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Old 11-13-2009, 10:13 AM   #57
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I am one of those "pick up the phone and talk to the engineer" guys, so I spoke to a manufacturing engineer at Icynene. He thought for the application, the MD-R-200, a medium density mix of closed and open foam might be the best approach. The foam has an R value of 5.1 per inch with no outgassing.

There's no question that the fiberglass batt insulation is a tried-and-tested way to insulate a trailer. And since the foam bonds to panels, I'm guessing replacing an exterior aluminum panel would be made much more difficult with a blown foam adhering to the panel. On the other hand, the Icynene is a more environmentally friendly product. I guess the only way for the Airstream community to learn more is to have people willing to experiment.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:32 AM   #58
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There's no question that the fiberglass batt insulation is a tried-and-tested way to insulate a trailer. And since the foam bonds to panels, I'm guessing replacing an exterior aluminum panel would be made much more difficult with a blown foam adhering to the panel. On the other hand, the Icynene is a more environmentally friendly product. I guess the only way for the Airstream community to learn more is to have people willing to experiment.
Caution must be used, if someone wants to try the foam type insulation.

If a panel of metal must be removed, that has the foam attached to the backside, removal becomes a huge chore.

In the process of that removal, wires are usually pulled loose from any outlets, and/or being stretched.

Additional effort must be used to make sure all the electrical components still function properly, to assure that no electrical issues have been created.

Andy
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:51 PM   #59
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I agree, Andy. There is always the law of unintended consequences... right up there with Murphy's Law. Good thought on the wiring. I really prefer to minimize the amount of wiring in the walls. Other than the roof AC, I'd like to keep the 110v running in channels I can access without pulling interior panels. Much of the 12v can run in the frame except for overhead lights. Still, to stay on topic, my concerns are how foam will impact moisture between the walls, how the foam will hold up over time and the complications that will occur if an external panel needs to be replaced.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:05 PM   #60
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I'm still in the process of restoring my 50's Liner and am almost to the point to start on the interior. I too have been going back and forth on the insulation issue. I recently was introduced to a product I think I am going to use in my trailer. Prodex... you can use two layers of Prodex or one layer of Prodex with the fiberglass insulation. I think I've decided on the 2 layers of Prodex.
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Old 11-13-2009, 11:55 PM   #61
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I have used my trailer with pink ridged and spray foam filling in the cracks. It's 20 degrees F. and my trailer is warm. Not saying I used the right stuff, but I can say that no gaps is the key. Use what u want. Put the wires in flex tube. But make darn sure to fill the gaps! No Fire, High R facture is great. But seal the gaps. Good luck. I Love my AS.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:36 AM   #62
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Chris,
I recently completed the application of a 2-part, closed cell foam in my 1972, 27' Overlander. I used TigerFoam that is advertised on this website and it was very easy to apply. All of the interior skins are off so application was easy. Although Tiger makes a foam they say can be applied between the skins, I have not used it. I proceeded with this only after talking with several Airstream dealers, several other RV dealers, and a couple of A&P, AE folks who build, repair, and fly aircraft which have used insulating foams. TigerFoam will not turn to powder. I am pleased with my result and will post an article on this forum in the near future. I had a developing black mold problem: the mold was growing on the original fiberglass insulation. TigerFoam will not support the growth of black mold, which was one of the many reasons I opted for its use.

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Old 11-14-2009, 08:15 AM   #63
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Closed cell foam is the only way to go for sure. Incredible structural properties, still flexible, yet impervious to water. If a panel needs replaced, there will be some work, but imagine how much work is prevented by keeping water out either in the form of intrusion or condensation on the cold inner skin.

As a note, I work with several professional outfits that spray foam in the Nashville area. Most of the time they have a minimum in the neighborhood of $1200, but some don't. For cost, expect closed cell foam to be in the neighborhood of 2-3 dollars a square foot of application.

The other main advantage in this scenario is the savings in time. Your trailer after prep will probably be sprayed out in 2-3 hrs max. Even if you spray under the floor with the belly pan off.

So keep the comments coming, its great to hear other perspectives.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:32 AM   #64
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If you guys are going to spray in foam and are concerned about the insulation sticking to the inside of the outer skin why not apply a layer of the poly film that is available for construction work. I specifically mean the stuff you use to protect finished surfaces. It is a peel and stick product. If you applied that to the aluminum skin I suspect the foam would not bond too well to the plastic sheet.
Al
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Old 11-14-2009, 09:47 AM   #65
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FWIW , I am currently working on an Avion truck camper . In order to install a backer plate I removed an interior panel . The unit is over 40 years old and there is NO deterioration of the original foam insulation. Don't know the type used but the Cayo family is still in business and may know .

As far as putting a layer of something between the foam and outter skin I don't think it's a good idea. This would allow a space where condensation could build up and be trapped against the skin. In the early days when vapor barriers were first used they were placed on the outside of the insulation . This caused condensation between the outside wall and the VB , and in turn this water ran down the wall and landed on the sill. You can imagine the result after a few years , rotted sill.
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:22 AM   #66
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The foam bonds to everything, especially closed cell foam. I think the benefit we are not seeing here is that the closed cell will actually make the skin stronger and seal out moisture. A plastic barrier while allowing the outer skin removal may also provide a place for moisture to sit along the outer skin. Same with foil backed insulation. Keeping moisture completely out would be a much greater solution. So it takes a day longer to remove a panel if damaged, that seems to be a minor issue!
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:35 AM   #67
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The foam bonds to everything, especially closed cell foam. I think the benefit we are not seeing here is that the closed cell will actually make the skin stronger and seal out moisture. A plastic barrier while allowing the outer skin removal may also provide a place for moisture to sit along the outer skin. Same with foil backed insulation. Keeping moisture completely out would be a much greater solution. So it takes a day longer to remove a panel if damaged, that seems to be a minor issue!
Your minor issue, can easily become a major issue for an older trailer.

Labor hours quickly add up, and if enough, the insurance company will total the coach.

Removing a side sheet that has foam covering the wires as well, would require far more than an addition days of work. Many of the horizontal stiffners that are floating have wires going thru them. Pulling the side sheet off, without disrupting the wiring, would be a chore and a half.

Andy
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #68
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I was wondering if there has been any study on the long term (even a couple years) results of the heat on the skin in direct sunlight. The aluminum loses half its heat displacement surface area, but more importantly that skin edge of the foam is super heated by the very very hot metal. I would be very surprised if the foam didn't break down over time due to that high heat. I agree other properties, including sealing qualities are positive
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:13 PM   #69
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I was wondering if there has been any study on the long term (even a couple years) results of the heat on the skin in direct sunlight. The aluminum loses half its heat displacement surface area, but more importantly that skin edge of the foam is super heated by the very very hot metal. I would be very surprised if the foam didn't break down over time due to that high heat. I agree other properties, including sealing qualities are positive
How about 40 years , see post 65
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:18 PM   #70
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boy I'm good at reading for content aren't I?
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