Problems with headliner and adhesives - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-11-2016, 02:34 PM   #1
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Problems with headliner and adhesives

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 bašked 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.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:51 PM   #2
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Get rid of the styrofoam. It is difficult to work with when you mix products.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:04 PM   #3
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Ironically I've got the 3M super 77 can in my hand as we speak. I have a 4ft by 4ft section that needs to be replaced on my boler. Gonna tackle it tomorrow . We will see how it works! Fingers crossed.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:32 PM   #4
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Ironically I've got the 3M super 77 can in my hand as we speak. I have a 4ft by 4ft section that needs to be replaced on my boler. Gonna tackle it tomorrow . We will see how it works! Fingers crossed.
Whoa...! Mollie I used 77 and everything came loose and fell down. I switched to 3m90 and it holds fine.
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:59 PM   #5
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Okay great Keaner! This is why this site is great as I too would have been frustrated . I will pick up some 3m90 in the morning... Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2016, 07:08 PM   #6
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Question Keaner, due to gravity did you find the headliner needed to be braced somehow when first stuck to ceiling? Just wondering if I need to get some form of braces from floor to ceiling to apply pressure ?
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:20 AM   #7
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Get rid of the styrofoam. It is difficult to work with when you mix products.
That has been considered but before I start removing it I want to make sure it is not just an adhesive issue. Also we tested some reflectix with similar results in fact the reflectix separated from itself - the inner and outer layers delaminated. Scamp says they use a Sta-put product and add red dye to it (I am guessing so they can tell if a surface has been completely covered with the stuff. The styrofoam is doing its job of insulating better than reflectix when testing with a laser thermometer in afternoon sun but with the trailer closed up and no AC running the sun coming in the windows gets the temperature up high enough that I believe that is what is causing the adhesive failure and I can't help but think it would do the same even if there was reflectix under the headliner. The only thing I can see that will change is no styrofoam to eat up with other adhesives but will the headliner stay up?
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:18 AM   #8
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That has been considered but before I start removing it I want to make sure it is not just an adhesive issue. Also we tested some reflectix with similar results in fact the reflectix separated from itself - the inner and outer layers delaminated. Scamp says they use a Sta-put product and add red dye to it (I am guessing so they can tell if a surface has been completely covered with the stuff. The styrofoam is doing its job of insulating better than reflectix when testing with a laser thermometer in afternoon sun but with the trailer closed up and no AC running the sun coming in the windows gets the temperature up high enough that I believe that is what is causing the adhesive failure and I can't help but think it would do the same even if there was reflectix under the headliner. The only thing I can see that will change is no styrofoam to eat up with other adhesives but will the headliner stay up?
I guess I will have to repeat these facts about reflective insulation over and over again in this forum until people understand what they ought not to be doing. You do need to get some basic understanding of thermodyamics as it regards reflective and radiant insulation installation requirements if you are going to DIY your insulation.

If you use spray adhesive on Reflectix or shiny aluminum it will completely loose its ability to reflect heat. That is easy to visually see right? The spray glue obviously is making the surface dull, no longer shiny, no longer reflective like it is supposed to be. So yes of course you are not going to see good thermal results from it when you apply it to the ceiling with spray glue on one, or most often the way I have seen people in this forum doing it, putting glue on both surfaces. When you do the spray glue thing all you are left with for insulation is the air in the bubbles. Quit wasting your time and money on the product if you are not going to apply it correctly.

As to using a surface material to create a radiant barrier such as aluminum foil, those only work if they are not in direct contact with materials on both sides. They can only work if there is an adjacent air space and it will only do the radiant reflection on the shiny side facing towards the air gap.

The reflextic product is intended to be installed with staples onto wood rafters. No glue on it and there has to be an air gap on both sides of it. Just because you can physically buy it, cut it and glue it up onto a fiberglass ceiling does not mean that you are going to get good results doing it that way. In fact you will have destroyed the product doing that.

You don't have to take my word for it the product web sites will tell you how it has to be installed to work. There are also discussions on these facts on many government sponsored web sites that deal with energy use and conservation.

And if there are trailer manufature companies out there improperly using these products and then telling you how well insulated they have made the unit then shame on them because intentionally or unintentionally you are being conned into believing something that is not true in the world of physical science.
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Old 06-12-2016, 05:20 AM   #9
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That has been considered but before I start removing it I want to make sure it is not just an adhesive issue. Also we tested some reflectix with similar results in fact the reflectix separated from itself - the inner and outer layers delaminated. Scamp says they use a Sta-put product and add red dye to it (I am guessing so they can tell if a surface has been completely covered with the stuff. The styrofoam is doing its job of insulating better than reflectix when testing with a laser thermometer in afternoon sun but with the trailer closed up and no AC running the sun coming in the windows gets the temperature up high enough that I believe that is what is causing the adhesive failure and I can't help but think it would do the same even if there was reflectix under the headliner. The only thing I can see that will change is no styrofoam to eat up with other adhesives but will the headliner stay up?
Hi John, no answer but comments. The heat build up can be huge. I've had a number of stick RV's that have had the factory wall paper shrink and let go after a few years. Even with the roof vents fully open (Maxair covers) I've seen the inside wall thermometer pegged at 130* at an outside temp of only 90*. Haven't had any problems with the SD carpet letting go even with 125* outside temps. No clue as to what kind of glue Casita uses but there is no red color, kind of yellow. Can't say I've ever heard of anyone having Reflectix separating from its self. Maybe what you tested was a bad batch. I'm sure the styro insulates better but IMHO styro is to easy to break, split or react to some glues. Sandwiched between hard surfaces, no problem. You didn't say what the temp difference was with your laser test but to me, it's a small box and it's going to get hot. Not sure if I would go through the added headaches you're seeing for a few surface degrees change. But everyone's different and I'll be watching with interest to what you decide.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:09 AM   #10
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Question Keaner, due to gravity did you find the headliner needed to be braced somehow when first stuck to ceiling? Just wondering if I need to get some form of braces from floor to ceiling to apply pressure ?
Hi Mollie. No, you apply it like a contact cement. Put on both surfaces and wait a minute or so- says exactly how long on can- till it gets tacky then put it up. It will stay put. In fact, position it right the first time because it doesn't want to let go once both covered surfaces come in contact.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:16 AM   #11
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K Corbin your post is exactly why I choose not use reflectix and yes I have been on their website but I have been told by many to use it. Good to know info about the glue dulling it. K Corbin what do you suggest we do try a different adhesive and stay with the styrofoam? We considered removing it but worry we will have same problem with the headliner directly on the fiberglass as we did on the inside of the door. We are considering pulling it down and just painting the inside but worry the 5000 BTU AC won't be effective. Borrego Dave thanks for your I put too don't remember the exact temperatures as the test were last summer but they seemed significant enough to justify the styrofoam not to mention the styrofoam was significantly more cost effective not including our wasted material. There has got to be something out there like Nasa space stuff lol that would work for these eggs with good R values and stay put.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:29 AM   #12
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Thanks Keaner... Off to Home Depot this morning to get a can of 3M 90
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #13
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Ceiling treatment

John, I'm sorry your ceiling retrofit didn't work out. I'm not sure if you were using extruded polystyrene(Dow blue board) or expanded polystyrene(white bead board). In either case both materials are hard to find a compatible adhesive. I completely agree with KC on the bubble wrap/ reflectix. The research done for the energy efficient building community has found reflectix to have an R-value of 1. One not 15. It may be useful on windows to keep the sun out but not on walls or windows unless R-1 excites you.
If you want to add insulation to your roof I would suggest a product made by Atlas Roofing called Rboard. It comes in various thickness and commonly sold in 4x8 sheets. It has a rough fibered coating on each side and can be glued to many surfaces and material can be glued to it. The 1/2" board that I use has an R-value of 3. The 1/2" board will flex to the curve of a ceiling but won't go around a corner. You could cut narrow strips to go around a corner and it would look fine if it was to be covered with a fabric.
Folks often rely on reflectix to reflect the sun rays with the hope it will keep their camper cooler. It works fine for windows. What works best is a clean, shiny white roof!
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Old 06-12-2016, 10:07 AM   #14
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Adhesives

Forgot to mention glue. I am a fan of urethane. 3M-5200 is one example. Another is an adhesive similar to Great Stuff but while GS sticks to everything, the stuff I use is intended to be used as an adhesive. A can of the adhesive screws onto a gun that makes application easy. The first time I used it was for installing 10' foot 5/8" sheets of Sheetrock on the ceiling. I applied the "foam" on the ceiling joists and raised the sheet with a lift. When I noticed one edge with about an eighth inch gap, I lowered the lift to reposition the sheet but the Sheetrock stayed on the ceiling without screws. This stuff works great to adhere foam board to the wall of the trailer. I would use one of the spray adhesives or contact cement to install the finish fabric.
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