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bristolmack

Best option for exterior cladding/insulation?

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First things first a bit of backstory. About six months ago I hit a tipping point where I had finally had enough with paying an extortionate amount of rent to have a small bedroom in a shared house. I'm a guy in my mid 20s and realised that all I was doing was stopping myself from saving anything at all towards a house deposit. So I bought myself an old static caravan, stuck it on some land owned by a friend of mine (it's got planning permission and everything!) and set about making it nice.

 

Six months later I've got myself a lovely, modern, comfortable place to live but I still have one big problem to tackle.

 

That problem is the cold.

 

All I have right now to generate heat is a pair of dimplex convector heaters, one in the bedroom and one in the lounge. All I've done to try and keep cold out is board around the base of the caravan to stop the wind blowing underneath and sucking quite so much heat out through the floor.

 

So I imagine there are probably two schools of thought in this area. You can either generate more heat inside or you can keep more of the cold out. I don't really want to go down the route of throwing a load of heaters in because this is where I'm going to be living for the next couple of years and I don't want to be paying out a huge amount on my electricity bill.

 

That therefore leaves me with keeping the cold out, and at long last to my question!

 

What would be the best option for external cladding to insulate my caravan? Something that will do a good job of insulating it without costing a fortune. It doesn't have to look particularly good, I care far more about being warm than how my caravan looks from the outside!

 

What would you guys suggest? I'm sure there must be plenty of experience on here in this area.

 

Thanks very much.

Edited by bristolmack

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Have you blocked the underneath off yet to stop the floor becoming so cold. That’s relatively cheap to do.

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Start by filling the surrounding area of the caravan below the Walls! That is where most of your cold is coming from!

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I would start by insulating under the caravan with Kingspan or Celotex type material, or some of the stuff on a role.  We did our first caravan interior with polystyrene backing paper and an embossed wallpaper, there's better stuff these days, graphite plus for example is fireproof :)

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7 minutes ago, PR1 said:

Start by filling the surrounding area of the caravan below the Walls! That is where most of your cold is coming from!

 

11 minutes ago, Odd days said:

Have you blocked the underneath off yet to stop the floor becoming so cold. That’s relatively cheap to do.

 

I put up boarding around the base of the caravan yesterday to stop the wind blowing underneath and have just ordered some staple on insulation to stick up to the underside over the weekend.

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Can I just say without trying to 'teach' you if you decide to insulate below floor level leave the trickle vents in the floor clear to aid air circulation within the caravan.

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The problem with all statics in a UK winter is lack of thermal mass leading to large imbalances of temperature within the static.

Wind cooling has a marked effect as does the exterior temperature fluctuations between night and day.

Unfortunately you feel these temperature fluctuations-hardier souls like my huntin-shooting-fishin pal do not.

So what to do?

As others have already pointed out baffle the underside and insulate to stop the wind cooling the floor.

In the old days you would have put polystyrene tiles on the ceiling-and created a fire trap-you could use Kingspan insulation.

However no matter you try you will still be faced with 2 inches of insulation and a paper thin alloy skin separates you from the winter storm therefore shortly after your heat source is switched off it’s going to get chilly.

If it was me I would bite on the bullet and add thermal store!

This is where ingenuity comes in.

I have clad statics in plastic covering with 2 inch Kingspan behind and a 2 inch air gap-worked a treat.

Used home grown Scottish larch 1 inch thick profiled board held together with stainless nails(very important) again insulated with blown wool(had a cheap supply) now 8 years on the static interior looks tired but the larch looks a very fetching silver.

You could use off the saw treated planks but they could cost the same as profiled presently costing about £8 for a 4. 8 metre length imported from Ireland( pressure treated).

The main thing is to get the thermal mass of your static up to ensure your comfort.

Alternatively buy a good down survival sleeping bag and go to bed about 5 pm.

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4 hours ago, terve said:

Can you install a  stove as used on canal boats, for example

 

https://www. midlandchandlers. co. uk/store/category/1975/product/hs-235. aspx

 

Been there done that😀

Problem is it only suits retired punters who do not mind waking at 4 am in winter frozen to the bone!

At mega hassle against my judgement we installed a multi fuel(3cwt) boiler in a 1920s bungalow.

Total failure!

Working person gets up in morning-no hot water-house freezing-repeated at night coming home in the freezing winter.

What does work though are the latest wood chip burning boilers with their super insulated hot water heat sink-at present heating a 3 storey Victorian 6 bedroom pile!-hot water sink is approx 2 metres cubed.

However we supplement our centrally heated 4 bed bungalow with a totsy state of the art wood burning stove it heats half the house on £300 of hardwood logs.

Used to cost 1 bottle of whisky when The Wife and I cut down 3 150 foot dead elms a year with my trusty Husquarna chain saw-Them Were the Days.

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Our stove stays alight all night and we wake up to a lovely warm lounge and kitchen. The chimney breast acts as a storage heater as well keeping the place warm.

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44 minutes ago, Odd days said:

Our stove stays alight all night and we wake up to a lovely warm lounge and kitchen. The chimney breast acts as a storage heater as well keeping the place warm.

 

Ours stay alight all night too and as you say the chimneys act as storage heaters, we also have stove top fans that help to circulate the heat.

My friend had a old gipsy caravan with one in, pulled with his horse :)

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Another plus point is if there is a power cut you still have heating.

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On 31/10/2018 at 13:30, terve said:

Can you install a  stove as used on canal boats, for example

 

https://www. midlandchandlers. co. uk/store/category/1975/product/hs-235. aspx

I have a 4kw wood burner in a 32 by 12 foot van with a stove top fan, warm enough for April to now, but I'm looking at insulating ... I'd get a multi fuel so you can leave coal in overnight.

I came to this site for advice for insulation- it seems 2 inch kingspan will be sufficient with the woodburner... I was planning to use fence panels or fencing planks to turn it into a chalet/shed...

Wondering what the sense is of insulating walls and floor without doing the roof... The roof seems like a lot more expense being strong enough not to blow away?!

Any ideas?

 

 

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How easy is it to insulate the roof of a static without doing it on the inside?

I imagine you have to build a secondary roof, sounds like it will be expensive...

What do people think about doing the walls and floor with 2 inch kingspan type, and leaving the roof?

odd I know as the loft is always the first place to do in a house...

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Prob you have done it by now, but if not

 We insulated the floor and walls and changed the single glazed windows with normal house ones(second hand,) cladded the outside with featherboard, but left the roof. All materials were second hand, even the featherboard. Used  an old fence, which looked great painted. Didn't insulate the underside as tried that before and it didn't make that much difference. Instead, battened the inside and added insulation on top of the original floor also used cheap foil under the carpet. Result 

....toastie. Caravan a is lovely and warm and retains heat very well. without doing the roof. Buy a dehumidifier, worth its weight in gold. 

We use a modern laser heater (parrafin) doesn't create a lot of water like gas or the older heaters. Cheap as chips to run as it heats the area very , very quickly. Actually warmer than most of our friends "conventional" houses. 

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Roof insulation.

My nephew overclad his statics roof with tiles made from reclaimed tyre rubber(they claim)

He thinks it has made his static warmer.

I clad a workshop roof 24x14 feet in 2 inch Kingspan silver foiled painted it with cheap water based paint then clad it in fibreglass and polyester resin.

Lasted 10 years so far.

Paint was insurance against polyester resin but I did a pretest and the resin did not dissolve the Kingspan I used.

 

 

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