Designing the van part 3 – Insulating the Walls

There is a logical process to building a van. I only see that now after doing it because at the time of getting started your head is filled with ideas that you can hardly keep track of so it’s important to plan carefully, keep a list going and always have a pen and paper handy to add new ideas as you go along.

Having cleaned the inside of our campervan to be I was then faced with the task of insulating the walls and fitting wood panels to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

I opted for Kapok insulation, a type of stuffing made from the hair fibres of the Kapok Tree which is prevalent in India and South American countries. The trees grow to around 50m in height and are a member of the Bombax family and is also known as the Silk Cotton Tree.

I coured the internet and local building suppliers for a cheap source of the stuff and after some reasonable quotes and some ridiculous demands I found a supplier who sold me three packs for just shy of £50. The going rate at most places was around £24 per pack so I felt I’d got a good deal.

Fitting the Kapok was a very simple job, the width of each section in the van roughly the same as a length of the insulation which made the job a lot less complicated. I spray glued the walls of the van and the back of the Kapok then stuck them in.

There were some pieces which needed cutting to shape but a very sharp Stanley knife took care of that and the whole job probably took an afternoon to complete.

There were little bits that were left over got stuffed down inside the struts that give the van its structure. Those hollow beams would have been a nightmare in the winter had they not been filled as they would allow heat to conduct through the outside walls of the van. Filling them was a wise move.

With all the insulation finally in place I moved onto the daunting task of fitting the panels.

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