How to insulate a camper shell?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to insulate a camper shell?”  We will describe the steps for insulating a camper shell. We will also talk about the types of insulation materials that are commonly used for insulating a camper shell. At the end of this post, you will get to know how to insulate a camper shell.

How to insulate a camper shell?

To insulate a camper shell, you will need to follow the steps that are described below.

  • Measure the interior of the camper
  • Purchase the insulation materials
  • Clean the insulation area
  • Add the bracing
  • Fix the insulation
  • Add expanding foam
  • Add a carpet to the flooring
  • Complete the finishing touches.

Measure the camper

  • The first and most important step is to measure the camper shell. 
  • You will need to measure the interiors to get an idea of how much insulation material is required. 
  • Ensure to measure the ceiling, driver side wall, and passenger side wall. 
  • It is advised to begin the measurement at the top of the hatch window. 
  • Make sure that every part of the camper shell is measured. You will also need to measure the back of the camper. 
  • Be sure that the length, width, and height of the side walls are all measured.

Purchase the materials

Now that you have the measurements in place, you will know how much material is required to purchase. Be sure to purchase Reflectix apart from the type of insulation material that you purchase. When purchasing the insulation material, be sure to get material that has a higher R-value. This will provide better insulation for your camper shell.

Clean the area

It is always advised to clean the entire insulation area before you get started with your work. The insulation area must be dust-free and get rid of any damages like dents or rust. If there are any patches you might want to fix them since the insulation area and the entire interior of the camper shell need to be clean.

Add the bracing

  • You will need to add the bracing where you plan on insulating the camper shell. 
  • The best bracing to opt for is a wood bracing frame. 
  • Just make sure that the braves have a minimum gap of 16-inches, which is the standard width of wall insulation that is used for campers and homes. 
  • You can start adding the bracing from the tailgate. Be sure that the spacing is even on both ends. 
  • You might need help to get the bracing up, so feel free to ask a friend or family member to help out in this process.

Fix the insulation

  • Now for the most important part. Fixing the insulation is easy once you have the bracing in place. 
  • You will need to cut and fix the insulation material according to the measurements that you have taken. 
  • If you have the right measurements, the pieces that you can fix accurately on the walls and ceiling of the camper shell. 
  • If you have an aluminum or fiberglass camper shell, you might need to use Velcro or super glue-like epoxy to hold them. 
  • Do not insulate over the windows. Just be sure to go around them. 
  • Another way is to cut the insulation material into blocks and fix them on the surface of your camper shell. 
  • Working with small blocks can be easier, especially if you are working alone. You can simply cut the parts into various sizes that will suit the sections that you need to insulate.
  • Feel free to use some adhesive spray to keep the blocks in place. You can also tape two sections of insulation together. 
  • You can also use a combination of insulation materials. Some people use foam board for the walls of the camper shell and Reflectix for the ceiling due to its lightweight. It depends on each one’s preference as to what they want to use.

Add expanding foam

  • You can also use expanding foam in all the small areas of your camper shell. 
  • The insulation sheets are bound to have gaps and you will need to add expanding foam to fill all these gaps. 
  • Just be sure to avoid filling the areas where there are electric wires. 
  • The good thing about expanding foam is that it sticks to the insulation material. 
  • Allow the foam to solidify and leave it untouched for a couple of hours once done.

Add a carpet to the flooring

  • Some people have gone all the way to insulate the flooring of their camper shell. However, the better option is to get the area carpeted. This way you will have a fine look on the inside and your camper shell will also keep warm. 
  • If your floor is uneven, you can go ahead and install some plywood to get an easy surface. 
  • You can also install plywood on the floor and add a carpet over the plywood. 
  • Be sure to stick the carpet properly to the floor of the vehicle.

Complete the finishing touches

  • Once you are done with the insulation, you will need to pay close attention and check the little spots that you have left out. 
  • Be sure to seal all those little spots and gaps by using duct tape on construction-grade joint tape. 
  • It is also advised to sit the camper at night and find all the gaps from which air gets in. 
  • Ensure to seal up all the small air gaps and feel free to add extra support over the insulation by using metal strips. 
  • You can also use foam to fill up the insulation and cavities that you left behind. In case you are unable to use these materials, you can simply use cloth as an easy method.

That said, your insulation process will be complete just by following the steps mentioned above. If you are unable to get this project done on your own, you can always hire a professional to finish the task for you. A professional can get this job done faster and you can save time. However, you are sure to spend more on wages.

Types of insulation

There are several types of insulation choices, and you can also use a combination of materials. Here are some of the available insulation choices.

Styrofoam insulation

  • Styrofoam insulation is probably one of the most commonly used insulation methods. There are several brands of Styrofoam insulation that can be used. Styrofoam insulation is an extruded polystyrene foam insulation board. Most people prefer Styrofoam insulation for their camper shells.

Fiberglass insulation

  • Another frequently used material for insulation is fiberglass. This is a great choice and it can be installed easily. Fiberglass is good for temperature control and it has been used for decades.

Natural Fiber insulation

  • Natural Fiber insulation consists of two types. The wool insulation and the Denim insulation. However, Wool and Denim insulation will require more effort. Wool is sustainable insulation and it has a high rating in terms of insulation.

Reflectix

  • Reflectix is used as a moisture barrier and a radiant. The only issue with Reflectix is that it has a low rating of R-1. On the other hand, it is lightweight and is best suited for roofs.

Spray Foam

  • Spray foam is yet another insulation method that is perfect for filling gaps. The only issue with spray foam is that they turn to get messy at times.

Mineral Wool insulation

Mineral Wool insulation is the same as fiberglass but the fibers are not made from glass. There are a couple of campers that have mineral wool insulation. Apart from all the insulation materials, Styrofoam and Fiberglass are widely used and they are easily available. Insulating a camper shell is not a hard task and it can be done in just a couple of days.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to insulate a camper shell?”  We have described the steps for insulating a camper shell. We have also talked about the types of insulation materials that are commonly used for insulating a camper shell. Drop us a comment below and let us know how you go about insulating a camper shell.

Citations

https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/4776/thermal-insulation-of-truck-cap
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/fiberglass-camper-top-insulation-ideals.196334/
https://campergrid.com/how-to-insulate-truck-camper/
https://www.takethetruck.com/blog/diy-camper-shell-liner
https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/are-aluminum-camper-shell-insulation.633853/
https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/truck-bed-camping-insulation.181676/

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