Insulating the van for the coming winter

This morning was the second very cool morning in a row. In fact, today was freezing. I had to turn on the range to get some warmth at about 530am. Today, I’ll be turning the furnace on for tonight. It only got to about 6C over night but it was cold enough that I don’t want to wake up to that again.

There are not many “vanliving in a Canadian Winter” sites out there. I’m assuming that’s because most people are either snowbirds because they’re retired, and can travel to warmer climates for six months every year, or they’re just not crazy enough to try it. I don’t even know if I’m crazy enough to try it, but what the heck.

So I’ve been doing some research, and one thing that comes to mind is that my van, being built in 1978 is going to have crummy insulation, made in 1978. The space between the metal and the wood paneling is not exactly large, and compressing fiberglass isn’t good, so I need an alternative. I found Reflectix. This is a type of insulation that is basically bubblewrap with aluminum foil. Here’s the description in case you’re reading this years down the road, and the link I provided no longer works:

Reflectix Small Project Rolls address specific needs not possible with traditional insulations such as recreational vehicles, camping, household, plumbing and ductwork. Two outer layers of aluminum foil reflect 97% of radiant heat. Each layer of foil is bonded to a tough layer of polyethylene for strength. Two inner layers of insulating bubbles resist conductive heat flow, while a center layer of polyethylene give Reflectix high reliability and strength.
Reflects 97 percent of radiant energy.
Does not require protective gear to install.


Sounds perfect for summer and winter, help keep things cool in the summer by reflecting heat out, and warm by keeing heat in. We shall see how it works when I pick the Reflectix up and install it.

Does anyone have other material that they use?

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