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Author Topic: Canopy Insulation  (Read 1653 times)
powtothepeople
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Canopy Insulation
« on: 12/07/09, 12:35 PM »

I'm working on a little project. I'm going to insulate my truck canopy for winter camping and am trying to find the best approach. Does anybody out there have experience with this type of project?

My first plan was to use spray foam b/c its efficient and will seal gaps, ect. However this will be pretty spendy (think $230 for appropriate sized kit, with some fudge factor).

Second plan is to use a form of foil bubble wrap type material. For ~$115 I could do two layers, with a small air gap inbetween. And use the small can of spray foam for the seams, ect.

Would the spray foam be worth twice the cost, is there another option I've missed?

I'm sure someone's done something similar, or has thought about it.

Thanks, Jon
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wooley12
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #1 on: 12/07/09, 03:19 PM »

You might cost out rigid foam insulation. Comes in different thicknesses at the big box stores. Cuts easy with an electric carving knife. Stick it on with panel adhesive made for foam. Might "outgas" bad stuff but I don't know. Check on how flamable so be careful with your candles, stove. Cover with cheap paneling and  previous cautions not an issue but I'd still want some ventilation.
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powtothepeople
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #2 on: 12/07/09, 03:45 PM »

I was thinking that rigid foam would be hard to get a good fit, and the corners might be odd. But that pain in the ass might be worth $50... I'll have to check.

I'm also operating under the assumption that it will be hard to insulate it well, and that ventilation won't be a primary issue. My main concern is to stay warm. I'd rather crack a window than need six blankets, or a new sleeping bag

Thanks

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Jon Garrison
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #3 on: 12/07/09, 04:41 PM »

If you are able to filter out the noise, this thread has good info:

http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169864

I have a regular canopy and a sleeping platform that robs me of about a foot of height, so I chose to skip the insulation to maximize headroom. Good bag and cozy partner are the keys.
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StormLady
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #4 on: 12/07/09, 07:16 PM »

I, too, had a sleeping platform in my truck bed(s), in which I spent MANY nights out over the years.  Some insulation might be good, but I agree, not too much or you lose too much headroom.  I like the foil-bubble idea.

1)  I would strongly recommend gluing or spraying some kind of fabric/felt inside the canopy (or your insulation surface).  My first truck came this way; second truck did not.  Boy, did I learn how critical that was!  Condensation dripping on you in the middle of the night and soaking your bag is very unpleasant.  Insulating would of course help this, but I would still put some kind of felt layer over it to retain and re-evaporate any condensate.

2) I never insulated the canopy, but having good insulation under you, even on a platform, is crucial.  A sleeping pad is not enough.  A thick, dense foam pad over a big piece of foil-bubble insulation is my favorite combination.  Then a big thick down bag wrapped in a wool blanket is downright cozy, even at -10F in an Alberta Rockies snowstorm.  Of course, company can be awfully nice, too!

3) One or two candle lanterns hangiing from the roof heat the back amazingly well as you're going to bed and when you want to get up, even with a window partially open.
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jdclimber
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #5 on: 12/07/09, 08:25 PM »

Foam board should do the trick, pretty cheap, I would think under $100. Home Depot. Will be good for walls, floor and roof, and can be removed fairly easily, they make a version of liquid nails in tubes that don't melt the foamboard. I would go with 2 inch or 3 basically throughout. Also some carpeting on the bed and maybe a sheet of plywood, and maybe up the sides, as it is a little fragile while the truck is in truck mode. Best way to cut the stuff is with a knife blade in a jigsaw, cost about $4 a blade and will last forever.
Also, new heaters don't need vents and cost a couple hundy, run off propane. If you are doing that, or for that matter even cooking in there be careful and invest the $40 for a good CO2 sensor. For fabric, stick with wool, does not burn or melt and fumes are non-lethal, would think good will or army surplus could get your some old blankets for a liner and/or curtains.
Have fun and post pics.
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wooley12
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #6 on: 12/07/09, 08:38 PM »

Don't know the config of your roof and corners but the rigid foam is easily cut as I stated and can be glued up in smaller pieces where needed. Just be aware that (google result) "Rigid foam is flammable and can emit toxic gases if ignited." If you gotta go, do it skiing, not in the parking lot.
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powtothepeople
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #7 on: 12/08/09, 12:54 AM »

I was wondering about the felt, good ideas. There will be a raised plywood bed (eventually carpeted), insulation below, and a 4-inch thick foam pad. And from what I've heard, heat loss through the bed platform is probably most important. Potentially an electric blanket to help warm the bed initially. There will be pictures of this atrocity, but probably slowly.

BTW anyone what to help out and buy my used snow tires (don't live in Tahoe anymore, cant justify the fuel)
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toby_tortorelli
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #8 on: 12/08/09, 04:31 PM »

I made a set of Reflectix panels to fit in the windows of my camper van. It makes it much warmer for sure when you block out the windows. This is just an idea for the windows though, as I don't think it's thick enough to provide any real R-value for the canopy. Maybe if you doubled it and added foam backed material around it?
The catalytic heaters are nice, but a vented furnace has it's advantages. Less condensation is one of them. I lived in a van with a catalytic and it produced a lot of moisture. You also need a window open at least 1" while it's operating. A co2 detector is a must!
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powtothepeople
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #9 on: 12/08/09, 05:05 PM »

Yeah, the propane heater would be great, but I'm not sure what type of room I'll have to install. At this point I'm scraping cash for lumber and a mattress... I've been looking into using Reflectix or Prodex (sim. but with 5mm of closed cell foam inbetween), and using foam spacers to create an air gap.  Am I crazy to think that will provide much R-value? Though, I'm thinking foil and a candle will do well.

At this point I need to focus on getting a comfy, level sleeping area... then I'll deal with building a sauna...

Thanks for the ideas everybody.

PS - I'll be helping a friend install vented propane heater and deep cycle for the fan later this week, should be fun. I'll try to post some pics
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mreid
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #10 on: 12/08/09, 08:40 PM »

If you want heat, try a Mr. Heater.  I bought one for my camper, and it's great.  For a topper, I'd get the smallest one (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=mr.+heater&cid=6217221948784019063&sa=title#p)  $60  .  My mid size was more than enough for a cabover.
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Snow Bell
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Re: Canopy Insulation
« Reply #11 on: 12/09/09, 12:22 AM »

There will be a raised plywood bed (eventually carpeted), insulation below, and a 4-inch thick foam pad. And from what I've heard, heat loss through the bed platform is probably most important.

Perhaps creating a panel by gluing thinner plywood sheets (~3/8") on either side of a sheet of rigid foam (~2") would give you a platform with the qualities you desire.
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