REQUIREMENTS

      • Winter ready (Alaska is on the wishlist)
      • Summer ready (no air-conditioning)
      • Good moisture evacuation (damp clothes and gear)

 

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INSULATION

This is a very frustrating topic… As opposed to most decisions we faced during the planning process, it seems that there is no real consensus about insulation. You can read about it for days and not be able to make up your mind! There is no perfect solution…

Material that retain moisture will lead to corrosion/mold issues in the long term. Some people will sandwich their isolation in between the van panels & a vapor barrier. The idea is to block moisture from getting into the insulation materials. However, this way, the insulating material is sandwiched between two vapor barriers… if moisture find its way in (and it most likely will), there is no escape for that moisture out.

So what now? Let’s look at different material:

SPRAY FOAM

PROS

      • Best R value of all
      • Protect sheet metal from humidity (corrosion)

CONS

      • Messy to apply
      • Semi-permanent
      • Poor sound insulation
      • Will lead to panel deformation if applied in thick layer
3M THINSULATE

Buy from Amazon

PROS

      • Light weight
      • Very good sound insulation
      • Easy to apply
      • Removable
      • Hydrophobic (do not absorb humidity)

CONS

      • Expensive
      • Average R value

 

FIBERGLASS

PROS

      • Good R value
      • Removable

CONS

      • Hydrophillic (absorb humidity)

RESSOURCES:

      • 3M Thinsulate brochure
      • sprinter-source.com thread about 3M Thinsulate
      • sprinter-source.com thread about Spray Foam

 

THE WINNER IS…

Thinsulate! Check our installation article: http://faroutride.com/thinsulate-installation/

EZ-COOL! Check our installation article: http://faroutride.com/ez-cool-installation/

 

HEATING

There is two obvious options here:

1- Gasoline Heater

Both Webasto & Espar offer a gasoline version of their heater. The Espar B1LC (7500BTU) is in the 1700$ US, so it’s a no go. The Webasto AirTop 2000 STC  (Gasoline version) is about 1100$ US which is very expensive but has many pros: it is fueled from the main vehicule tank, fuel consumption is low (0.06 gal/h), electricity consumption is o.k. (1.5amp) & no humidity is results from combustion (as opposed to propane).

2- Propane Heater

Propex offer a very good propane external heater, the HS2211. Being an external heater, the humidity resulting from propane combustion is evacuated outside which is a big plus. At 980$ CDN, it is much cheaper than the gasoline counterparts, however, propane is more difficult to find than gasoline, more expensive and you have to carry a propane tank.

RESSOURCES

 

THE WINNER IS…

Gasoline Webasto! Check our installation article: http://faroutride.com/air-heater-installation/

 

VENTILATION

The first obvious role of ventilation is heat control. Ventilation is also crucial for moisture evacuation; cooking, drying clothes and human beings generate a lot of water. If not properly evacuated, it could lead to corrosion issues in the long run and is also simply not comfortable. There are many manufacturers out there, but it seems that Fantastic and Maxxair are popular choices among the community. The Fantastic 3350 is low profile and comes with a rain sensor so the trap will shut automatically when it detects rain. By its design, the Maxxair Deluxe can be left opened when raining & when driving; it is also stronger due to the two arms that hold the trap opened (as opposed to only one arm for the Fantastic). For these reasons we will opt for the Maxxair Deluxe.

RESSOURCES

 

THE WINNER IS…

Maxxair Deluxe! Check our installation article: http://faroutride.com/fan-installation/

 

WANT MORE?

Check out our Build Journal, learn everything about The Van, join us for The Ride, or if you’re new to this start by reading The Prologue.

 

 

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ABOUT US

Hello! We’re Isabelle and Antoine 🙂 In 2017 we sold our house (and everything in it), quit our engineering careers and moved into our self built campervan. We’ve been on the road since then and every day is an opportunity for a new adventure; we’re chasing our dreams and hopefully it inspires others to do the same!

 

 

4 comments

  1. Comment by Olas Cairo

    Olas Cairo Reply June 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I know insulation is a many headed beast, but I can’t seem to find a discussion online about what to do about the partition between the cabin and the back. From an outside perspective it seems that without a partition, you would lose a lot of the benefits of insulating the rest of the van. I just imagine there’s a lot of heat transfer in the cabin with the windows and doors and everything.

    I see you guys aren’t afraid of winter, so I’m curious how you have been faring without a dedicated insulation partition.

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply June 29, 2018 at 10:10 am

      It’s true that the cabin is the weakest point. But installing a partition would reduce our living space a lot; we use the swivel seat all the time. Maybe if we had a full size RV then we could afford to close the cabin.
      Having said that, the Webasto (Webasto Installation) and the window covers (Insulated Window Covers) keep that space nice and warm. If we were using only the Propex, the cabin would not be comfortable (because the propex is further back).

      I’ve seen some folk just hanging a curtain as a partition to minimize the heat loss.

      We discuss about living in the van during winter here: faroutride.com/winter-vanlife

      Hope that helps, cheers!

  2. Comment by Jack and Kate Wolverton

    Jack and Kate Wolverton Reply June 20, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    We are enjoying your website and really appreciate your expertise. I am a mechanical engineer and my wife Kate and I just bought a 2017 Transit in preparation for our retirement in 5 or 6 years. I am starting from scratch and totally loving it. Yours has been my favorite website since you are so organized and helpful. I have a lot of experience with household projects, so this is just a very different version.
    My biggest thanks is for the electrical information. I purchased your schematic and have been purchasing through your Amazon links. It is helping me to understand and feel more comfortable with the electrical portion.
    Thanks again and good luck on your journeys.
    Jack and Kate
    Pensacola Fl friends

    • Comment by Antoine

      Antoine Reply June 23, 2018 at 10:33 am

      Thanks for the kind word, this is much appreciated 🙂
      Good luck with you future projects and happy travels!

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