The “van life” has been romanticised by most in recent years. More and more people are downsizing and simplifying their lives by living in a van to seek adventure, freedom, and a more sustainable lifestyle. As the trend continues to gain momentum, how do van dwellers make their vans cosy without consuming much energy?
Van insulation is essential to keep it comfortable and energy-efficient, regardless of season or weather. Let’s look deeper at van insulation, its necessity, and how to insulate it properly.
What is Van Insulation?
Van insulation adds materials to a van’s interior walls, ceiling, and floor. These materials provide a barrier between the outside and the inside. Insulation helps to keep the interior of your van warm during cold weather and cool during hot weather.
Why Insulate Your Van?
Van insulation is a crucial aspect of van life. It has several benefits, including energy efficiency, condensation control, and comfort.
Insulation helps regulate the temperature inside the van, regardless of the weather conditions, without using too much energy. It reduces the need to use heating and cooling devices. Not to mention, it controls the moisture level in your van, preventing the risk of mould growth and damage in the interior.
Your van life will only be comfortable and cosy with insulation. It protects you from extreme weather conditions, noise, and vibration that could disrupt your comfortable living.
How to Insulate Van
Most van dwellers love to do DIY on their vans. If you want to try it out, here are the steps to insulate your van.
- Clean your van thoroughly. Clean the interior of your van, removing any dirt, dust, and debris. Ensure the van’s walls, ceiling, and floor are dry before adding any insulation.
- Choose the insulation material that suits your needs, budget, and preferences. Let’s discuss the different types of insulation materials below.
- Measure and cut the insulation material. Once you have chosen the right insulation material, it is time to measure and cut it to fit your van’s interior. Measure your van’s walls, ceiling, and floor, and cut the insulation material to fit. Be sure to leave a bit extra space for any curves or contours in the van’s interior.
- Install the insulation material on the interior walls, ceiling, and floor. Start by applying adhesive to the back of the insulation material and pressing it firmly against the van’s interior. Use a roller or your hands to smooth out bumps or air pockets. Repeat the process for each section of the van’s interior. Ensure that you cover all areas and leave no gaps or spaces.
- Install a vapour barrier between the interior and the insulation material. A vapour barrier helps to prevent moisture and mould growth from accumulating inside the van. Use a moisture-resistant and breathable material to allow air to circulate through the insulation.
- Seal the insulation after installing the insulation material, and seal all gaps, holes, and joints with a sealant. This helps prevent heat loss, moisture, and noise from entering your van.
These steps may be easy to think of, but doing them is a lot harder. If you feel you cannot do it alone, ask help from a professional to ensure a successful van conversion project.
Different Types of Van Insulation
You can find several van insulation materials in the market. Ultimately, the best insulation material depends on your needs, preferences and budget. Check out the common materials that will make your van comfortable, cosy, and energy-efficient.
1. Fibreglass insulation.
Fibreglass insulation is the most common type of insulation used in van conversions.
It is made of fine glass fibres and comes in batts or rolls. Most van dwellers and glass suppliers recommend fibreglass because it is affordable, readily available, and easy to install.
Fibreglass insulation has excellent thermal resistance and can effectively insulate the van against heat and cold. However, it can be itchy and irritating to handle, and there are better options for sound insulation.
2. Reflectix insulation.
Reflectix is an insulation made of reflective foil and polyethylene bubble wrap layers. It is lightweight, easy to install, and reflects heat away from the van. However, it is less effective at insulating against cold temperatures and does not offer sound insulation.
3. Spray foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation is a liquid foam that expands and hardens when applied. It’s an excellent insulation material that provides an airtight seal and can be used to fill small gaps and holes.
This insulation material has good thermal resistance and sound insulation properties. It is an excellent choice for those who are looking for all-around insulation material. But spray foam is expensive and has to be appropriately applied to avoid any issues.
4. Wool insulation.
If you are looking for eco-friendly insulation, wool insulation is an excellent choice. Wool insulation is a natural, renewable, and biodegradable material that is excellent in thermal and acoustic insulation. It is even more helpful for vans that are in humid environments because of its moisture-wicking properties. However, wool insulation is more expensive than any other insulation material.
5. Polyiso insulation.
Polyisocyanurate, or polyiso, is made of a foam core sandwiched between two layers of foil, providing a radiant barrier. Polyiso insulation is an excellent choice for those looking for a high R-value in a thin profile. However, this could also be an expensive choice.
6. Cellulose insulation.
Another eco-friendly option is cellulose insulation. It is made of recycled paper treated with chemicals to make it fire-resistant. Cellulose insulation is often blown into the walls and ceiling of a van, filling all gaps and providing excellent sound insulation. However, it can be messy to install and requires professional installation.
If you need help determining which insulation material is best for your van, contact us. We will guide you throughout the process of selection.
Whether you are planning to live in a van or use it for extended road trips, van insulation is essential. A well-insulated van keeps you cosy and comfortable, no matter the weather or season, without worrying about energy consumption. What are you waiting for? Insulate your van and enjoy the benefits of a comfortable and cosy living space.