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What do you do to Insulate and waterproof your van?

Davy G

Well-known member
Mine is an ex laundry fleet van (Canon Hygiene). The sides were already ply lined, with very handy shelving on one side. The floor has a hard plywood cover that was obviously very highly professionally treated, as well as being sealed around the edges. It shows very little signs of wear. I insulated the roof with foil/bubble wrap, glued in place with airosol carpet adhesive. If I were doing a van myself from scratch I'd coat the metal floor with Waxoil. Then I'd put down some rubber or other waterproof lining (perhaps one of the new flat roof coverings) and run it about 4 inches up the sides and bulkhead, while leaving spillways at the doors. Then I'd put rubber matting on top to quiet the road noise, prevent stuff sliding around and to protect the waterproof covering.



Well-known member
I have been doing a bit of research over the last few days. The conclusion I have come too is the foil backed bubble wrap is a very poor insulator but a good vapour barrier.

The problem we have is vans are steel so if warm damp air hits cold steel it turns to condensation. I was probably going overkill by watching people converting vans to motorhomes but they have some great tips. Basically they used 'Knauf Insulation Earthwool Dritherm Cavity Slab' and pushed it into all the cavities, then used the foil backed bubble wrap as a vapour barrier and ali foil taped it around the seams to the van to make as air tight a seal as possible. Then panelled over the top. The Earthwool stuff is nicer to your hands and lungs than fibreglass stuff and designed to go in cavity walls so should be OK with a bit of moisture. They insulated the floor with 25mm celotex type insulation which, when I checked has amazing crush strength (17 tons per sqm) so I guess that's fine to take the weight of a full tank. The ceiling again was 25mm celotex (PIR insulation). It's probably way overkill for a windy van. 

I did try and find insulation stats for the cheap foil bubble wrap and they don't seem to publish any stats on how good an insulation it is, so that is quite telling!!!!! Aluminium is a great conductor of heat and a 3mm air bubble on part of the surface isn't going to do much!

Maybe a cheap way is polystyrene insulation as that's cheap and has decent insulating properties. Maybe just build a polystyrene box round tank and maybe even a box covering reel and pump?



Premium Member
Don’t bother to insulate it , but have got ply lining and the floor is sprayed with line x to seal it although it is galvanised anyway the line x fills all the seams and repels the water .



Well-known member
Dodo mat on the single skin bits of the van cuts down condensation. Dodo mat under the ply floor. My tank is boxed in with Dodo mat lining the ply. Seems to work well, been in for a few years.

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