vans are the worst. My Iveco is huge and built like a truck:the problem is, it’s so heavy that there’s not much of the three and a half tons left for carrying stuff. Mind you, it’s done 250,000 miles and still drives like new. Good luck with your build, expect to make mistakes, it’s unavoidable, learn and move on. This forum is excellent for advice and I use it regularly. Building and maybe living in a motorhome is immensely satisfying and it’s meant that I no longer need to work every day of the week just to stay alive. My gas bill is about £50 a year. Not much else to pay out except van maintenance. I’m 56 and I wish that I’d done this in my twenties when I first had the idea.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2016 at 12:03 am
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      Love your advice. Where can I buy the rubber from? I have lived in my transit all summer and love it… my cost of living is nearly has reduced dramatically. Cheers

      Reply
  • November 25, 2014 at 10:17 pm
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    Thanks for all the info. I have a high top LWB Movano. I have glued double sided foiled to the floor, roof and sides and placed polyester insulating material in the voids. I am now starting the ply cladding. I like the idea of the rubber matting as I will be sleeping in my van on a near permemant basis. I am also fitting a flettner air vent and 2 small floor vents to help with the condensation.

    Reply
  • January 24, 2015 at 9:44 am
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    I am interested to read Andy’s advice for lining the van with rubber mat before insulation.
    I can’t find this product on B&Q website. Can anyone suggest where I can buy this rubber mat or give me more advice on what to look for?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • January 26, 2015 at 9:35 am
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    i would just foil and use a good quality insulation. Foil the floor and 12mm ply on top. Use packers where the floor dips. 5 mm ply for the sides and 3 for the roof. Then cover in the material. http://www.campervanconversion.co.uk
    This is where I brought my stuff from.

    Reply
  • September 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm
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    I’m thinking of getting a people carrier with Windows.
    I will not need the insulation will I?

    Reply
    • September 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm
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      The level of insulation behind the existing panelling on the sides and roof of the vehicle will depend on the make and model of the vehicle. But as a rule I suspect it will be less than you would find in a well-designed motorhome. There may not be any insulation at all.

      That said, if you’re only planning to use the vehicle in warmer weather, it may not be worth the effort of removing all the interior panels, adding insulation and replacing them. It’s up to you really, depending on how you plan to use the van and how bothered you are about insulation!

      Reply
  • September 5, 2015 at 3:02 pm
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    With the people carrier having windows I’ll only have to insulate the bottom half of the sides and the roof.
    Then it’s onto the beds and electric and solar panels

    Reply
  • October 31, 2015 at 1:41 am
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    Hi, I am an engineer contract engineer and got fed up with using hotels and B & B, I converted a Lwb sprinter and use it thro out the year, I found the best way to insulate the van against condensation was to cover every part in of the van including the cab in the reflective insulation not forgetting any cut outs, there is no short cut, if the job is to be done right
    I use the van in all weathers from heatwaves to deep snow, used caravan carver 3000 with blown air f/freezer, carver hot water system, full cooker etc
    I may be starting a new van next year and will try the wet system

    Alastair

    Reply
  • November 30, 2015 at 4:58 pm
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    Hi there,
    I have an old 1988 purpose built transit campervan project.
    Will the insulation still be working or should it be replaced.
    If so how difficult will this be please?
    And whats the best to use?
    Cheers Kate.

    Reply
    • November 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm
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      Hi Kate,

      I don’t think I’d fancy replacing the insulation on a van that has already been converted, it would be very difficult as you will have no access behind any of the wall, floor or ceiling panels.

      Unless you are planning to remove the furniture/wall panelling/etc anyway, then I would be tempted to live with the van as it is and accept that it may not be as well insulated as a modern conversion.

      It’s hard to say what condition the original insulation will be — it depends on what type of insulation was used and how well it was fitted. It could still be fine.

      I hope this is of some help!

      Cheers,

      Roland

      Reply
  • March 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm
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    i am thinking about using the spray foam to insulate my vw crafter , what are your thoughts on this before i start please ?THANKS.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2016 at 9:20 am
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      John,

      I’ve not used spray foam myself, but I do know that others have done. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, although I guess getting an even coverage and a good fill of the void behind the panelling is important. Could be a messy job.

      Ultimately it’s your call! Let us know how it goes.

      Regards, Roland

      Reply
  • March 30, 2016 at 2:19 pm
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    Hi all, some great advice thanks.
    I have a VW caddy and only want to use it on the occasional night, I would like to use the bubble rap with reflective surfaces, now… Do I stick this to the meter part of the van or on my wooden panneling?

    Thanks in advance.
    Rosie

    Reply
    • March 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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      Hi Rosie,

      I’d think that you would stick the insulation to the metal inside the van and then maybe panel over the top (optional).

      Regards, Roland

      Reply
  • April 19, 2016 at 9:34 pm
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    Can I use closed cell spray foam in the cavities with rubber closed cell matting 10 mm on all the metal work then apply the double sided foil or do I apply the foil first then the matting then finish with ply and carpet many thanks

    Reply
    • April 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm
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      I’m not really sure what order to apply the rubber matting and double-sided foil. It may not matter that much. Personally I’d probably stick the rubber matting to the panels in the hope that it might dampen sound/vibration slightly, and then put the foil on top of that.

      Anyone else have any thoughts?

      Reply
  • April 27, 2016 at 5:49 pm
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    hi all, just bought our van , the reason to convert, the thing im going to ask is the spray insulation the same sort thing they use on barges?. was speaking to my dad who lives on a barge and he said maybe go for a expanding foam spray same as they use on boats?. any ideas thanks liam

    Reply
    • April 28, 2016 at 4:01 pm
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      Hi Liam,

      I’d imagine it’s the same sort of thing. Insulation requirements on barges are pretty similar, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

      Roland

      Reply
  • April 28, 2016 at 5:05 pm
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    all done (insulation spray on closed cell foam ) i would defo use thi again all done in just over half a day including masking and clean up. foam kit was £270 deliverd .

    Reply
  • April 28, 2016 at 5:50 pm
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    thanks john. iv seen the sort of thing your on about, think im going to just go straight onto the body of the van would be that be ok do you know then ply line and 4 way stretch? newbie here, ill post pics once its started if thats ok with everyone? cheers liam

    Reply
    • April 28, 2016 at 6:46 pm
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      -that’s what I did. If you send e-mail address I will send you some pictures it it will help.

      Reply

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