Best way to insulate a cargo van: Product recommendations

best way to insulate a cargo vanPicture attribution: Kevauto [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
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Curious about the best way to insulate a cargo van? We’ve prepared this article just for you. Below, you’ll find a list of tips and tricks to keep your cargo van warm.

Cargo Van Insulation

Insulation is a vital part of living on the road in your cargo van. This is especially true during the cold winter months, where temperatures can plunge down up to -50 Fahrenheit. At these temperatures, not only your health, but also your camper van’s condition, can greatly suffer.

Specifically, one of the most pressing concerns is you may catch hypothermia. In terms of your vehicle, extreme temperatures can damage water pumps, holding tanks, and even appliances like a refrigerator.

This is not a problem unique to cargo vans. Even larger campers need to be winterized, so to say. For instance, windows, doors, floors, and vents are usually the most pressing concerns. Accordingly, having good quality cargo van insulation is a must for full-time, or even part-time, campers.

Should you continue reading, you’ll find that we have a few suggestions on how you can arm yourself against the cold winter months. That is to say, ideas for the best way to insulate a cargo van can be found below.

DIY Van Insulation

In order to save a few bucks, you can opt to DIY your cargo van’s insulation. To do this, there are a few things you have to know.

R-Value

Firstly, learn about R-Values or thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation you’ll get. Similarly, the thicker you layer a chosen material, the better you’ll keep the inside of your vehicle warm.

Types of Insulation

Secondly, research on different types of insulation materials such as fiber glass, foam boards, reflective foils, and rock and slag wool. Each kind has a different way of keeping you warm. For example, reflective foils, from the name itself, reflect heat away.

This is more suitable insulation during the warm months. In cold temperatures, it won’t do you much good unless you flip it so the radiant barrier is faced towards you during cold temperatures.

Interior Space

Thirdly, know that R-Value becomes higher the more you layer materials up. This is great if you have a lot of space. However, in a cargo van, you kind of want to preserve as much space as you can. If you do this, your living space will of course decrease and become more cramped than it already is.

Budget

Fourthly, think about how much money you can spare. The higher the R-Value, the more expensive it will be. Likewise, the denser and thicker a material, the more it will cost. Basically, DIY cargo van insulation involves a balancing act among at least four things: R-value, quality of material, your living space, and your budget. Thus, the best way to insulate a cargo van is by using and selecting materials that maintains that delicate balance.

Best way to insulate a cargo van

Below, we discuss the best way to insulate a cargo van.  using these recommended products:

  • Sheep’s Wool Insulation
  • Polyiso Foam Board Insulation
  • Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Sheep’s Wool Insulation

First on our list is sheep’s wool insulation, which has an R-Value of 7. Additionally, it’s breathable, meaning it doesn’t hold much moisture and manages condensation. It can also purify the air inside your cargo van.

Moreover, sheep’s wool is an environmentally friendly and sustainable material on top of having other beneficial qualities. As a matter of fact, it’s mold and mildew resistant, as well as sound-dampening. As a result, you won’t have to further invest in soundproofing materials.

If you have a double-walled cargo van, it’s best to stuff sheep’s wool to fill in this space. Alternatively, you can also attach is to the van’s body using 3M High Strength 90 Contact Spray Adhesive, 17.6-Ounces.

If we had anything negative to say about sheep’s wool, it’s that you won’t find it easily in physical retailers. At present time, you can only purchase large quantities online. Adding a shipping fee to its already relatively expensive price tag is a downside.

That being said, its pros far outweigh its cons. While sheep’s wool might be on the pricy side, it’s well worth it.

Polyiso Foam Board Insulation

Second on our list is polyiso foam board insulation. If you won’t be spending a ton of time in cold places, then is an excellent option. In fact, with an R-Value of 6, it comes highly recommended for those who are looking for sheep’s wool alternatives.

In comparison to sheep’s wool, foam board insulation is also environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and easy to work with. You may also use 3M High Strength 90 Contact Spray Adhesive, 17.6-Ounces. or expanding spray foam to glue it to your van walls.

Conversely, it has less sound dampening and moisture management characteristics. As a result, you might have to look into other soundproofing materials and also ways to make sure moisture doesn’t seep into and stay in your walls.

Lastly, this insulation material can be quite rigid. It doesn’t bend or curve to follow the ridges of your vehicle’s interior, meaning you might miss a few areas when insulating your van. Therefore, you could have air pockets that collect moisture.

All in all, polyiso foam board insulation is an accessible material, being available at brick-and-mortar retailers. Because one of their sides is usually covered in foil, it also works as a great vapor barrier.

Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Last on our list is a portable propane radiant heater. Specifically, we recommend Mr. Heater Buddy, an indoor-safe portable propane radiant heater. You may have insulated your walls and floors, as well as sealed your windows and doors. However, in the most extremes of winter, these measures still won’t be enough.

Therefore, you’ll need a space heater to make sure to keep the winter chill away. Notably, this heater can accommodate up to 225 square feet of space. Unsurprisingly, nearly 3000 customers rave about this model because it’s safe and efficient.

To illustrate, it has an auto-off function that is triggered whenever the heater tips over or it detects low oxygen levels. The fact that it’s portable makes it a reliable heat source no matter your destination.

Summary

You don’t want to have to cut a trip short because your vehicle broke down or worse, someone contracted hypothermia, right? In temperatures above freezing, maintaining warmth inside your vehicle is hard to do, especially if it has subpar insulation.

That being said, it’s important to be educated about the best way to insulate a cargo van. The product recommendations above will go a long way towards keeping your camping experience warm and comfy. Check them out!

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