Insulation & Flooring

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Insulating

We wanted to ensure that a cold Canadian winter wouldn’t stop our travel plans so we got to work on a solid layer of insulation. There a few ways to go about it, but we had one free bail of ‘pink fluff’ and had seen enough lumpy vans to know the 100% spray foam route had its disadvantages. So, we combined methods.

We put 1.5 inches of rigid foam on the floor, 2 inches of rigid foam in the main wall cavities (secured with spray foam), filled upper and lower wall cavities with the ‘pink stuff’, put 2 inches rigid foam (spray foam borders) on the ceiling, and filled the odd leftover areas with spray foam. To help slow heat loss from the cab, we made a pillow of ‘pink stuff’ in a Reflectix envelope sealed with tuck tape and slid it between the liner and the roof. We have no way of knowing if it’s been effective, but we like to think it has. The only place we could have added more insulation was around the wheel wells where we ended up having frost issues.

Once every cavity was filled, we covered everything in a layer of Reflectix and sealed the edges with tuck tape. Care was taken to mark where the fan and electrical components would be coming through. We also marked anchor points where we intended to bolt down the walls and cabinetry.

Fun Fact: we used rivet nuts in all of the factory holes to create bolt-points so we didn’t have to screw into the van body. This means there won’t be any rusty shavings hiding in the walls and the van won’t look like Swiss cheese if it is ever converted it back.

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Laying The Floor

After gluing down the rigid foam and laying half-inch plywood sheets, we cut and laid the thickest (and prettiest) vinyl flooring we could find in Stratford. It wasn’t cheap, but it was unlikely to cut or wear for over a decade, and it was so heavy it didn’t need to be glued down with smelly gross toxic flooring glue. Win! The edges were finished with regualar aluminum stair nosing. We laid it down in one big sheet and caulked the edges, ensuring that any spills or dirt wouldn’t find its way into an unreachable space.

To this day, our tiny home has kept us cool in the summer, warm and dry in the winter, and we’re still not sick of looking at the design we chose.