Top

Beefing up insulation in your RV – Big Plus! Winter is coming!

October 14, 2008 by Tony Cornett · 54 Comments  
Print This Print This ·

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information!

RV.Net Blog Admin

From the desk of Firedude

While in Wilsonville, Or. at Pheasant Ridge RV Park I met another full-timer who had a Keystone Everest and showed me some insulation he had added. He said it made quite a difference in both cooling and heating of the coach. Now that I have done it I can see why. He had taken a styro-foam insulation and had placed it in the ceiling of his basement between the aluminum floor rails/studs. I took it one step further and also removed the cheap 1/4″ cotton bats of insulation between the belly pan and tanks and replaced it as well. Below I describe what I did….

Here is a picture of the basement ceiling before the insulation. You can see the aluminum floor braces and the plywood flooring, I first measured the voids where the insulation would go then cut them slightly over-sized and then wedge them in.

In this picture you can see the insulation after it was put in place. All I left to do here is trim/cut and loose material to give it a clean looking fit.

I used R-Tech Insulfoam (styro-foam). It can be bought at Home Depot. Good thing is the R ratings are great and it weighs virtually nothing. All you need to do this is a tape measure, ink pen, razor knife to cut the foam with and a vacuum to clean up all the loose bits of Styro-foam afterwards. A regular Razor knife with a long blade cuts it easily.

I used the same material in the area below the basement in the underbelly. The area between the belly pan and my tanks which is also heated by my furnace ducting. I pulled out the cheap 1/4″ cotton bats the manufacturer used and replaced it with the R-Tech bats. Great insulation and even of you do have a flood/leak you can simply pul it out let it dry and put it back in. It does not absorb water.  Overall by putting the insulation in both the belly and basement ceiling it added a significant insulation factor to the coach. The full-timer I met who had done it and showed me said it made quite a difference in cooling and heating. Later I will extend the insulation in the basement storage all the way back as far as it will go beyond the basement wall toward the rear of the trailer. I’ll have to pull the basement walls to do so, but no biggie as I need to do my annual check of water lines and fittings for tightness. the whole project in both areas. It is a good days job, but not hard at all. Just time consuming. Pulling the belly pan is much easier with a good cordless screw driver by the way! I’m working on another cheap insulation project and will ad it when I am done. the overall cost of this project was only $57!!

For more information on R-Tech Insulfoam you can visit their website here.

*** Remember this project is specific to Keystone Challengers, Everest’s and Montana’’s. It may not be prudent or effective on others depending on design.

For those interested here is some information regarding the type of foam insulation I used and some factors regarding the rigid foam type insulation….

Rigid Foam Insulation. One form of insulation whose popularity has grown steadily in recent years is rigid foam, also called foam board. Rigid foam insulation is typically used to insulate foundations and slabs. It also is applied on exterior roofs and walls, and may substitute for loose-fill or batts in walls, roofs and floor cavities, although it must be tightly fitted to prevent air infiltration.

Rigid foam insulation has insulation values nearly twice the R-value per inch of standard fiberglass and cellulose. Some rigid foam products are ideally suited for foundation insulation because they are water resistant and can be buried in the ground on a foundation’s exterior.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Last 5 posts by Tony Cornett


Comments

54 Responses to “Beefing up insulation in your RV – Big Plus! Winter is coming!”

  1. Alpenliter on October 14th, 2008 5:27 pm

    Tony is that the type of styrofoam insulation that has a silver backing, or is is styrofoam throughout?

  2. Tony Cornett on October 14th, 2008 5:36 pm

    Mine has no silver backing since it isn’t reflecting radiant heat or otherwise. It’s the rigid foam all the way. By the way this works both for summer and winter. It made a big difference for me. The great part as well if it were for some reason to get wet like fiberglass bats (they have to be tossed) this stuff is simply dried off and it’s fine. I also use it in the “belly pan” following a basement flood a couple years ago. I removed the soaked bats and replaced it all with this stuff. Had another basement flood about a year later (argh!) and all I had to do is drop one side of the belly pan and set up a fan along with the daily wind and it was dry in no time!

  3. Bob on October 15th, 2008 9:26 am

    Tony, I couldn’t get your link to the manufacturer to work however I did find their site.

    While an excellent insulation solution, I would not be comfortable having exposed surface polystyrene foam on the ceiling of a storage area in my RV. A small fire in the storage area could lead to disastorous results for the occupants above and the vehicle. At one time (and possible still) the fire protection community referred to polystrene foam as “the solid that burns like a flammable liquid”.

    From the companies Material Safet Data Sheet
    Unusual Fire & Explosion Hazards: If exposed to fire, high heat will develop and may produce dense black smoke.

  4. Tony cornett on October 15th, 2008 1:00 pm

    Bob,
    You’re right yet most everything in building an RV fits that MSDS. Many RV’s have the very same insulation in the walls. In my 33 years as a firefighter I am pretty safety conscious and don’t expect any problems. For one I replaced the main fire hazard in the basement that being the light. I changed it from incandescent to fluorescent. Those 11X bulbs get really hot yet the fluorescent does not.

    RV fires go up like roman candles. I’ve been so many over my career I can’t count them. They best safety precaution in it all is to follow all the basic fire safety rules, have a functioning smoke detector and if there is a fire GET OUT. Depending on the fire loading in your basement the foam would probably not be a huge a factor. The basement walls, carpet and wood floor above and contents alone would be enough to generate the conditions you mention. It’s the things people store in their basements that would concern me more than a few sheets of insulation. ;-)

    In my 20 years as a fire investigator most RV fires have not originated in the basement and those that I’m aware of were due to something up next to the good old incandescent light left on and something next to it of which I do not have. If you have a fire in your basement, it really doesn’t matter what you have anyway, you’d better get out fast irregardless.

    My project so far over the last couple years has paid off nicely in cold weather. I’m not too worried about a fire in the basement. Take a look at the MSDS’s of most the materials used to build your RV and you might be shocked or at least surprised.;-)

  5. Gail on October 15th, 2008 1:40 pm

    On our Mountaineer, there are two close spaced alum floor braces covered with thin sheet metal making a duct feeding the furnace vent in the bedroom above. The problem here is there is only one vent in the bedroom and the rest of the duct is radiating wasted heat into the storage area. I used alum tape to block the duct just past the floor vent. Then after installing with the Styrofoam insulation as shown, I purchased another thin ¼” sheet and fastened that to the bottom of the sheet metal chase in the area of the active floor vent.
    I also blocked the unused portion of the air conditioning ducts just past the last ceiling vents in the body of the coach. Not knowing how well the ends of these ducts are sealed at the factory, I just felt it was a good idea to block the unused portions. At the same time, I discovered a 1” plus gap between the ceiling duct and where the vents are screwed into the ceiling, letting a lot of air circulate in the space. Taping around the ceiling opening up to the opening in the duct solved that problem.

  6. Gary Workman on October 15th, 2008 7:09 pm

    I assume you glued the styrofoam panels up? I believe they make a foam cement that can be used in a caulk gun. If other methods were used, please let me know.

    Gary

  7. Tony cornett on October 15th, 2008 7:15 pm

    Gary,
    As I think I mentioned in the article I cut the sections slightly over sized and wedged them in place between the aluminum beams. They fit nice and tight and haven’t moved in a couple years.. No need for glue if you have an area to wedge them into.

    Gail, thanks for the info!

  8. kristi on October 16th, 2008 6:05 pm

    Your post came at the right time, we were trying to come up with the answer to a winter of full timing it. What to do to stay warm !! we just bought an Everest, but it doesn;t mention any arctic package on this one (2005 344j) . And we’re seeing winter coming fast. Can I ask you about how you’ll get under the belly pan etc. ? I need as much information on this whole RV as I can. The previous owner replaced a gret-water tank because it froze…..

  9. Bruce on October 16th, 2008 7:14 pm

    I also insulated my Everest that way, but I put the reflective side down. I did it that way for appearance purposes. I also need to block off the gaps on the tops of the basement walls. We get a lot of air coming through the return air vent in the living room that I think comes from the basement. Any thoughts or ideas on this?

  10. Tony cornett on October 16th, 2008 7:20 pm

    Kristi,
    I believe the belly pan is just like the challenger. You’ll have to undo several bolts from one side of the coach on the bottom to allow the plastic belly pan be pulled own on the one side. Then you remove the thin cotton bats they use and replece it with the above mentioned in my article. It’s a good couple hours work, but worth the upgrade in insulation. It was for me….

  11. Bill Miller on October 18th, 2008 7:07 pm

    Hi Tony, I wasn’t able to view your photo’s of your described work nor bring-up the Insulfoam site, it said there was an error in creating the site. What thinkness was the insulation board you were recommending ? Thanks.

  12. Frederick Salman on October 23rd, 2008 8:48 pm

    Tony, although the styrofoam is a good idea, I can tell you from personal experience that it is not a good idea to place it directly on the wood in that is will over time cause the wood to rot. The wood, even most treated wood not certifyed for direct ground contact, must breath, and foam board simply does not allow this. I believe it best to leave at least a two inch gap between the board and the underside of the wood deck, and then make certain to check it at least twice a year for rot. Also, a better, although much more expensive obtion then styrofoam may be astrofoil, since it cannot catch fire and emits no poison gases. Againhowever it is still important to make certain that whatever moist air that might get traped between the foil and wood deck has a way to escape. The manufacturers of this product recommend at least a one half inch air gap between this foil and the wood service, both to prevent wood rot and to give it space to radiate the heat that stricks it back to its source. You may want to do a future article on this product and its possible uses. Tack care!

  13. Tony Cornett on October 24th, 2008 8:39 am

    Bill,
    Sorry for the late reply, have been busy. The bats are 1 1/2″ thick.

    Fred,
    Thanks for the input. Mine have been there for just over 3 years now and just pulled a few to get the thickness for Bill as I couldn’t remember. I checked and in over 3 years the flooring was a dry as could be and looks new and there were NO signs of moisture whatsoever so I don’t think there is a big problem there. I spent the last 3 years on the beach where humidity was usually around 80 percent average and very damp. Anyway thanks for the food for thought. My floor still looks new and there weren’t even any signs on the wood nor the bats of moisture, stains or otherwise so I guess so far so good. Looks the same as the day I installed it!

  14. Anne on November 6th, 2008 7:34 pm

    Hey Tony! T

    his is way off topic, but I always read your posts with interest and admire your practicality, wisdom and sense of humor!!

    I have a tire question for you.

    I have a ‘95 Class A that I have only owned for 1 year. I will probably keep it for one more year, two at the absolute maximum. That’s probably 4,000 miles give or take.

    I just had my 2nd tire blow up. The tread just ripped off both times. 65mph~ both times. I am coming to the conclusion that my tires are too old to be safe. I am about 1000 miles from home.

    Buying 6 new tires may cause me to make my upgrade to a different unit this winter instead of waiting. Hence my quesiton…. What are the safety considerations of buying just one (or most likely two) new front tires the same size as the 4 rear ones? Would you do that to drive 1000 miles at 55mph? What about 4000 miles?

    I may be way stretching your expertise. But, I like you so thought I’d try you first. Thanks in advance for any advice or info to point me in the right direction for the advice/opinion I need.

    No matter what you or anyone else advises me to do, this is my decision and no one is liable for giving me an opinion!!!! I will decide what to do and I will suffer the consequences, if any.

    Thanks in advance for your prudent input!

  15. Tony Cornett on November 8th, 2008 10:13 am

    Hi Anne!

    I’m sorry for the late reply as I’ve not been in the blogs for a few days tending to other things. Well I am not a tire expert, but over the years and being close friends with a gentlemen who owned a local tire dealership in my home town for years I’ll say this…

    Tires should be replaced especially on trailers every 7 years or so even if the read looks good. A couple reasons are the tires themselves start breaking down due to many reasons such as lack of use, weather and low pressure. If it were me and you;’ve already had two go I’d replace them all. Now you might want to have the tires inspected by a tire dealer to possibly determine if the remaining tires are safe to make the rest of the trip, thta may be a way to go.

    Most of the time when I hear this story those who keep going on the same tires continue to have problems. Again it depends on how far you are going, speed, inflation of the tires themselves. many factors. It’s a real judgment call on your part. consider safety first of you and others, possible damage that may occur from another blowout ect.

    My official answer to you has to be have the tires checked and see what the tire folks say and base your decision on that. Any other questions drop by my website and shoot them to me from there in case I don’t happen to see the blogs for a few days….. Tony

    http://firedude.thefiredude.com

  16. site on June 13th, 2012 7:10 pm

    … [Trackback] …

    [...] Informations on that Topic: blog.rv.net/2008/10/beefing-up-insulation-big-plus-winter-is-coming/ [...] …

  17. actinoscopy affidation bicaudal on July 9th, 2012 8:54 am

    tense and difficult times such as hurricanes…

    or house fires are easy to write about. humor is difficult to pull off well, but humorous narratives, done well, certainly never fall into the “boring” category.the best topics, however, are those events or incidences that have the deepest meaning to…

  18. blastomeric anophthalmia set on July 24th, 2012 11:55 pm

    going to hurt your business.this is why…

    the actual writing marketplace is getting a little out of hand; as many freelance writers out there just select a subject matter they want to work on, then they use the internet and find a few articles upon that subject. once…

  19. kerem azer on July 31st, 2012 7:13 pm

    of the time, the potential client asks…

    for links to work and also a resume. in these cases, respond to the ad and explain in the body of the email that you are attaching a pdf file with all the necessary information. the pdf file is quick to…

  20. lingerie for women on August 1st, 2012 12:37 am

    and discussion. webmasters who link out and…

    especially ones who link out using keywordluv and commentluv expect at the very least a fair trade, meaning a link for a comment that adds value to the page.so, if you are pursuing blog commenting as a backlinking strategy, take time…

  21. seo services india on August 2nd, 2012 3:08 am

    company and guarantee offered by itother major…

    considerations in selection of the best seo article writing services are as follows.• size of the company is important because the more the number of quality writers in it, the greater will be the chances of their dealing with diversified subjects…

  22. english teaching jobs in Vietnam on August 2nd, 2012 9:13 am

    and greater would also be options before…

    the buyer; • the company should be able to guarantee 100% satisfaction to the employer through their professional and qualitative services; and • above all; the company should offer a guarantee of money back in case of failure to satisfy the…

  23. domain registration india on August 2nd, 2012 3:01 pm

    did:1. visit other people’s blogsfor your site…

    to gain visitors, you should solicit other bloggers. they won’t find your site unless you show it to them. search the internet for blogs that you might be interested in. it could be about traveling, pets, or gadgets. simply leave comments…

  24. web host india on August 2nd, 2012 3:47 pm

    sleep, play and climb. cats like privacy…

    and your pet will be very happy to have a place of its own. thus, your feline may not pay a lot attention to your furnishings and decorations.it may be interesting for you to learn that some cats use scratching as…

  25. web hosting on August 3rd, 2012 4:18 am

    entertain your readers. this is very important…

    because quality content alone will not make people read your posts.to make your post entertaining, you need to insert pictures, have videos, give a lot of white space for the text, tell a joke and give the post a charismatic voice….

  26. longboardskate on August 5th, 2012 1:52 am

    you may think. in this article i…

    am going to share with you some simple steps you can use to promote your blog. some are as simple as copy and paste while others will take a bit of learning but come with great rewards.i am going to share…

  27. vitamins on August 5th, 2012 2:49 am

    are writing on the web, you are…

    in competition globally. you have to add knowledge and motivation in your expressions while writing. therefore make sure to read some new and advanced material everyday.7. look at your writing from readers perspective. you have to create that critical …

  28. Holly Morrow on August 8th, 2012 3:09 pm

    out how you can best promote your…

    services to them. this means that you must choose a promotional vehicle and then you need to distribute the advertising effectively.you must also create the promotional vehicle as well and, in order for it to be well received by your audience,…

  29. Custom Challenge Coins on August 9th, 2012 12:47 am

    added whey protein. we want to keep…

    the milk low-fat, or even non fat because we want this post workout meal to absorb as quick as possible into the muscle cells. fat as a macronutrient slows down the digestive process, which is great for most occasions, but not…

  30. persianas niteroi on August 14th, 2012 11:12 am

    akismet- great plugin that stops spamming comments…

    and deletes automatically saving you the time and annoyance of having to go through the comments left by people pushing porn or viagra! akismet is usually pre-loaded into wordpress and should be found in the plugin section. this will need a…

  31. Noe@Jennifer Damiano on August 17th, 2012 3:34 pm

    Thankѕ to my father whο sharеd with mе on the topіc of this
    blog, thіs web ѕite іѕ in
    fact amazing.

  32. robes pas cher on August 19th, 2012 2:23 am

    require a college degree. well, some of…

    them, like web designing and maintenance, require knowledge and skills on the job (which are most likely to be learned through an online school or some training program). but apart from web designing, there are online money making jobs which require…

  33. Wm Illian on August 19th, 2012 6:13 am

    you ever hope to stand out from…

    your competitors, you need to write very compelling and interesting headlines. doing so will ensure that people choose your blog post over a different blog site. if you really want to get the attention of your target audience, use words that…

  34. Custom Challenge Coins on August 19th, 2012 9:04 am

    from truth. hence a good post pregnancy…

    diet plan is one which has the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. since there are bound to be quite a number of changes after pregnancy the diet plan should keep this fact in mind. such drastic reduction in…

  35. filtro agua on August 19th, 2012 9:47 am

    you know nothing about the publishing industry….

    remember, you, not the publisher, will be primarily responsible for marketing the book, so if the publisher is going to take the time and spend the money to publish your book, it wants to know the book is marketable and who…

  36. moving supplies on August 19th, 2012 1:28 pm

    to charge for your time, and you…

    will keep busy the entire day just doing this.these are a series of five ways to make money writing on the net. if you love writing, you could be your own boss, and make a great living as a writer and…

  37. work as a teacher in Korea on August 20th, 2012 7:54 am

    to make yourself full of fresh brilliant…

    ideas of topic. they are google alerts and blog label. here is the complete discussion for you. google alert is a subscription service that enables you to subscribe latest news and contents. if you have an account in it, you will…

  38. houston car accident lawyer on August 24th, 2012 4:29 am

    that delegation is necessary in all things,…

    and contracting out this part of your business may be a very smart move.4. the blog isn’t a priority.your blog may only be an add onto your main site, something else to help boost the visits to your site.again, your priorities…

  39. seo on August 24th, 2012 2:13 pm

    and helps you increase web visibility and…

    sales through quality blog post creation!1. choose keyword rich, meaningful titles for website articles and blog posts – this will help your post instantly attract the right kind of traffic to your online platform, deliver your marketing message clearl…

  40. facility maintenance company on August 29th, 2012 2:17 pm

    types of social networkings sites will help…

    you choose on which particular sites to go to.among the popular types of social sites are user generated sites. user generated sites are websites where everyone can freely register an account. some of the popular sites for mass users are twitter,…

  41. black tv stand on August 31st, 2012 1:50 am

    internet courses or borrowed books from the…

    library you will have checkpoints for staying on track. you will definitely improve and that improvement will come with practice. just stay with it and you’ll be amazed at the results. college students in the majority of schools nationwide will have…

  42. Jason Francis on August 31st, 2012 4:12 am

    and more productive.writing backwards is a fun…

    and useful skill for any writer. once his tool has been mastered, there is nothing that can stop its master. any story can be told clearly and concisely. writing backwards illuminates the center of the story and allows the writer to…

  43. Gerald Garrison on August 31st, 2012 5:28 am

    you find the best offer. consider interviewing…

    many lenders or credit companies to find which offer best suits your financial needs. make sure to obtain a small, manageable amount of credit. a good rule of thumb is not to obtain a card that has a limit over your…

  44. Ethel Stephenson on August 31st, 2012 5:47 am

    you don’t, then you should get one….

    this can be one of the biggest things that can revolutionize your business. i started off with a blogger.com blog, and you can get started with one also for free. they have great tools that allows you to get up and…

  45. Extra Income on August 31st, 2012 4:02 pm

    keeps ticking along nicely, able to bring…

    in visitors through all its pages over the years as it grows.5. having more than one blog.you may be running more than one site, so to blog on all would be impossible, and extremely time consuming. your efforts may be better…

  46. Frank@karen millen vintage on May 28th, 2013 12:49 am

    Utilized also put inside gold or yellow metal bracelets
    or pill earrings. I am unashamedly a lover of Karl Lagerfeld and karen millen too.
    Year or so is a fabulous time to talk about our personal type.
    She finished the look with a killer pair of ankle-strap black and white Louboutins.
    http://www.bauklotz.tv/Biki/index.php/Benutzer:AudryLync

  47. Kathaleen@midsummer on July 11th, 2013 12:23 pm

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt,
    you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that
    too few folks are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I found this during my search for something regarding this.

  48. Lavon@Hand built planters for your garden on October 29th, 2013 6:19 pm

    Hi there, I read your blogs daily. Your humoristic style is witty, keep up the good work!

    Feel free to visit my blog – Hand built planters for your garden

  49. Otto@radiology technician schools on November 14th, 2013 3:08 pm

    Ahaa, its nice dialogue concerning this paragraph here at this webpage,
    I have read all that, so now me also commenting at this place.

  50. Concetta@aoidiamond-subs.de on December 4th, 2013 5:46 pm

    cksspiel, das in jeder Spielbank wieder zu finden
    ist. Selbst wenn Mitarbeiter besitzen die Geschick, eine Menge
    Technologische Innovation Ziele. Against the Orange Bowl crippled bouncy in glowering forests.

  51. Arbonne Scam on December 4th, 2013 6:16 pm

    Arbonne Scam…

    Beefing up insulation in your RV – Big Plus! Winter is coming!…

  52. Smartphone Test on December 11th, 2013 10:12 am

    Smartphone Test…

    Beefing up insulation in your RV – Big Plus! Winter is coming!…

  53. Cristina@Check This Out on December 12th, 2013 1:53 am

    You’re so awesome! I do not suppose I’ve read through something like that before.
    So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject matter.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up.
    This website is one thing that is required on the internet,
    someone with a bit of originality!

  54. small energy efficient homes on January 22nd, 2014 9:59 am

    small energy efficient homes…

    Beefing up insulation in your RV – Big Plus! Winter is coming!…

Bottom