Ensolite replacement option - need help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-31-2015, 09:07 AM   #1
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Ensolite replacement option - need help

Newly purchased 1972 Boler 1300 - I have started removing the mold covered, torn Ensolite and we are considering using this spray material as a replacement. Does anyone have experience with this or something similar.

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Spray Foam I Spray Foam Applications I Versi-Foam Systems

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Old 03-31-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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The problem I see with that material is
1- controlling the thickness on application
2- how do you smooth the service for a finish product
3- what glue will work on it?

Would not be my choice.

The ensolite is about as get as it gets for these little trailers.
I think it is still available.
Second would be what Robert Johans does on his builds.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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I would like to clarify this point, because I keep seeing it posted, and I think it can be misleading for a lot of people.

Ensolite foam is still available. The vinyl-coated ensolite product used on the interior of our campers is not. I've also seen it argued that ensolite foam on it's own isn't really the best insulator, and all kinds of other anecdotal information that suggests that it's really not the best solution when used on it's own - the vinyl coated product had the advantage of being an "all in one" solution, but there really is no equivalent single product available today.

What most people do when replacing the ensolite is to glue up a layer (or two) of reflectix insulation and then lay down hull liner on top of that. I removed a section of ensolite below my rear window that I won't be re-installing, instead my plan is to glue in a layer of reflectix where I removed the ensolite and then adhere a layer of vinyl fabric on top of that for a better finished appearance - because it's a relatively flat area I don't anticipate any trouble getting it to fit well, while the same material would definately be problematic in the more curved areas of the camper. I had thought about using hull liner, but it's such a small area that the vinyl won out just by being easier to acquire

Also, I completely agree that any kind of spray foam is not going to be an ideal solution for the interior - it's going to be too difficult to apply evenly and there is still the issue of what to cover it with.
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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I see no reason that Ensolite, painted with a vinyl paint, would not be just as good as the coated stuff. I would paint it after it is up though.

To be clear, this is not something I have actually done.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
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This may have been covered elsewhere or be common knowledge around here but putting Reflectix directly on the shell without first putting an air space between the reflectix and the FG is going to do no one any good at all.

Reflectix is a radiant barrier and actually has very little insulation property. Given an air space between it and the wall, it works really well for keeping radiant heat from the sun out.

Bubble wrap works really well for creating the necessary air space.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:07 PM   #6
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Almost There did you use bubble wrap on the walls before applying ensolite? I'm very interested in what type/ thickness you used. And have you had any difficulties with fastening ensolite to bubble wrap?


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Old 03-31-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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My biggest concern regarding any type of spray foam is the off-gassing. Reports seem mixed, lab tests seem to indicate it is bad stuff where the manufacturers and installers say it is safe

I for one wouldn't even consider it in the small confined space of a trailer
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahspins View Post
I would like to clarify this point, because I keep seeing it posted, and I think it can be misleading for a lot of people.

Ensolite foam is still available. The vinyl-coated ensolite product used on the interior of our campers is not. I've also seen it argued that ensolite foam on it's own isn't really the best insulator, and all kinds of other anecdotal information that suggests that it's really not the best solution when used on it's own - the vinyl coated product had the advantage of being an "all in one" solution, but there really is no equivalent single product available today.

What most people do when replacing the ensolite is to glue up a layer (or two) of reflectix insulation and then lay down hull liner on top of that. I removed a section of ensolite below my rear window that I won't be re-installing, instead my plan is to glue in a layer of reflectix where I removed the ensolite and then adhere a layer of vinyl fabric on top of that for a better finished appearance - because it's a relatively flat area I don't anticipate any trouble getting it to fit well, while the same material would definately be problematic in the more curved areas of the camper. I had thought about using hull liner, but it's such a small area that the vinyl won out just by being easier to acquire

Also, I completely agree that any kind of spray foam is not going to be an ideal solution for the interior - it's going to be too difficult to apply evenly and there is still the issue of what to cover it with.
Thanks for the clarification on the ensolite!
I must have misread or misremembered another post.
Fred
If there is any way to salvage the ensolite, that would be my first choice.
Clean, patch tears, and paint, and really I dislike painting it but might be a choice for you.
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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Almost There did you use bubble wrap on the walls before applying ensolite? I'm very interested in what type/ thickness you used. And have you had any difficulties with fastening ensolite to bubble wrap?


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Quoted from 'Sarahspins' post (#3)

What most people do when replacing the ensolite is to glue up a layer (or two) of reflectix insulation and then lay down hull liner on top of that


I wasn't talking about ensolite at all. I've never used it. I'm still contemplating future trailers but like the FG ones best.

What I was referring to was Sarahspins application of reflectix.

Over at cheaprvliving we've got lots of people with experience with reflectix and it's application to various campers.

What we're doing there is to either adhere bubble wrap to the walls and then apply reflectix using metal tape or, what I'm doing is attaching the bubble wrap to the one side of reflectix and then applying it as a two part material to the walls and ceiling.

In any case, what I was trying to point out was that reflectix applied directly to the wall of a trailer will be a waste of time and money. It has almost no insulation value and without an air space between it and the trailer, it will not work as a radiant barrier.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Almost There View Post
This may have been covered elsewhere or be common knowledge around here but putting Reflectix directly on the shell without first putting an air space between the reflectix and the FG is going to do no one any good at all.

Reflectix is a radiant barrier and actually has very little insulation property. Given an air space between it and the wall, it works really well for keeping radiant heat from the sun out.

Bubble wrap works really well for creating the necessary air space.
Guess you should tell all the molded towable manufacturers they're doing it wrong... Just pulling your chain, but honestly, that's what they do, just glue the reflectix right to the shell. In fact I own two trailers built that way!
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:19 PM   #11
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Mike, I'm going to share a link. Check out Brad and Jennifer's beautiful boler. Lots and lots of pictures. They used uncoated ensolite and painted it gray. Picasa Web Albums - Jennifer Page - BOLER#
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:44 PM   #12
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I'm confused. The Reflectix insulation we're talking about actually contains a layer of bubble wrap sandwiched between two layers of reflective film.

From the product description at http://www.amazon.com/Reflectix-BP24...dp/B0022NH3E4:
"A reflective insulation consisting of two outer layers of 96-percent reflective film, bonded to two layers of heavy gauge polyethylene bubbles (nominal thickness: 5/16-Inch)" [emphasis added]

I am aware that there has been some debate over just what the R-value is and whether it may have been overstated by the manufacturer and/or misrepresented by installers, but even the most conservative estimates make it at least as good as Ensolite. Scamp's claim of R-15 is probably optimistic, but nevertheless it is commonly used in a variety of automotive and RV applications and seems to do the job reasonably well.

I agree that saving the existing Ensolite would be the best option, but if it is indeed too far gone, then hull liner over Reflectix would be my second choice.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Guess you should tell all the molded towable manufacturers they're doing it wrong... Just pulling your chain, but honestly, that's what they do, just glue the reflectix right to the shell. In fact I own two trailers built that way!

From Reflectix own web site:

What if There is No Air Space Present on Either Side of the Product?
No Air Space = No Reflective Insulation Benefit
(An R-1.1 is provided from the product itself for the Reflective/Double Bubble material.)

The bold is their own.

Here's a Q&A section of their website that might be helpful to those of you contemplating using their product in the renovation of your trailers.

All About Reflectix® | Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Mike, I'm going to share a link. Check out Brad and Jennifer's beautiful boler. Lots and lots of pictures. They used uncoated ensolite and painted it gray. Picasa Web Albums - Jennifer Page - BOLER#
Do they say what brand of paint they use?
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:35 AM   #15
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Donna D. that is a great post. Pictures tell a 1000 words and they took a tonne of pics. Thanks again. I will be testing the spray version either way and I will update my posts and progress. I have the luck of having a red seal industrial painter for a brother who is eager to spray. He is also an eco, No CFC's, Penta-BDE's, VOC's or UreaFormaldehyde Nut! So after some testing I should have some good results.

I am also interested in any info of how to fiberglass in reinforcement bows. I want to stay away from the external rivet, screw approach and have a nice seamless/holeless body.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:50 AM   #16
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Mike, I'm going to share a link. Check out Brad and Jennifer's beautiful boler. Lots and lots of pictures. They used uncoated ensolite and painted it gray. Picasa Web Albums - Jennifer Page - BOLER#

Donna, how can I reach these guys. I have a couple of questions for them. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:28 AM   #17
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Air space is easy with Reflectix......

Rather than using glue to adhere Reflectix to the wall I used adhesive-backed heavy duty Velcro.

I didn't want anything messy or permanent. Using several small squares of Velcro on the back of the lightweight Reflectix and putting the mating squares on the trailer wall was easy.

The thickness of the two pieces of Velcro hold the Reflectix away from the wall a fraction of an inch, creating the desired air space.

My trailer has spent the winter in storage in one of the buildings at the county fairgrounds here in Michigan, while I spent the winter in Florida.

My Compact Jr comes home in about ten days, looking forward to more tinkering and some fun trips this summer.

While in Florida I was able to visit the Scamp Camp in Sebring where there were about 64 units to ogle, a nice turnout!
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by cityslicker View Post
...I am also interested in any info of how to fiberglass in reinforcement bows. I want to stay away from the external rivet, screw approach and have a nice seamless/holeless body.
Member Ian G. did an awesome Boler rebuild that sounds like exactly what you are thinking. His project, with much detail and a ton of pictures, is here:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ler-51170.html
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Member Ian G. did an awesome Boler rebuild that sounds like exactly what you are thinking. His project, with much detail and a ton of pictures, is here:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ler-51170.html
Thanks Jon
Also a more concise write-u is available on my website Proud Canadian
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Old 04-01-2015, 01:27 PM   #20
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In checking the MSDS for that foam there is Polymethylene polyphenyl isocyanate 009016-87-9 80% to 100%
containing 4,4’ Methylene bisphenyl isocyanate (MDI)

People with hyper sensitive respiratory systems should take heed of this stuff especially during its cure state and high temperature exposure. Remember a closed up trailer where your sleeping for 8 hours or so is a pretty confined space.
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