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View Full Version : Excessive Moisture in Cargo Area


detroitdevo
02-24-2012, 09:30 PM
I just went for a drive with one of my clients who has a new Sprinter.. Last night we had some snow and I was surprised or even shocked to find that their van being brand new was wet to the touch on the roof in the back. :drool:

I have our van on order still but am scrambeling to figure out how we need to keep the wet out of the back as much as possible as we are a technology consulting firm and will be transporting servers, workstations, routers, ect... and having any moisture like that is a deal killer for us. I called our local LineX rep in Brighton and they said about a grand to spray the back, bulkhead and ceiling but I don't know if that is the right idea or spray foaming the walls and ceiling would be better. We ordered our van with the cargo package (dumb since we will rip out to install racks and bins) and wall cladding but don't know if this matters at all for this issue. And if there is this much moisture in the back how much is in the front under the liner. I have read these posts for months and months and usually the moisture issue applies to the RV folks more than cargo (or so I thought) Chime in one and all!

http://gallery.me.com/devinmudd#100060

detroitdevo
02-25-2012, 12:25 PM
Anyone?

mendonsy
02-25-2012, 12:43 PM
Well, one way to do it is to add some heat to the back. :2cents:
Our van has an ESPAR Air-tronic D-2 heater which keeps it above warm even in below freezing weather. It's absolutely essential for us because we have a water system in the van.

detroitdevo
02-25-2012, 01:01 PM
Well, one way to do it is to add some heat to the back. :2cents:
Our van has an ESPAR Air-tronic D-2 heater which keeps it above warm even in below freezing weather. It's absolutely essential for us because we have a water system in the van.

We plan to add a new esbar but that will really only be used when we are working in the back. My concern is when the van is at the office overnight or early morning when the moisture was as in my photos simply dripping down onto the cargo floor. I am curious as to how to resolve, I wonder if LineX/RhinoLiner or Insulation is the right solution.

showkey
02-25-2012, 01:57 PM
Condensation appears to be your problem/concern:

I don't think this a problem with just Sprinters. The ice glass tea on a warm humid day...............effect

Warm moist air in the van condensing on the cold metal roof, insulation is the cure.....keep the warm moist air away from the cold metal.

Insulation and ventilation modifications to deal with temperature and humidity changes.

There was another posting mentioning spray form insulation :thumbup: that with a paneled liner would help.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19743

BUT if it is too warm and too moist inside and too cold outside you can not stop condensation from forming you can only manage it. Same has a home or metal building etc.

http://www.herculiner.com/

Herculiner is a DYI bed liner that can be roller but I would only spray it. I have done truck and trailer beds before with great success. I have two gallons now waitng for warm weather to spray a new 6X12 enclosed trailer floor top and chassis. 2 gallons is $135 :thumbup:

detroitdevo
02-27-2012, 06:53 PM
OK so I think that the right solution is to spray foam the back, but I see a lot of posts that indicate perhaps a foil/liner material then spray foaming would work best. I have great concern with warping/bowing the body panels on my sprinter with the foam insulation so (A) does anyone in the Metro Detroit, Indy, Toledo or if I have to Chicago have someone they can recommend for the "Sprinter" spray in and (B) what steps should I take, line the walls with foil or the matting then spray foam the walls/ceiling or just spray it?

NelsonSprinter
02-27-2012, 07:21 PM
Did your friend's Sprinter have a Cargo divider/ Bulkhead separation? This will keep your breath from getting to the back in the winter and the front cooler in the summer. Is this in your order?

detroitdevo
02-27-2012, 07:39 PM
Did your friend's Sprinter have a Cargo divider/ Bulkhead separation? This will keep your breath from getting to the back in the winter and the front cooler in the summer. Is this in your order?

It did have the MB Factory partition, I too have ordered that for my van. However what happened was it snowed like hell here overnight then the next morning I met him at the office, jumped in the Sprinter and by the time we got to the first stop (20 min later) we opened the back and it was sweating and dripping on the gear.

For us that cannot happen so I am trying to figure out RhinoLiner/LineX or spray foam the back completely and put back up the factory grey walls we got with our van. I think the foam is the way to go because we will work outside in the van and I am adding an heater so I think now I just need to find a reputable sprayer who won't bubble the van walls. And I need to know if it's just foam or do I add something else like foil or magic beans to keep my van warm and moisture free for the most part :)

cedarsanctum
02-27-2012, 07:42 PM
Ventilation is key to handling moisture. Add a small powered fan to draw moist air out, or keep both front door windows open an inch or so for a cross breeze (this works best with air/wind deflectors on the windows). Maybe plug in a small electric heater at night while it's parked at the shop to help keep it dried out.
All simple suggestions that work for me pretty well.
Jef

detroitdevo
02-27-2012, 08:06 PM
Ventilation is key to handling moisture. Add a small powered fan to draw moist air out, or keep both front door windows open an inch or so for a cross breeze (this works best with air/wind deflectors on the windows). Maybe plug in a small electric heater at night while it's parked at the shop to help keep it dried out.
All simple suggestions that work for me pretty well.
Jef

All good suggestions, but here in Detroit we don't dare leave the windows cracked and a small fan sounds good.. Although might not work either, across from me currently at the Dollar General the Police & Fire are here because a gang of thieves scaled the two story building and ripped the guts out of the HVAC unit for the copper coils. Fan wouldn't last long in this town :)

jdcaples
02-27-2012, 08:20 PM
You might want to talk to local boating enthusiasts... Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair; almost every problem trucks and vans face on dry land (and wet air) has already been solved by mariners.

-Jon

bcislander
02-27-2012, 08:24 PM
Another thing is to make sure that the heating system is bringing in fresh outside air. I have seen many vehicles with excess interior moisture caused by having the heating system on 'recirculate'.

detroitdevo
02-27-2012, 08:44 PM
Another thing is to make sure that the heating system is bringing in fresh outside air. I have seen many vehicles with excess interior moisture caused by having the heating system on 'recirculate'.

Does an Esbar heater recirculate the air?

jdcaples
02-27-2012, 09:24 PM
Does an Esbar heater recirculate the air?

It's Espar; no "B," in case you were going to search for esbar.

Here's the T1N manual. I think the new ones are the same.... no swapping inside air for outside air, as far as I recall.

41021


Espar of Michigan
3250 Old Farm Lane
Suite 6
Commerce Twp., Mi. 48390

Phone:
Fax: 800.837.3900
Toll-Free: 800.837.3900

http://www.esparofmichigan.com/index.php?content=products

-Jon

detroitdevo
02-27-2012, 10:42 PM
It's Espar; no "B," in case you were going to search for esbar.

Here's the T1N manual. I think the new ones are the same.... no swapping inside air for outside air, as far as I recall.

41021


Espar of Michigan
3250 Old Farm Lane
Suite 6
Commerce Twp., Mi. 48390

Phone:
Fax: 800.837.3900
Toll-Free: 800.837.3900

http://www.esparofmichigan.com/index.php?content=products

-Jon

No wonder why I couldn't find it, now just need a good spray foamer..

detroitdevo
02-28-2012, 08:55 PM
This forum is so helpful, I called ThermoKing to find out who does sprayfoam locally. They recommended a company in Detroit who I called and said they would not only spray foam our van but install the Espar (not Esbar), install the 2K watt inverter and install our Sortimo package... The ThermoKing was the best call, they said don't put anything on the walls. We will spray foam the van and you can then live in it, ha. Their installer said that people can get crazy trying to keep heat in and cold out and visa versa and use all sorts of tricks or techniques but at the end of the day you simply need a multi-layer foaming approach, then to install the factory wall panels and your done..

Thanks to all who posted.

detroitdevo
04-14-2012, 03:23 PM
Ok, so I have a quote to perform the spray in foam insulation and I was all set to do that, however I have had my van for 5 weeks of which I have had it only 2 due to the screw up from the paint protection place (requiring a re-spray of my hood & A-pillars) and got my van back on Thursday and now it looks like a I will be taking her in on Monday for a respray of my rear roof where I just found they drilled a hole into the van behind the taillight and didn't protect the finish while drilling so the hot metal shavings melted the clear coat and first base so now it's rusting. They also used household silicon to seal their pentration which shrank and now letting water in the van. So because of all this, I have decided to take it upon myself (if you want it done right) to insulate the rear of the van with reflectix & some EnGuard foam. Now I spent an hour on the forum this morning looking for how to attach the reflectix to the side walls and roof. I couldn't find it but I am sure some of you seasoned veterans of the forum could tell me in a jiffy. I bought some 3M 90 spray adhesive but I am not sure if you guys just lay it in the channels or you attach. My plan is to reflectix, 2" foam then reinstall factory panels, tell me if I am right or wrong in that thought process. Since I have the headliner off as well I want to insulate up there as well, do I use the reflectix and foam again or something else for the cab?


Also my second project is to install the new "RearView" system I purchased prior to the audio shop installing the small kenwood cam (which screwed up my paint) I was able to easily remove the dome from the headliner using one of the small nylon tools we use in the computer industry ( MENDA #35622) I will post photos when putting back together. My van is in parts right now and I couldn't be happier and thanks to this forum I will be able to run the 2nd camera, insulate and fix most things myself. But need some tips on the best process for adhering this stuff.

autostaretx
04-14-2012, 06:17 PM
Just a reminder that insulating the walls is *not* the complete solution.
Moisture (dew) happens when moisture in the air contacts a colder-than-dewpoint surface.
Even two inches of foam will get cold on the interior surface if left out unheated overnight. Dew will form on the cold surfaces.

Heating the air lowers the relative humidity, which raises the dewpoint.
The marine and light-aircraft crowd uses a product called "Golden Rod"... a cal-rod heater in a protective sleeve.
Plug it into 110vac and it radiates about 100watts of heat. (yes, you could use a drop-light)
It'll heat the cabin/cargo area just that extra amount that may prevent dew in the insulated area.

In your case, i'd also seriously think about putting drip trays at the top of your racks...
that way any "missed" dew won't fall into the servers.
Just as APC's in-aisle rack cooling units have drip trays underneath them, having something to catch the water at the last moment can't hurt.
The drip trays will need drain plumbing (flexible plastic tubing will do) to remove the water to somewhere "safe".
The Sprinters have air vents in the lower rear of the vehicle which could serve for drip-tube exit.

--dick

detroitdevo
04-15-2012, 01:58 AM
Here are some of the photos from the rear damage, obviously buyer beware

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25537367@N04/7078399337/in/set-72157629818244575/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25537367@N04/6932324354/in/set-72157629818244575/

Rusty metal shavings from the 1/2 hole drilled into my new van
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25537367@N04/6932328808/in/set-72157629818244575/

More rusty shavings that were stuck to the double sided tape which is under the cam mount struck right to the paint. Who does this??
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25537367@N04/6932329024/in/set-72157629818244575/

The horror..!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25537367@N04/6932329360/in/set-72157629818244575/

detroitdevo
04-15-2012, 02:01 AM
I title this Disaster in Austin, I should have listed to my wife lol. As I sit here with her posting this she reminds me "I told you so".

mean_in_green
04-15-2012, 06:16 AM
As far as the moisture in the load space goes my belief is that this is what causes the roof seams to rot, i.e from the inside out if you live in a wet temperate climate.

Get it properly dried out inside then seal the exposed seams. There are a few you can't reach because of roof ribs, for those I sprayed a cavity wax down a tube.