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Old 06-07-2004, 05:23 PM   #1
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So, with these methods we are talking about here, what is the best way to insulate the floor?

With the shell off it seems easy to add insulation over the frame and deck on top, but using the shell on technique, do I insulate afterwards? It would seem that I would tear up any insulation sliding the new floor into place.

Kevin
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Old 06-07-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
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Floor insulation...

I am also thinking about what approach to take for this. I found a previous thread titled "Under floor insulation" that had several suggested approaches. I personally am leaning in favor of using aluminum foil type insulation instead of fiberglass or foam. The foil is light weight, waterproof, vermin proof and performs well.

Here is a pointer to a major manufacturer who sells their products through ACE Hardware, Lowes and Home Depot:

http://www.reflectixinc.com

I have not made up my mind on how best to install the stuff. If I do use my proposed floor install technique (with the rim and splice around the edges) there would not be much need to slide the floor panels around much. In that case I might buy the 48" wide roll and install it similar to the way the fiberglass was intalled letting the foil dip down a couple of inches into each cavity. I would use the foil tape the vendor sells to tape the joint down the middle of the two strips. This would help leave an air gap between the floor and the foil that should help the foil do a better job. It would also create a trough for any water to collect into (if any would actually be in that area). My thought is to punch a small hole in the middlle of each dip to let any moisture run out into the belly pan.

By the way - Vintage Vacations does extreme restoration projects on older trailers and they used two layer of Rlectix brand foil insulation for the trailer featured on the following site. It was to be used as a full-time office in Colorado so the owner was ultra concernded about having good insulation. You can see that their note mentions the two layers and the brand name of the foil insulation.

http://www.vintage-vacations.com/195..._navigator.htm

Does anyone reading this thread think we should launch another thread to talk about this topic so we can pull in more comments?

Malcolm
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Old 06-07-2004, 09:09 PM   #3
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Split off the floor replacement thread
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Old 06-08-2004, 01:13 PM   #4
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Info from Reflectix

I called the Reflectix customer service person today to ask some application questions about their products. The person I spoke to was very helpful. One thing she said was that it was a good idea not to attach the foil directly to metal framing if possible since that could create some sweating. I discussed underfloor installations with her and she suggested attaching some sort of wood furring strips and then stapling the foil to that. I did run the idea I posted in my earlier note by her (about putting the foil over the floor cross memebers and letting it sag in between. She thought this would be OK but maybe not quiet as good as using some approach that kept all of the foil a couple of inches away from the bottom of the floor.

One thing I am wondering about with the foil is how to properly insulate around holding tanks and plumbing. There are foils from Rlectix that can be used directly on things like ducting, etc. The issue is that the reflective foil works best if there is an air gap on each side.

Has anyone in the forums used foil insulation? How did you apply it?

Thanks,

Malcolm
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:46 PM   #5
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We used Denny foil in our house that has solid wood flooring. Denny foil is aluminum foil backed by kraft paper. we taped the roll sections together with the tape you mentioned. The wood was solid and stapled together at an angle with a nail gun. It's worked for almost 11 years, (the rest of the house is tile.) It is also used in all the walls and ceilings. (which is why a cell phone doesnt work in here.) We are going to do the same thing in the trailer. A 3/8ths inch gap caused by the furring strips is an excellent heat/cold barrier, as long as there are no leaks. For under neath you should use the foil double backed that has tiny perforations to let the material "breathe".
This has given me the energy to open the two boxes sitting in the hall. We decided this time to use a heavier product that is about the thickness of a telephone cover book. Heavier aluminum on both sides with the kraft paper in between not perforated. This is used to create barriers with the foil tape between the person inside and any insulation smells etc walls, floors ceiling etc. The width is 48-52?" and as long a roll as you want. We got it from I think healthy-homes.com the seattle based one healthy.homes.com? Some combination of that sliver suz
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Old 06-08-2004, 02:56 PM   #6
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Wrong..wrong..wrong... try www.AFS-foil.com for the foil barrier stuff. suz
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Old 06-08-2004, 04:09 PM   #7
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Different kinds of foil products...

It is interesting to note that there are a lot of different kinds of foil products. The one I was thinking of using from Reflectix has a layer of plastic bubble pack type material between the two layers of aluminum. This provides a bit of insulation to reduce any conduction of heat between the two layers of foil. I don't know how much different the performance of this type is compared to having a layer of craft paper between the foil layers. The kraft paper is presumably more for overall tear resistance. Also Reflectix told me today that sealing around the edges of the foil was a good idea to create a dead air space that would actually help with insulation values. As I mentioned in my note I was thinking of adding a small hole in the middle (in the center of the foil sag in other words) that would allow any condensed moisture to run out into the belly pan. Actually it seems to me that having a good airtight seal might help protect the underside of the floor from moisture that might be splashing around in the belly pan area.

With foil it seems like there still is the issue of how best to insulate around the holding tanks which seem to go down pretty much to the bottom of the floor frame.

Malcolm
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Old 06-08-2004, 06:11 PM   #8
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Malcom, it seems I was misleading. We plan to use both. The kraft foil will go for instance on both sides of the wall between the kitchen and bed area. The reflextic roll (which is resting against another wall now)will also be our insulation. We are also debating on using the all cotton batting or the new woven fiberglass paper wrapped batting. Either foil product would seal that from the room inside. Yes, we are super insulating, but find in the long end it pays off with lower energy usage. Our family debate is whether and what to use next and with whom. One thing the reflextic comes with tabs that makes it easier to install on aluminum struts (or ribs, or whatever you call them.). It is a matter of packing a lot of insulation in a small space. We have also considered the expanding foam. We are going to be very careful to insulate and seal the refrig passage (we have 12 volt/120w) and any thing that gives off heat, such as the portable heater/ airconditioner, the dehumidifier, the washer/dryer, the small dishwasher (uses less water than hand washing and is more sanitary) all heat producers are ducted out in a sealed fashion, All pipes will be insulated, along with the hot water heater. We have an old jennair down draft cooking vent that will be installed along side the 2 burner top, and insulated and vented out. I am putting a layer of refletix in the curtains, between the decor material and liner material. I have an interesting concept for the skylight which is yellowed and too dificult to open. I will use thin glass blobs glued to plexiglass which will be fitted into the opening permantly. That way the light will come thru and create patterns of dark ,light blue and clear bubbles, allowing natural light in and having an air void to trap heat. I also have a similar idea for the vista vues. All the windows have been taken out and rubber seal replaced, re-vulkenized etc.
If I could figure it out, I would line all the awnings inside with the reinforced aluminum foil.!!!
There will be a 4" air lock fan to pull shower moisture out, and I could go on forever. suz
I also worry about the issue of letting the belly pan "breathe" or making it water tight.
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:16 PM   #9
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Is the reflect foil serving any purpose at all behind an aluminum belly which is itself reflective. I would think that dollar of dollar an air pocket product would give more real world R value, like fiber glass or foam board. There's a huge difference between bench test lab results and real world insulted benefit. Glue shiny heavy duty aluminum foil to the underside of your floor and you'll save some money.
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Old 06-09-2004, 09:24 AM   #10
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I don't know how you feel about it but I would look at Sprayed In Polyurathane Foam.
Lots of advantages to other insulation. No air infiltration, water proof, light weight, high R factor per inch, ease of instalation. You can keep it from sticking to replacable items by coating them with patroleum jelly.
The only disadvantage I can find is Cost.
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:29 AM   #11
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Like the jelly idea. I'll use that one. My Caravel has foam floor (PO). Problem is any water which gets in from the top gets stuck between the foam and floor. Leaks become a must avoid at all cost because one small one could take out alot of floor fast. Thats what happened in the front of my caravel. So if you foam leave an aire space under the floor for water to run away from the plywood. All said and done I think I'll go with fiberglass of some kind at least around the edges.
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:48 AM   #12
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Paul, I use the denny foil because it is cleaned of oils, which is good for people with chemical sensitivities. I know, we always have to pay more to get products that are "safe". Thanks, suz
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Old 06-09-2004, 10:51 AM   #13
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Any comments on how to let the belly pan "breathe" while wanting super insulation? I know from experience that a structure totally enclosed and sealed with foil builds up a huge humidity problem in hot humid weather. silver suz
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Old 06-09-2004, 11:12 AM   #14
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You're on the horns of a dilema. If you want it to breathe, you lose insulation effectiveness due to convective heat flow. If you seal it up, there is no place for excess moisture to escape. I'm also a little concerned that the foil backed insulation will be ineffective because there is little infrared radiation to worry about (it's all reflected by the outer skin and bellypan, like Paul stated), and the moisture barrier properties will trap any moisture inside and lead to mold or rot.

Everyone knows a neighbor or relative who has a supersealed and superinsulated house that has mold problems.
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