insulation add ons - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-22-2019, 01:22 PM   #1
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Name: Brian
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insulation add ons

After tourling NM in October, I decided it was time to look into additional insulation for my 88 16'. The guy next to me had traded his 82 for a 17' Escape with nice insulation and double pane windows. I remain loyal to my Scamp with better layout and counter space.

Has anyone looked into replacing or adding something to the rat fur? The original Suburban furnace continues to be troublesome. My Olympic infrared unit works great, but could use a boost in the morning.

Any upgrade suggestions would be appreciated. Brian
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:19 PM   #2
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I think you wont really make any real difference trying to add insulation to the rat fur and existing insulation. The camper is too... whats the opposite of "air tight?"

Some people have attempted to seal up the windows and add insulation there as well as other air leaks. I put Reflectix (cut to size) in the windows and the large ceiling vent and that helped some. A rug on the floor will make it feel warmer (even if the internal temp is the same). Then if you are parked for a very extended time, some skirting on the outside to insulate the floor might be good. Some have used hay bales circling the camper, up against the body.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:49 PM   #3
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I bought a roll of reflectix and am shoring up/ replacing worn insulation in EggCamper. The large roll cost me less than $30 - and I can make other things like a pot cozy, or a cooler liner.

On future warm nights we want to chill the TT with the A/C and then turn it off and I'm hoping improved insulation will help that plan work. The modified rooftop A/C is powerful - our first night out was like sleeping in a snowglobe

I'm sure we will have a hot day in Florida when during the day we appreciate every degree of it - but for night it was too cold.
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:18 PM   #4
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Try using a thick batting in the roof. Ents rather than reflecting. Also attach the batting th the outside of the windows. Reflecting prob woul work better on the outside also.
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Old 10-22-2019, 07:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SandyNorthFL View Post
I bought a roll of reflectix and am shoring up/ replacing worn insulation in EggCamper. The large roll cost me less than $30 - and I can make other things like a pot cozy, or a cooler liner.
We noticed a great improvement with Reflctix cut to friction fit in our windows for both cooling and heating, and we noticed a nice warm feeling when we installed interlocking foam pads on the floor.
Best of luck with your issues.
Dave & Paula
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:09 PM   #6
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The hay bales idea should work pretty well as long as it stays dry, and just keep some selective pressure on the rodents that show up. You could also use sheets of rigid foam to construct an external insulating shell. Extruded polystyrene sheet is R5/inch and entirely waterproof. There are special construction adhesives that don't melt the insulation, and you can use lightly torqued long screws to pin things together temporarily. Go at least 2" for mechanical strength.



Being a building science guy, I have to mention that Reflectix and all the other mylar foil/scrim/bubble pack insulation products actually have no R-value to speak of for conductive heat loss. The only way these things work at all is as a radiant barrier facing a radiant heat source like the sun, with a continous air gap or space between the foil face and the radiant source. You can use it as a vapor barrier, air barrier, and a sunshade, but don't bother using Reflectix for insulation.



Any kind of foam sheet, rigid or flexible, provides some decent R-value; like R4 to R6 per inch. Yoga mats. Foam shop maps at Hazard Fraught. The thicker the better. You need to keep inside warm moist air from getting on the cold side of the foam or you can end up with a lot of condensation to deal with. Keeping the indoor air dry (35-45% RH) with a 30 pint dehumidifier will reduce or even eliminate the condensation potential, and a dehumidifier is a 2 COP heater as well.



This is a great website for learning about dewpoint and mold risk; Dew Point Calculator


Laying a foam mat over the outside of the trailer would be a good method; kind of like a wetsuit.



Thinking about ways to use spray foam on our little ice cubes... If you lay polyethylene sheet and/or aluminum foil against the outside shell with no gaps, and put filler plugs over openings you want to keep, you could spray the trailer with closed cell polyurethane to any thickness you like, then cut out the plugs for windows and such. The foam has an initially waterproof outer skin you need to paint to seal and keep the UV off it. The poly sheet will keep the foam shell from bonding to the trailer surface (conforming mold release), so you could cut it loose like peeling an orange and be able to take it off and put it back on like an orange peel. It would stay put on the trailer on the road if it was thick enough and you taped around the openings. You can apply the foam and shape the outside smoother if you like. Or spray the foam inside a sheet foam box clamshell you can remove/reinstall as needed.



Insulation on the outside of the structure shell is always the best way to insulate anything, eliminate condensation issues, and really be prepared for very cold weather.


Or "Step inside my sleeping bag!" ZZ Top
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:34 PM   #7
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Being a building science guy,

So, what do you think about dryer sheets?
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Old 10-22-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
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Now that's a great question! Well, issues with dryer sheets include the neurotoxic fragrance and microplastic particles blown everywhere. But you could use them to insulate a scale model of a trailer. Or glue boxes of dryer sheets to the outside shell, creating a foam shell as thick as the box, but thermal bridging caused by the boxes and glue lines would reduce the average R-value. Using silver duct tape to cover the dryer sheet boxes and hold them on would make your trailer look like an Airstream. But there just isn't any perfect material here.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:01 PM   #9
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Newspapers and vinegar?
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:33 AM   #10
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We've had a 16' Scamp and a 17' Casita. The #1 problem is the windows. Period! The aluminum frames and glass transmit more cold into the camper than the entire rat fur walls. Like others we used Reflectix on our Scamp/Casita windows and it made a HUGE difference.

We purchased our Escape 5.0 with frameless, double-pane awning windows to eliminate as much cold transmission as possible. The frameless part does its job, but those double-pane windows leave a little to be desired. Yes, they eliminate most frosting, but the double-pane gap is so small I question the effective R value.

We've camped numerous nights at temps below 30F and we now use Reflectix on Escape's double-pane windows. Again, it DOES make a huge difference.

Both the Scamp and Casita were cold when camping under 40 degrees. Once Reflectix was used they were quite tolerable. And yes, the Escape is a better cold weather camper.

Attack your window problem first.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #11
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Thanks Alan for the material science lesson. We will be working on staying cool more often than staying warm but knowing what to use where is a huge help! Back to Home Depot
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:23 AM   #12
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Four Season Capability 🎅 😎

I'm working on four-season boondocking capability for a Casita shell. My target is -20F to +120F. The first insulation step among several was factory window replacement with custom double-pane glazed windows (picture on request). The technology is used on oil rigs in Arctic and desert locales.

After window replacement, last summer in Texas my customizer reported exposed to the blazing sun and 107F OAT, the air conditioner cycled on and off keeping the inside temperature at 70F without difficulty. This preliminary encouraging results portend meeting my +120F target.

As the project comes together, I'm looking for a stateside location with the worst winter weather for testing. Maine and North Dakota are on my shortlist. ❄
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:26 PM   #13
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I had some good carpet padding. I used that to cover hatch doors, interior cabinet walls, anyplace that I had access to. Just cut it to fit. I did not use the jute type, but rather the more expensive type that is solid. I even used it on the interior of my garage door to help insulate.

You might check with Home Depot, Lowes or any of the carpet installers and ask them to save you excess pieces that they may throw away? Cheap insulating product that way! There is also the underlayment materials used for certain vinyl flooring. Although it is thin, it may work to give you that extra layer inside where thicker pieces might not be feasible?
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:23 PM   #14
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windows

Hey Stephen,
I love some more details on th windows ie source and price.

thanx
C



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen_Albers View Post
I'm working on four-season boondocking capability for a Casita shell. My target is -20F to +120F. The first insulation step among several was factory window replacement with custom double-pane glazed windows (picture on request). The technology is used on oil rigs in Arctic and desert locales.

After window replacement, last summer in Texas my customizer reported exposed to the blazing sun and 107F OAT, the air conditioner cycled on and off keeping the inside temperature at 70F without difficulty. This preliminary encouraging results portend meeting my +120F target.

As the project comes together, I'm looking for a stateside location with the worst winter weather for testing. Maine and North Dakota are on my shortlist. ❄
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