Vapour Barrier

So before I can get all the insulation back in I need to do something to protect against condensation. Condensation in campers is a real problem due to the moisture build up. The moisture comes from us breathing and being all warm inside while the thin metal external skin of the van gets so cold particularly at night. If allowed to sit against the metal in a van the condensation can lead to rust and stories are told of vans rotting from the inside out. One method to prevent this from happening is to create a vapour barrier which stops the condensation sitting against the metal skin.

Step 1: Sealing holes in floor. To seal the holes I have used little plastic plugs (although bolts could be used) and auto body sealant. Firstly I cleaned the entire floor paying particular attention to the holes – some areas required a little spirit to remove muck but generally it was just elbow grease. Then I added a liberal application of the sealant – I wanted to make sure there was plenty around the plug to allow for some movement. Next I inserted the plug and pushed it into place – some of the holes required a tap others fitted just perfect. Total Cost for this job was approximately £10.00 for the sealant and plugs although I already had a sealant gun. Price does not include the white sprit and cleaning rags (old pillow cases) I used for the cleaning. One point to note was that I read somewhere that normal bathroom sealant should not be used as it can cause rust – I have not found any other information to support this but didn’t want to risk it so bought auto-sealant.

Step 2: Protecting Floor. My next step was to paint the floor with Red Oxide. I could have used WaxOyl here but it remains pliable and I wanted something that was more robust. Some people may argue that if the floor is in good nick it doesn’t need doing – true. But some vans which have been beaten with out ply floors in may already have rust spots. Mine had scratches through the paint work and as I intend to use the van for kitesurf trips I wanted additional protection against the salt. This is a photo after the first coat which took an entire 1litre can. A second coat has been subsquently done and this has provided good coverage. If I did it again I would buy a single 2.5 litre time but all B&Q sell at this time is 1 litre. Cost for this job is about £20.00 including some paint brushes.

Step 3: Protecting the walls and ceiling. The final step was to WaxOyl the walls and ceiling. I bought the stuff I needed at Halfords and didn’t get much change from £50 when you included the spray attachment as well. I have used almost 5litres of Waxoyl but wonder whether I could have made do with 2.5litres had I got the starting pressure right (This would have reduced the cost by £17). So I bought the high pressure spray attachement which you screw into the can and pump to gain pressure. You can then press the button on the spray gun and direct the WaxOyl where ever it is needed. Make sure if you use this method you get enough pressure – otherwise the gun will dribble and you get big a really messy spray. Get the pressure high enough and it will give you a really good fine spray that you can even apply to the ceiling panels. Warning: If you choose not to wear all the appropriate protective equipment while doing this – IT IS YOUR DECISION! Anyway because of the mess I made at the start I may need to go back and reapply in places but thats learning for you – get the pressure right!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.