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Old 04-16-2004, 04:36 AM   #15
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I think there are a couple of reasons Airstream has stayed with the Fiberglas batts under the floor.
  1. The batts are squeezed between the frame and floor to keep cold from being transferred by the frame to the inside.
  2. The batts are squeezed between the frame and floor to give it a little flex under foot
  3. It passes interior moisture easily
  4. Its cheap
  5. Itís easy to lay it down. The frame and a couple of staples hold it in place.
  6. No special handling of chemical materials
  7. No extra training
  8. No manufacturing "regulatory" issues like air filtration in a factory setting.
  9. Early foam had out gassing issues that allegedly caused health issues
Just my guesses.
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Old 04-16-2004, 09:22 AM   #16
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I have thought about a few questions that have been brought up.
The "breathing of the floor" I have a Minuet with a composite aluminum floor so it doesn't matter in my case. If you were to have a wooden floor I'm kind of up in the air about, this foam is used in construction of homes and they don't worry about the ability of the walls to breath. I don't think this is a problem. IMHO
"Shaking apart", this stuff is tuff. If you were to place a 2 or 3" thick layer of foam on a piece of plywood and start to beat the back side with a hammer you would not damage the foam until you went all the way through the wood. If you were to rub something across the foam side of the board you could rub off the material but it would take some work to do it.
If the plumbing is strapped good enough I don't see this as a problem.
"How does it handle water?" The faom is aclosed cell foam and does not collect moisture, one of it's uses is for floatation in docks and boats.
It is more difficult to apply than fiberglass but I think the benefits out weigh the difficulties in application.
The foam I have been looking at can be seen at http://www.fomofoam.com
I will let everyone know how my trial comes out with the stuff, I think it will be great once done.
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Old 04-21-2004, 06:55 PM   #17
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Ok I've finished the valve replacement, along with all associated ABS fittings.

In prepping the area for foam I wanted to get a few things done in the cavity.

I removed all of the old fiberglass insulation.
Wire brushed and cleaned everything.
I rust killed all of the rust on the frame using Rust-Mort made by a company called SEM.
I coated all of the fittings and control rods with Petroleum jelly, this keeps the foam from sticking.
I dressed up for the foaming. Note make sure you are covered with clothing, gloves, and goggles you are willing to throw away. Anything the foam gets on is toast.
Covered the ground under the trailer and shot the foam.

I used 2 boxes of the foam I mentioned in an earlier post. $27.50 each from Grainger Supply, it is $24.00 + shipping each on line.
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:22 PM   #18
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Impressive. Looks like quite the job.

So, how was the valve replacement part of the job? Mine is in a holding pattern at that point. I have done a number of minor repairs and fixes that needed to be done but have been procrastinating on tearing the vavles apart.

On my rear bellypan, most of the rivets had actually worn through the aluminum and there was a 2.5' section that was just sagging down catching air and bugs while traveling down the road.

Replacing the whole section was not something i wanted to do so i got some large rivets and some large washers with small holes and riveted the washers right next to the aluminum. It seems to work out well. Kinda stopgap fix but saves me a bigger headache.
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Old 04-21-2004, 07:44 PM   #19
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I'm missing something here in the price. The link shows a product that's 1-2 $ per square foot (1 inch thick) and you have two $25 cans.
I like your go for it. Are you leaving the "air" space above the belly or adding fiber?
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Old 04-21-2004, 08:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychpw
I'm missing something here in the price. The link shows a product that's 1-2 $ per square foot (1 inch thick) and you have two $25 cans.
I like your go for it. Are you leaving the "air" space above the belly or adding fiber?
The web site for FOMOFOAM says 12 bd ft per kit at $24.95 per kit. That would be 3' x 4' x 1" thick, that's about $2.00 per board foot. It is pretty expensive stuff in the smaller two can kit. My installation was about 2" thick with a build up around the pipes.


Van
The valves were not too bad to replace, VERY EXPENSIVE $53.00 each. I tried at all the local suppliers all the same price. Thetford valves are the most expensive on the market about three time more than the others.
I had to replace the adaptor from the Black Water tank to the dump valve, mine was shattered. They do not make them anymore. The old one inserted directly into the tank the new on requires you use a piece of pipe to enter the tank. This causes problems with the valve placement, it moves the valve about 2" toward the street side. I had to fabricate a metal patch and remount the dump handle guide. Not hard just a lot of extra work. The gray water valve was glued directly to the tank. Insted of pulling the tank and hasseling with that I took the guts and half of the valve from the new one and used the old half that was glued on. Works great. The rest of the fittings were inexpensive, got them at Lowes and Home Depot.
The whole plumbing job took about 2 hours with the dry fit up, and testing the valves and tanks before glue up.
One other thing I did do differently was I strapped the pipes up, plumbers tape and wood blocks. I don't like the idea of the plumbing just banging around with road vibration. I drive a lot of dirt roads and I hope this will be a little extra protection.
The belly pan is another story. Mine was rotted away on the edges so I grafted new metal on with pop rivets. Worked really good, but it still was a pain in the A@# to put back on. I used screws.
Well that's all done on to the PEX fresh water pipeing.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
"Stealth Post"This is really Gary. I found 4 Wasp nests and a lot of Black Widow egg sacs. All clean now. Ya, the insulation they used is for the birds or Wasps or what ever. I'm going to use the spray foam to do away with all that.

I need to post the picture of the 2ft x 2ft yepp jacket nest we had in ours.

I was about to post about soem of these concers as I am getting ready to start hussling on ours again. While I was replacing our floor las fal I bough enough 3.5 in batts of ifiberglass insulation to do the floor. At the last minute I decided I did not want it between the frame and floor. I had found severa areas where the insulation had held water and caused some frame rust.

I live in mild climate and have seriously thought about not installing any insulation to the floor. It was so horrid to deal with when we had to dissassemble the coach. Then a second thought was 2 inch blue board tacked to the floor. Again if the coache leaked this would keep the water against the wood if I didn't alwo a little airspace.

Now the spray in being water proof and the fact that I have put a epoxy coat on the wood Hmmmm this has potential.

John:
Tell me more about this stuff in the walls? I have been concidering this as well. With it being closed cell I was wondering if it would seal any minor leaks I may have but it raised a concern of if the water got between say a rib and the shell and was traped would it cause corrosion to form?

I know smebody else on here mentioned using it and not only did it work great as insulation but they said it did a great job with noise insulation. There is a simular product used in the automotive industry and it is used for both noise and structural. It adds rigitity to Uni body vehicles and reduces flex a conciderable amount. Not the formula is a little different and what they use is a bit more rigid but I bet there would still be some improvements here.

Now the down side is the cost. To do the whole inside in 1.5 inches would be quite expensive. Somewhere has to have the stuff cheaper. Grainger is expensive if you don't have a comercial acct with them. I had a guy cut me a break on some stuff by marking them a comercial acct and it was almost a 35% discount.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:26 AM   #22
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On my past two trailers and on the 58 I'm restoring I have not put any insulation in the belly. My thinking is all it does in soak and hold water. I figure that since most SOB's don't have any belly - or insulation - I don't need it either. I live in cold country and last summer we were camping in Texas a 105 degrees, and here in Colorado we have been down to 10 degrees and so I don't miss it at all.

I want the belly to breathe - water will get in there on the road and I want it to dry out quickly.

Just some thoughts to consider

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Old 05-04-2004, 11:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken J
On my past two trailers and on the 58 I'm restoring I have not put any insulation in the belly. My thinking is all it does in soak and hold water. I figure that since most SOB's don't have any belly - or insulation - I don't need it either. I live in cold country and last summer we were camping in Texas a 105 degrees, and here in Colorado we have been down to 10 degrees and so I don't miss it at all.

I want the belly to breathe - water will get in there on the road and I want it to dry out quickly.

Just some thoughts to consider

Ken
Ken
The foam I used is a closed cell foam it can't suck up water. One of the uses they have for the foam is for flotation in boats and docks.
I really don't know about the breathing thing but it is used in house walls and it does not appear to be a problem in that use.
Water picked up from road spray... I'm not sure it would be a problem either. If the foam is sprayed correctly it will seal anything it touches.
As stated in an earlier post insulation value is not the only consideration for foam insulation. It works great to cut down on outside noise.
I guess only time will tell about how it will stand up to the riggers of travel.
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:49 PM   #24
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Question Foam in walls without opening them?

I have recently purchased a 1973 31' Sovereign that was mostly gutted inside. One of the things I am pondering is whether or not I need to remove the walls to check wiring, etc. I am also interested in installing better insulation if possible. Of course that would be easy enough to do if I do in fact remove the wall panels. I was thinking about what I could do to improve the wall insulation if I decided I did not need to remove the wall panels for any other reason. I am aware that foam insulation is used in residentual uses for adding insulation to older homes. The Fomo Foam website in fact has a slow rise foam that they say can be used for installing in walls through a 1/2" diameter hole. They also say that if there is existing fiberglass insulation in the wall that a 3/4" hole with a piece of plasting tubing can be used to make sure the foam starts in the bottom of the cavity. So here are some questions:

1. Has anyone out there added foam to their walls without removing the skin?
2. Is this approach likely to work or is it a dumb idea for any reason?
3. Any suggestions on how to tell where all the cross members are to be sure that I filled all the cavities?
4. Does anyone have any ideas on how to invisibly patch 1/2" or 3/4" holes in the walls if I do not overlay them with something else (such as wood)?
5. Does anyone have any thoughts on using the same approach to insulate the floor (namely to fill the entire floor with foam through holes in the subfloor with the belly pan in place)?
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Old 05-17-2004, 07:39 PM   #25
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malconium,

I can't answer all your questions, but I can take on a few of them.

1. Do not remove the interior panels without properly supporting the coach from underneath. They are part of the monocoque structure and their removal - or even a few of them - will cause the structure to sag. You will notice this when you go to reinstall and the rivet holes don't line up.

2. There is no way to get effective coverage on the interior cavities by pumping in foam. The existing fiberglass, the stringers, and an amazing amount of wiring will make complete coverage impossible. You can spot the cross pieces by the rivet lines.

3. Foam-in-place for the floor from above is an even worse idea, if possible. It might be possible from underneath, by cutting holes in the belly pan, I don't know. They would be easy to patch and the belly pan is not structural, as the floor is.

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Old 05-18-2004, 05:54 AM   #26
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59Toaster said "Then a second thought was 2 inch blue board tacked to the floor. Again if the coache leaked this would keep the water against the wood if I didn't alwo a little airspace."
I am thinking of doing this process and my thought is to apply the blue-board insulation but leave an inch or so around the edges to handle the water that may come down the side walls. Also, I think placing a vapor barrier between the wood floor and the blue-board would be helpful to keep any road spray off the wood.
Any thoughts?
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Old 05-18-2004, 08:29 AM   #27
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Rich. Why not glue the blue board to the underside of the floor leaving no space for the water vapor. Seal around the floor / insulation edge with a flexible waterproof caulking and leaving space around the steel which is painted with POR 15 first and sealed anyway. Alternative to consider is fiberglass foiled sheeting between the floor and blue board leaving the edges open for "breathing". Wouldn't it be easier to seal the underside of the floor with a waterproof paint? If the top and bottom are sealed then the only access water has is the edges with water getting in from around the trim ( seal it with the gray stuff) or down the wall cavity from shell leaks ( my favorite thing to worry about). I don't think breathing is going to help that. I believe that if you sit the trailer in the sun and get the shell heated up good that the moisture will build vapor pressure and find it's way inside the coach and out the fan vent.
I agree with the guy who wanted plastic floors and drain holes between the shells.
If it cann't rot it cann't rot. Seems airstream materials engineers lost their way somewhere in the 70's.
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Old 05-18-2004, 09:03 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
John:
Tell me more about this stuff in the walls? I have been concidering this as well. With it being closed cell I was wondering if it would seal any minor leaks I may have but it raised a concern of if the water got between say a rib and the shell and was traped would it cause corrosion to form?
Sorry Toaster, I missed your post the first time around.

I got mine from Fastenal, you live near Atlanta, there are outlets there. It is expensive but they were cheaper than the manufacturer's vendors. It is pressurized also so must be shipped as hazardous material which adds to the cost.

One thing I learned is that there is a flame retardant version. RVs burn quickly, flammable foam (and the vapors) inside the walls are something I didn't want. Another thing I learned was to check the dates on the cylinders, I got one that only had 2 days to go and sent it back. They weren't happy, but it aint cheap and I didn't want to deal with having a mess because they didn't rotate stock.

Your point about leaks is something I considered. You are right if it leaks water will probably be there forever. I did a lot of work on the exterior of mine, all windows and doors were pulled and resealed with butyl rubber tape, there is no sealer around the outside and no leaks. The lapped seams of the outer skins probably never leak, mine have between 4 and 6 inches of overlap. Vents, plumbing vents, lights, etc. I firmly believe should be (pulled and) resealed as part of a routine maintence schedule. So in the long run I figured leaks were not going to be as much a problem as with fiberglass.

This was not advertised as sound insulation, specifically on their website (before Dow took over) it said there were no sound insulating qualities. I was used to working in an empty hollow shell so that might have made a difference. But the skin is more solid and it is much quieter after insulating. I dould definitely do it again.

FWIW- I put a Fantastic fan in a 1990 Holiday Rambler mh last week. They are constructed somewhat similar to an AS, aluminum skin rivited to an aluminum frame, but wood paneling inside. It had 2" styrofoam insulation in the ceiling and 1/2" styrofoam glued to the paneling. There has been some discussion here about styrofoam falling apart, but when I pulled the old vent there wasn't any, no little pile of styrofoam balls drifting to the floor. I pulled the ceiling panel down a little and it looked good for 14 years old. I am sure it was fitted to the openings and being glued to the paneling helped, but with proper installation it seems to work.

John
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