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Any tips on insulation for a camper van? I believe I read somewhere that the loft type insulation shouldn't be used just in case water managed to get in and would then be trapped?
Has anyone any tips on what is the best method?

Loft insulation is itchy

Loft insulation is itchy unpleasant stuff that is not ideal for campervans. Buy yourself a roll of airtec bubble insulation. Very easy to fit into all kinds of spaces, stick it on with spray glue, one £100 roll was enough to do my entire campervan (mwb sprinter) and one layer of it is equal to 50mm polystyrene sheet. See photos.


Anonymous's picture
re the foil

Have you used the foil instead of the other insulation shown in the first photo, or just used the foil, then just re fix your ply over the top?. Interested as about to do mine and need to know whether to stick it to the metal van sides then board out or do as this phot seems, to attach then board directly to the top of the insulation, that way there would then be an air gap between the metal bodywork and insulation, but the boarding direct against the foil.


I bought expensive German stuff from www.conceptmulti-car.co.uk at 20 quid per sheet. 3 sheets did my entire LDV pilot (see photos section), (roof, walls, doors) bar the floor. It's a high density fire-resistant foam with really good thermal properties (coeff of thermal conductivity) and only 15mm thick. I used 2 sheets of similar but harder foam under the plywood floor. These were 25 quid each.

Anonymous's picture

i'm using a version of rockwoll (made from recycled plastic)
it's good for the walls once sealed in with plastic sheeting but i'm having trouble with the roof.

in the current weather, any short use of the van means a LOT of condensation dripping from the roof. i've had to remove the roof lining due to mould buildup because of this.
any ideas?

I have chosen sheepswool!

After looking at all different types of insulation i decided to go with sheepswool for many different reasons.I wanted something that would be better for health as i read that some types give off emissions that over time could give respiratory probs.It wont squeak like polystyrene can.It generates its own heat if it gets moisture in it.It wont sag or slump and keeps its shape.It will sound proof it aswell as insulate rather than going with my first choice of using foil even though that option was a better heat retainer.£120 quid will do a T5.Oh yeah and its natural and better on the environment when manufacturing it as the only thing they do is dip it to kill mites etc!

Anonymous's picture

Hi, could you post the details of where you got the sheep wool from? and what size/thickness did you use.
Thanks : )

Anonymous's picture
re sheeps wool for insulation

Sheep wool will hold moisture and this will rot your van. We have had customers who have had to pay out for serious welding costs where moisture trapped in this fabric has caused substantial damage over time. For some strange reason it seems to be the chosen sound deadening material for quite a few American cars. We pulled sack fulls from the rear body of a Camero recently which was full of moisture and the vehicle had to have some expensive welding which was a shame as the rest of the bodywork was mint juts the bits in the rear where the wool had been used to cut the engine sound. We hope this helps save some pennies.

Anonymous's picture
Natural insulation

Hi there,

I was interested in your comments on sheeps wool and wondered whether a Hemp alternative would work without the moisture issues. Any ideas on whether this would be the case?

Here's a link: https://www.celticsustainables.co.uk/insulation/

Thanks in advance!



I have used kingspan boards comes in big sheets foil both sides foam in the middle easy to cut lightwight sticks well with good quality sprayglue keeps the van warm in winter and cool in summer loft insulation is bad in many ways as its holds condensation makes the van sweat and rusts the van from the inside out and cant be good for your health i would guess you will never escape condensation in a panel van all the time hot air from the inside meets with the cold on the outside all you can really do is have a condensation trap which are very cheap and most camping shops do the refill cristals just my thoughts on this good luck with your builds


I've used foil faced bubble wrap, stuck directly to the metal insides of the van with spray on carpet adhesive.
I've also bought sheeps wool to stuff in to the bodywork voids before re-fitting the original lining panels. Which on My Renault Trafic are made of white plastic material.
(smooth and shiny, so should be easy to keep clean)

I agree with Critchley on the reasons for choosing sheeps wool, but if you're not convinced see http://www.blackmountaininsulation.com/literature.htm
for more information


Hi there i used normal household wall batts i will check the rating but think it was r4 ?? i have lots of problems with condensation drips on the roof and rear bus windows so sparkyshep what are condensation traps and i live full time in my bus

spray on expanding foam

i am just about to get my van sprayed with expanding foam can have any tickness you want and as it expands fills hard to reach spots itself costing me 250 euro has anyone tryed this ?


I've just started to insulate my van and I'm using Airtec ( www.ecohome-insulation.com ). I had a natter with them and they advise that Airtec should ideally have an air gap to maximise the insulation properties. I'm using the foil tape supplied by them to hold the stuff in place. The floor was easy as far as air gap goes as I put the battens down first then laid the insulation over the battens at 90 degrees thus giving an air gap between the battens.

I'm starting the sides of the van tomorrow and haven't really decided how to come up with the air gap. Thinking maybe I can fasten it loosely at the edges so it will sag slightly away from the metal sides?

I did think about using the expanding foam, but was told that moisture can get through any tiny hole, but isn't as easy to get rid of when it evaporates. So you can get corrosion taking place out of sight underneath the foam which is impossible to get at.

Has anyone ever taken a the trim off the inside of a modern campervan or caravan to see how the experts do it?


Insulation and the 'air gap'

Hi All,
I remembered that we had several thin mats in the loft which we'd bought a few years ago, then moved house and never actually used them. They are a made of a natural fibre and about a quarter of an inch thick, so not very heavy. I cut them into strips about two inches wide and glued them to the roof panels about two inches apart. The Airtec foil was then glued on top of the carpet strips. On the side walls I used full sections of carpet to cover the whole panel and again glued the Airtec on top of it. I think that the carpet will provide a gap that is just about as effective as an air gap. I decided to fully cover the side panels with carpet as it makes the foil more able to take any punishment it gets - although I will be covering the foil with material to protect it.


Anonymous's picture
insulation inside body panels

hi all just fitting my electric hook up, and realised we needed to insulate before putting panel back.got a 1982 T25 auto homes conversion with heavy lift up roof which i need to renew gas struts soon too.having great fun bringing it back to life it really does seem to be more than a camper !!! any tips are very welcome,put new tailgate struts on today so if anyone knows best insulation let know please

Generally the best insulation

Generally the best insulation is Celotex or Kingspan (very similar products).
It's a semi-stiff board that is very effective. It comes in different thicknesses. It's very easy to cut with a saw or knife.

You can also use a rock-wool like material that is made from recycled plastic bottles. Its safe to have in living areas.

The Celotex is best if you have a squarish area. The plastic wool if you have lots of little pockets to fill.


Got my Kingspan from Ebay 20mm x 8ft x 4ft 10 sheets £95 delivered.

Anonymous's picture

Just thought I'd add to this. I'm about to buy a VW van which was refrigerated so its insulation is awesome... I'm actually worried it might be too thick so that it will make the van smaller inside. I'm guessing I may have some serious condensation issues but I won't know until I try. I'm going to fit a roof vent so that should help when left open overnight but this is not always an option in the UK.

Does anyone have experience of these fridge vans as campers?


Insulared refrigerated van


What was the outcome of this? Was it easy enough to cut through it and fit your vents etc. I'm looking at just such a van at the moment and want to know if its worthwhile or more hassle than its worth?

Cheers for any help.


Anonymous's picture
insulated van conversion to camper

I have same project. 11ft by 5ft10 in width body. Need to raise roof by 15 in to make a camper. Have you any advice ? Pitfalls to watch for ? Its a Merc van of 1992 - maybe called a 410d with 5 cyl engine .
Thanking you , H

Anonymous's picture

Does anyone have any thoughts on damp proof barriers? I've read somewhere that when insulating it's a good idea to add a damp proof membrane to prevent condensation. Just wondering if anyone has done this - I'm thinking along the lines of metal sides/roof, then polyester rock wool insulation, then damp proof membrane glued on before fitting the plywood and lining. I'm worried if I don't put the membrane in the condensation will still get behind the insulation and against the metal sides/roof.....

Anyone have any experience with this setup?

I used a complete layer of

I used a complete layer of airtec insulation over the top of the rest of my insulation which doubled up as a vapour barrier as well as adding a further layer of insulation. Probably over kill for most but i spend 4 weeks in the alps snowboarding each year so need a well insulated van.


Anonymous's picture
winter camper

Hello KS,
I'm about to convert a van for winter extended use, so I'm very curious about your experiences. Water-ice climbing is my thing, so I plan to seek out the cold.
How has your insulation worked out? And have you learned lessons about winter campervan life that you could pass on?
Any advice much appreciated,


Hi we use double foil bubblewrap insulation in all of our conversions as it is lightweight, easy to fit and doesn't hold moisture. We also use a soundproofing insulation as well as the foil insulation as this reduces the road noise and provides extra insulation. We also sell rolls of the foil insulation and soundproofing insulation. The foil rolls are £15 for a roll that is 10 metres long by 50cms wide and the soundproofing insulation is £20 for a roll that is 12 metres long by 40cms wide and we sell cans of high temperature spray adhesive.

Westcountry Campervans

Insulation, soundproofing, ply lining, vinyl floors, carpeting, windows, Cannon's Forge rock n roll beds, campervan conversions and much more!!

Anonymous's picture
2001 MWB Sprinter

Hi all,

I just bought a 2001 MWB Mercedes Sprinter with the intention of convert to a camper-van. So I am just starting the all process and as you all imagine I have many questions, but I have to go levels, so I need to know about the right insulation cold/hot thermal for the van. But before I need to ask something:is it right if before anything put waxoyl on the van?does this product is going to be OK with the other materials like thermawrap, Celotex or Kingspan? I mean is not going to affect the glue or sticky stuff?

All help it will be appreciated,

Best regards,


Sorry for the hijack, but I

Sorry for the hijack, but I was wondering if the cheap wicks foil would form a vapour barrier?


I'm doing things on a budget sadly, so can't afford to do it all in Kingspan. Would a layer of this, followed by some loft insulation do a reasonable job and add a bit of soundproofing?

It will go so way to forming

It will go so way to forming a vapour barrier. It's good stuff, insulates heat well.
I wouldn't use normal loft insulation. it's not designed to be used in an area where people breath. it's not good for the lungs. I have used the safe alternative, which is made from recycled plastic bottles. It's way nicer, but can be more expensive. Polystyrene is safer than rockwool insulation.


Thanks for the tip...it

Thanks for the tip...it doesn't look that expensive either.

How have you done the floor? I use my van for quite a lot of outdoor stuff, so even if I'm careful, I'm still going to be getting water on the floor sometimes and I could see that foam getting a bit minging.

My floor is a thick piece of

My floor is a thick piece of plywood with kitchen vinyl flooring fitted on top. Best floor in my opinion. Totally water proof, easy to clean, light, strong, cheap. I didn't insulate my floor, as it's mostly summer use. Sometimes wish I had though.

I was thinking of using vinyl

I was thinking of using vinyl for that reason. If you were to put insulation under it, what would you use?

I would use Celotex/Kingspan,

I would use Celotex/Kingspan, although cheaper versions are on eBay. Probably 25mm. Make a wooden frame and fill the gaps with the insulation. Cover the frame with Plywood. Careful not to loose to much headroom.

Anonymous's picture
Re Insulation

How did the guy get on with the expanding foam? I'm thinking of going down that route with my T25...

Anonymous's picture
Expanding foam

I converted an old Vauxhall Midi into a camper a few years ago and filled behind all the panels with expandofoam. Did the job and deadened the sound well, got in all the nooks and crannies. Considering the Midi's tendency to rust, I think the foam actually helped keep it together in some places! The thing about expandofoam though is that it swells up a lot more than you think it will... If the lining isn't made of thick ply and you put too much in, it starts looking like the incredible hulk's t-shirt, and then it sets and stays like that! You have to make sure there's no moisture trapped anywhere in the void or it'll be there forever, or until it rots its way out.
Expandofoam also created another quite unexpected problem; I left the van in a car park for a month, and when I came back to it noticed a family of mice had moved in and burrowed into the insulation, couldn't get into the void for easy inspection so ended up having to hack massive chunks out of the stuff to get at them. Took ages and really messy, was still finding bits a year later!
So, in summary, worked quite well but really impinges on your ability to get into the voids if need arises; am intending to use a combination of foil laminated bubble wrap and Kingspan in current T4 conversion.

Re Insulation

Well I opted for the 25mm thick polystyrene as this was what the Bailey caravan I broke up was insulated with , I also added a vapor barrier prior to ply lining

Anonymous's picture
Van Insulation

Having shopped around for insulation we're now totally confused by which poduct to use for the best. We know now after reading many review not to use Rockwool or sheepswool because of condenstion. Interested in using the foil lined bubble wrap, would that be enough or do you need the sound insulation also. Could anyone advise on instalation and insulation please?

It depends on your budget,

It depends on your budget, and your intended use.

For the best insulation for for Kingspan/Celotex. Polystyrene is a cheaper alternative. These all damped sound. Save money by shopping around (eBay). You'll need these for winter use.

The bubble wrap stuff is good. Great for the bits where you can't get Kingspan. Great for the whole van if you want to save money. Good for summer, not the best for winter.

B&Q do a recycled plastic bottle rockwoll type material, that is great for the hard to reach places.

Anonymous's picture

Hi I have just bought a 1997 Toyota Hiace and have just spent the best part of a week trying to get a very sticky sponge like material off of the roof. I am now at the stage of insulating. For all of those experienced converters am i right in thinking i can now attach some polystyrene to the roof, then foil bubble insulation on top and finally use batons to attach ply on top? sorry for all the questions

Anonymous's picture
gettting the material off the roof of a hiace

i am going to insulate my hiace and was wondering if you have any advice on removing the roof liner before i get into it?


Yes, that will work fine.

Yes, that will work fine. The two layers of insulation will work well.

Anonymous's picture

should i put the bubble first then the polystyrene and then bubble again? a little confused as to what goes where. I was told that polystyrene collects moisture so do i sandwich it between 2 pieces of the foil bubble insulation?

Anonymous's picture
insulation continued

also is it ok to place the foil near cables?? ie electrics near foil.

If you have enough foil wrap

If you have enough foil wrap I would wrap the polystyrene, as this will isolate it and give more insulation. Electric cables are fine amongst the foil, as the cables are insulated and low voltage. Always route your cables carefully though, and don't get then pinched.

Anonymous's picture
new van conversion

I have got a large layland daff 3.5 tonne - it is already part converted - poorly done tho, so I am having to pull it all out to redo it.
my question is - I have a lot of condensation coming from the roof (not sure what material you call it but it is slightly see through ) not sure what insulation to use on it and the method to do so.
this is all very new to me but a long time dream so would appreciate any advise
thank you

depending on intended usage...

I would go for foil bubble wrap if using for "summer" only and consider the celotech / kinspan insulation boards if wanting to use year round.

I hear there is a recycled plastic fibre product that is recommended also - if you have lots of areas that are difficult to access this may be well worth a look at.

I soundproofed my van first - used flashbanding but it was a bit pricey - so suggest looking at the specialist deadening material available.

I have 20mm thick celotech in the roof, lots of layers of foil buble wrap in the boxed sections where I couldn't use the celotech and a layer of bubble wrap glued to my plywood (acts as vapour barrier as well as one last peice of insulation).

Need to have the window open in summer as it's too hot most of the time.

any areas you do not insulate will condensate - I have one boxed section I need to break into - so take your time.

it took me a long time using the celotech - foil bubble would be faster, so would the plstic fibres i think - and you can just add more layers of the bubble wrap until you have the desired insulation effect..

all the best.

Anonymous's picture
Insulating renault master

Converting my 2nd van. I do summer and winters In the alps.
Best solutions I've found.....
Roof.....double sided foil bubble wrap, then celotex, then plastic sheet moisture barrier.
Walls...double sided foil bubble wrap, then celotex in the easy square parts, recycled plastic loft insulation in the tricky bits, then plastic sheet moisture barrier.
Floor...double sided foil bubble wrap, then 25mm polystyrene sheets between battens, then ply then carpet.
2 rood vents with fans to help ventilation.
Bulkhead and doors same as walls.
Hope this helps

Anonymous's picture
Housewrap + Sheep's Wool?

Hello and goodevening everyone!  I’ve recently bought a van but I am thoroughly confused (and paranoid) any option I pic will just lead to a van that will have a rusted future.

I’ve been leaning towards a rigid polyiso foam paneling with an interior reflectix or similar radiant barrier up but have been weary of any areas I can’t cover with the rigid foam (spray foam is still intimidating at this point due to it's permanence and notoriety any trapped liquid).

New idea with the use of sheep’s wool; has anyone tried using a house wrap liner as an air/water (but not vapor) barrier? Maybe add a second housewrap liner on the interior wall as well? The wool would still be able to breathe through either sides? Sorry still learning!

Thank you for your comments and your posts! They have all been very educational.

Anonymous's picture
Me too!

I'm looking for natural insulation ideas and have come across Hemp (SEE LINK: https://www.celticsustainables.co.uk/insulation/). I wonder whether it would have less issues with moisture retainment?

Anonymous's picture
wool for insulating van

I'm hearing conflicting advice regarding using sheeps wool for insulation. People suggest it will hold moisture but if it is able to breathe will it not dry out? I was hoping to just stuff it in behind the plywood lining of the van and we have access to sheeps fleeces for free from local farmers.
Any thoughts or advice?

Anonymous's picture
wool for insulating van

Oh yes, another idea was to bag the wool into bin bags and seal them so the wool can't get damp...
would this be ok? or is condensation likely to get trapped between the plastic and the van walls?

Anonymous's picture
Camping mats

Hi, I would avoid using loft insulation as, as you mentioned, is prone to trap moisture. For my van i've used some cheap foam camping mats as insulation + double foil bubble wrap as a moisture barrier. You can find a step by step guide on how to do it here https://pamthevan.com

Anonymous's picture
Hi all I understand it can be

Hi all I understand it can be very confusing and it is good to see it is not just me with all the questions. After much deliberation and research I have stripped my van back ( Movano ) and sound deadened the wall panels and doors using flashband. I am bow about to proceed with reflectix on the metal to avoid any condensation regardless of negativity I have encountered I tend to see more positive than negative. Then follow up with celotex and a vapour barrier. I shall put a little reflectix between the edges of the celotex to avoid squeaking when in motion. Good luck all. remember you are following your dream and not to dilly dally to long. Happy discovering

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