Recycling Van

Next job: Insulate the walls of the van and prepare for boarding.

I was staggered just how much of a difference covering the walls of the van would have on the acoustics in there… when I bought the van it was just a shell with some badly fitted plastic panels flapping around. As you drove along, the van made such a crashing din you could barely hear the bag of cats screeching in the back. Now it’s (partially) insulated, it’s so much quieter you can have a normal conversation without going hoarse.

I used loads more of the foil backed foam first. This came from B&Q and is actually meant to be used behind radiators in your house to reflect heat back into the room. I’m certain is will do the job admirably in the van. This is spray glued onto the metal walls of the van and is followed by the bulk insulation called “Non-Itch”.

I am a complete convert to this product. I’ve done 3 house renovations in recent years and always hated going up in the loft to arrange the insulation. Traditional rockwool is dusty and mulchy and sticks in your skin and itches for days after if you aren’t head to toe covered in forensic gear looking like a minion. This stuff is just like the insides of a duvet, except it’s made of recycled plastic bottles. It was really easy to rip bits off by hand to absolutely stuff the cavities full of insulation. I made sure the whole wall was covered and then used black plastic sheeting to hold it in.

This black sheeting was given to me by a friend and it has a very nice felt layer bonded to it for a bit extra warm fuzzy insulationy-ness. The main purpose of the plastic sheeting however is the moisture barrier. This stops my warm wet breath hitting the cold metal of the van interior and condensing into water which would cause mouldy damp and eventually rust. Having lived in shared accomodation for most of my life, I know the only way to combat damp is to change the warm wet air for cooler dry air, by ventilation. I’m not worried because I already have this sorted in the roof with a fan so this won’t be a problem.

I have given some thought to heating the van. I know how cold winter can get in the UK, even if this year the, always accurate, weatherman is predicting the warmest christmas Since Records Began©. A few vanners online are using a Heat Source gas heater and have given very good reviews. I think for now, I will do without and see how it goes. Its middle of winter at the moment and the van won’t be finished for a while yet. I dont see the point in spending the money and time installing one now to just carry it around all year not using it. Something for the future maybe?