Our DIY camper van conversion will be used as a winter splitboarding basecamp, so climate control is primordial. The thinsulate thermal insulation, the insulated window covers, the Webasto AirTop 2000 STC air heater and the Maxxair Fan are other key elements that make our campervan conversion comfortable during winter.
Choosing which type of insulation to use was one of the toughest decisions; there is no perfect solution; therefore, we went with the solution that was the best compromise for us.
The Low-E insulation (EZ-Cool) installation was performed progressively during the length of the conversion process as we were installing the wall and ceiling. Why? Because if we covered the walls and ceiling too soon, we would lose the location of the existing holes for Cross Nut installation.
What’s the point of the Low-E Insulation (EZ-Cool)?
We chose Thinsulate as our “main” thermal and noise insulation. To be effective, Thinsulate needs to be fully expanded: that’s almost 2 inches thick for SM600L Thinsulate. There are locations where we just don’t have that space to install Thinsulate (we rather keep that space as living area), so we installed Low-E insulation (EZ-Cool).
Is it redundant to install Thinsulate AND Low-E insulation (EZ-Cool)? NO! Metal is an excellent thermal conductor, therefore leaving some metal exposed is really bad for thermal loss. We experienced it during our conversion: while we were in the Chic-Chocs at -15F, the Thinsulate surfaces were warm to the touch as opposed to the bare metal surfaces that were freezing cold. We lost a lot of heat there. That was enough to convince us.
Why did we install Low-E insulation (EZ-Cool) over the Thinsulate at some locations and not others? The Low-E insulation (EZ-Cool) acts as a vapor barrier. We did not want to sandwich the Thinsulate between the van metal and the Low-E (EZ-Cool) so it could “breathe”. We believe moisture will eventually get to the Thinsulate (vapor barrier or not), so we covered about 75% of the Thinsulate surface. This is a compromise: this way we get some radiant shield properties of the Low-E (EZ-Cool), and we let our Thinsulate breathe. You might be interested in this article:
TIME SPENT ON THE JOB
Really, it’s hard to tell because the Low-E (EZ-Cool) was installed as the conversion progressed. It’s fairly easy and fast to install, so let’s say 4 to 8 hours total.
$200 USD, more or less
If you choose to only install the Low-E (EZ-Cool) on the remaining exposed metal (following the Thinsulate installation), 40 linear feet should be about right. If you choose to cover the remaining exposed metal AND to install on top of the Thinsulate, you should probably get 60 linear feet (we are also using Low-E (EZ-Cool) to make insulated window covers, so we went for 60 linear feet and we had to buy more later).
- There’s nothing to see here.
- Thinsulate Installation
- The Low-E (EZ-Cool) is installed as the conversion progresses…
HERE IS HOW IT GOES
It’s not very complicated, so we will keep this short and sweet.
Similar to Thinsulate, we used 3M 90 Spray Adhesive on metal surfaces. For installation over the Thinsulate, we used the aluminum tape included with the Low-E (EZ-Cool).
ON SECOND THOUGHT
On second thought, we should have taken more pictures of the Low-E (EZ-Cool) installation!!
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