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Old 05-21-2015, 09:24 AM   #1
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Insulation question

My 72 sovereign needed new axels. While down there I decided to open up the belly pan between the axel plates. Glad i did, fibreglass insulation hangout out everywhere and touching belly pan and surface rust on all the framework where the belly pan and frame connect. So I made a decision to open up all the belly pan to remove all the fibreglass insulation and clean up the rust as best I can. This was an awful job, be sure to use mask, goggles, gloves and hairnets. Sand blasting the rust is the best way to prep for paint, I wonder if my lawn will ever recover from all the blast media and rust?
So now I'm wondering if insulation under the floor is really needed,we only use the trailer in the summer maybe 4 or 5 times. Would it be better for the floor to remain open and dry? uninsulated would also be easier to periodically inspect the framework by opening a corner of the belly pan.



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Old 05-21-2015, 10:20 AM   #2
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Insulation also helps to keep the trailer cooler in summer months as well as insulate against outside noise. I discourage using fibreglass insulation as it absorbs and retains water. I recommend that you replace it with a mineral wool insulation, such as Roxul, which is hydrophobic. It won't retain water that comes into contact with it.
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Old 05-21-2015, 07:23 PM   #3
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I do understand that insulation keeps the hot out and the warm in but what I'm asking is there any good reasons not to insulate. For example air flow keeps the framework drier and more rust free, mice have no place to nest in, cost of installing insulation. Considering where we live, Southern Ontario, how often and how we use our trailer I'm thinking there's more reasons for me not to insulate.

Paul


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Old 05-21-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
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Use rigid foam insulation, either glue it up or screw with deck screws sized not to go completely through the floor from the bottom (should be easy if you have 3/4" floor. I had 15/32 floor so used 2-1/2" deck screws through 2" rigid foam). Cut small aluminum pieces to use as washers for the screws holding up the insulation. If you cut it slightly smaller than the space it's fitting into so there is some air space between the insulation and the frame, cross members, outriggers, then water will be able to drain easily, and frame stays dry. Rigid foam won't hold water and won't wick it up like fiberglass. Mineral wool also possible, but rigid foam was really easy to install, no fiber mess, etc.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:05 PM   #5
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Installing rigid foam was really easy, took less than a day. Do it now, while you have easy access, don't want to regret it later and have to take belly pan back down. Even on those cold mornings, not in the winter, it really makes a big difference.
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Old 05-21-2015, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddy24 View Post
I do understand that insulation keeps the hot out and the warm in but what I'm asking is there any good reasons not to insulate. For example air flow keeps the framework drier and more rust free, mice have no place to nest in, cost of installing insulation. Considering where we live, Southern Ontario, how often and how we use our trailer I'm thinking there's more reasons for me not to insulate.

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Paul,
I agree, and did this a few years back, running without insulation is no issue and will help perserve the frame. We are like you and only use our AS in the summer, the air conditioning has had no issues keeping it cool without insulation down below in the heat of the summer.

Larry
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:13 PM   #7
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Thank you Larry for sharing that, it helps me with my decision knowing this has been done successfully.
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Old 05-22-2015, 12:26 AM   #8
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Insulation question

A lot of heat transfers through the floor even with insulation.

I would insulate. It is cheap and easy, why skimp?

As far as the corrosion issue... How old is the trailer now?

How long did it take for it to rust? Do you think that you will ever need to clean and paint again?

Somehow I doubt it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:18 AM   #9
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I took all the mouse infested insulation out of the floor of my 60 Ambassador and left it empty, 4 years ago and have not noticed any problem with heat or cold on the floor.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:21 AM   #10
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My SOB had no underbelly and no insulation. Just coated plywood floor. Used it for 17 years all over the US in summer. Never had a hot floor or noticed any heat transfer that the A/C couldn't overcome. If you're only going to use it in the summer, you can leave it without insulation.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:27 AM   #11
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It really depends on where you live and how often you camp in extreme hot or cold. Personally, I see no reason to camp when the temperatures are extreme. The point is to be outside and enjoy nature not stay holed up in the trailer. I have removed the insulation in the floor of my trailer and have not noticed extreme cold in the winter. I did insulate areas like between the side wraps and the frame where I am less likely to access in the future. The center section is bolted on and easily removed if I want to add insulation. I would use the rigid insulation and try to put a gap between the floor and the insulation so trapped water can drain and the floor can dry out. If you live up north or in the desert south west then you might want to consider putting in insulation. Much of the heat is lost through conduction through the aluminum skins along the ribs.

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Old 05-22-2015, 10:16 AM   #12
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Insulation question

It is true that a lot of heat is transferred via the aluminum, which makes good floor insulation a better return on investment...

I didn't plan on going to visit my brother in law at the burn unit for several days in Lubbock Texas last year when the weather was in the low teens, but I did.

That floor was pretty darn cold even with insulation... #JustSayin



On edit,,, a cold floor sucking the heat out of the cabin on a cold day creates a weird dynamic, burning hot at the roof, cold at the floor,,,

Lay on the bed and freeze, stand up and sweat.
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Old 07-07-2015, 08:59 PM   #13
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I do not see the need to insulate the floor either. Any water that gets in is trapped. i would rather have to find a pair of slippers than repair a rusted frame.
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Old 07-12-2015, 10:33 PM   #14
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Has anybody tried the Knauf EcoBatt insulation that Airstream is using these days? It is supposed to be like a less-troublesome fiberglass, made from recycled glass and with less chemicals. My concerns are twofold. The thinnest is 2.25", so I would have to compress it to fit within the 1.5" thick wall. The other is that it might suffer some of the drawbacks of fiberglass, like becoming a mouse house or mold. Anybody have any thought?
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