Insulation & Keeping Warm

May 15, 2016
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Hi All,

We have decide to site our Bailey Barcelona Caravan this season. 1st March - 30th November. I was wandering what is the best way to try and insulate during the colder periods. Is their a recommended reflective flooring insulation you can use? Is it worth lagging the pipes etc?

Thanks
 
Nov 11, 2009
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With its existing insulation plus heating system it should be able to attain a comfortable heat especially since it’s not deep winter. I’ve never had a more modern caravan where I felt the need for additional insulation.
Are you living off grid without 240 v electrics for heating? In which case insulation would reduce your heating costs for gas.
 
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Jul 20, 2016
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We are going seasonal too this year for the same dates, also metered electric. I’ve done winter caravanning for the past two years and found the heating/insulation to be absolutely fine.
Heating wise, we have blown air heating. I leave it on low overnight, and turn it up during the day. Keeps us perfectly warm enough!
I plan to drain down my water system for the earlier part of the season whilst frost is still about, and if we are not going for a week or two.
When I’m not at the caravan, I will disconnect my water supply and store the aquaroll. To be honest, on cooler nights in the summer I find the oven whacks out a fair bit of heat when cooking tea, so don’t think I’ll be using the heating that much after April/May time.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Any additional insulation will help reduce heat loss but it wont stop it completely, and whilst the standard insulation will allow the caravans heating system to cope with most of what the UK's spring summer and Autumn will throw at it when your there, whilst its unoccupied and unheated between holidays, it will not be protected from frost.
 
Sep 16, 2018
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When we had a static I glued 25mm fire retardant polystyrene sheet under the floor which transformed the van in cooler weather. Modern tourers have far better insulation, but probably not on the floor so you might find that useful.

However I have no idea if my method would be ok for a tourer on the move, you might end up shedding environmentaly unfriendly foam along the road, but there are probably alternative materials. Incidentally it was a horrible job to do.
 
May 15, 2016
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I appreciate I can turn up the heating, but on extra layers of clothing. I was simply asking for alternatives in keeping the van insulated, by being greener, with some form of insulated reflective carpet/underlay....
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mandarin said:
When we had a static I glued 25mm fire retardant polystyrene sheet under the floor which transformed the van in cooler weather. Modern tourers have far better insulation, but probably not on the floor so you might find that useful.
Hello Mandarin,

Since then 1970's most if not all touring caravan floors have been constructed using a double wall fitted with a foam, and typically have been about 35mm or thicker.

More recently floors have used bonded construction which will have further improved the insulative effect of the foam. And whilst there will always some heat loss through the floor construction, it's probably not worth adding more insulation, as most losses will be through the required ventilation, and the walls roof and windows.

Unfortunately this form of floor construction can start to delaminate usually in high use areas or where there has been a water ingress problem.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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alphapets said:
I appreciate I can turn up the heating, but on extra layers of clothing. I was simply asking for alternatives in keeping the van insulated, by being greener, with some form of insulated reflective carpet/underlay....
Hi your post came whilst I was answering Mandarin's point.

I imagine your hoping your caravan would be as thermally comfortable as your living room at home. If so then I'm sorry but it's not going to happen, because of a number of factors. But the two main reasons are the lack of thermal mass of a caravan, and the amount of legally required ventilation.

Most of our homes are built of bricks and concrete. Whilst both of these materials sent the best insulators, they generally have enough thickness to provide a decent temperature barrier. It's far from perfect which is one reason why cavity walls and later additional insulation became mandatory. But it's a characteristic of the materials to accumulate heat, and will pay some of it back if the room looses it's primary heat source.

The wooden surfaces in caravans have by comparison very little capability to accumulate heat, so whilst they are insulative, they don't pay back any where as much heat either.

The other game changer is the amount of ventilation which is large compared to room in a modern home, which means the caravan will still seem to go from warm to cool and vice versa comparatively quickly.

Because of the low thermal mass of caravans you receive most heat through the temperature of the air, where as in houses a lot more radiated heat from both the radiators but also low level radiation From walls, floors and ceilings. This keeps a more even "feel" to the comfort, at home, but in the caravan the warmed air has a greater tendency to collect at the ceiling level, leaving it much cooler at floor level, unless you have something to stir it up, such as a blown hot air system.

For comfort you might consider some form of under floor heating. This would remove the cold to touch sensation, and it can provide a useful background heat. A quick Google for heated floor mats reveals there are some available, and might be good in a caravan.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I think your suggestion re a carpet underlay could be a simple approach. If your van has sectional removable carpets it would be quite simple to cut out some foam underlay to match the shapes.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I think your suggestion re a carpet underlay could be a simple approach. If your van has sectional removable carpets it would be quite simple to cut out some foam underlay to match the shapes. But don’t expect a dramatic effect.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Are you allowed to leave draught skirts on both sides. Assumming you have rail both sides. If you could also reduce (but not block entirely) the draught going front to back then this would probably help.

Never tried this, but it just occurs to me that if you bought sufficient draught skirt to go all the way around the van, the you could start at the wheel on one side, secure with guy rope and peg, go around leaving the rail on one side under the back, and into the rail on the other, across the other wheel, out of the rail and across the front, back in the rail and back to the wheel. Obviously you will have some sag front and back. Don’t know how much this will be, may be too much. On the other hand you do need some ventilation under the van.
Could be a brilliant idea. Could be a rubbish plan.
Mel
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mel said:
Are you allowed to leave draught skirts on both sides. Assumming you have rail both sides. If you could also reduce (but not block entirely) the draught going front to back then this would probably help.

Never tried this, but it just occurs to me that if you bought sufficient draught skirt to go all the way around the van, the you could start at the wheel on one side, secure with guy rope and peg, go around leaving the rail on one side under the back, and into the rail on the other, across the other wheel, out of the rail and across the front, back in the rail and back to the wheel. Obviously you will have some sag front and back. Don’t know how much this will be, may be too much. On the other hand you do need some ventilation under the van.
Could be a brilliant idea. Could be a rubbish plan.
Mel
Hello Mel
Using a draught skirt cold be useful, but if anyone has a heater with an underfloor flue (i.e. Carver?Truma 1800 series space heaters or the Carver Cascade Mk 1) then you must keep at least three sides of the caravan unobstructed.
 
Jul 21, 2020
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Hi All,

We have decide to site our Bailey Barcelona Caravan this season. 1st March - 30th November. I was wandering what is the best way to try and insulate during the colder periods. Is their a recommended reflective flooring insulation you can use? Is it worth lagging the pipes etc?

Thanks
Hello there , I have just signed up to the forum particularly because we have just bought a2010 ABIVista Platinum static caravan, which only seems to have one this sheet of aluminium foil under the floor, and I have been looking for advice on what is sensible and manageable to install to minimise heat loss in winter. Did you ever install insulation?? I have been looking at reflective aluminium foil with recycled p
Hi All,

We have decide to site our Bailey Barcelona Caravan this season. 1st March - 30th November. I was wandering what is the best way to try and insulate during the colder periods. Is their a recommended reflective flooring insulation you can use? Is it worth lagging the pipes etc?

Thanks
... called Low-E perforated foil, which looks pretty good. Any comments please??
 
Nov 16, 2015
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To be honest I have never heard of this, we "Try to get away" allyear round and have never found the caravan to be cold we run the heat during the day at whatever tempm is comfortable and set it at 12c during the night and at 7 am it comes back on at 18c so its toasty when we get up for a shower.
 
May 7, 2012
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The caravan should be fine as it is. The caravan will have ventilation required to keep you safe so do not block this. If the fridge is not fitted very well you might get a draft from this and you can take whatever action is needed to stop that and in cold weather fit the additional baffles over the vents as they will not require the air flow the fridge needed in Summer.
I would hope there is no piping under the caravan but if there is you can lag this.
You could try some underlay under the carpet, but never having used this I cannot say if it is effective.
Possibly removing the curtains and replacing them with thicker lined ones, or adding a thermal lining will help after dark.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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I think it worth mentioning that the original post was made back in 2019, this has been resurrected by PVista yesterday and is regarding a static caravan, not a touring van.

The whole dynamics are different, Static vans are really just posh garden sheds with cladding, they have nowhere near the same construction or heat retention qualities as they are much bigger and usually have wet domestic type central heating.

As far as floor insulation is concerned, there is little, but some owners have fitted insulating panels of Kingspan or similar, to what effect I do not know, but it has to be somewhat better than nothing.
Care must of course be taken regarding any vents in the floor, not to block them, and access is not the best unless you are built like a racing snake !!!!
 
May 2, 2020
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Hello there , I have just signed up to the forum particularly because we have just bought a2010 ABIVista Platinum static caravan, which only seems to have one this sheet of aluminium foil under the floor, and I have been looking for advice on what is sensible and manageable to install to minimise heat loss in winter. Did you ever install insulation?? I have been looking at reflective aluminium foil with recycled p

... called Low-E perforated foil, which looks pretty good. Any comments please??
Hi and welcome
The OP was about a touring caravan on a seasonal pitch (March to November) you have a static and asking about winter use, these are different in many ways.,as Damian said Kingspan under the caravan would help insulation, however I would recommend asking other people on site or looking at a static caravan forum as the advise you get could be contradictory on touring caravan and motorhome forums.
 
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Sep 16, 2018
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As I wrote in reply to the OP we had great success with 25mm polystyrene (non flammable) glued under the floor with no more nails. A horrible job for which we borrowed a mechanics rolling platform to lie on but it did make a significant difference.
If its not winterised by the manufacturer the walls and ceiling will have virtually no insulation and there's not much you can do about that unless your prepared to clad the interior walls and ceiling with some sort of insulation board.
 

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