What you need to know about insulating a Campervan: useful and practical basics & facts
Why should you insulate your Campervan?
- In cold areas (e.g. Alaska or Patagonia) the cold should be kept outside, while at the same time the heat loss from the Diesel-heater should be as low as possible
- In warm areas (e.g. the Caribbean) it should be nice and cool inside of the van, despite high outside temperatures
- Noise insulation increases the driving comfort during long distance drives because the roaring driving noise is reduced, besides less noise from the inside is getting to the outside
The difference between the German words Dämmung and Isolierung
German is not an easy language. Whereas in English it’s simply isolation, the German language differentiates between Dämmung and Isolierung. In everyday language, both words are used as synonyms. But there is a slight difference: Dämmung reduces the passage of something, whereas Isolierung seals something off from something. For example, electric cords are isoliert which means you don’t only get a reduced electric shock, but none at all 😉
A complete thermal Isolierung is neither possible nor reasonable, but to reduce the passage of heat or cold, we use thermal Dämmung for our Sprinter; and it will be noise insulated, too.
Good to know: Dew point
You most likely sleep, cook and shower in your Campervan, that’s how moisture gets into the air. The higher the temperature, the more moisture the air can absorb. When the maximum is reached, the (relative) humidity is 100 %.
For waterdrops to separate from moist air, the temperature has to fall below a certain point at a remaining air pressure – this is the so called dew point or temperature of dew point.
When the warm air from the inside of the Camper meets the (non-insulated) inner or outer walls, waterdrops are forming and that’s how rust is favored! To lower the temperature gradient and to prevent moisture and rust, the walls are insulated. Because of the insulation, moist does not form because the passage of temperature is „softer“. To prevent thermal cold bridges, the insulation has to be installed gapless onto the inner wall panels.
Read about the noise insulation with Alubutyl in Part 2 and about the thermal insulation with Armaflex-AF, as well as alternative insulation materials, in Part 3. Of course we tell all about our practical experiences working with the materials and have some useful tips for you 😉