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Old 09-08-2015, 05:38 PM   #1
rscottcush
 
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Default Wall Insulation Question

Hey all,

I'm going to be doing a simple DIY camper/contractor rig buildout of my 2004 passenger van, and looking into relatively cheap, simple insulation options. At this point, will just be insulating the area below the windows and leaving the headliner area alone. Not too worried about getting more R-value really, but would like some soundproofing and figure I might as well put something in.

So... found this available locally and it looks like it might a good simple solution:

http://www.menards.com/main/building...68383356434953

I could put the sound dampening strips on wherever my 1/4 plywood panels will contact the sheetmetal columns/etc and fit the batts into the wall cavities.

Any thoughts/concerns?

Thanks!
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:28 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

You'll find a wide spectrum of opinions about insulating techniques on this forum, some of them pro-denim, but for my $$ there is no better solution than the 3M Thinsulate if your careabouts are decent R value and sound deadening with easiest installation. It will cost you about 2X or 2.5X the example you posted, but still reasonably priced.

A critical difference between denim and Thinsulate is how they handle moisture. Thinsulate is as hydrophobic as insulation gets, so has essentially zero risk of creating any issues over time due to retaining moisture created by temp swings/condensation, etc. Denim is the opposite: it can absorb and hold substantial amounts of moisture. The folks using denim will argue that this isn't important and/or proper vapor barriers mitigate any concerns.

My 2 cents . . .
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Old 09-10-2015, 01:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

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Originally Posted by Inertiaman View Post
You'll find a wide spectrum of opinions about insulating techniques on this forum, some of them pro-denim, but for my $$ there is no better solution than the 3M Thinsulate if your careabouts are decent R value and sound deadening with easiest installation. It will cost you about 2X or 2.5X the example you posted, but still reasonably priced.

A critical difference between denim and Thinsulate is how they handle moisture. Thinsulate is as hydrophobic as insulation gets, so has essentially zero risk of creating any issues over time due to retaining moisture created by temp swings/condensation, etc. Denim is the opposite: it can absorb and hold substantial amounts of moisture. The folks using denim will argue that this isn't important and/or proper vapor barriers mitigate any concerns.

My 2 cents . . .
There are many better solutions than Thinsulate and for much much cheaper. We are talking insulation here, which assumes R-Value is important. Thinsulate has a relatively low R-Value (~6). Denim (and even fiberglass) has close to quadruple the R-Value. Denim is used in the highest end van conversions (Advanced RV).
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
Denim is used in the highest end van conversions (Advanced RV).
This is true. However, (and I do not mean to disparage ARV in any way--I think they are great) a few of the design decisions they make are arguably intended more to "make a statement" than for any real practical value. If you look at the numbers, denim is only marginally better than fiberglass in R-value, and this is offset by the fact that it is much easier to effectively fill irregular crannies with fiberglass.

The biggest plus for denim is that it is more pleasant to work with than fiberglass.
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Old 09-10-2015, 02:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
This is true. However, (and I do not mean to disparage ARV in any way--I think they are great) a few of the design decisions they make are arguably intended more to "make a statement" than for any real practical value. If you look at the numbers, denim is only marginally better than fiberglass in R-value, and this is offset by the fact that it is much easier to effectively fill irregular crannies with fiberglass.

The biggest plus for denim is that it is more pleasant to work with than fiberglass.
A big plus for denim over fiberglass is the overall sound deadening.

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Old 09-10-2015, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
There are many better solutions than Thinsulate and for much much cheaper. We are talking insulation here, which assumes R-Value is important. Thinsulate has a relatively low R-Value (~6). Denim (and even fiberglass) has close to quadruple the R-Value. Denim is used in the highest end van conversions (Advanced RV).
Jostalli, what's your recommendation for low-cost, easy-install insulation (that also has decent sound deadening)?

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2015, 04:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

Hello All,

We are starting to see some of the up-fitters
going to Thinsulate (TM) due to customer requests
and a realization that using a product engineered
for vehicles makes good business sense as well.

Please PM and we'll send a sample to anyone
interested in considering Thinsulate (TM) for their
vehicle.

All the best,
Hein & Kim
Impact, Inc.
Hood River, OR
54l 49O 5O98
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

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Originally Posted by rscottcush View Post
Jostalli, what's your recommendation for low-cost, easy-install insulation (that also has decent sound deadening)?

Thanks
If you only wanted one material that provides insulation and sound deadening and is also easy to install then choose Thinsulate. But since it only has an R-value of ~6 and is outrageously expensive compared to better insulation materials you may rule it out.

If sound deadening is important to you then you should know the rules and see if it is worth it to you. For proper sound deadening you need more than just one material. You need CLD (constrained layer damper). This is dynamat, second skin, etc to reduce vibration. You only need to cover 25% of the panel. Next you apply closed cell foam. This acts as a decoupling layer to stop the conduction of vibration. Next you use mass loaded vinyl, which actually blocks sound. Finally you use some absorbing material. This can be Thinsulate, fiberglass, denim, etc.

Sound deadening was important to me but not to the extent that I wished to use all of the materials stated above. MLV is very heavy and needs 100% sealed coverage to be effective. I chose CLD in the form of RAAMmat BXT II. For insulation I chose polyiso foam boards in various thickness sourced from Home Depot to fit the voids. I finished with Great Stuff spray foam to fill the gaps and seal the foam board. I am very pleased with both the insulation and sound deadening. I would not change a thing.

I'm not afraid to recommend denim or even fiberglass as an insulation material. After seeing what Advanced RV uses (denim) and what most other RV brands use (combination of foam board and fiberglass) I stopped worrying about moisture, rust, vapor barriers, etc.

Last edited by jostalli; 09-10-2015 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
[Thinsulate] is outrageously expensive compared to better insulation materials
Quote:
Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
There are many better solutions than Thinsulate and for much much cheaper.
Perhaps quantifying the costs might be more helpful than hyperbolic adjectives for those considering different insulation materials. I did my entire 2014 144" high roof Crew for $400 in Thinsulate, and that is total coverage, every nook/cranny. That's objective data. Whether that is "outrageous" compared to whatever rigid + spray foam might cost ($250??) is a subjective opinion.

Admittedly, rigid polyiso has about 2X the R value per inch of thickness compared to Thinsulate. If maximum R value is the dominant careabout for a particular person/van, then there are certainly materials that outperform Thinsulate.

But if other attributes are also (or more) important to someone, then Thinsulate can be very attractive. Among the common insulation materials considered for van conversions, it is the ONLY material that has quantified acoustic performance data available.

I don't expect everyone to arrive at the same answer, since we all have different priorities, but Thinsulate was best in addressing my careabouts (minimizing moisture issues, acoustic performance, thermal performance, ease of installation, minimizing permanent in-access to van areas, cost)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
Thinsulate has a relatively low R-Value (~6). Denim (and even fiberglass) has close to quadruple the R-Value.
Quadruple the R value?? Some objective data might be more useful than hyperbole. The 2" thick denim product at Home Depot is listed at R6.7. The Owens-Corning fiberglass material at Home Depot is R13 at 3.5" = R7.4 at 2". As you've pointed out, the 2" Thinsulate is ~ R6. So while denim and fiberglass do have higher R value per inch, the data above shows it is roughly 1.1-1.2X better, not 4X better.
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Old 09-10-2015, 08:35 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wall Insulation Question

R21 Denim is $1.09/sq. ft. http://www.menards.com/main/building.../p-1726906.htm
Thinsulate is $8.88/sq. ft. from Hein (or $13.05/sq. ft. shipped if you buy it on eBay)
Yes the R21 is quite thick at 5 1/2", which barely fits in the Promaster walls (I have a Promaster). I don't know the space in the Sprinter walls but I assume it may fit.

Inertiaman, I'm sorry but I have to call you out for saying you did your entire 144 high roof in Thinsulate for only $400.

P.S. I just read a quote on this forum where Hein said Thinsulate has an R-Value of 5. Sorry for the mistake.
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