Orton DIY - Ceiling

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Ceiling has four layers of material between the ribs and five layers total.

1. 1/4" x 1 1/4" closed cell foam to fill roof corrugations.
2. 1/8" thick "Rattletrap" brand noise reduction sheeting.
3. 1 1/2" thick closed cell rigid foam insulation board.
4. Reflectix foil and air bubble insulation.
5. 1/4" thick white plastic ceiling bolted to ribs. (not shown - future)

Spray insulation was used in voids around rigid foam. (Hate this stuff) Used 1" thick rigid foam between the 1 1/2" rigid foam and the ribs and at each end under roof channel studs. Duct taped joints between rigid foam boards.

The four layers fill the ceiling area between the roof ribs. My theory is without trapped air that contains water vapor, the condensation on the underside of the metal roof will be eliminated. I also filled each rib with spay foam. (Did I say I hate this stuff) The closed cell foam corrugation fillers were glued to the roof with 3M spray adhesive. Also used the #77 between the 1 1/2" foam board and the Rattletrap sound deadener. Used boards between the floor and ceiling to apply pressure on rigid foam until glue dried.
 

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cedarsanctum

re: Member
Dave,
It might seem redundant, but i would also tape the reflectix together to create one more vapor barrier, sealing over the bottom of the roof ribs and closing it all up to the interior. There is a tape made just for doing that. I'm finding any exposed metal will conduct the cold, and could condense water or just transfer heat through. The more barriers to the moisture, the better.
But then, i'm just being paranoid about moisture any more.
Jef
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Cedarsanctum: You have made us all a bit paranoid about the condensation. I will tape the joints and the whole ceiling will be covered with 1/4" white plastic sheeting. I have probably made a mistake by bolting the aluminum framework directly to the Sprinter steel wall. Should have added an insulator between wall and the aluminum. I am filling the ribs with spay foam.
I did see in the West Marine catalog that they sell dehumidifiers that use pellets to absorb moisture. Wonder how they would work in a Sprinter? Anyone use these?
 

cedarsanctum

re: Member
When i worked in a hardware store I sold those pellets in a system called Dri-Z-Air. Also found Eva-Dry system similar to it, but haven't actually seen their unit. They make many sizes, some electric, some not.
The only caution about them is the spilling danger. The water collects in the bottom of the device, and is easily spilled if not handled carefully. The smell of the spillage is not something you'll want to deal with. But i believe that with a small fan going all the time to circulate the air around the device, it should do a lot toward reducing moisture. I'm thinking on the floor up front when parked, or maybe the top of the dash.
Jef
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...
it should do a lot toward reducing moisture.
...
Jef
In a basically closed area like a boat or RV when in storage. If you are opening and closing doors, leaving vents open, etc. not so much. It may/will collect a bunch of water, but with little actual result to your environment. You can't dehumidify the world with that stuff. YMMV. vic
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I was wondering how useful it would be in a closed sealed van when you are sleeping and creating the moisture with your breathing?
I don't know. I suspect your moisture output will overcome any removal capacity the stuff has, but I have no data to back that up.

The problem I see is that even if whatever you use does suck moisture out of the air and you get free water in the tank, it doen't mean it's effectively lowering the humidity inside the vehicle. Maybe you guys should go out and by some humidity testing equipment and do some experimenting? It'd be interesting to see the data.

http://www.amazon.com/Extech-445815-Humidity-Meter-Remote/dp/B000GFCN1I


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/rh...ity-measuring/test-instruments/ecatalog/N-beu

vic
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
I don't know. I suspect your moisture output will overcome any removal capacity the stuff has, but I have no data to back that up.

The problem I see is that even if whatever you use does suck moisture out of the air and you get free water in the tank, it doen't mean it's effectively lowering the humidity inside the vehicle. Maybe you guys should go out and by some humidity testing equipment and do some experimenting? It'd be interesting to see the data.

http://www.amazon.com/Extech-445815-Humidity-Meter-Remote/dp/B000GFCN1I


http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/rh...ity-measuring/test-instruments/ecatalog/N-beu

vic
No need to buy any testing equipment... the moisture content on any non-insulated surface can be used as a guage.

Late last fall, I succumed to using the 'crystal in a bucket' method to control moisture. It helps, barely... the absorbsion rate is slow, by nature, it's really designed for situations where moisture is ambient from air(ir. storage), not from human activity.

Since I live full time, this year I will use at least 3 buckets at any given time. Having a fan to circulate the air in the van increases the absorbsion.
 
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cedarsanctum

re: Member
Since i have started leaving the front windows open an inch or 2, both sides, i have not had a problem with moisture collecting on any surface. That was most of last winter until now, living in it 2 weeks of every month average. Temps in the winter were below freezing every night, barely above some days. The Espar furnace kept it nice and warm at 65 deg F. Don't keep it too warm, just comfortable without seeing your breath, seems to help with the humidity. When i have used the stove inside, the side door was opened and/or the skylights open.
Good ventilation, even if it means losing some heat, is what will keep moisture down the best, in my experience. Installing the wind deflectors on the front door windows and leaving them open creates a cross draft in the cab area, the heater vent blows from the center toward the front, and the heater intake is all the way in the back, under the bed. This is keeping the air clean and drier than if the windows were closed.
In my dreams, i would install an air to air heat exchanger ventilator and really keep the air cleaned out.

Jef
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Progress report. Installed the back half of the ceiling yesterday. What I learned:

1. Used 9 Penn Engineering 1/4" "Atlas plus-tite prebulbed inserts" part # AES25P280PBPB-ZYR. These are easier to install than nutserts and look to be more robust. Drilled out existing Sprinter holes to 11/32" and lightly hammered in the inserts. The Sprinter steel appears soft and will deform so threads are not square after they are tightened. Installed a long bolt to use as a guage and used a hammer and punch to bend rib back straight by tapping on the insert ring.

2. Got some 48" x 56" cardboard from my brewery friends. Measured ceiling and made a cardboard pattern using a razor blade knife to cut the cardboard to size. Installed pattern and made notes on it where I needed to make it fit better. Made a second pattern from the first pattern with the changes. Again installed the cardboard to check fit.

3. Traced pattern onto 6 mm white plastic I bought from Futura Industries. Think it was their part # 655428 white expanded PVC. When I cut this material for the cabinet bottoms, I had a problem with it welding itself back together as I cut it. Learned to use a jig saw blade with larger teeth and run as slow as possible. Cuts easy with the correct blade and speed.

4. Checked plastic for fit and trimmed a bit where it fit around some 80/20. Installed with 1" long 1/4-20NC SS button head bolts. Put 1" dia. SS flatwasher under bolt head to spread the load. The front edge centers on a rib where it will meet the front ceiling. One bolt will hold up both panels. The rear edge will be supported by the wood box that will go across the back above the rear doors.
 

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Hmr

New member
Nice work!

1. Used 9 Penn Engineering 1/4" "Atlas plus-tite prebulbed inserts" part # AES25P280PBPB-ZYR.
Thanks for including the part #. Did you have to order these online or did you find a store that carries them? I just did a search but it looks like they're only available directly from the manufacturer?
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Inserts came from DB Roberts Company. They have multiple locations in US. Mine came from their Camarilllo location in Ca. 1-800-488-1990. I paid about 25 cents each in a pack of 100. The installation tool I used was from McMaster-Carr. It was part number 96349A305 for $29.16. Tool was designed for nutserts. I replaced the bolt with a grade 8 1/4-20NC x 2 1/2" because the Atlas insert is taller than a nutsert. I found the nutsert difficult to install overhead. Required 3 arms and I only have two. Probably just a lack of skill on my part.
 

slem

Member
=Thanks for the valuable source information.

Inserts came from DB Roberts Company. They have multiple locations in US. Mine came from their Camarilllo location in Ca. 1-800-488-1990. I paid about 25 cents each in a pack of 100. The installation tool I used was from McMaster-Carr. It was part number 96349A305 for $29.16. Tool was designed for nutserts. I replaced the bolt with a grade 8 1/4-20NC x 2 1/2" because the Atlas insert is taller than a nutsert. I found the nutsert difficult to install overhead. Required 3 arms and I only have two. Probably just a lack of skill on my part.
 
I'm going to start my headliner soon - just ripped everything the P-PO installed out last night - fresh canvas.

I was planning to use threadserts myself but I'm so anal, they'll have to be 6 x 1.0 mm since this is a Mercedes after all. I haven't decided if I'm going to do a full FRP ceiling or replace the center section with carpet covered ply as the P-PO had done. It was nice if you could manage to bump your head to have some padding.

Thanks for the writeup on the insulation. I was wondering if anyone was using expanding foam. I hate working with it too but it does fill those roof bows nicely.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
I used the expanding foam in the walls along with rigid insulation. The ceiling is easier. Used 1 1/2" rigid insulation between the rib flanges, 1" rigid between the 1 1/2" rigid and the rib. I had light wiring running along side the rib so used the 1" to have wire space. I did fill the ribs with expanding foam. Next time I would consider using 6mm sign board instead of the expanded PVC I used. Would be lighter and probably more rigid between the rib centerlines. One would not want to use 1/4" ply when you can use a 6mm metric thickness!
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Completed the enclosure over the sliding door and the one above the rear doors.
The box over the sliding doors is bolted to fabricated 12 ga. SS "L" brackets that are bolted to the roof channel studs. Used threaded insert for the bolts which will be hidden above the white plastic ceiling. I have the intermediate sliding door stop mechanism that I wanted to cover.
The box over the rear doors is bolted to two 3/16" x 1 1/2" plates that are bolted to the 80/20 on the overhead cabinets. The rear light was removed from its normal vertical location and remounted horizontal. I used the removed light support bracket that was located over the sliding door, bent it as needed and riveted it to the Sprinter sheet metal with a couple aluminum angles at each end.
 

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Frosty_1

Member
Dave, your conversion looks fantastic!

How did you tackle the curved section above seat belt posts? The transition from headliner to slider area to ceiling panel is proving to be quite difficult for me. Also, the funky gap created by seat belt pillar, how do you plan on filling this?

As always, looking forward to your comments.

f.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Removed styrofoam blocks. In the process of making 3/4" thick wood flat filler plates for each side. They will bolt to rib at the top and if you look behind the plastic B cover you will find a sheet metal flat surface at the bottom. I will drill that and use an insert for a bottom bolt for the filler plate. I will paint the filler plate to match the van color. On the right side I will add a filler block at the bottom to fill hole between the plastic cover and the plastic B post cover. On the left I will leave that hole open since it makes a great place to store my wool cap. The white plastic ceiling will be forced between the front headliner and the rib. I will add tapped aluminum angle clips to the rib so I have a place to bolt the white plastic ceiling where it meets the front headliner. I am still working on how to hang a insulation/privacy curtain that will drop down behind the seats. At this point it looks like I will drill a hole in each cover plate and install an eyebolt with a rubber grommet in the hole (to prevent rattling). A modified painters expandable paint roller rod with pins at each end will span the distance between the eyebolts with the curtain hanging from that. Completing the ceiling is the next job. I will document the above work. I have the filler plate made for the right side. I will take a picture of it tomorrow when I have some daylight and post it.
 
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