"Rat Fur" insulation and Reflectix - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-19-2014, 12:17 PM   #1
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Name: john
Trailer: Compact Junior
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"Rat Fur" insulation and Reflectix

At the Algonac, Mich. rally a week or two ago I saw "rat fur" for the first time in someone's new Scamp and realized how well named it is!

Is that applied over Reflectix?

I just bought some Reflectix at Menards where it is on sale through September 28.

Menards also had two different kinds of outdoor carpeting that looked like they would work nicely on the walls of my Compact Jr.

My Compact has no insulation on the walls or ceiling. The walls are just a thin layer of fiberglass and there seems to be two different levels of comfort in there, Too Hot or Too Cold.

So I was thinking about putting up some Reflectix. And to avoid the silvery look of a space station I thought about covering the Reflectix with the carpeting.

So it might be comparable to rat fur and Reflectix. But I'm wondering how well rat fur would work by itself without the Reflectix.

One of the two samples I got of the carpet at Menards had a thin solid vinyl back that would seem to make a good vapor barrier and provide some measure of insulation by itself.

Any thoughts from veterans here would be appreciated!
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:34 PM   #2
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John, Rat Fur is our term of endearment for Marine Grade headliner. It really is just a fabric. You would definitely need some sort of insulation under it. Otherwise you'd just be glueing fabric to the shell. Zero insulation.

Be careful of "carpet," it often has a jute backing and is too stiff to make any kind of smooth inside corner.

Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:52 PM   #3
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Insulation "test"

Thanks for the reply Donna. This new Scamp at the rally was really lined with something that looked like it came off a lab rat!

Right now I'm conducting a very unscientific test in the camper.

This is the south-facing wall of the camper and in the mid-afternoon the fiberglass is very warm.

The lower test patch is just the indoor/outdoor carpet piece.

The middle patch is the metal bubblewrap. (it's from a windshield reflector because I don't want to open the Reflectix until I'm sure I want it.)

And the top patch is bubblewrap with indoor/outdoor carpet piece attached.

From just a simple hand-on-the-wall feel the top piece seems coolest.

I'll go out in the early morning and see which feels the warmest.

Donna, the carpet samples are very flexible and my Compact Jr has pretty much right angles so it should work. I will certainly avoid a jute-backed carpet as I don't want anything that will hold moisture.

Also note in the photo the camper "library". Always nice to read A River Runs Through It when camping. I've seen the movie so many times I can pick up the book weeks or months later and know right where I am in the story.

Also note the "fly gun". This works so much better than a swatter!

A great device for any camper.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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Ozite is a pseudo carpet fabric which is a little more like carpet than Ratfur.
It is cheap and readily available at bigbox hardware stores.
It has been used in commercial RV interiors for many years.
the random pile (forever) would be the easiest to work with since it is non-directional...

http://www.ozite.com/dfiles/inout_carpet.pdf
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:42 PM   #5
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I used a uv stabilized outdoor carpet over reflectix in our Boler, it works great, very well insulated. Just the carpet may be enough to stop condensation on the inside, but not 100% on that. I liked the carpet over the hull liner, as it is a little thicker, so the seams hide themselves and there is no need to add anything over the seams.

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Old 10-04-2014, 11:17 PM   #6
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Name: John
Trailer: Boler American
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Hello All,

I have a 1972 Boler American that I am renovating. Slow going at times, especially since there are always other things that also require my attention.

You all have been talking about the interior insulation and lining and I have been struggling some with this issue.

When I brought the Boler home it looked great but the interior was painted a dark color.While painting it a lighter color I discovered that there was a mold issue which I cannot tolerate. The ensolite was removed to allow complete elimination of the mold. It was sagging anyway. During removal the ensolite was torn in several places and I neglected to use the old and make a pattern for the new. I was given a huge roll of reflectix which I will use to replace the ensolite. Does anyone out there have a template or pattern for the different pieces of insulation? I am certain I can get the stuff up and it look okay but no need to reinvent the wheel if someone else happens to have a pattern. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

The project is a bit bigger than I had anticipated but I am getting there. I will post some pics when done.

Thank you.

John
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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Reflectix is very easy to work with....

I've started putting it up on the walls of my Compact Jr. It cuts easily with a box cutter.

To affix it to the walls I'm using heavy duty Velcro with adhesive backing.

Velcro pieces about 2"-square on the four corners and a few smaller pieces along the sides hold it in place nicely.

And the thickness of the Velcro pieces holds the Reflectix a fraction of an inch away from the wall giving it a small air pocket.

Without the insulation the sides and roof of the trailer get very warm in direct sun and very damp and cold in the early morning.

The Reflectix seems to take care of that very nicely.

Not sure yet exactly how I will cover it up.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:50 AM   #8
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Only thing with using velcro is that eventually whatever covers it is going to make it sag in spots. I re-glued a lot of my insulation and rat fur, I used 3M 90 spray adhesive, and even that came loose in a couple spots where I didn't apply enough. With enough warm/cold cycles and humid/drying, the covering will pucker and sag unless it's evenly bonded to the substrate.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:26 AM   #9
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All,

I had tried the 3M 90 but I had very little luck. Perhaps not enough coverage. The ensolite seems to weigh more than the reflectix. Also, since I can get to the entire area maybe it will work better. The ensolite not sticking did not matter since it had to come off to get at the mold. I have painted it with six coats of Kilz. For S&G, I added that insulating powder to the primer. Honestly it does seem to help a slight bit but I have not used a recording thermometer or anything so it is purely subjective. It did make the paint go a lot further so no harm done if it does not aid in the insualtion. I do know that it did very little if anything to help with condensation.

I like the idea of the velcro in that it is removeable if needed but I can understand the sagging. And if I cover it with anything then it would become somewhat problematic to get at it to reset it.

Maybe if I went the velcro route I could install with the silver side in and paint the foam part as if it were ensolite. I have not tried that. I just thought that it might not sag as bad since it is holding less weight. Plus, if it does sag I could remove it and add more velcro. I could go the double sided tape route to cover the seams.

I do not know, just looking for possibilities. Suggestions are greatly appreciated.

John

'72 Boler American
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:19 PM   #10
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What can you put over carpeting?

I would like to super insulate my camper, I will line with reflectix and then put some sort of marine grade carpeting over top. Does anyone know what can I put over the carpeting? I've heard you can put fabric (is this true?) but what about wood paneling or something else? Open to suggestions and ideas.
Best!
Jessica
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:26 PM   #11
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Jessica, take a look at the compound corners... those would be buggers to get any kind of paneling to fit. Plain ole fabric over Rat Fur or carpet won't give you much added insulation (like less than .05%) over what's already there, at more money and time. The only way you'll be able to really "super insulate" is to get some space between the outer shell and some sort of inner shell that you can then insulate.

OR... strip all the wall covering off and spray with LizardSkin.. plan on spending well over $1,000

You can insulate all you want, but you still have single pane windows and a floor... those are two main places for heat loss.

Maybe someone else has other ideas, I'm stumped.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:38 PM   #12
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"Rat Fur" insulation and Reflectix

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess7000 View Post
I would like to super insulate my camper, I will line with reflectix and then put some sort of marine grade carpeting over top. Does anyone know what can I put over the carpeting? I've heard you can put fabric (is this true?) but what about wood paneling or something else? Open to suggestions and ideas.

Best!

Jessica

What are you putting all this on top of? What condition is it in?

Redoing the entire lining of an egg is a big and costly job (adhesives are a big hidden expense). You pretty much have to gut the interior, so once you start you won't be able to use the trailer until it's done. It might be better to patch up what you have and use the trailer for a while to see if you really need to tackle this one.

If you feel you must, I'd install a couple of layers of reflectix covered with marine carpet and end there. The marine hull liner is durable, washable, mildew-resistant, soft to the touch, and condensation-free. It's a very nice finish layer IMO.
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:02 PM   #13
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I just finished applying Reflectix insulation and Marine Headliner in the sleeping area of our Lil Snoozy.
I agree that you should repair or just use what you have until you know for sure that you need to change something. We were having condensation issues around our bedding during cold weather use, but never had problems keeping the interior warm with just a small cube heater.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:49 PM   #14
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Dave,

That's a nice job. I am thinking I will do the same. What kind of adhesive did you use?


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