New Insulation & Ceiling For My Van I Condensation and Mold I 3 Day Renovation I VAN LIFE

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New Year, new van… insulation.
I found out I have huge condensation problems – lots of moisture building up on the inside metal behind my existing insulation. And I had to do something against it.
So I did. I redid all my insulation on the wall and ceiling and added a vapor barrier, and some nice “grown up” wood paneling. On the way I also found some mold…
This is my journey through this 3 day renovation odyssey.

Intro: Kevin Munro
iMovie Library
Synth Song – Kevin Munro

19 thoughts on “New Insulation & Ceiling For My Van I Condensation and Mold I 3 Day Renovation I VAN LIFE

  1. Hi Lisa, I'm sorry you had to go through all that..I also have an Astro and have seen many astro conversion attempts that wound up with mold problems which led me to the same conclusion you reached: it is impossible to really insulate an Astro…. I learned about not using cotton from watching Cheap RV Life. I used the same polyiso foam you did on my ceiling, but used smaller pieces wrapped in polyester fabric. I didn't screw these into the ceiling but wedged them in on the sides and between the metal studs and under the headliner, so they could be easily removed and wiped if condensation collected. I didn't cover the metal beams/studs on the ceiling, but used two wooden beams painted with mold resistant paint to break the conductive bridge on each side above the bed. I also used them to hang reflectix from carpet clips that fit over the beams, leaving a gap with the reflectix from the metal walls (which I also learned on Cheap RV is the best way to install reflectix). I can also use the carpet clips on the beams to hang blankets with water resistant backing. I used more reflectix in the same area you do next to the bed behind the drivers seat covered with cork (thank you for the idea:). I have a lot more of it because I have a cargo Astro and no window there. Most of it is held in place by various things like a mirror with metal backing and a metal wire pantry hanging from two screws, both held with super magnets attached to the vertical van studs. Every bit of insulation can be checked behind and removed to wipe off water and all the materials used can be removed and either wiped down or easily replaced. I think your van is beautiful, and you'll probably get more on a resale now that you have the wood ceiling because it looks like a full conversion…But I'm glad I'll never have to go through what you and others have.

  2. Haha – good effort…looks great! I wonder how many hundreds – thousands – of newby van dwellers are going through this winter condensation grief right now?! I am…..I dwell in a small Berlingo van, so it warms up fast and vapour condenses nicely on bits of metal. Luckily here in the UK (Cornwall and Isle of Wight) we're having next to no rain so the air is cold but dry. But still I get some condensation. I'm not as intrepid as you: decided, I'll leave it until it warms up a bit! So I've stripped insulation out and will try again properly in the spring, just wiping off any moisture from bare metal when I wake up each morning. Actually, I stuck dodomat on some bits of metal sheeting and have no condensation at all in those areas….

  3. Crikey! Sorry to hear about the condensation woes Lisa. Had a similar experience when I lived in a static van on a farm. The walls would be dripping with condensation every morning. Horrible! Fingers crossed your issues are now sorted. Lorraine.

  4. wow… quite the job. I've been dealing with leaks in my old van….. back door, vent. and its coming together very nicely. I just keep forgetting to record the process!!

  5. glad you caught the problem and were able to clean up and re-insulate I'm not sure how much you use your propane wave3 heater but one of the by products is moisture, …..something you also might want to look into is a RoadPro 12 volt heated blanket (draws 4.6 amps, 55 watts) saw this on another vanlife channel (Campervan Kevin) the temps over night are in the low 30'sF sometimes into the 20'sF and he has found this not only heats the bed for sleeping but help heat his van (ram promaster high top) just as warm as when after heating the van up with his Mr Buddy and then leaving the pilot light on over night, not sure of your power supply but maybe something to look into

  6. Lisa, a vapor barrier will not end your condensation problems. It will however keep condensation (and thus mold) from forming in your walls.

    But did you know for $1.00 USD, you can end condensation completely? Yes, available for $1.00 at Dollar Tree. Price is higher at Walmart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc.

    Check this out!

  7. Did you see the video Chrome did about those people that sprayed that black stuff on the interior and used no other insulation and were in sub zero weather for 3 years? Seems that would solve a whole lot ??

  8. sorry @Lisa, have to watch, whole vid later, just zapped, hope there is NO mold ?
    2 funny, your editing with the sounds and music, Thanks.
    Welcome back to 2019, hope all your loved ones are ok !

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