Michael might be upset that I'm posting under his name, but I'm too lazy to set up my own account. This is Hillary, and we've been working on a seemingly endless Compact Jr. restoration together. You might have seen our little blog, thistinyhouse.com. Anyway, I thought I'd copy and paste from one of my blog posts, to see if any of you have any suggestions. Please keep in mind that we have an extremely small budget and we don't want extremely toxic materials in our Compact Jr.
Our first step was lining the inside with Reflectix, a bubble wrap encased in foil. Intended as an eco-friendly, reflective, radiant barrier where its effectiveness is based on how much space it has, we found that it was about the cheapest material we could find at the local home store (about $0.40/sq ft). Eager to get started, I purchase a few rolls of it, some glue canisters and re-lined the fiberglass shell with it.
Though it worked well, the Reflectix was thin and I still wanted more insulation. We researched all the different types of insulation out there — and greener options too — but it all seemed so expensive. Plus, after attending one of Jay Shafer's tiny house building workshops, I wasn't convinced that greener options were better performers. We decided that good insulation was green in and of itself as we would spend less energy heating the place. Ultimately we bought big 3/4-inch-thick sheets of foam board (CFC-free expanded polystyrene) at the local home store (about $0.32/sq ft) and I custom fit them to the slightly curved walls. The result? A high insulating R-value with relatively little thickness.
While this appears to have worked, when leaning against the walls you can tell they weren't properly glued in (they squeak and shift back and forth). This is because adhesive had seemingly cursed my life. We ran out of the stuff we used for the Reflectix and it didn't seem to be available at any home stores anymore. I tried several substitutes but nothing pleased me – who knew that gluing foam board onto foil-wrapped curved fiberglass walls would be so aggravating?
Now I'm thinking I will take some of that GreatStuff insulation spray, peel back what I can of the foam sheets, and spray in there as much as I can… just spray the crap out of it. StickyStuff is a more appropriate name for this product and it would be a big ol' messy project. Any thoughts?
Because of my adhesive woes I have hesitated going forward with trying to adhere anything to the foam board. In terms of materials, I've thought of all different kinds of cheap, lightweight wall lining, even faux fur
. If I could afford it I might look into some funky sticky-back paper or adhesive cork, but not at $1, $2, even $3 per square foot. Others have suggested a super-thin wood paneling, but I'm afraid that may bust my practically nonexistent budget for trailer improvements as well. I'm at a loss. Help me get unstuck, so to speak, and get back on track with my trailer renovation! Any comments would be greatly appreciated.