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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I am having a hard time knowing what would be best to insulate the roof. I am not planning on covering the insulation and only have 1 and a half inches before it would hang lower than the beams. If not standing under a beam, I can stand up straight which I want to be able to do. And so, actually, only have one inch.

The foam board insulations seem like the right choice but get conflicting info regarding their safety. This is important because the insulation will not be covered. The EPS board seems llke a better choice than the XPS but I have read negatives regarding health safety on the EPS also.

Any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
Darrol
 

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Thinsulate
 

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If uncovered Thinsulate doesn't appeal to you, I have used extruded polystyrene board and just painted it with good latex paint.

I don't think I would love that in my van, for myself, but the reason I did it was that years ago I ordered a patio door one fall for my house that I was remodeling and then due to ridiculous delays I ended up having to wait until spring to get it. But I wanted to frame it in right then as I was doing siding, etc. So I made a plywood panel that was the size of the rough opening, screwed a wooden storm window to it, and put it in place. On the bare plywood (inside the house) I glued extruded polystyrene insulation (2" in my case) and then just painted it with the same latex paint as the surrounding walls. I was surprised at how well that whole thing worked through a 6-month winter. Didn't look as bad as it sounds, either.

That said, I don't know if you could just glue insulation board to the underside of the roof. May curve too much, and plus that roof sounds really thin and deformable. But maybe with kerfs?

I've been watching what MR people have done and the most common way seems to be to panel over the bottom of the beams with something like 1/4" plywood. But a few (@surly Bill comes to mind) have made inset panels that are higher than the beams. I think they have typically made some sort of cleats or etc. that support these intermediate panels at the beam sides though.
 

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I used both polyiso and xps then I covered everything with cedar planks, The cedar planks are only a quarter inch thick.
It has worked great for six years and you can still smell the cedar.
 

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I used both polyiso and xps then I covered everything with cedar planks...
How did you affix the insulation board? Glue? Or is it just held up with the cedar planks? If the latter, any squeaking? Anything you would do differently?

Oh and did you just kerf the backside where the roof rounds down to meet the cab so it would fit the van?
 

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I used a layer of 5/8" thick Ensolite foam glued to the ceiling with a high-temperature construction adhesive (Liquid Nails Fuze-It). It seems to be holding up and works pretty well for both sound and heat penetration. In my build I'm planning to add a layer of Thinsulate as well.
 

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You can get coverings from 1/16" to 1/4" that really don't take up much height. I'd want to cover those steel beams. PVC, plywood, cedar or even 4 way stretch carpet won't reduce height much and help keep insulation in place and look nicer and provide a little insulation on the steel beams.
 

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How did you affix the insulation board? Glue? Or is it just held up with the cedar planks? If the latter, any squeaking? Anything you would do differently?

Oh and did you just kerf the backside where the roof rounds down to meet the cab so it would fit the van?
For the sprinter but it easily transfers over to the transit, For my walls and ceiling I used it as my guide.
Mostly the foamboard is wedged in there, Cut exactly to fit. No squeaks anywhere and I put foamboard in my walls as well. Maybe because it is sealed almost air tight behind the cedar that blocks any noise, I can not hear it.
I have a medium roof so there is less rounding in the front, I just bent the front end of the planks slightly so they fit behind the front headliner. The front end of the planks are unattached to anything, the bend of the plank holds them in place.

 

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Ours is polyiso. 2 layers of 1/2" with a few kerfs to make it easier to bend and install between the beams. Didn't want to have anything rigid up there, so the ceiling is covered with a paintable wallpaper that resembles bead board. The beams are covered with a plank of 1/8" hardboard which also has the wallpaper on it. I think Thinsulate would have been easier to install but it didn't fit in the budget.

Without a solid ceiling, you do need to be careful when loading large stuff into the van. I put a dent in the foam while moving furniture for the kids. After we got home, I teased it back into place with a needle and then touched up with paint. I can still see it. Most others would have to know to look for it to find it. But I'm resigned to living with our elephant skin side panels too so I'm not overly critical on appearance. (Actually, the elephant skin seems to be noticeably less wrinkly now. High heat or high humidity or just having gone up to 9,000 ft and back down a few times has loosened bond between the fabric and the pool noodles, I don't really know.)
 

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Hi,
I am having a hard time knowing what would be best to insulate the roof. I am not planning on covering the insulation and only have 1 and a half inches before it would hang lower than the beams. If not standing under a beam, I can stand up straight which I want to be able to do. And so, actually, only have one inch.

The foam board insulations seem like the right choice but get conflicting info regarding their safety. This is important because the insulation will not be covered. The EPS board seems llke a better choice than the XPS but I have read negatives regarding health safety on the EPS also.

Any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
Darrol
I'm in the same boat, I'm 6'1" with a mid roof. I will probably be 2 thin layers if 1/8 ply bent to the curve of the ceiling and then covered with a thin carpet or fabric. I'm thinking I'll put thinsulate behind it if not just the airspace. I will box-in the beams which will hold up the panels. Then if I want to remove a panel to run a wire etc, I'll just unscrew the beam cover. Cheap, fast, and easy to change in the future when I inevitably change my mind.
 

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3 sheets of 8"x4" by 1" poly-iso board, cut to size and slotted 70% through longitudinally, to form to the shape of the roof between the beams - $60.
Glued in place using spray adhesive $7.
Then I chose to cover it with a 1/4" pre-cut roof liner from one of the trade-van upfitters - mostly because I was short on time. It's been rock solid and squeak free for 3 years and 31,000 miles of camping.
It's not the best looking, but the liner could easily be replaced with marine fabric or 1/4" cedar planking for a more finished look.
 

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We have quite a few customers with Thinsulate headliners. This is a great way to maintain ceiling height in a midroof.

One technique that we use is to pull the Thinsulate fibers away from the the scrim and then cut them back about 2" to create a flap of scrim only. Then glue that to the roof beams along the front and back. This creates a nice finished look without reducing head room at all.

Another technique is to use 1/4 dowels through the holes in the roof beams to suspend the Thinsulate.



All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
 

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I like Hein's idea. I did the thinsulate in my Medium Roof then put fir strips along the side of each cross beam (not easy!) then did cedar strips 3/16 screwed to those fir strips. We had the thinsulate glued up there for months before i finished the rest and it didnt bother me much. His idea is even better if youre okay with just the black side of the thinsulate showing. It would make it consistent black material all the way across. That thinsulate is great stuff, warm, clean looking. If you decide to put another material on top his idea may help too.

BTW, on the floor, i also saved space to help me stand up (69"tall). I used the minicell, berween the ribs then 1/4 ", then 1/2 birch plywood. Then vinyl plank. So i used up about only 1" from the metal and its warm enough, also allowing me to stand (without shoes. No shoes in the van.)
 

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Glued three layers of polyiso - first layer 1/2”, followed by 1”, and then topped with 1/2 inch = 2 inch total with R value of 12.4. I was able to cover the metal cross beams to avoid thermal bridge. Used thinsulate under headliner in driver / passenger area. Used 1/2 inch furling strips to be able to fasten headliner (white tile board which hasnt been installed yet). As far as safety (off-gassing) - never noticed it to date and always use MaxFan to bring fresh air in from outside - so not a concern to me. As far as hitting head - I wanted the maximum level of insulation possible in ceiling, and for the times that I have to bend my neck a little to avoid hitting ceiling is worth it to me - actually I have a low roof transit so I‘m already bending my neck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If uncovered Thinsulate doesn't appeal to you, I have used extruded polystyrene board and just painted it with good latex paint.

I don't think I would love that in my van, for myself, but the reason I did it was that years ago I ordered a patio door one fall for my house that I was remodeling and then due to ridiculous delays I ended up having to wait until spring to get it. But I wanted to frame it in right then as I was doing siding, etc. So I made a plywood panel that was the size of the rough opening, screwed a wooden storm window to it, and put it in place. On the bare plywood (inside the house) I glued extruded polystyrene insulation (2" in my case) and then just painted it with the same latex paint as the surrounding walls. I was surprised at how well that whole thing worked through a 6-month winter. Didn't look as bad as it sounds, either.

That said, I don't know if you could just glue insulation board to the underside of the roof. May curve too much, and plus that roof sounds really thin and deformable. But maybe with kerfs?

I've been watching what MR people have done and the most common way seems to be to panel over the bottom of the beams with something like 1/4" plywood. But a few (@surly Bill comes to mind) have made inset panels that are higher than the beams. I think they have typically made some sort of cleats or etc. that support these intermediate panels at the beam sides though.
thanks--I didn't know anyone replied to me question
 

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There is one problem with all these suggested solutions. They are all flammable. In my humble opinion putting flammable materials in an enclosed living space is a recipe for potential disaster.
Although this is NOT a building the same building code rules apply. DO NOT put flammable materials on your ceiling or walls.
So your best solution is Areogel Blanket. Which is the best insulator available. .5 inch loose Areogel Blanket will insulate better than 2 inches of any other material. Its not Flammable and it does not absorb moisture. No Toxic chemicals either.
Cover with vapor barrier or better metalized reflective Mylar and a 360° double seal
Use Coosa board for the walls and floor and ceiling.
Contrary to advertising Thinsulate does absorb some small percentage of moisture.
 

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Last week I insulated with Thinsulate 600 and 3M 90. Easy as pie. I have a 2022 130WB MR. It took two cans of 3M 90. The electric scissors recommended on Hein's website were junk: Frequently jammed and jagged cuts. The Missus had some good sewing scissors that cut straight, fast, and easy.
 

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Last week I insulated with Thinsulate 600 and 3M 90. Easy as pie. I have a 2022 130WB MR. It took two cans of 3M 90. The electric scissors recommended on Hein's website were junk: Frequently jammed and jagged cuts. The Missus had some good sewing scissors that cut straight, fast, and easy.

Now go earn super spouse of the year points and get those sewing scissors professionally sharped. I guarantee the Thinsulate has dulled them.
 
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