Introduction: How to Insulate a Camper Van Conversion Using Thinsulate Insulation
Choosing which type of insulation to use was one of the toughest decision; there is no perfect solution, therefore we went with the solution that was the best compromise for us.
- Light weight
- Very good sound insulation
- Easy to apply
- Hydrophobic (do not absorb humidity)
- Average R value
As much as the decision to go with Thinsulate was difficult, the installation was an easy task:
- cut thinsulate to size (using kitchen scissors)
- apply 3M 90 spray adhesive to the van wall & on the white face of the thinsulate
- wait 30-60 seconds for the adhesive to become tacky
- press the thinsulate against the wallThat’s all!
Step 1: Material Needed for This Project
- Thinsulate (3M SM600L), 70 linear feet
Note that we have the Ford Transit High-Roof, Extended-Length; you might need less than 70 linear feet if insulating a smaller van!
- 3M 90 spray adhesive, QTY = 4
All the links for the products above are here: http://faroutride.com/thinsulate-installation/
- A good pair of scissor
Step 2: Overhead Storage Above Driver & Passenger Seats
There is about 1.5″ gap between the van ceiling & overhead storage, that’s perfect to insert some Thinsulate in there. We did not use adhesive since the gap is about the same as the Thinsulate thickness.
No need to completely remove the overhead storage; we slightly lowered it a few inches to fit the Thinsulate as seen in the next steps
Step 3: We Removed Both Foam Pieces on Each Side of the Overhead Storage
We used vise-grip and raw power to remove the pins (they were not damaged in the process and we were able to reuse them)
Step 4: Then, We Removed the Four Screws (total) Under the Left-side and Right-side Handles
Step 5: We Unsnapped the Three Pins in the Center of the Overhead Storage
Step 6: It Is Now Possible to Lower the Overhead Storage a Few Inches and Install the Thinsulate
Step 7: CEILING
The challenge with the ceiling is to work against gravity. However it proved to be fairly easy for 2 people. We won’t go in details here, because there is not much to say…
Step 8: WALLS
Large cutout were filled with Thinsulate.
We also filled the van cavities where possible.
Step 9: SLIDING DOOR
The plastic panel must first be removed.
The panel is fastened with several push pins. They are fairly easy to remove with a flat screwdriver, or you can do it with a push pin pliers. (Pulling the tab will “unlock” the push pin)
Step 10: Plastic Sheet
Since the sliding door is exposed to exterior elements, there is a plastic sheet to protect the door mechanism. The plastic sheet can be removed simply by pulling it; the goo should remained glued to it for later re-assembly.
Step 11: Thinsulate Was Then Placed in the Cutouts.
Then just reinstall the plastic sheet and the plastic panel.
Step 12: That's It!
Step 13: There's More!
We're documenting thoroughly our van conversion. We tried to capture every details and share our experience, tips, lessons learned, etc.
This is our Build Journal: faroutride.com/build-journal
Or if you're very new to this, you might want to look here: http://faroutride.com/van-conversion-resources/
Thanks for reading!