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 > Foam board in truck bed?

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mark_be

Belgium

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Posted: 03/09/11 02:07am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello,

I have a question about winter improving the camper. It's probably a dumb question, but I'll ask it anyway.

Would it be a good idea to place foam board insulation in the truck bed and the camper on top of that to improve the basement insulation? My thought is that if you insulate the metal camper underbody from the metal of the truck bed, it might keep the basement a bit warmer when camping in wintertime. Metal is a cold-magnet, so the less metal the better, I would think.

Is there anyone who has done this? I don't seem to find anything about that. (that's why I think it must be stupid)


Greets,
Mark


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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 03/09/11 02:19am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

While insulation under the camper is probably not going to do anything but get smashed to a thin non-insulating board, putting insulation in between the camper and sidewall of the pickup bed might reduce some heat loss, however that is only at most 16" of the 8' tall outter wall of the truck, so not much heat is escaping from the camper to the truck bed. More heat is lost out the sidewalls, roof vents, and cracks in the sidewalls and windows.

To heat the camper effectively without using battery power, consider a 3,000 Btu Olympic Catalytic heater. It does not use any electric power, just propane. You have to leave a window and roof vent slightly open, and the heater runs all the time, until you shut it off, so there is constant heat, like a fireplace.

I use a 6,000 Btu Olypmic heater to keep my 30 foot (10M) RV at 68F (20C) when the outside temperature is around 32F or 0C. Below that temperature, I will run my furnace a little bit, mostly to circulate the heat.

I also have Reflex insulation for my windows, more to block out the sunlight, and summer heat than to keep in the winter heat. However it works as R-4 insulation, about twice what a camper sidewall is insulated to.

Someone posted pictures of their camper, after they lined all the storage compartments with Reflex, and around the fresh water tank, ect.

Another person hooked up a pipe system to their water heater, so that hot water is drawn into the top of this heater loop, it cools off inside the camper, and gets heavier, then returns to the cold inlet of the water heater by gravity. While this will work slowly to heat the RV, it is at best a 6,000 Btu heater. Silent and no power required to move the water, it is a little bulky, and no fan to distribute the heat.

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wittmeba

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Posted: 03/09/11 05:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What Golden_HVAC suggests makes sense. Insulation works on a principle of air/gap between medias.

You might consider some insulation that could be attached to the areas of your camper where it wont get ripped/torn/knocked off while putting your camper into your truck. Some 1" foam might do some good it you can keep it attached to the sidewall areas of the camper inside the bed.


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JohnJM

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Posted: 03/09/11 07:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you get the high density foam insulation it will not crush. It will take on any irregularity of the bed or camper bottom. but it wont really compress.

We used a couple inches of foam to raise our old camper over the cab. probably put 40,000 miles on that foam and never had any problem at all. If you do a search here for a spacer to get the camper up over the cab youll see many other also used foam that way and had no issues. ITs light easy and cheap to do.


John M

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Posted: 03/09/11 04:43am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Metal to metal is darn cold. But I think using a heavy duty rubber bed mat would do just as good plus aid in keeping the camper from sliding around.

I winter camp and have camped in as low as 20 below 0. My camper is an older pop up. I use hard board insulation on the inside of the canvas. Once I put new weather stripping on the door and sealed up a huge cold draft under the sink with expanding foam, it doesn't do bad at all!!!


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midnightsadie

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Posted: 03/09/11 07:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

every bit helps, find those air leaks will do the most good.

Raften

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Posted: 03/09/11 12:12pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have done it and it did seem to help in winter a bit, hard to tell for sure. However, I have blue lettering on my truck bed where it bled off the foam board, same for the bottom of the TC. Slowly going away with washing but still there somewhat after five years. I had it under the rubber mat which seemed to be the best configuration at the time.

Raften

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Posted: 03/09/11 01:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Photomike wrote:



Other thing that I would love to have if my TC was high enough is a ceiling fan to push the hot air from the ceiling down to the floor.


I use small 12 volt muffin fans to do that. Mount them on a stick and run wires to a small 12 volt battery. That way I can move it around and keep it out of the way. I mostly use it at night to push warm air over the cat heater toward the bed area.

Photomike

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Posted: 03/09/11 12:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have put the foam under the TC and it does not crush if you get the more dense foam. Does it add anything to the R value, not to sure as all you are doing it separating the metal but you still have metal in the TC that will conduct the cold from the outside to the inside. I figure that it would not hurt and the cost was only about $20.00.

As others have said insulate other places (side walls), check for cracks, add storm windows (plastic or plexi), weather strip the door, add a blanket in front of the door, put inserts into the roof vents, add carpeting and underlay, etc.

If I did more winter camping I would add a vented cat heater for the main heat and run the furnace only for back-up.

Other thing that I would love to have if my TC was high enough is a ceiling fan to push the hot air from the ceiling down to the floor.


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Posted: 03/09/11 12:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JohnJM wrote:

If you get the high density foam insulation it will not crush. It will take on any irregularity of the bed or camper bottom. but it wont really compress.

We used a couple inches of foam to raise our old camper over the cab. probably put 40,000 miles on that foam and never had any problem at all. If you do a search here for a spacer to get the camper up over the cab youll see many other also used foam that way and had no issues. ITs light easy and cheap to do.


Information Correct...I've done the exact same thing to clear top side of rear bumper...4'x 8'x 1" high density foam board (w/silver foil) from Lowes...About $17, carries my 4,700-4,800 (loaded to go) camper quite well, Holds up (no deflection) extremely well over thousands of miles.

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