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Working on my ceiling insulation and wondering if anyone had ideas for insulating/covering the metal crossbeams. I'm using Thinsulate but I don't want to add that thickness and lose height.

I am planning on finishing the ceiling with either 1/4" plywood panels wrapped in fabric OR 1/4" cedar planks.
 

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THANK YOU for spelling "lose" correctly!

Nothing thin is going to be much of a thermal barrier, but having 1/16" to 1/8" rubber or foam might help prevent rattles and squeaks of the wood on the ribs. The laminate flooring underlayment foam is a good choice, or as mentioned above, the self-adhesive window sill rubber barrier found at building supply stores. It also works well as a panel dampener, like Dynamat.
 
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I used the Dow sill foam from Lowe's between all the metal rib surfaces of the van and the luan plywood walls and ceiling. It provides some thermal barrier, but the main benefit is that there are no squeaks where the wood meets metal. It works very well, and I would use it again. 3M 90 spray adhesive was used to attach the foam to the metal ribs of the van. Some people have also used felt for this purpose.

What I used is basically the same as what Phil mentions above: Dow sill foam at Lowe's

Edit: I found some photos of the sill foam being installed to give you an idea of how it was done. You can even see the can of 3M 90 in one photo... Fortunately, everything looks much nicer now that the van is finished.

IMG_20171021_182204837.jpg IMG_20171022_150205176.jpg IMG_20171022_150227485.jpg IMG_20171024_162603358.jpg IMG_20171024_162616481_HDR.jpg
 

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I covered the ribs with 1/2 inch plywood framing strips 4 to 6 inches wide after stuffing with thinsulate. The plywood gives additional insulation as well. Armaflex foam insulation tape, 2" wide x about 1/8 thick is what I used to stop squeaks, avoids the use of messy and smelly 3m 90.
 
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