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Old 08-15-2014, 01:11 PM   #1
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Insulation idea?

Looked in interior and exterior repair forum and did not see an insulation sub category, so I hope this is in the correct place-

1971 31' Sovereign full chassis off resto-mod.
It will be a fulltime live in unit.

We noticed the pink fiberglass insulation that it had in it was junk when we gutted the interior and do NOT want to use the same type of insulation as we re-install interior skin.

We are looking at Foam-It-Green spray in foam insulation at least for the walls/ceiling and also maybe the under floor deck area.

Has anyone used this product before here?
Pros/Cons?

It is COSTLY for sure, but on paper sounds like a good option as it supposedly provides a great vapor barrier, bug and rodent resistance, mold/mildew/fungus free, R13 value at 1.75" thick + or-, fire resistant rating is the highest, non toxic....
I know sales pitches are always exaggerated but seems like a good possibility

???????
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:38 PM   #2
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I have been rebuilding an old Spartan that the PO had covered with a spray foam insulation. He had covered the interior as well as the frame and trailer's underbelly. The trailer was completely encased with the stuff. Despite leaks from every window, door and vent the insulation was in great shape. The floor was a mess and had to be replaced, and getting the shell off the frame was a major ordeal. Every bolt holding the shell down had to be excavated with a chisel and hammer. The frame had to be scrapped clean to assure no underlying rust issues. The old plywood had to be pryed off with a crowbar. Snadblasting didn't bother it, every chemical I tried didn't phase it. Only tool that was somewhat effective was a wire brush on a drill. Talk about a mess in the Texas summer heat! The only reason I bring all this up is to say it is an "irreversible step". That is not a bad thing as long as you never have to get to the componets that my be covered by the foam. Having seen how tough the stuff was I would think it a good choice. Didn't mold, degrade, rot or deform. Just be sure it is the last thing you do. I left as much as I could thinking it would be a great insulator.

As the trailer is going back together I may spray the exposed surfaces again. However, if the trailer ever geeds any work I will sell it before I try to dig through the foam again.Very light weight and indestructable.

I don't know what brand it was. It was a light beige color.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDad View Post
Looked in interior and exterior repair forum and did not see an insulation sub category, so I hope this is in the correct place-

1971 31' Sovereign full chassis off resto-mod.
It will be a fulltime live in unit.

We noticed the pink fiberglass insulation that it had in it was junk when we gutted the interior and do NOT want to use the same type of insulation as we re-install interior skin.

We are looking at Foam-It-Green spray in foam insulation at least for the walls/ceiling and also maybe the under floor deck area.

Has anyone used this product before here?
Pros/Cons?

It is COSTLY for sure, but on paper sounds like a good option as it supposedly provides a great vapor barrier, bug and rodent resistance, mold/mildew/fungus free, R13 value at 1.75" thick + or-, fire resistant rating is the highest, non toxic....
I know sales pitches are always exaggerated but seems like a good possibility

???????
That material is used in something that does not move or twist.

Your Airstream does both those things.

What happens, in time, spray in material because of the movement, will turn into powder.

Andy
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:46 PM   #4
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Spray-in foam generally has lots of tiny open-cell air bubbles in its matrix, one reason why it works. But that also makes it absorbent like a sponge (which is also full of air bubbles, go figure). That means if you ever have a leak, your almost-impossible-to-remove spray-in insulation will get wet and stay wet.

If you think you might ever have a leak in your trailer, you'll want to use a closed-cell foam (like the foam in a personal flotation vest) that doesn't absorb water.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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Just to clarify, I have finally found through a google search many posts about spray foam here on this site.

I thoroughly believe that many, if not most to all of the fear and horror stories are based on the old spray can type you find in a hardware store that is made to fill cracks and voids.

That stuff gets old and dried out and DOES powderize badly. The stuff I am looking at is a Green product, NO formaldehydes, stays pliable, non-toxic....

It only expands 3:1 and I am spraying it from the inside with interior skins removed. There should be little to no reason for issues of over expansion and bulging.

If your experience is with the old tan colored rattle can stuff, I would agree whole heartedly with the "don't do it" camp.

This is a different product all together....{this is a different product-Thanks Leslie Nielson lol}

I am looking for input mostly from someone who has used this specific product or a direct competitor to this product:

Foam it Green DIY Spray Foam Insulation Kits

No affiliation or advertising here, just showing what I am looking at.
I have talked direct to the manufacturer, no some distributor sales flunky, and he insists the product will work great.

I am also aware that if there were ever a need to access an wall the job would be very difficult since it adheres to the structure, but I have very little concern about that and many ideas on how to deal with that should I need too.

Not looking for a ego stroke from people who only support what I want to do, nay Sayers are warmly invited, but comments hopefully will be based on this specific product and not some 1970's junk.

PS: Just hung up with the manufacturer who called while I was typing the reply and he sells this to many trailer manufacturers from horse trailers, refrigerator trucks, cargo- travel trailers and RV's and the product is stable and does not crumble under flexing...it is 2014 folks, maybe new products do work...anyone hate the idea of ABS brakes on their car years ago but now see the benefits and reliability...disc brakes?
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:23 PM   #6
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Thanks for the reply ProT...the 602 green foam kit I am looking at is 98% closed cell...virtually no spongy bubbles.
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Old 08-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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I own a spray foam insulation company so maybe I can offer some perspective. There are basically 2 types of foam that are readily available, closed cell or 2 lb foam, and open cell or 1/2 lb foam.

Closed cell would be used in areas that are subject to moisture exposure. It is a moisture resistant rigid product with an R-value of 7 per inch. Open cell is used in interior wall cavities and under roof decks where it is protected from moisture. Open cell has a typical R-value of 3.8 for every inch.

If I were to strip my trailer to the shell, this is how I would insulate it. I would use open cell foam in the walls and roof. Reasoning: Open cell is not a rigid product. It will provide an air seal and thermal mass to prevent heat transfer into the living space. It is not waterproof, but in this instance I believe that is exactly what you want. You want to know if you have a leak. The water will saturate the foam, but will migrate to the floor where hopefully you could detect the leak and fix it. The interior skin would have to be removed to dry the foam out. But you would have a similar situation with wet fiberglass. Open cell is also much easier to remove if you need to perform repairs. Closed cell would provide a waterproof barrier to the inside of the structure. However, if the roof is leaking, water can pool between the skin and the foam. I have seen this happen with building roof systems and the end result is rusted out metal or rotten roof decking. Bottom line, do not rely upon your insulation system to waterproof your trailer. That is what your exterior skin is for.

Now under the trailer is a different matter. I would use closed cell to a minimum 1.5" depth. I would mask off any fasteners so I could remove them later without having to grind the foam off. Additionally, I would tack roofing felt to the underside of the floor decking and spray to that. The foam will adhere but would not prevent the removal of the decking in the future.

Having said all of this, I would recommend anyone contemplating spray foam to get an estimate from a reputable spray foam contractor before purchasing the kits. You may find out that hiring it done will not cost much more.
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:01 PM   #8
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Thank you Early 5. Nice reply and I will research that approach.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #9
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I rebuilt an SOB trailer a number of years ago and in place of pink fiberglass I used Roxul Plus. It is like the fiberglass batts, but insulates well.
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Old 08-16-2014, 07:55 PM   #10
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insulation idea

There are new semi-rigid panels that are on the market now that provide very good insulation without having to spray foam. I have re-insulated my AS with this Polar fold sheeting and it is flexible enough to not only fold along the sides of the AS, but it is great to use in the end caps as well, folds along the radius in both directions. I used three sheets, 1/2" thick to fill the void completely. It really helped provide rigidity to the walls, no "tin can' feeling between ribs because it is solid.
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:22 AM   #11
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I am in the process of doing a shell off restoration on a 1963 Bambi

With all the trouble we see over time from rotting floors due to condensation between the walls, why do I not see more use of a vabor barrier over reinsulation projects ? Just not mentioned in write-ups, or is it purposeful ?
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:42 PM   #12
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The closed cell foam I am looking at is a vapor barrier.

I called and talked to them again, discussing the open cell vs closed and water retention issue ProT brought up earlier.

The tech and I agree, the closed cell is not SO stiff that it should create a flex issue. Also the water trapping issue is less a concern imo on the AS because if, and I hope if, I have a water leak it should run down, between the closed cell and the skin and not really soak into the foam like it would on the open cell foam.
Yes, that does create a possible issue of wetting the subfloor, but I have 2 solutions for that.
1- my C-channel is the style that has a slight step in it on the outer edge (not sure if they all have that} and I have some weep holes that do not penetrate the plywood pocket, but come out under the skin metal, so most of pooling water could weep out and down to the bottom of the belly pan which will have some weep holes also.

2- My subfloor plywood is completely sealed...and I mean SEALED in a rubberizing product called RedGard which is approved as a shower pan it is so waterproof. I have been VERY careful to make sure any penetration has been polyurethane sealed. So, even if some water got between the skin and the closed cell foam, then filtered its way down to the floor, it should evaporate, weep out, or just sit and pool without hurting any thing.
Double the R value and quieter made me go with Closed Cell Foam it Green. We shall see.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:26 AM   #13
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I would be interested in how the foam yields for you. Keep us posted on how many board ft you get out of a container compared to advertised yield. Be sure that you prep real well. Anything you get closed cell foam on is very difficult to remove the foam. Especially the face of your aluminum ribs and channels. We cut strips of 1.5 mil plastic and glue them to the surface of the studs or purlins with 3m super 77 spray adhesive. Then after you spray, you can pull the plastic off and not have to scrape foam.

I'm sure you know, but be sure to protect yourself with a good respirator. Full face is best. The isocyanate in the foam can cause problems if you have a sensitivity to it.

If you get hung up on something, let me know.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:49 AM   #14
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You can also get some stuff called RMAX that has reflective aluminum over the foam. I used 2 1/2" layers of this and it is easy to form by slitting on side with a utility knife and then using the shinny duct tape to seal edges. Everytime I have seen spray foam used on car bodies I see a hole where it has held moisture in and lead to corrosion. There are those that advocate using a radiation barrier only but I think in a few years you would have no insulation when the stuff falls apart or gets dirty which reduces the reflectivity of the material.

Perry

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There are new semi-rigid panels that are on the market now that provide very good insulation without having to spray foam. I have re-insulated my AS with this Polar fold sheeting and it is flexible enough to not only fold along the sides of the AS, but it is great to use in the end caps as well, folds along the radius in both directions. I used three sheets, 1/2" thick to fill the void completely. It really helped provide rigidity to the walls, no "tin can' feeling between ribs because it is solid.
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