There are many types of materials that you can use to keep you cooler in summer and warmer in colder climates. I of course have my own opinions but will leave those to a blog posting. The insulation section consists of the following types of insulation, allowing you to make an educated choice that right for your build.
From what I can tell, Reflectix is the most widely used material in van builds. Event the custom van shop near where I created my build boasted about using it. Reflectix:
Well, not to put a monkey wrench in the works, but I've seen videos about gluing this material directly to the metal walls of your van, and well metal on metal just makes things hotter guys and gals. Before you decide to install Refectix in your build, I suggest you WATCH THIS VIDEO to understand the requirements on how to use this material works in creating a Radiant Barrier. When used correctly, reflectix:
Reflectix insulation's R-value alone is 1.0 to 1.5 and is completely dependent on where and how the product is installed. Reflectix's stated R-14 R values for exterior walls are good only if the Reflectix is paired with an R-13 batt insulation.
Whether is spray form or rigid sheets foam is a popular choice when insulating van builds.
There are several reasons why choosing spray foam insulation over other products is advantageous when you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your home. It helps to reduce your energy consumption, protects against moisture that can lead to premature wear and tear on the structure, and it uses fewer materials to create the product in the first place. You must hire an expert who is familiar with this product to maximize the potential of these advantages, but it is an effort that is worth considering because of what this insulation option provides.
Foam is NOT:
The most readily available option, the pink stuff's (fiberglass) reputation for health and performance is not the best in town.
Fiberglass is NOT:
Rock wool is a fiber insulation made from natural stone. It is:
Rock Wool is NOT:
Recycled denim insulation is made from shredding demin clothing shredded into tiny pieces. It is a natural cotton fiber high-performance insulation. Demin is:
Demin is not a moisture absorbing material so a vapor barrier is typically used with this insulation.
I first heard about using lamb's wool as insulation from an eco-vandweller. At first I thought, wow, would my van spell like a barn yard? After I stopped laughing, knowing that was a preposterous notion, I did the research. Lamb's wool is:
As you can probably tell by my fervor, I went with lamb's wool for my build. I just figured since I was spending so much time in the van, I wanted to breathe easy. Additionally using this product with it's moisture absorbing properties, I was not concerned with condensation in the van. I performed the build in soaking wet Tennessee and I've been living in it full time. I have not had any issues with moisture that others are having.
There are not a ton of suppliers for this type of resource. I know of two, Havelock and Black Mountain. I went with Havelock because they went out of their way to help me. Also, the amount of wool in their batts. I needed just 2 bags to insulate the b-jeez out of the entire van.
Disclaimer: Although a participant in affiliate programs, my posts are based on my direct experience and research for the materials used in my build.