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Old 10-23-2012, 06:56 AM   #1
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1978 28' Ambassador
Byfield , Massachusetts
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Bubble Foil Insulation Between Frame and Subfloor

Hi all,

We are in the middle of our frame renovation. Everything is in pieces (shell of frame) and we are just starting on putting everything back together.

We painted the frame with POR-15 the other week and cut out the new floor boards.

We bought some Prodex bubble foil insulation, which we would like to put in between the subfloor and the frame.

The foil is about 0.5 mm (13/64") thick and compresses more with pressure.

We are just wondering if it would weaken the structural integrity to have a layer of this insulation between the frame metal and subfloor.

Anyone has experience with this? Any concerns?

Thanks for any advice.

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Old 10-23-2012, 08:36 AM   #2
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North Charleston , South Carolina
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Affect structural integrity? No don't think so.
Give you any real insulating value? Not much, I'd guess.
I'd save the Prodex for the walls.

After gathering all relevant information and statistics, and formulating a through cost/benefit analysis, I have decided that the best solution for insulating under the chassis is closed cell spray foam.

If anyone tells you any different, they are probably missing or ignoring relevant facts.
You're welcome.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
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The original insulation was a fiberglass mat....applied on the entire lower floor board surface. The floor then attached to the frame. This caused problems in its own right, but the thickness compressed with no fit problems. The relevant fact here is that Airstream did it already.
"If it can't be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted
then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production."
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:19 AM   #4
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If I remember correctly the Classic slide out units have an aluminum foil backed insulation either on the slide unit or somewhere around the slide. I remember seeing this as part of the factory tour back in 2002. I was thinking it was in the floor. I'll have to go back to my videos that I shot to see exactly where that insulation was located.

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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Most of the information I see on the "foil and bubble wrap" style insulating material states that the material has no inherent R value, and all of its insulating ability comes from its ability to reflect radiant energy. That being said, the manufacturer usually specifies the amount of "air gap" that is required for the reflective material to do its thing. So in answer to your quesiton, I doubt if having the insulating sandwiched between the floor and frame will do any harm. As mentioned above, Airstream already did something similar for years, and it hasn't caused immediate harm. The follow up question, though, is: are you getting any real value out of having the reflective material under there? I would guess very little. When I reinstalled my subfloor, I screwed the plywood directly to the frame, and then installed (between the frame members/outriggers) several layers of closed cell foam, finally with an outermost layer of the reflective bubble wrap, with an air gap of a few inches between it and the bellypan.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:55 AM   #6
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I believe AS uses it now for the floor and does capture it between the frame and floor. It does hang down a bit between the frame members and creates an air gap.
Pretty sure mine has it. I'd prefer it over pink stuff, cause it doesn't absorb water, BUT, If you have a leak which drains on top of the Prodex, it will hold water. I recall a thread a long time ago where a member had to poke a hole in his prodex to let the water drain due to a bumper leak (IIRC).

R value? Not much, but better than nothing.

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