Van Build | Insulation

Building out a van is basically the same as building a house... but on a much smaller scale. So the first thing to do was insulation. We did have builders for the majority of our van build but we did want to do the insulation before we handed it over to them. So we spent 2 full days spraying, gluing, and stuffing insulation into trash bags.

| For anyone with our make & model or one similar, these are the exact materials we used, amount we needed, and how we went about applying them to our van. |

Materials List

Amount Needed

Product

Total Paid

4 Rolls

16" x 25" Reflectix

$64

5 Cans

Great Stuff Gaps & Cracks

$13

2 Rolls

R19 6.25 x 15 x 39'2" Unfaced Fiberglass

$36

3 Cans

Spray Adhesive

$30

2 Pairs

Face Masks

$14

1 Board

Insulation 4' x 8' Foam Board

$24

3 Rolls

Block- It Seam Tape

$38

Total Cost: $219


How We Did It...

Once you start doing a little research, you'll realize that there are at least a dozen different ways to insulate your van. Some call for completely different materials than the ones I listed. But we eventually settled on what we wanted to do for the weather we'll be in. See images below.

Step 1: 

Spray adhesive onto one side of the Reflectix, wait about 2 minutes, and cover as much of the metal as you can. We covered the floor, ceiling, walls, and doors... Literally everything.


Step 2:

Fill all the random holes and gaps with the spray foam insulation. Just a tip while using this stuff, it dries in the middle of the tube when you let it set. So you need to open and empty a can in one sitting. After zooming into those previous images, you can see it filling the random gaps everywhere. Another tip while using it, the foam expands A LOT so only fill up the holes about half way and then let it expand for a couple hours. 


Step 3: 

 Now, we basically just measured and cut the fiberglass insulation to fit all the window indents and all the random small pockets left. It basically goes on top of the Reflectix that we used earlier. However, we wanted it to be waterproof in case any water ever got in. So after cutting the pieces, we put them in trash bags, taped it up, and then Tyvek taped the trash bags to the walls. This is when we learned there's no such thing as too much tape. We did NOT put this stuff on the floor or the ceiling.

I did forget to take pictures of this step so this is an image of a fellow van lifer, "The Vanual" and how he did the same thing. 

(Source: The Vanual)


Step: 4

The only thing left is cutting the foam board in strips to fit the ceiling. We have heard of others using the fiberglass in the ceiling as well but we didn't feel as though it was necessary and wanted to use foam board as a less heavy- duty approach. Tyvek tape those to the ceiling and call it a day. 


FINISHED:

The whole process took only 2 days worth of 6-7 hours of work a day. There were two of us working on it which I highly recommend. It's almost impossible to hold the fiberglass insulation to the sides while taping it. So you definitely need someone to help. 

If you have any further questions, please go to the contact page and ask! We are happy to answer anything. Also, for an in- depth description of another van, I do recommend The Vanual. It's very detailed and well- written. Just click here if you're interested. 

Sydney

9/24/17