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Old 01-16-2016, 11:48 AM   #211
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Spray Foam Insulation

I will say that the fiberglass insulation was perfect in my Airstream when I removed it after forty plus years of age, I could have reused it if I had purposed to do so when I took it out.

Which is one of the reasons I went back with fiberglass.

Brevi tempore!
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:11 PM   #212
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I will say that the fiberglass insulation was perfect in my Airstream when I removed it after forty plus years of age, I could have reused it if I had purposed to do so when I took it out.
You are literally the only person I've ever heard say that. It's always wet and super compressed (like, pretty much gone), or full of mouse droppings and tunnels. Perhaps there is an Airstream museum that would showcase your insulation as "the one that made it?"

Granted, most of these stories come from neglected Airstreams being restored. I guess if someone took care of their Airstream (keeping it sealed, making sure there was no vermin) the fiberglass should last a long, long time.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:34 PM   #213
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I used fiberglass insulation, and did not seal any rivets, no vapor barrier, etc. I did calk the top third of all window frames and other openings.... But that is about it.

Sometimes we have a way of making simple things hard.


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My simple insulation solution is to throw more BTUs at it in the cold and find shade in the summer.
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:43 PM   #214
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My trailer was very used, but no mice got in the walls. My insulation was in perfect condition.


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Old 01-17-2016, 06:58 AM   #215
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There was a time in my build process where I wanted to spray foam, but the do it yourself kits were a lot of money for a little coverage, and none of the contractors I called were interested in calling me back, so I said to myself "well the first insulation lasted over forty years, and I am almost fifty..."

I did money math, age math, and build time math.... I went fiberglass... And in the end without regret. My trailer makes me happy in its thermal efficiency, and also in its sound insulation.

In the end I am certain that using glass made my build a lot easier, and for sure, if I ever need to go back in to do any work in the walls, I will be glad for the glass.


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Old 01-17-2016, 08:11 AM   #216
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These pictures show spray foam application in an Airstream. I wonder how it is holding up these days.
https://picasaweb.google.com/1154197...490174/FarmLab
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:15 PM   #217
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These pictures show spray foam application in an Airstream. I wonder how it is holding up these days.
https://picasaweb.google.com/1154197...490174/FarmLab
Good lord, what an incredible amount of work! Excellent detail, just excellent.

My question would be what has happened to the TT's weight? Anyone know what this added?
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:29 PM   #218
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I think spray foam is less dense than fibreglass. However if open cell foam is used, it'll retain moisture and add weight and reduce R-value. Fibreglass would have the same problem. Mineral wool is hydrophobic and won't retain moisture.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:32 PM   #219
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Good lord, what an incredible amount of work! Excellent detail, just excellent.

My question would be what has happened to the TT's weight? Anyone know what this added?
Yeah... that's some crazy work! Nice.

The spray foam shouldn't add weight (should be same or less than fiberglass). You do need to use closed cell, and a lot of the pro-sprayers use heat that can warp your skins and ribs, so you need to pay special attention to the application process.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:49 AM   #220
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There's also nothing wrong with testing materials and sharing the results with other to make it easier for those who come after.
I'm about a month behind you, using some of the same materials, so I greatly appreciate your posts. I decided to go with reflectix and 0.5" PIC with an air gap between. I'm fairly doubtful of the real R value of the bubbles (but I trust the PIC), but theVAP seemed at least somewhat positive towards the reflectix. The R value of the PIC is 3.2, so that's solid. With the bubbles and air gap I think I'll be in a system R 7-8. So far, with only the reflectix on 2/3 of the interior, if I turn my propane heater on it gets so hot I have to work in a t shirt. And it's around 10 degrees outside. I put some pics of the surface temps inside and out on my blog (AirStream Padawan - Blog). I can't wait to see how the PIC adds to it... I'll probably need to switch to my little electric heater.

I guess I liked the idea of two different materials (and both available locally). Plus the gap between is handy for electrical runs. Oh, and the glass insulation in mine was nasty when it came out and I'd never put it back in. Mice, bees, mold, gross.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:59 AM   #221
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if I turn my propane heater on it gets so hot I have to work in a t shirt. And it's around 10 degrees outside. I put some pics of the surface temps inside and out on my blog (AirStream Padawan - Blog). I can't wait to see how the PIC adds to it... I'll probably need to switch to my little electric heater.

I guess I liked the idea of two different materials (and both available locally). Plus the gap between is handy for electrical runs. Oh, and the glass insulation in mine was nasty when it came out and I'd never put it back in. Mice, bees, mold, gross.
Yeah... I forgot to mention that the gaps are extremely useful, not just for insulation but for wires (especially "after thought" wires) too.

The Airstream would probably heat up pretty quickly without any insulation, just because it's a small space. It's a matter of how long it can hold that heat. But I think what you're doing is going to work great. Having something against the exterior skin (especially something that can still shed interior moisture down) may be even better than what I'm doing. Hard to tell. But we're moving forward, right?!

Prodex (which would likely be better than the Reflectix, though not as easy to just grab at Lowe's) against the skin with 1/2" PIC vs. the air gap at the skin with 1" PIC is probably a toss up.
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:11 PM   #222
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In the shop we have the capability to bend aluminum I beam extrusions and other aluminum beam. IF a person was going to do a shell off or complete interior gut rebuild this opens up a lot of different ideas/opportunities. I like to think a little outside the box and therefore my idea.

Why not bend new 2 inch I beam or other shape shell bows and shape these new bows to "sister" UNDER (Not Beside) the original Airstream bows and attach these secondary bows to the floor outriggers just the original bows? Make this 2 inch bow modification around the complete shell and on the ends of the trailer. This will significantly increase the structural integrity of the shell AND give you an additional 2 inches of space between the exterior aluminum skin and the interior aluminum skin for a total of 3.8 inches of space between the skins. More room for running electrical/plumbing and for the sake of this discussion "Mo Space" for better insulation, possible air space insulation and the opportunity to reduce condensation issues.

Combine this "Shell Modification" with a better engineered flooring material installed in the trailer than marine grade plywood you will have a much better substructure where the shell bolts to the C channel and therefore the floor material. Marine grade plywood certainly does NOT appear to me to be the floor material I would choose in rebuilding a trailer given all the floor rotting issues outlined all over the forum. It seems to me this additional "wall space between the skins" that would be created could/would solve many issues listed in this thread by creating the additional room between the skins for insulation and dealing with the issues of condensation reduction.

Yes the original interior aluminum pans will/would need minor modifications to refit however IF you are taking a trailer down to the shell or shell of modifying the interior aluminum skin to the 2 inch narrower/shorter interior aluminum panels would be a piece of cake.

OPINIONS????
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Old 01-18-2016, 01:18 PM   #223
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Right there with you. If I had the means/equipment, I would totally make the walls thicker. You wouldn't notice much interior space lost (two inches on each side) for the extra wall space. Nearly four inch walls would be great in these things for those of us wanting to do four seasons (and mountains).
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:08 PM   #224
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The Airstream would probably heat up pretty quickly without any insulation, just because it's a small space. It's a matter of how long it can hold that heat.
You're right, the part I'm not sure about is holding the heat in. But I will say the surface temp of the interior is warmer and the exterior is much cooler than it was before, and that's not nothing.
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But I think what you're doing is going to work great. ... Prodex (which would likely be better than the Reflectix, though not as easy to just grab at Lowe's) against the skin with 1/2" PIC vs. the air gap at the skin with 1" PIC is probably a toss up.
Thanks for the encouragement. I really debated about trying Prodex, but the cost and time difference is too huge. Plus since I'm getting it locally, I will have almost no leftover material. I'll buy exactly what I need. I'll probably save over $100 going with Reflectix and that's a lot of days heating with propane. And I'm getting it done!
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