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Old 06-04-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
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1972 Argosy 20
lagunitas , California
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sheep wool insulation part 2

hi all

so i this is my first post. I am redoing a 1972 argosy airstream. I am looking to find a truly green insulation- i have done immense research but wondering if anyone has actually used sheep wool insulation? I saw an old thread from 2004 but nothing else. I wanted to use it in conjunction with the foil but maybe the foil needs more airspace to be effective? The R values are great, it's non toxic and good if wet and have a super low embodied energy since it is recycled natural material- i hate foam since it off gases and takes so much energy to produce.

i also saw a post on installing foil where a guy used felt to cover the seams which seems like an ingenuous low cost idea!

I am maybe worried about mice and also water in the belly pan- please advise if you have experience with these materials. Not gonna go with foam or mineral wool.

thank you so much! Glad this place exists.

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Old 06-04-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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Are you talking about the walls or the floor? When I redid my floor I didn't put any insulation in the bellypan because the original insulation had held water and contributed to rot. If you are going to use it in mild climates, it's not really necessary.


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Old 06-04-2014, 01:02 PM   #3
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I was talking about throughout the whole trailer- but yes i was worried about rot in the floor because of water collecting in the belly pan. did you use it in the walls?
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:05 PM   #4
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I used regular fiberglass insulation to replace what I removed from the walls. The old stuff was pretty deteriorated. My goals was to stick as closely as possible to original, since it had already lasted almost 40 years, I figured if my fixes lasted another 40, I wouldn't be the one replacing it next time

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Old 06-04-2014, 03:17 PM   #5
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What would you do about moths or other bugs that would eat wool? I could see the walls getting infested if it's not treated with something.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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Wool as an insulating material is probably not a great idea for two diametrically opposed reasons.
1 - It's flammable.
2 - It retains water.
Both are bad things for insulation.

From a philosophical viewpoint, I can understand wanting to be as "green" as possible, but how green can an aluminum trailer with propane-fueled appliances actually be?

I think it would be a whole lot greener to use the most effective insulation you can find without regard to whether it's a natural material (BTW, fiberglass IS sort-of natural; it's made from glass fibers which are made from sand, and has a kraft paper backing made from trees). More effective insulation will let you use less fuel to heat your trailer, and less electricity to cool it. And using less fuel and electricity is always green.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
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I read somewhere the insulation used on the newer Airstreams, 2013 and above (I think), is Ecobatt insulation, which is supposed to be fairly green. They have a Website at
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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I used to make my living selling spinning wheels, roving, yarn and all sorts of natural fibers. I would not use wool as insulation in my trailer. Moths might be a problem. It wouldn't be cheap. Just not a good idea. There have to be better alternatives.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
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What Pro said plus while achieving 14 miles per gal if you are careful. Even though it is commendable to try and achieve "greenness", where does one draw the line while dragging 3 to 10,000 lbs down the highway in order to provide a dry place to sleep? I never thought about it at the time but I now know that I was pretty green when I traveled by bicycle loaded down with camping gear. Jim
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:55 PM   #10
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Just up the road a piece (moved to Santa Rosa from Novato), one of our fellow Airstreamers can probably give you some feedback from the "been there, done that" perspective. His FB page is He is also a moderator on this site.
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:42 PM   #11
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I would imagine that your local mice would really LOVE sheep wool instead of other insulation materials--warmer, and then they could eat it for snacks, too!

But in terms of being green, IMHO, starting with a 70s A/S is so green that it outweighs anything further green that you could dream up. It was manufactured 40+ years ago and has been used and used and used. And now you will use it even more years, but without the manufacturing processes, use of raw materials, and whatever pollution would be created by building a new SOB, or even a new A/S. Again, IMHO, this is the ultimate in greenery: building something the first time that will last and last and last, even outlast/outlive its owners, which A/Ss do.

And then there is Marmoleum, a green product for the floor.

And you could furnish your refurbished camper only with items purchased from thrift stores--thus avoiding more manufacturing processes, raw materials, and pollution production. "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without," said only partly tongue in cheek.


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