White Whale II Build

gs850gx

Member
Finally getting around to starting a build. Thought I would try using EZ Cool for kicks and giggles. Layers on roof from top to bottom:

metal skin
1/2" air space
1/4" EZ Cool
1/2" air space
1/4" EZ Cool
1/4" air space
1/4" T&G Ceiling

Seems to be doing a fine job of keeping the heat out. Oh and is really helping the noise level a lot.

Maxx Air Fan installed and 200 Watt HQST solar Panels on roof.

D
 

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radair603

Member
I hate to piss in your Cheerios but won't that 1/2" air space next to the potentially cold steel roof give a place for condensation to occur?
 

gs850gx

Member
I hate to piss in your Cheerios but won't that 1/2" air space next to the potentially cold steel roof give a place for condensation to occur?
Thought my Cheerios tasted a little off. Im not sure it is possible to prevent condensation in a metal box in the cold under certain conditions. Nature of the beast I believe. At least I have no contact with the metal that would hold moisture due to surface tension and the entire outer envelope vent and drainage system Mercedes designed into the body is entirely intact. Probably easier to trap moisture behind partially sealed rigid panels which I see a lot of of folks try to do. Nor will Thinsulate prevent migration and condensation of moisture. Any excess condensate will be able to travel to and out the body skirt drains as I have carefully not sealed the outer air space from those drains. Why do you feel this would be worse in that regard?
 

gs850gx

Member
Air space has less insulation value than just using a good closed cell foam. The reflective barriers aren't of value in a space constrained area like a vans walls.
I'll take some temperature readings when I get my non contact thermometer back from a friend. It's 88 and sunny here today and the outer roof is uncomfortable to lay a hand on to due to heat but the ceiling inside feels slightly warmer than ambient. I drove back from a job this afternoon with the AC on and the whole van cooled down, I was quite surprised, and the ceiling was cool to the touch. Why do you say reflective barriers don't work?
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
A reflective barrier on the hot side does little to nothing. Plus reflective barriers and air gaps will always have lower R value than a good low density closed cell foam. Its just a matter of physics.
 

gs850gx

Member
A reflective barrier on the hot side does little to nothing. Plus reflective barriers and air gaps will always have lower R value than a good low density closed cell foam. Its just a matter of physics.
Hi Midwestdrifter!
I think closed cell foams are great! I really do. I used it on my previous build and thought it was OK. Problems I had with it was eventual squeaking and that was probably due to something I did. Here is a little video from Fine Homebuilding on using a radiant barrier on the hot side of an assembly with a 3/4" air space. https://www.finehomebuilding.com/2011/01/21/radiant-barriers-for-exterior-walls

Also here is a link to an installation in a van with a similar concept using radiant barriers and air spaces but this guy is claiming crazy r values but his experience of keeping heat out is similar to mine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijPhfG-tWwQ

And finally, Reflectix, a similar product, found a value of R6 using standard testing with one layer of reflectix and a 1/2" air gap. https://www.reflectixinc.com/applications/diy/duct-insulation-r-6/

Radiant barriers have really gotten a bad rap due to incorrect installations and shady contractors. Dual barriers like reflectix and EZ Cool use both a high reflectivity on the hot side and low emissivity on the cool side and work great under high radiation situations like a hot metal roof. I don't winter camp, but if I did I would get the van spray foamed. Best way to stop condensation period.
 

sparkplug

Active member
Reflective barriers do work inside - however that's pretty much all they do. Reflect.

They have very limited insulation properties which is a different thing.

I've used some reflextix as a vapour barrier to help reduce the moisture which can pass through into the ceiling space.

When I was researching my insulation options I found this video to be very informative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDZBJw7cV2U

The same guy did a much longer 'live' video on insulation from Camp Quirky and he also has a "Part 2" of the video I posted which shows him installing the insulation into his Sprinter
 

gs850gx

Member
I have watched a bunch of his videos and they are good and interesting.

Got the ceiling finished and cut some insulating panels for all the windows. Also took down the headliner to insulate above. Found out why my radio didn't work, someone cut the wires.:idunno:
So that has to wait, new antenna on order.

While I have foot wells out touched up some paint. (Rustoleum Professional White Enamel :rad:)


Hooked up my solar for testing and to run my Maxxair as it is really hot out. Working great and is really helping out today in the heat. 92 deg and sunny and HUMID.

Oh and, decided to start a different thread on EZ Cool rather than have that conversation here. Radiant Barriers and EZ Cool
 

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gs850gx

Member
Little bit of progress to report on the build. Built boxes for the propane (2, 4.7 gal) and the batteries (2, golf cart). The propane locker will have a high and low vent tube both exiting to under the van. The batteries will vent through a high vent out the wall and a low vent to under the van.
 

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gs850gx

Member
Making toooooo slow progress but oh well.

Roughing in the water and gray tanks. 33 gal each from classacustoms.
Using 2 cross straps for retention.

Battery box with forced air ventilation and vent under van. Fan is connected to solar input and draws .1 amp. I will probably put a voltage regulator on it and a >13v sense. Can feel a real breeze at the vent outlet. Box will hold 2 group 27 or 2 6V golf cart. More ratchet straps.

200 Watts on the roof with room for 400.

and finally overheads hooked up with wireless dimmers, they work very sweet.

Just got the furnace, sink and stove so looks like the galley is up next and of course cover those tanks.
 

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billintomahawk

'02 2.7 T!N Freightliner
Bill, How did the 140 "Break your heart"?
The platform bed is just too short so I have to sleep slightly diagonal if I want to stretch out.
Side flairs would solve that problem but no thanks for now. I am 5'9". If I travel with a partner it would have to be a smaller 'she'(for me).

My mountain bike with old school 26" wheels fits under the bed but with the low roof I had to go with a 3" mattress to maintain headroom. Then my propane heater required valuable floor space(being an old school ice shack heater). so the floor space slipped away.

It's a great layout for one, two people are more challenging. A second problem s the passenger's seat is trapped behind a partition so it can't rotate to the rear. Another trade off because the area for heating can be minimized. The whole rig asks for intimacy.
Floor space is at a premium with the 140.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 140 low roof and wouldn't trade for anything else, but in all love affairs there is a little heartbreak.





On the other hand the classic VW van-esque look, great fuel mileage and a smaller wind shape makes it all worthwhile.



bill
 
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