All year fun in a camper

Insulation in a camper is not just for winter.

OK, so the sun’s not out. It’s often rainy, and not that hot. Typical (some might say) UK weather. This does not stop me enjoying driving my camper, whatever the weather! When I first got it, I made sure to add both thermal and acoustic insulation to it. Mine was never going to be some summer sunshine, dry days only show bus. I enjoy driving it. Changes in seasons won’t stop that! #DrivenNotHidden

driven not hidden whatever the weather
driven not hidden whatever the weather

My top recommendations for camper insulation

That said, to enjoy to the max all year round, there are few things I would highly recommend doing to your camper…

  • Sound insulation
    OK, not really winter prep, but do this before you add the thermal insulation. Your ears (and any passengers) will thank you for doing this. It will make any journey a far more pleasurable experience!
  • Thermal insulation
    Obvious, but once you’ve added some sound insulation, get busy fitting some good quality thermal insulation on top of that. It really can make all the difference.
  • A Heating system that works!
    Get good pair of (original) heat exchangers. If you’re driving an air-cooled vehicle, this makes a world of difference. Repros do not compare in terms of quality or heat output. Heating and demisting your front screen, what’s not to like!
  • A Buttys Bits 12v two speed wiper motor (with self-parking)
    So the standard wipers are not the best in the world, but having a silent, better quality 12v, two speed motor (with self-parking) makes a massive difference when driving in the rain. You can actually see where you are going. Plus the wipers self-park in the right place, not in the middle of your screen!
  • Good wax polish like Collinite 476
    Makes rain simply bead and runoff. Perfect for all year round protection!

Sound Insulation… speak up a bit, I can’t hear you!

You know it makes sense! Before getting stuck in with the thermal insulation, add some sound insulation to your camper! Do it once, do it right. You will never hopefully see it again, but the benefits are with you 24/7, all year round. It’s an upgrade that keeps on giving!

getting the acoustic insulation fitted on the drivers side long panel
getting the acoustic insulation fitted on the drivers side long panel

On any journey or road trip, reducing the road noise makes such a difference. Plus if you enjoy listening to tunes whilst driving, they will sound way better too! You can even talk (rather than shout) to any passengers you have with you. Yes, that is also an advantage too! 😉

sound insulation fitted over the rear engine bulkhead area, very Star Wars Darth Vader esq.
sound insulation fitted over the rear engine bulkhead area, very Star Wars Darth Vader esq.

A difference you can actually feel and hear

Adding both thermal and acoustic insulation to the camper have been some of the best upgrades I have done to the bus.

 

Sometimes you can change or upgrade things and not actually notice that much difference afterwards. Not in this case. Adding good thermal and acoustic insulation has really made a huge difference in using the camper!

Thermal insulation… hmmmm, warm and toasty in the camper

There are plenty of options in terms of thermal insulation. I went for something a little different. Actis Triso Super 10+ is multi-foil insulation that provides brilliant thermal efficiency and is only 35mm thick! Certified as the equivalent of 210mm of mineral wool by BM TRADA Certification! Basically 210mm of insulation effectiveness that’s only 35mm thick!

adding thermal insulation to be prepared for whatever the weather
adding thermal insulation to be prepared for whatever the weather

Super 10+ is certified for use in a roof construction as equivalent to 210mm mineral wool, which conforms to EN 13162, and has a declared thermal conductivity of λD = 0,04 W/m.K (Q-Mark certificate BIPS-0104). Actis insulation products prevent heat loss through drafts and air leakage, reflect natural radiation, are impervious to water droplets, and, through the use of layers of foam and wadding, contain the effects of conduction within the insulation itself.

Triso-Super 10 plus reflective multi-foil insulation
Triso-Super 10 plus reflective multi-foil insulation

Product Benefits

  • Efficient both in summer and winter
  • Space-saving 30mm thick!
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Flexible can fit the most difficult of roofs
  • Durable – will not sag, moisture resistant
  • Non-irritant, hypoallergenic
  • Airtight and weather resistant.
  • Saves surface area and living space.
the Triso Super 10 Plus thermal insulation metal taped into position
the Triso Super 10 Plus thermal insulation metal taped into position

It comes in a pretty large roll, 1.6m x 10m if I remember correctly, and I found that a roll of this was sufficient to do the whole bus. Roof, doors, side panels etc.

no need for tin foil hats inside the bus now!
no need for tin foil hats inside the bus now!

Camping in the bus at Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland, with sub-zero overnight temperatures and waking to snow on the roof, certainly made my wife and I both really glad that we had done this with our camper!

waking up to snow on the roof of the camper was a bit of a shock first thing
waking up to snow on the roof of the camper was a bit of a shock first thing

Simply add heat for happiness

Classic air-cooled vehicles used heat exchangers to provide a heating system for the vehicle. The original factory heat exchangers were pretty good. Repros, not so much! If the originals and kept in good working order, they are a pretty efficient way of keeping you warm.

a good solid pair of used original heat exchangers from FBIVW
a good solid pair of used original heat exchangers from FBIVW

I recently sourced a pair of original heat exchangers to add to my engine. The difference and heat output is amazing!

passenger side original VW heat exchanger fitted and connected up
passenger side original VW heat exchanger fitted and connected up

When fitting them, check the insulation is still in place for the heating pipe that carries the heat from the engine up to the front. This helps with the overall efficiency of the system.

the original VW heat exchangers then pump the heat up to the front of the bus
the original VW heat exchangers then pump the heat up to the front of the bus

Seeing where you’re going… it’s the future!

I have a thing about liking clear and clean windscreens. So adding a Buttys Bits 2 speed 12v motor with self parking wipers was high on my wish list when it came out. It did not disappoint. As with all of Buttys products, it helps a lot! With the sound insulation fitted and the near silent 12v motor operation, the wiper system was totally transformed! Nice one Simon!

quality twin speed 12v wiper motor from Buttys Bits
quality twin speed 12v wiper motor from Buttys Bits

Like water off a duck’s back

Protection of the bus with a good quality wax is pretty essential living in the UK. For this, I highly recommend Collinite 476 wax, it’s absolutely brilliant stuff. Easy to apply and detergent proof. Collinite Super Doublecoat is guaranteed to outlast and outshine any other competitive auto wax, polish or protective coating under any conceivable condition.

Original paint buses need looking after and Collinite 476 wax is ace!
Original paint buses need looking after and Collinite 476 wax is ace!

That’s why it’s called the permanent auto wax. No hard rubbing or buffing and no special applicator is required. Collinite Super Doublecoat will last a full year, even under adverse conditions. Clearcoat safe.

Good timing, as you can see, the waxing works a treat!
Good timing, as you can see, the waxing works a treat!

Don’t forget your FREE present!

As it’s nearly the end of the year now, if you haven’t already grabbed yourself this years FREE 2020 calendar, don’t forget to go grab yourselves one!

If you like the calendar, it would be fun to see where in the world they end up. So how about sending me some pics of it in its final location? You could post them up on the vdubxs facebook page or even share them onto the vdubxs Instagram account? It would be fun to see where they’ve ended up!

Whatever you do, have a great Christmas and a brilliant New Year!

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