If we want to take this van all over Sweden, Scandanavia, Europe and everywhere else, we had to ensure it was properly insulated. We must have watched at least 2 dozen videos, read 20 blog posts and googled every type of insulation we could find. We finally settled on Kingspan insulation for flat areas of the walls and ceiling and Dodo Thermo Fleece Insulation PET Recycled Plastic Bottles for the hard to reach areas.
Hard to reach places
The Dodo Thermo Fleece was so easy to use and also very good for the environment 🙂 You don’t have to worry about any nasty fibers as it is soft and fluffy… so fluffy you can nap on it. It was easily torn into pieces to fit in the metal crevasses. One thing to note was that I had to make sure not to cram it to much into places, as it maintains it’s R-value (fancy heat loss calculation number) as long as there are air pockets.
We also used it for the back and sides doors and on top of the Kingspan on the bottom half of the van. The metal beams along the bottom stuck out more than the top, thus leaving an air-gap between the insulation and the wall, so we used the Dodo as a filler.
….From the windooow to the WALL
For the walls we went with the 50 mm thick Kingspan insulation. We bought one of the insulation knives only to figure out it was as good as a bread knife. We realized the easiest, cleanest and fastest way to cut Kingspan is with the jigsaw. We cut each piece to fit snug into the crevasses, to the point where we had to force them in. Hopefully, this will prevent any pieces from coming lose when we are driving around. For any pieces we thought may have felt a bit lose, we used good ol’ fashion duck tape to do the job!
…..To the CEILING insulatioon
We used 30 mm thick Kingspan insulation for the ceiling to match the thickness of the metal beams. Boy, did we struggle putting these up. After watching Greg Virgoe’s insulation video, we were keen to copy exactly what he did because it seemed relatively simple (and we have almost copied him for everything else!). Unfortunately, we were not able to order the self-adhesive metal stick pins that he used (or less than 500 of them at least) because, of course, they don’t deliver to Sweden. So we decided to create our own version…
Attempt #1 We bought barbed plastic insulation pins and double-sided Gorilla Tape, readily available at our nearest hardware store. We started to cut the Gorilla Tape and stick it on to the plastic pins and on to the ceiling. After about 15 “stuck” pins, we gave them some time to set to test them out! ….20 minutes later, they peeled like a banana. We didn’t read the label properly because…well, Swedish…(we’re getting there)..but, as it turns out, Gorilla Tape is only for porous surfaces.
Attempt #2 So lucky for us, our neighbour (a renovator), came to the rescue and offered us some double-sided tape they use for office renovations. We thought we’d give it a go with to hold up the stickpins, and it was a solid hold until we started to put the insulation in. The roof is slightly bent, so the force pulled out the stick pins along the curved edges.
Attempt #Win. We finally realized we can put the double sided tape straight onto the insulation and it would not budge from the ceiling! But these are only things you can learn along the way 🙂
After we finally found a way to stick the insulation on, each piece was cut to cover half a section between the metal beams. A 5-10 mm space was left between the metal beam and the insulation where the wiring for the lights was to be placed. And we created small holes in the insulation where the lights will be. Again, ol’ fashioned duck tape was used to make sure the pieces stuck in place and foil tape to create a proper vapour barrier.
We did it!