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Old 04-14-2007, 04:18 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Foureagles
The stuff at Lowes is Reflectix. Note that advertized R-values (anywhere from R-3 to R-14.6) are for whole assemblies with very specific construction details -- particularly air spaces and infiltration sealing. Reflectix itself measures R 1.04.
Hi All; Let us encapsulate the issue of insulation once and for all. It needs to be understood that any older AS with standard fiberglass insulation has many negative issues.
First of all, it sags and compacts leaving large open and un-insulated areas. It does retain moisture as good as a sponge, [best temp conductor]. Moisture barrier paper with time deteriorates, by exposure to heat. Fiberglass has a low R value to begin with. The fiberglass insulation in the walls of my 1973 Argosy was compacted by about 30%, while many sections had no insulation at all. Belly pan insulation held enough water to take a short shower.
Product such as Prodex and Reflectix, when properly installed offers the best results for the money. We can go on disputing each other about claimed R values but the fact remains, it is best we can do for the money in case of our application in AS. If anyone could call NASA and order the best in the world, we would not bother with bubble foil. What I am trying to point out is, that bubble foil insulation is perhaps the best we can do for the money, and until we can get a better product our arguments about R value numbers are of no concern.

If we decide to go through the trouble of re-insulating our AS, then proper procedure of installation should be observed in order not to waste our money and effort. I believe that everyone understands that bubble foil offers the best moisture barrier if the edges are sealed in, thus stopping possible air flow. Ribs should be faced with bubble foil as well to minimize heat transfer area through rib surfaces. Surface of bubble foil is many times more efficient in reflecting radiant heat over fiberglass insulation. Providing a airspace on both sides of the foil through use of 1/2" urethane foam strips as spacer further increases the R value. Perhaps it is not the best insulation available but it is by far the best choice for the money, therefore the arguments of stated R value differences from 4.9 to 14.0 are of no consequence for that reason. Thanks, "Boatdoc"

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Old 04-14-2007, 05:58 AM   #16
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Appreciate your input on this. I need to say that the insulation in my '59 is not nearly as bad as your's was. Maybe the factory took more care when mine was built. All of the insulation was intact and none of it was wet.

I do think that R-value of insulation has consequence. It is the only approved method we have for measuring the overall (radiative, convective and conductive) effectiveness of various insulation materials. Is R-value perfect? No. However, unless you analyze the individual u-values of all the components in a structure, it's the accepted method.

I choose to re-insulate my Tradewind with fiberglass. I considered using Reflectix, and decided that fiberglas was the way to go, for me.

What I'm saying is, I don't believe the claims made for reflective insulation methods apply when installed in a Airstream made of aluminum. Maybe it will work better in a painted Argosy, I don't know.

As far as making a blanket claim that Prodex is the "best" method, I will wait until someone does a well designed, side by side test.

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Old 04-14-2007, 06:09 AM   #17
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fiberglass also gives you a fair amount of sound insulation. I'm really glad I put it in the partition walls in my house. there are areas that don't have it, and it makes a very noticeable difference.

I wonder what its like to sleep in the AS on a rainy night, under a hollow ceiling. It can get pretty loud as it is...without any fiberglass in the space, I can only imagine it being like trying to sleep inside a snare drum.

I know a person that did their AS walls w/ a layer of rigid'll be interesting to see how that works out.
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Old 04-14-2007, 01:06 PM   #18
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For what it is worth...

I did do some thermal testing on various types of insulation that gave me enough information to conclude that I wanted to insulate my airstream with reflective foil instead of fiberglass. Check out the following thread and especially post 59 and 82:

It is true that I did not take into account anything relative to sound transfer issues. I did use Reflectix foil and, if I were going to do it again I might want to use the type that has a foam core instead of bubble pack core because it supposedly has better sound absorbtion qualities.

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Old 04-20-2007, 01:59 PM   #19
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So is the foil tape mentioned on the insulation4less site the same stuff you get at Home Depot? We have a ton of it at home and I'd hate to spend the money unnecessarily.
"Let's look Death in the face and say, 'Whatever man.'"
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:07 PM   #20
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I would be very suprised if there would be enough difference to matter - if there is any difference.

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Old 06-06-2007, 11:17 AM   #21
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OK -- so we know that short-wave radiation (sunlight, etc.) reflects differenty on given surfaces than does long-wave (warm body radiation). This is the whole point of things like low-E windows. So, does a foil/bubble material inhibit long-wave radiation as much as it does short-wave? I imagine that the foil is for short, the bubbles for long, but do we really know the performance differential?

I ask because I'll soon be moving my Airstream home to Central Colorado, where we have approximately zero cooling degree-days and an incalculable number of heating degree-days. Radiant gain from ol' Sol, even in August, would be quite welcome, while preventing body heat from escaping is crucial to survival when it's 40-70 below.

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:42 PM   #22
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Here is one trailer living in Colorado that was restored using two layers of foil for insulation. Obviously it is not an airstream but it does indicate that there is one restoration company that thinks that foil is a good idea in cold climates. Besides it is fun to look at the other projects that these folks have done too.

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