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Old 11-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
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
In thinking about the type of individual that would go to the lengths to actually spend $1000 plus just to insulate their trailer, it seems that spending a little extra labor wise for the removal of the pesky panel would be warranted. Also considering that the trailer with this procedure performed would be not your typical trailer. I am sure the end result would be one fine trailer, very well taken care of.

I know Al that you are looking at this from the mind set of labor materials and having to explain that to a client. I experience this as well in my field. Adding a plug or light in walls or ceilings that have been foamed is considerably more difficult. But those clients chasing excellence usually are willing to go the extra mile. Foam is for that client!
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:35 PM   #72
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In thinking about the type of individual that would go to the lengths to actually spend $1000 plus just to insulate their trailer, it seems that spending a little extra labor wise for the removal of the pesky panel would be warranted. Also considering that the trailer with this procedure performed would be not your typical trailer. I am sure the end result would be one fine trailer, very well taken care of.

I know Al that you are looking at this from the mind set of labor materials and having to explain that to a client. I experience this as well in my field. Adding a plug or light in walls or ceilings that have been foamed is considerably more difficult. But those clients chasing excellence usually are willing to go the extra mile. Foam is for that client!

The insurance companies dictate how much they will pay for labor, never the insured.

If all kinds of upgrades are made, such as the insulation, then the insurance company must be advised, since you, in your opinion, increased the value of the trailer.

If it is not reported then an insurance company will want to settle on an ACV (actual cash value).

You cannot insure a coach for, as an example, $5000.00 and expect them to pay $10,000.00 to repair it.

They will however, pay an ordinary amount, and the insured can pay the difference.

Typically, 75 to 80 percent of the ACV, is all that an insurance company will pay for a loss.

On top of that, some companies will also hit you with "depreciation" on things such as sheet metal, which is the game plan Foremost uses.

I fought with them years ago about depreciating sheet metal. They stuck to their guns, and that's the way it is.

I do not know of any other insurance company that will take depreciation on Airstream sheet metal, other thasn Foremost.

Andy
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:12 AM   #73
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Contemporary closed cell foam is completely unlike the foam of a generation ago. It is being used in more and more house construction and doesn't deteriorate, has superior insulating value, doesn't harbor mold, and seals the building from air infiltration much better than fiberglass. It you want good insulation, foam works. It you want to remove a panel because you're going to damage it, that's a different priority.

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Old 11-16-2009, 08:12 AM   #74
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My goal, Gene, is to avoid damaging any panels.

The estimate on foam is around $700. That's not inexpensive, but I have generally found quality insulation pays for itself over time. My wife and I plan to spend the better part of a year "fulltiming." When the dust settles, we'll hunker down somewhere in the Rockies and resume the 9-5 life. Having a well insulated trailer is a priority.

As for insurance, we're spending enough where we'll have to reach an "agreed upon" value with an insurance carrier... much like with a vintage roadster or other oddity. In my experience, you can insure anything... it's just a matter of how much you are willing to spend.

We're trying to "go green" on the Overlander. We've already talked about losing the black tank in favor of a composting head. We're going to focus on sustainable materials on the interior. One of the advantages of the foam insulation in question is that it is "green" with zero outgassing.

I'm a bit apprehensive, but I think the benefits of foam are worth the risk. In any event, the only way the Airstream community is going to learn about the stuff is to have those foolish enough to be "early adopters."
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:50 AM   #75
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I'm a bit apprehensive, but I think the benefits of foam are worth the risk. In any event, the only way the Airstream community is going to learn about the stuff is to have those foolish enough to be "early adopters."
Go for it
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:03 AM   #76
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An article about different types of insulation for contractors appeared in the Nov., 2009 (# 206) issue of Fine Homebuilding. This is about houses, but much of it is useful for other applications. It explains the properties of common types of insulation used now and in the past. You can get it online but you'll have to pay for it I think, or just go to a library.

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Old 11-16-2009, 05:59 PM   #77
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Very interesting topic. It has convinced me to stay far away from sprayed on insulation. I'm not too keen on the fiberglass batts either. Right now, I'm transitioning from semi to full retirement with a snow-birding component. To this end, I've bought a '69 Safari I will spend 3 winter months each year rehabilitating and enjoying somewhere south of I-10. Last year I got the demo done, new axle in and new floor cut out and loosely installed (it actually fits). This year I look forward getting all running gear in order, all body work below the floor complete and belly pan reattached. One interesting fact about my trailer is that it had a combination of fiberglass in the shell and foam insulation under the floor. Was this common? My experience with their removal tends to support all the negative comments I've read.


My question is whether anyone has any idea or has tested an actual trailer to determine what the heat loss really is with various insulation methods including no insulation at all. It seems to me that to get at this by calculation has to be awful difficult what with all the cold bridges at the ribs, frames, around windows and other obstacles to quality insulating. What about all those access doors. I have a total of 8 cavities in the floor of my trailer between frames. I expect to fill two of them with fresh and gray water tanks. A spare tire will probably fill another. How do they get insulated? As a person who expects to follow the temperate weather as much as possible, how much sleep should I lose worrying about fine tuning my insulation procedures. Most important, how big a catalytic heater do I need to get through a (very rare) 30 degree night and still have 50 degrees inside with average insulation installed? How much will the answer change if insulation is the best or if there is none at all?


John-
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:15 PM   #78
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Very interesting topic.

My question is whether anyone has any idea or has tested an actual trailer to determine what the heat loss really is with various insulation methods including no insulation at all. How much will the answer change if insulation is the best or if there is none at all?


John-
John.

For a 31 foot Airstream trailer, with zero insulation, even the fibergalass type, would require about a 3 ton AC, and in the winter time, at least a 100,000 furnace.

Obviously, both of those are impractical.

What Airstream uses, to some, may not be the best, but it's keeping in line with the "KISS" principles.

It's practical, easy to work with, and not expensive.

Anything on or in an Airstream can be improved upon, "IF" you throw costs and practicality, out the window.

Andy
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:16 PM   #79
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just for the floor?

I did not read all the responses on open or closed cell foam insulation but I was going to consider using it for the floor insulation only. Not to much movement in the floor. What do you all think???? thanks
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:19 PM   #80
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I did not read all the responses on open or closed cell foam insulation but I was going to consider using it for the floor insulation only. Not to much movement in the floor. What do you all think???? thanks
The floor gets tons of movement, when you tow the trailer.

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Old 11-16-2009, 06:48 PM   #81
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Everything moves.... it's just a matter of degree.

As for uses, if you are going to chase the 75 degree day, I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense to go hog wild on insulation. After my wife and I settle in the west, I'm sure the Overlander will be pressed into duty as a "hunting camp" trailer which means exposure to extreme weather. We don't use the water system in subfreezing temps, but having a solid roof and propane heating system is nicer than a canvas wall tent.

I think Gene has made this point, but it bears repeating. These are not your grandfather's foam cell insulations. The technology has evolved. The same stuff is used in applications other than stick frame construction.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:05 PM   #82
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Well, I talked to "Trailer Steve" and gave him the green light on Icynene MD-R 200 medium density foam. For those of you who want to see the cut sheet.

Will it be worth it? Heck, I don't know. That's the thing about trying newer technologies. There's always an element of risk. Well, I like the "green" aspect of the product and I'm hoping it works reasonably well. After a year or two of abuse, I'll report back with my findings.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:11 AM   #83
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Well, I talked to "Trailer Steve" and gave him the green light on Icynene MD-R 200 medium density foam. For those of you who want to see the cut sheet.

Will it be worth it? Heck, I don't know. That's the thing about trying newer technologies. There's always an element of risk. Well, I like the "green" aspect of the product and I'm hoping it works reasonably well. After a year or two of abuse, I'll report back with my findings.
The cut sheet does not menation whether it is open or closed cell.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #84
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It's actually a mix of open and closed cells according to the engineer.
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