Insulation suggestion for an Airstream
I have a 1953 Flying Cloud Airstream that will need some serious restoration. I will be completely removing the inner skins and fully expect to find that the insulation in the Airstream is pink stuff riddled with mouse homes (and poop). I’d really like to insulate it well so as to keep the heat out on sunny days, and the cold out on cold nights, as best I can.
Spray foam insulation has been shown to actually harm the soft aluminum skin of the Airstreams, (it can actually bulge) and because it also adheres to the panels, I hesitate to do something that I may one day need to remove by scraping due to faulty electrical or needing to replace a panel from a ding or such. It does offer the best insulation value though, and I’m considering using rigid foam and somehow cutting it to bend around the curved panels.
What I see most often recommended on the Airstreams most popular forum (airforums) is the use of a reflective radiant barrier known as Prodex, which is like the double bubble aluminum foil oh so beloved around here.. (/sarcasm) While they often do install it with an air gap, gluing little foam bits to the inside of the outer skin in order to maintain the air gap required to create an assembly with a higher R value, I remain most definitely unconvinced in using this method as an insulation, and also don’t see as much value in installing a radiant barrier under what should already prove to be a fairly reflective radiant barrier in itself, no? Please tell me they’re not right, there’s hundreds of people restoring these classics and using aluminum foil for their insulation.
If someone has an idea for me on what actually WILL work, I’d definitely appreciate it. The issue with an Airstream, is that I only have a depth of around 1 3/4 inches to work with. I know I won’t have a good chance of high R value no matter what, but what would make the most sense to try to get it a little higher, (and not cost me an arm and a leg like an Aerogel would?) Would using a rigid polyiso and cutting it somehow to bend around the curve be the best option?
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