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Condensation in Panel Vans?

Discussion in 'MOTORHOME CHAT' started by chockswahay, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. chockswahay

    chockswahay Funster

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    Moving on from the 'ehu' thread I would like to ask about condensation in Panel Vans.

    We recently returned from a tour in France and when the temperature dipped much below 10c I noticed that the roof section above the cab suffered from quite excessive condensation.

    This was in the area above the shelf at the front (above out heads) right towards the front of the van just above the windscreen.

    I should add that this area (much to my surprise!) is not insulated at all, just bare metal !

    Before I try and re-invent the wheel I wonder if anyone has any practical (Hilldweller please take note:Wink:) advice on how to reduce the effects.

    My worry is that the water will eventually lead to rust or lining damage from the inside.

    Do any other Panel Van owners suffer from this problem? Is it unique to Globecar?

    Cheers :Smile:
  2. Wissel

    Wissel Funster

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    You just need to insulate it, something like camping mat stuck to the roof will dramatically reduce the condensation.

    When fitting insulation try to make sure it is stuck directly to the metal without air gaps behind. Trimfix is good for fixing it up and available on Ebay quite cheap.
  3. korkyjohn

    korkyjohn Read Only Funster

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    I have exactly this problem on my Globescout. I suggest you take it back to dealer ASAP.

    I'm taking mine to the factory in Germany next summer to have this and other faults rectified.

    Cheers, John.
    1 person likes this.
  4. old-mo

    old-mo Funster - Life Member

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    If it`s not under warranty... Get some of this =

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/1805...&ff3=1&ff11=ICEP3.0.0&ff12=67&ff13=80&ff14=83

    Stick it on with "Evo-Stick"......... Easy to cut and shape...:thumb:

    And has a sort of rippled rubber backing... and very flexible for awkward bits, and comes in numerous colours..

    We used it on the fibreglass hulls in the cabins on fishing boats,,, instant success,,,,,,, and nothing more prone to condensation than boats ... :Sad:
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  5. billthedrill

    billthedrill Funster

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    you beet me to it during the summer I helped a friend insulate his VAN we used camping mat stuck to the roof and walls with the silver side facing in for reflection of any heat and he used insulating bord to they have just come back from a week in Scotland wild camping.
    snug as a bug in a rug he said :BigGrin:

    with no condensation problems apart Frome the front window

    we used spray carpet adhesive it is like evo stick in spray form to stick it on
  6. ludo

    ludo Funster

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    We have a Globecar Familyscout L that we bought new in October last year.

    Our's is fully insulated above the cab. The entire roof area above the cab is completely covered in thick black insulation foam.

    I can only think that yours has somehow got missed! :thumb:
  7. 1_man_and_his_dob(lo)

    1_man_and_his_dob(lo) Funster

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    There's very little insulation in my campervan (not too surprising) and the front above the cab is one of the worst areas for condensation. Fortunately the water seems to end up running into the plastic storage tray/bin above the driver/passenger and it just dries out.

    I might get around to trying some of the useful suggestions posted here, once I've finished sorting out the window screens, and a cover for the skylight, etc.....which at my pace probably means around 2020 :Doh:
  8. chockswahay

    chockswahay Funster

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    useful replies so far, thanks everyone :Smile:

    The roof is insulated above the cab where there is a shelf………..it was only when I had to reach right to the very back of the shelf (front of van) that I noticed the condensation. There is a gap between the shelf and the roof about and inch and a when I reached through the gap I could feel the wet surface.

    It might be that most vans are like this but I was lucky (unlucky?) to feel it by chance:Sad:
  9. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I cannot understand why these expensive vans are not insulated properly. When I did my own conversion I made sure that every internal metal surface was insulated even inside the ribs

    Mike
  10. abforfun

    abforfun Funster

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    ----

    I agree because they are not cheap vans:thumb:
  11. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    My Campscout is the same - I've just been to check.

    It appears to be insulated over the whole area over the over-cab shelf & beyond. But at the back of the shelf (front of the van), there is a gap where the raised shelf moulding doesn't go all the way to meet the slope of the roof curving down towards the windscreen. The insulation continues beyond this gap, but if you squeeze your fingers in, you can feel where the insulation ends. At that point you can feel the metal of the roof.

    There is thus a void the width of the van above the cab interior lights which is both not insulated & open to the inside of the van. I'll have to stick my fingers in there again after a night in the van & see if it does get wet.

    If it does, when next on EHU, I'll dry it out thoroughly with a hair dryer & then stuff the gap to stop damp interior air getting in there again. You couldn't insulate it without dismantling the whole over cab area.

    Shame they didn't take the insulation just those last few inches while they were building it - it would have been so easy at that stage of the build.
  12. chockswahay

    chockswahay Funster

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    I was thinking along similar lines. I wonder if it would be feasible to inject the void with expanding foam as used in the building trade?
  13. tofo

    tofo Funster

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    if all else fails and your really carefull masking up
    you could use a polyurethene type foam spray
    from the likes of screwdfix or toolstation
    b&q type outlets

    i used gripfill from qd i think it was to do the bits
    other materials wouldnt fit in my self build
    its messy if your not carefull so cover every thing well

    :thumb::thumb::thumb:
  14. Mikeco

    Mikeco Funster

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    I would get a roll of sheep's wool or recycled plastic loft insulation and poke it into the gap with something suitable, as long as you prevent the warm air making contact with the cold metal it should be okay

    Mike
  15. Minx

    Minx Funster

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    An old camping mat cut into suitable sized strips, or cut-down pipe insulation would seem to be the most obvious things to use, as for expanding foam ... I wouldn't ... it really DOES expand a lot and you could find it creeps into places you don't want it and is messy!
  16. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Yes, I don't think I fancy squirting foam in there. I don't know what's in there, but I'm guessing that the rear of the cab lights would get covered, which doesn't sound good.

    I'll just put something over the gap at the back of the shelf, which will insulate the shelf from the cold space behind it & stop the movement of warm damp air onto the cold metal. There will be some heat loss from the cab through the headlining just above the windscreen, but that will be minimal.

    I already have an insulated curtain that comes behind the front seats that I use when I'm on my own & don't need the front seats swivelled round. So at that point, the cab isn't very warm anyway.
  17. DevonBeekeeper

    DevonBeekeeper Funster

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    This is what the space looks like in our Murvi:
    [​IMG]
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  18. Minx

    Minx Funster

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    Last year, not long after we'd bought our Accent, we also bought a nice Smart car and picked it up on the A1 as we travelled back up North from one of the shows (Shepton ... I think!). We got the paperwork off the chap and then went to CamperUK in Lincoln to get a couple of minor warranty jobs done. When we got home the following day we were looking for the Smart's paperwork and couldn't find it anywhere ... no-where at all! We'd somehow 'lost' all the documents for it!!! :shout::Eek!: We rang CamperUK to see if their technicians had moved it as we knew it was in the van - no, they hadn't seen it ..... :cry:

    There was only one thing for it, it HAD to be in the van somewhere ... but where! :Sad: After emptying all of the cupboards, nooks and crannies, to no avail, the ONLY place it could be was in the over-cab storage shelf, but no, we'd checked that, and it wasn't there. However, I'd noticed the show programme trying to 'hide' at the very back of the shelf ... creeping into the gap between it and the roof lining ... I wonder if it was lonely and trying to join the Smart's documents. :RollEyes:

    I managed to wriggle my hand in a little bit but couldn't feel anything, so I then proceeded to remove the plastic covering around the top of the windscreen inside on one side (which was a bl**dy pratty job) but couldn't see anything again, however I poked a ruler up there and could feel 'something' ... after loosening the plastic covering a bit more I could just get my hand in and feel the end of a sheet of paper ... yup, that's where it all was! :thumb: Now how to get it out! :Doh: Using the ruler and some sticky tap I managed to pull out the documents one by one ... it took a while but was much better than having to totally remove the headlining to get at it!

    When we got home my first 'to do' job ... fill the bl**dy gap at the back of the overcab shelf! I cut some pipe insulation down and used that temporarily and stuck it in place with some gaffer tape ... needless to say the 'temporary' fix is still in use! :Blush:
  19. chockswahay

    chockswahay Funster

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    Mmm……I agree the expanding foam could be a mess.

    I quite fancy the idea of stuffing the gap with pieces of loft insulation until the space is full, then sealing over the gap cosmetically. At least it would allow for removal at a later date if need be.

    What about that?

    Edit: Just looked on B&Q website and found sheepswool insulation………………..might be a goer?
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  20. chockswahay

    chockswahay Funster

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    This has the potential to become a nightmare problem!

    I have been researching the problem on the 'net and it appears to be that fibre insulation will hold moisture which will then make its way through to the metal. An answer that is often suggested is a moisture barrier but how would I do this?

    I have been thinking that in this case it would just be a matter of stuffing rock wool or sheep wool type insulation through the gap until there is no more room…..

    Any thoughts anyone?

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