Is Closed Cell Spray Foam Insulation for Sprinter Van ???

Grumpy Grandpa

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I'm trying to decide on what I want to use to Insulate my Van with. I am thinking that Closed Cell Insulation is what I want to do. Although a bit more expensive upfront I'm thinking in the long-term it will be best; I also think it might add Value to the Van on a re-sell. Any thoughts from any of y'all who've been doing this for awhile?

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Turtle

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It probably won't add any value to the van, unless you're a great salesman. But generally speaking, you'll want the closed cell. It weighs 2-3 times more than open cell foam, but the R-factor insulation is twice that of open cell foam.

Also, open cell foam expands about 3 inches, whereas closed cell only expands about 1 inch. The expansion of open cell is better for hidden nooks and crannies, but in a house that much expansion pressure can bow and crack door and window frames. In a van that means it's more likely to deform and ripple the exterior body sheet metal, which looks just awful. Even closed cell foam can warp the sheet metal from heat and expansion if try and do an entire side panel in one whack. Better to do it in smaller sections (3 or 4) and let it cure for 3 or 4 hours before going on to the next section.

The Great Stuff canned foam is closed cell.
 

Grumpy Grandpa

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Good information! Sounds horrific for the Van... what I'm hearing is using foam isn't such a good idea.???? I have no desire to ruin a $66k vehicle.... would you do it different?

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Turtle

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I used (1 inch thick, I think) foam board panels for the larger void spaces on the side body and ceiling. Glued them with Loc-Tite adhesive in one of those big caulk gun tubes. Filled in around that and in the other voids with Great Stuff canned foam. Then glued up Reflectix bubble pack insulation to cover everything, making sure to use the silver foil tape to seal all the seams.

It is tempting, and a lot quicker, to pay a professional the roughly $500 to spray foam on the walls and ceiling, but you run the very real risk of rippled body panels. They'll do a whole side of the van very quickly, and as it cures it generates a lot of heat, which will make the body panels prone to rippling. If you have a professional do it, express those concerns first.

Do not use spray foam on the doors, especially the rear doors. The foam will block water drainage and will cause the doors to rust. Trust me on this. Or ask any body shop guy. :eek:

I think it took me 5 days to finish the insulation and Reflectix. It's not something you really want to rush. You're gonna be living in it, after all.
 
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Turtle

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Oh, and you want to avoid the fiberglass insulation unless you seal it very, very well behind Reflectix and tape. They use that in RVs, but it's well sealed. If you don't seal it, you'll be breathing in fiberglass dust, which is, you know, dust made of glass fibers. It's not recommended you do that.
 
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Grumpy Grandpa

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Actually the estimate was $1900 ++ to have it done... $900. For a foam kit....
I'm thinking maybe I need to lower my sites a bit... and look into foam board... thank you for your input... it's valuable to me.
On another note... did you get yours replaced after the accident?

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Mr. Loyalty.

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I spent $750 for 3-2" thick sheets, 12-1" thick sheets, and a 4'x100' roll of double bubble reflectix vapor barrier. The ceiling will be 3" thick, with reflectix and vinyl covering. The walls will be 1" thick, with reflectix and hopefully that blue plastic corragated stuff, if I can find it. The same with the front wall and back doors. The underside of the cargo box in between the metal floor supports will have 1" thick foam board with reflectix, all covered and sealed with this 1/8" thick black plastic that i bought to keep the weather and moisture out. The foam board i bought from Menards is flame retardant, moisture and mold proof, according to Menards and Man- Johnson (or whoever they are) website.
 
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Mr. Loyalty.

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A few couples on YouTube who are building a MCI Greyhound bus into a motorhome and another who are building a home in the Utah mountains are using that wool insulation. I think it is called Rosal mineral wool insulation made by Dow Corning. Very good information, and there are a ton of benefits to using that wool insulation. If you have studs on your walls than it should work very well. My van interior walls are smooth sided FRP wall construction, so it may not work well, and I kinda like the foam board insulation.
 

Grumpy Grandpa

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I looked at wool... it's looks to be really good, but, has a price that matches. Bit out of my range right now.

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Grumpy Grandpa

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After reading what you said before (coupled with the cost) I'm leaning toward foam board. I'm not sure if I have the skill to do a DIY Foam Project and risk my life's savings in the process....

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sarniko

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all these materials have there advantages and disadvantages as I researched
I tried foam boards but not the spray foam because it is expensive and messy
board is cheaper but still runs you $500
and it takes time measuring, cutting. glue and you can’t fit it into all places. 3m thinsulate is also easy to install and non toxic but expensive
If I have to insulate the van again I go with foam board on flat surfaces like mid section in sprinter vans to save time and money and the rest would be natural wool
It will Cost you under $1000 then spray form and you can remove it if you want to. Only problem with the wool is that it is on back order and take 2 months to be shipped
 
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Mr. Loyalty.

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This is what I bought from Menards. Putting double bubble reflectix on top of this as well. After I tape all seams.
 

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