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Insulating The Van Part 3 – Cargo Area Floor

The van floor is corrugated for strength and rigidity, like truck beds.  I’ve seen a lot of people cut a bunch of little strips of foam or carpet padding to fill in the gaps and create a level surface, but I didn’t want to do that much work.  The foam is rigid enough that it didn’t really compress much over the peaks and valleys of the floor, even with a persons weight on it.  Plus, 3/4 inch plywood is going over the foam, further dispersing the weight.

Sliding door foot well area

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Insulating The Van Part 2 – Cargo Area Pink Stuff

With the sound dampening finished (except for the front cab area), we can now move on to the next layer in the insulation plan: 1/2 inch thick Pink Extruded Polystyrene Foam Board and Pink Fiberglass Batting.  We didn’t want to use foam board any thicker than 1/2 inch so that it was easily flexed to the rounding walls and ceiling.  If it’s too rigid, it would either break when bent, or overpower the glue used to adhere it (probably).  Speaking of adhering it the foam board, we used 3M Hi-Strength 90 spray glue.  Hopefully this glue will hold up well, there are many reports both good and bad about using it for this.

foamboard2

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Insulating The Van Part 1 – Cargo Area Roadkill Sound Dampener

As previously discussed, the first “ply” of our insulation sandwich is Roadkill Sound Dampener.  I hope I never have to install this stuff again!  While it is not difficult to work with, it is tiring and time consuming…I’ll just leave it at that.

roadkill1

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The Plan for Insulating Our Van

pre-insulation

Insulation.  A necessary evil.  On one hand, insulation is wonderful for keeping in the warmth in the winter, and keeping out the hot in the summer.  On the other hand, insulation is such a pain to deal with.  Why?  Mostly because of the numerous options and types of insulation, and installation schemes.  It is possible to spend days or weeks researching how best to insulate, and then how to best secure it to the walls, floor, and ceiling.  I’ve seen vans and RVs insulated with hard foam board, expanding spray foam, fiberglass batting, reflectix, bubble-wrap, blankets, denim batting, and even nothing at all.  Every option has it’s benefits as well as it’s pit falls.  The truth is, none of these are perfect and you’ll just have to decide how to insulate based on your expected uses of the van.  You also have to keep in mind how thick or thin you want the walls to be.  The walls can quickly become multiple inches thick, eating into the already limited space in a van.

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Van Exterior – Window Tints and MaxxFan

Toby

There is currently still no real complete plan of how our van, Blanche, will be outfitted.  Only a few ideas floating around.  In the meantime, there are at least a few required items that are needed regardless of anything else.  We’ve made slow progress on some of them lately.

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Meet Carte Blanche, Our New Van (and Home!)

Blanche

First, let’s get some background of where we are coming from, then we’ll go into what the new plan is.

There are benefits and limitations associated with any vehicle you choose as your VanDwelling home.  We have been constantly struggling with that fact.  We wanted the ultimate do-it-all platform with plenty of space and comfort, yet have good fuel economy and be easy to drive and nimble enough for tight parking and mild off-roading.  That just doesn’t exist.  We had concluded long ago that the closest we could get was a diesel 4×4 truck with a slide-in camper on it, but after living in both a pop-up and a hard-side camper for the past few years, we’ve found our wants and needs changing a bit.

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Testing the Olympus Stylus TG-2 GPS Tracking Ability on Rabbit Mountain

Decided to play with the new camera’s GPS tracking feature.  There are a few quirks I need to figure out (i.e. it has this as two tracks instead of one), but I am pleasantly surprised at how well it worked while in my pocket.  The track shown is a little bit off when overlaid on the satellite images, but it’s not that bad!  If I can get it to work, I’d like to run the track feature for our whole Colorado Trail trek.

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