Problems with headliner and adhesives - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 06-13-2016, 09:40 AM   #29
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,576
I agree with KC that closed cell foam is the best option for insulation. Because the products available now lack the vinyl skin of the original Ensolite, you'll probably want to add a finish layer, probably some kind of headliner. Carpet-like marine headliner creates additional dead air space, which adds insulating value.

That said, closed cell foam is more expensive (unless you get it for free) and harder to work with on compound curves (KC, your Trails West is boxier than Bolers and similar). While I consider Scamp's R15 claim pure bunkum, and I have read the manufacturer's product information, foil bubble wrap is inexpensive, readily available, and easier to work with. I have been very satisfied with its performance in actual use (or misuse... ) and it feels nice to the touch. For myself, I'd use it again, whatever the engineers say.

As to styrofoam and flammability, I would caution that many RV fires are electrical, so leaving out LP does not eliminate the issue.

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Old 06-13-2016, 10:28 AM   #30
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Name: John
Trailer: Boler
Deep South
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
As to styrofoam and flammability, I would caution that many RV fires are electrical, so leaving out LP does not eliminate the issue.
Jon you are right and I am probably overthinking the reflectix vs polystyrene insulation, but the insulation is up there good with lock tite 300 and not coming down so I will probably stay with it. My problem really is with getting a glue that will hold up the vinyl headliner and won't fail in the heat. I was told by one company that the plastizers in the vinyl headliner itself gases off in excessive temperatures and is causing the glue to fail and that I need to find a glue that is resistant to the plastizers in the vinyl and that won't eat up the styro .

As far as to flammability I agree, and reflectix may be the better choice but the synthetic closed cell rubber similar to ensolite is not the best fire safe choice either (petrochemical based comes to mind). As a retired firefighter though, my experience tells me the best thing is the use of a smoke detector with regular battery changes and an ABC class fire extinguisher on board as many items in a camper trailer are combustible not just construction components...As to the electrical, regular inspection of components and proper rated fuses for the gauge wire/circuit and not overloading is important as well, however it is difficult to inspect hidden wires/connection on a travel trailer subject to constant vibrations from the road but that is a topic in of itself but worthy of some thought in any project involving fiberglass rv's

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Old 06-13-2016, 10:48 AM   #31
Name: Duane
Trailer: 1978 Burro
Posts: 65
Styrofoam glues

Originally Posted by Johnny M View Post
We put our vinyl headliner up a few weeks ago and it is already falling down. There was much debate on our choice of wall and ceiling coverings and glues along with alot of research here and elsewhere. We choose 1" thick styrofoam (polypropylene) for its great insulation R value as opposed to reflectix. That presented a problem of finding the right glue that would not eat up the styrofoam and we went with lock tite 300 for high heat applications and it said on the can it would work on polypropylene (styrofoam). And it does, but the cloth baçked vinyl headliner we applied to the styrofoam with the same glue has started coming down from the summer heat after only a few weeks. Scamp told me the glue they use for their rat fur but it is only commercially available. When we looked at similar rat fur it seemed like it was heavier in weight than the vinyl by feel. Also to complicate things further the headliner has shrunk where we applied it to the fiberglass interior of the door which we used Dap contact cement in a gallon container and the heat has brought it down also. We followed the instructions on both products to the T. We considered 3M supper 77, 90 and the 38808 auto headliner adhesives but they will all attack the foam. Wanted to see if any one else has used styrofoam polypropylene insulation and vinyl headliner and if you were successful and if so what glue you used.

I have thought of using 1/2" styrofoam on the ceiling of my Burro but haven't made a decision as to how to go about covering it. I have had at least two cars where the headliner was starting to sit on top of my head. I did find this video and thought I'd share it.

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Old 06-13-2016, 11:50 AM   #32
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1980 18' Sunrader Motorhome and 1971 Trails West CampMite Campster
Posts: 775
I am so glad that you took the time to call the company and talk to them about the specific insulation product you are using. That was a very wise decision.

It sounds like this product has an actual metal foil on the surface versus the shiny mylar plastic used on Reflectix. I like that!!! But even with a true metal the radiant barrier does need to have an air gap next to it on the side that is towards the heat to achieve the maximum stated R Values. But as they said there is some benefit to it despite the lack of air gap.

For those of you who have Reflectix it is important to note that there is a difference between being a radiant barrier and a reflective barrier. Metal is a radiant barrier and if polished can additionally be a reflective barrier. It performs best when it is shiny since you get both benefits. Reflectix is a reflective barrier and it has no significant radiant barrier capabilities. So if you dull the surface of the mylar plastic with glue it loses the ability to reflect heat. Foam is more effective in R Value than the dead air space of a double bubble layer.

The true metal facing on the foam board will help deaden sound too. Reflectix does not have sound deadening properties. Closed cell foam does have sound reducing properties. Sound deadening is nice to have in small trailers as rain can just about drive you nuts going on for hours if it is coming down hard and you are a very light sleeper. Plus helping with those neighbors with generators that are running for hours on end. So when choosing an insulation you get extra value if your choice does help reduce the sounds.

Vinyl coated headliner/seat topper is available from various sources, it is used on boats. It is a 3/16" thick closed cell foam coated with a layer of colored vinyl. Here is one supplier for it. Foam Back Marine Vinyl by the Running Yard 54 Inches Wide That material is one of my lucky leftover finds I got and I have enough of it for my Campster ceiling. In the flat areas I will first adhere the thicker layer of closed cell foam (that was also a free leftovers find), then I will top it with the vinyl coated foam layer for the finished surface of the ceiling. I don't need to put the thicker foam over the molded in stiffener beams in the Campster ceiling as they already have foam inside of them. The foam created the shape and fiberglass cloth and resin over the foam provides the strength. That is a structural method of stiffening areas that is also found in fiberglass boats.

If fire rated non toxic fumes materials is a big concern to you that issue can be solved by purchasing insulating and upholstery materials from the aircraft interiors industry. The FAA requires certain standards of non toxic fumes in case of fires. If you want to find some just use the keywords "FAA approved" tagged onto the kind of product you are looking for.

One of my personal tricks is to apply the aluminum tape materials to the backside of wall panels or to the opposite face of foam insulation board that has no reflective surface. There are many places where you can have hot days and cold nights so you are trying to keep heat in as well as keep it out at different times of the day. But I will post more about that in my personal modification thread when I reach the part of my project where I begin installing insulation on the upright walls.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:25 PM   #33
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Posts: 3,561
I would suggest that being so thin, none of these insulating products are going to do much more than stop condensation. I would use the one that's cheapest and easest to apply. I don't know about bead board but when I investigated insulating my basement I found the code required blue board be covered. And then there is the windows.... Raz
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:35 PM   #34
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Name: Steve
Trailer: casita 17 SD
Posts: 150
Foam adhesive

Johnny M, the foam that I used as an adhesive was Todol PUR Stick construction adhesive. I bought all my air sealing materials from a company called Energy Federation, incorporated. I bought by the pallet. The gun that the can of adhesive screwed onto also came from EFI. The foam cost about $20 and the gun about $35 but it's been 3 years since I last ordered from them. I have seen similar foam adhesives and guns in some building supply stores. I doubt Lowes has them but Home Depot might. I am pretty sure EFI sells retail.
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:46 PM   #35
Name: Dean
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 57
Found this and it worked great at NAPA auto parts for headliner...
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