STAGE 3 - NESSIE NEEDS TO STAY WARM....AND COOL
Insulating is by far one of the most important jobs in a campervan build to get right first time. Doing the correctly ensures the van stays cool in summer and warm in winter.
With the previous step, the first fix on wiring finished and the weather pretty poo outside, the insulation was the next obvious step. After plenty of research about different materials and their insulating properties, we decided on a few different materials to do different jobs.
The cork. This has great insulating properties, is pretty easy to work with and covers the area well. The downside is it is quite brittle when working it into place and the cost is fairly high.
Recycled plastic fluff. This material has good insulating properties and is very easy to work with. It is similar to working with fibreglass but unlike fibreglass it doesn't irritate your skin. It is cheap and can be worked into small gaps to prevent hot or cold spots. When using it to cover larger areas it will need fixing with a spray glue.
Kingspan boards. We decided to use these for the roof. They have a high insulating value, the boards can be easily cut to size and secured and they are fairly cheap to buy.
The rolls of reflective bubble insulation. Very easy to work with covering large areas very quickly. It has a good insulation value but we will be using them as a secondary layer. The main job we have for this is for it to act as a vapour barrier to stop any moisture getting where it should not be. To do this correctly it should be sealed with foil tape and can be secured in place with spray adhesive. It's fairly fragile so make sure you fix any whoopsy's with foil tape.
The first job was to remove the flooring and get the adhesive strip off to allow the under floor insulation to be fitted. We opted for cork as our chosen floor insulation material as the insulation properties are high for the width of the material. This was a quick and easy job to do and most definitely worth it. Small batons were placed on a 600mm centre to stop the cork from being compressed.
The next job was tedious. Alex spent the bests part of two days stuffing the recycled fluff into any nook or cranny that needed insulating. As much as this was a pain, it was more than worth the effort. After this the same style insulation was fitted to the whole surface of the van walls.
Onto the roof, this was the most satisfying job. Firstly the headliner was removed and three layers of insulation fitted. First the cork, then the bubble wrap and then some fluff for good measure. After the headliner was refitted the Kingspan board were cut to size and glued to the entire roof, making sure to fill any gap that was there.
The reflective bubble wrap was then fitted to the entire van as a skin. This had to be taped up between any seam to make sure a water/air tight seal was on offer to give the vapour barrier that the van needs.
Take a look at the video to see how this all got put into motion.
WORDS AND PHOTOS - Ieuan Williams