Insulate Your RV Floor – Part One

Tie Downs & Wheel Wells

Laying the floor of a conversion van, creates a level foundation to build the interior onto and offers the opportunity to add insulation, which is a vital part of any conversion.

In preparation for the main part of this project, we’ll take out the tie-downs to save some weight and apply some sound deadening materials to the wheel wells.

Around the cargo area of the van are nine sturdy tie downs/anchors, that are very convenient if you use the van to transport goods, but utterly useless in a conversion van, where they serve no purpose and only add unnecessary weight. As these tie downs are connected to the van’s walls through threaded taps and not nuts, some use these holes to bolt the sub-floor to; I’m using a different method and will dispose of them completely. With a wrench and the right socket, all nine of them can be taken out in a matter of minutes.

Another issue is the wheel wells. They will be insulated against heat and cold at a later stage, but I want to add some sound/noise reducing materials, before the sub-floor is laid. Products like FatMat primarily reduce noise that is transmitted through vibration; to improve sound absorption inside my future RV, I will add heat insulation later, that also has sound absorption properties.

Since these products are quite expensive, I use Peel & Seal, a cheaper alternative that is used by some DIY upfitters. Some however say that it releases obnoxious fumes during the installation, in fact, the contrary was true in my experience. That was not true for the plywood sheets I had stored in my van: they released very noticeable glue-like fumes for two or more weeks.

peel sealI bought a 6 inch x 25 ft roll that ultimately covered both wheel wells, both inside the cargo area as inside the walls of the vehicle. I primarily used a small seam roller and a screen spline roller to apply the rubber material and a utility knife, tape measure, a small broom and some rubbing alcohol or alcohol swabs to clean the surfaces.

With the anchors removed and the wheel wells covered, the next step in this project is to create paper templates for the plywood and application of the insulation material. Only then, the plywood is applied and fastened to the floor of the vehicle.

This was only the first step in preparation to lay the insulated floor in the van; each step will be documented in great detail and published as a complete project. As with my other projects, the Insulated Floor Project can be viewed at the project page and you can download the complete FREE guide, after the project is finalized.

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