To insulate or not to insulate, that is the question.. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-09-2016, 04:12 PM   #1
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Name: Jeremy
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To insulate or not to insulate, that is the question..

Hey Guys!

Framed up my Trillium and wanna start the walls. Using a white rigid 1/2 inch insulation. It's messy and annoying...

I'm have a whole bunch of commercial grade carpet tiles that I'll be glueing to the ceilings and the walls and I wonder if that's enough? Instead of trying to work with this hard foam was thinking of just using the carpet tiles.

What are your thoughts gang?
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:06 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jeremyb View Post
Hey Guys!

Framed up my Trillium and wanna start the walls. Using a white rigid 1/2 inch insulation. It's messy and annoying...

I'm have a whole bunch of commercial grade carpet tiles that I'll be glueing to the ceilings and the walls and I wonder if that's enough? Instead of trying to work with this hard foam was thinking of just using the carpet tiles.

What are your thoughts gang?
Messy? Tell us how you are cutting and installing it. Maybe we have suggestions to make it less messy. ]

For instance I just score the sheet with a utility knife and bend along that line then cut through the rest of the way with the knife. No mess at all
The 1/2" white insulation I am using is this product.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/R-Matte-R...4404/100572981

If you are trying to saw it you will indeed have a mess.


I don't glue it to my walls, I cut the sheets to pressure fit between my blocking. A pressure fit means no air gaps which is why I do it that way and of course no messing with adhesives either. Then to be extra sure there is no air gap for moisture I put a strip of metal foil duct tape along the edges securing it to the blocking. Keeping moisture from getting behind the insulation means no condensation against the fiberglass shell which means no mold behind the walls. This is a critical thing to take care of when you install insulation, making sure the moisture barrier is completed across the whole surface.

The weight of the carpet tiles is very likely to pull the insulation off the ceiling and walls so that is not what I would use as a finished surface on top of that type of foam. The reason the carpet tile will pull off that type of insulation is that there is a thin layer of mylar, the silver stuff, on one side and the other side has a thin layer of plastic and those layers will peel off if you pull against them. Now you could remove those layers first but they are functioning as the moisture barriers for that foam layer to keep it from taking up water so you don't want to do that as then you will have a greater potential mold issue.

So if you are going to use carpet tiles forgo using that type of insulation. There are other choices to back it with such as Landau foam or other closed cell foams used in automotive applications, foams that don't absorb moisture. Or as you were thinking no foam at all.

I like having insulation it makes a difference in comfort level for temperature control and sound control too.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:53 PM   #3
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Thanks for your response and info, I really appreciate this forum!

I was thinking the same thing about the carpet tiles ripping off the insulation due to weight. I had some white foam insulation to play with from a friends reno (Seven sheets). One sheet has the reflective coating the rest is just all white front and back.

Attached are some pics of my brutal attempt at insulating, I used 3m Spray 77 and in some spots it worked awesome and others not. Would this be because I didn't remove the old glue well enough?

I also have a photo of the carpet tile I'm gonna use. I'm thinking PL might be the easiest to glue it. Thoughts? It's vinyl backed so it's pretty heavy duty.

Still 50/50 on the insulation or not.

I figure the vinyl backed carpet tile will keep moisture out. And I really went to town with fibreglass and epoxy on all the screw holes in the fibreglass so I'm not worried about leaks now.

But maybe just carpet is a lazy fool hardy way to go?

All this being said I got all this stuff for free so I'm not too afraid to try and fail

Would that thin foam insulation really add much R value to the whole trailer, or would my family of four and our breathing at night heat up just as much?

Total newby here so feel free to rip me a new one with my thoughts on all of this!
Attached Thumbnails
Insulation 1.jpg   Insulation 2.jpg  

Insulation 3.jpg   Carpet Tile.jpg  

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Old 08-09-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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Should also say the white foam I have doesn't have a plastic coating on either side.
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Old 08-09-2016, 09:23 PM   #5
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Have you tried to get the original ensolite from trillium ,are they not in Alberta . Seems like that would be the best choice .
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:23 PM   #6
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Rigid foam was popular insulation in the 1980s era campers, but the vibration on the road eventually causes the pellets to separate and you wind up with a fine white dust pumping out all the little cracks in the framing that holds hit.

I know because I owned one that did that. Didn't occur until after the warranty expired of course.
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:51 PM   #7
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Should also say the white foam I have doesn't have a plastic coating on either side.
There have been a number of folks that have had a problem with the glue not working well with some different insulation products, from not holding up with heat or eating the foam for example. From my experience with many RVs, I don't think you really get much in the way of any insulation. It's sure not like your stick built house . If I was in your place, I would forgo the foam and just use the vinyl backed carpet you have. I doubt you would notice any temp difference for the extra trouble.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:28 AM   #8
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3M 77 won't be nearly strong enough.

But 3M 80 should work for vinyl and rubber and 3M 90 is good for carpet.

3M 80 gets used a lot for headliners and is high temp resistant.

The 3M company has charts out showing the various adhesives and what they will and won't be good at.
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Old 08-10-2016, 01:39 AM   #9
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To keep all the moisture out you need to have a continuous barrier with no gaps. It is unlikely you can achieve that with carpet tiles as every seam would have to be bonded edge to edge with some type of caulking sealant.
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:05 AM   #10
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KC, I can see what you're saying but these are TTs at ground level, you're going to get plenty of condensation just from the windows. Really think that the carpet edges on the walls won't be a problem for the OP, but at 33,000'.....maybe.
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:27 AM   #11
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You guys are all awesome. Appreciate the note about the foam breaking down over time. I guess because I got it for free I'd give it a try. But since I have two little ones the last thing I'd want to be dealing with is foam dust potentially going in their lungs.

The carpet tiles seems really easy to work with, I tried a tile on a corner and glued it with PL and it seemed to work quite nicely.

Would you continue to use PL or would you use a carpet glue?

We're fortunate that the trailer came with a Fantasic Vent (Intake/outake possibilities). I feel that will be enough to take care of condensation and maybe a gentle dehumidifier will take care of the rest?
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:29 AM   #12
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Have you tried to get the original ensolite from trillium ,are they not in Alberta . Seems like that would be the best choice .
Was in touch with Trillium and they do have the ensolite. Was a bit out of my price range at $500.00 though. So I decided against it.

Sure is nice to have a dealer so close to ask questions though, they seem like a very knowledgeable crew.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
KC, I can see what you're saying but these are TTs at ground level, you're going to get plenty of condensation just from the windows. Really think that the carpet edges on the walls won't be a problem for the OP, but at 33,000'.....maybe.
It is the condensation behind the walls I was talking about. You can wipe up the stuff that gets on the windows or other surfaces that are exposed.
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