Insulation on cargo trailer


16 replies to this topic
  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 25, 2011 - 08:23 AM

#1

Hey guys... great threads on all sorts of topics... but i have a question... i have a 7x14 Pace American cargo trailer. it has those thin alum (not sure what they are made out of) walls and roof. They are super thin... lol When we are in the desert and wind is blowing (when isn't it blowing), the roof bounces and flexes causing a lot of noise.

This has never been an issue before because we just carry the bikes and gear. But now after reading all the various posts about turning the trailer into a viable sleeping area, i wanna turn my trailer into a place to sleep instead of the tent for me and the kiddos.

Does installing insulation stop the roof flexing in the wind or will this issue continue? Not sure if this is a correctable problem but thought i'd post to see any any of you have corrected this problem.

thanks for any thoughts or suggestions.

  • Chickenhauler

Posted November 25, 2011 - 01:02 PM

#2

Insulation alone will add a tad of rigidity to the walls, but not a whole lot.

I think filling the void with insulation and paneling the interior walls with some 3/8 will go a long ways to stiffening up the walls (the plywood is secured to the same studs as the exterior sheeting).

If anything it will quiet down the racket.

  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 25, 2011 - 03:00 PM

#3

Thanks for the suggestion... but just to re-emphasis its the outter covering. so if i put insulation on the ceiling and then sheet it in with plywood, in your opinion that should quiet things down... but i just wanna make sure to that i understand how i should insulate the ceiling and walls.

i thought i read on another post that the insulation should not touch the outer walls/roof to allow the condensation to build-up on the insulation.

my trailer already has thin plywood on the walls... i bet there is zero insulation in there and the ceiling is open.

so based on what you're saying... i should sandwich some insulation in there... but would you suggest it touch the outter wall or roof?

also, where is the best source of insulation??

thanks again for any and all suggestions!!

Insulation alone will add a tad of rigidity to the walls, but not a whole lot.

I think filling the void with insulation and paneling the interior walls with some 3/8 will go a long ways to stiffening up the walls (the plywood is secured to the same studs as the exterior sheeting).

If anything it will quiet down the racket.



  • David_L6

Posted November 25, 2011 - 04:36 PM

#4

DirtRiderDad,

Take a look at this site: http://www.mikenchel...wforum.php?f=42

A lot of info about converting cargo trailers into campers and lots of pictures.

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted November 25, 2011 - 06:06 PM

#5

You have to be careful, look into vapor barrier. The aluminum skin if the temp varys from inside vs outside will sweat like crazy. You wil get the sweat, protect your insulation with a vapor barrier, dont run the insulation to the bottom of the wall, this way the sweat can roll down, and drain out the bottom. The ceiling can get tricky. Where will the sweat run too? Maybe a spray foam?

  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 26, 2011 - 09:15 AM

#6

You have to be careful, look into vapor barrier. The aluminum skin if the temp varys from inside vs outside will sweat like crazy. You wil get the sweat, protect your insulation with a vapor barrier, dont run the insulation to the bottom of the wall, this way the sweat can roll down, and drain out the bottom. The ceiling can get tricky. Where will the sweat run too? Maybe a spray foam?


Thanks for the comments and that link.. more places to search and read. yes i understand the walls better now and will proceed but the ceiling has me stumped. The roof is where most of the flex in wind comes from and noise. Do you think foam insulation will allow the ceiling to sweat? i've seen the foam used on those home shows... are there do-it-yourself foam kits?

What have you guys done with your ceilings? Do your trailers have stronger skin on the roof??

  • Chickenhauler

Posted November 26, 2011 - 09:25 AM

#7

Thanks for the comments and that link.. more places to search and read. yes i understand the walls better now and will proceed but the ceiling has me stumped. The roof is where most of the flex in wind comes from and noise. Do you think foam insulation will allow the ceiling to sweat? i've seen the foam used on those home shows... are there do-it-yourself foam kits?

What have you guys done with your ceilings? Do your trailers have stronger skin on the roof??


Got to thinking....can you add, or install stronger roof support spars?

My cargo trailer had very minimal roof support, hardly more than enough to hold the tin from falling in.

My travel trailer, OTOH, has twice as many spars, and about 3x's as strong.

I don't think it's so much the skin, but the supports.

  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 26, 2011 - 05:39 PM

#8

Got to thinking....can you add, or install stronger roof support spars?

My cargo trailer had very minimal roof support, hardly more than enough to hold the tin from falling in.

My travel trailer, OTOH, has twice as many spars, and about 3x's as strong.

I don't think it's so much the skin, but the supports.


Spars meaning the metal bracing that runs from wall to wall to hold up the roof tin? I'm sure i could add more spars... would i use wood or metal to do that? the spacing of the roof spars are wider that the wall studs.

did you insulate your cargo trailer ceiling?

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted November 26, 2011 - 05:50 PM

#9

Thanks for the comments and that link.. more places to search and read. yes i understand the walls better now and will proceed but the ceiling has me stumped. The roof is where most of the flex in wind comes from and noise. Do you think foam insulation will allow the ceiling to sweat? i've seen the foam used on those home shows... are there do-it-yourself foam kits?

What have you guys done with your ceilings? Do your trailers have stronger skin on the roof??


I have foam in the ceiling of mine. It wont soak up water like fiberglass will. You can just cut it to fit snug and set it up there, then when its all hanginf up there in place, install a real thin later of plywood or that Luan stuff or even the FRP stuff. The foam up there, held in place with the plywood should stiffen the roof up a little.

  • Chickenhauler

Posted November 26, 2011 - 05:50 PM

#10

Spars meaning the metal bracing that runs from wall to wall to hold up the roof tin? I'm sure i could add more spars... would i use wood or metal to do that? the spacing of the roof spars are wider that the wall studs.



I'd use metal, I assume your current spars are metal also.

did you insulate your cargo trailer ceiling?


Never done a cargo trailer (personal use type), but did insulate a semi trailer van to cut down on fuel costs for a heating system that enabled me to haul freeze sensitive cargo (canned foods, paint, etc) in the dead of winter.

I did my walls and ceiling with pink styrofoam, sprayed adhesive onto the metal, slapped styrofoam in the voids, then put 3/8" paneling over that all.

My roof struts were metal. There was one strut for every third vertical stud. I added two in between each (one strut for every stud). Roof never caved in so I must have done it right....

Never spent the night in there, but it really cut down on the fuel consumption for the heater.

  • toyota_mdt_tech

Posted November 26, 2011 - 05:58 PM

#11

Spars meaning the metal bracing that runs from wall to wall to hold up the roof tin? I'm sure i could add more spars... would i use wood or metal to do that? the spacing of the roof spars are wider that the wall studs.

did you insulate your cargo trailer ceiling?


Those are called roof bows and they are the same used acorss the front of your trailer if its not a V nose or a flat nose. And also like a house, they use 16" center on the wall studs and 24" centers on the roof bows. You could tie the bows together using pieces of 1 5/8" box tube, weld them in between the roof bows, maybe a pair in between each, staggering them, ie 1 in the middle, next span, 1 on each side between the center and the wall. It would tighten up the roof bows and also give the metal skin something to rest on isntead of a 24" span with nothing in the middle.

And I might add, if you have seams in your roof, they need to be resealed about every 6 yrs or so. The trailer mfg uses "Manus Products", and the one my Cargomate uses was Manus-Bond, part number was 76-AM self leveling and it was in gray

http://www.manus.net...s.asp?prodId=14

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  • ITSDOABLE

Posted November 27, 2011 - 09:58 PM

#12

IMO, no need to over think it. Just put 1" ridged foam insulation between the roof studs and put 1/8" Luan over it. Sweating will come from the screw heads because they will be cold from direct contact with the steel. Just use snap-caps over the screw heads and no sweat. You can find them cheap on the internet.

Here's a pic of mine during construction. Been down to ~20 deg at 10,000 ft with absolutely no moisture problems.

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Finished
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  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 28, 2011 - 03:44 PM

#13

IMO, no need to over think it. Just put 1" ridged foam insulation between the roof studs and put 1/8" Luan over it. Sweating will come from the screw heads because they will be cold from direct contact with the steel. Just use snap-caps over the screw heads and no sweat. You can find them cheap on the internet.

Here's a pic of mine during construction. Been down to ~20 deg at 10,000 ft with absolutely no moisture problems.

Posted Image

Finished
Posted Image

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Nice job on the trailer build... where did you get that small window on the entry door side?

  • ITSDOABLE

Posted November 28, 2011 - 08:28 PM

#14

Nice job on the trailer build... where did you get that small window on the entry door side?


All 3 were from EBay. The one you ask about cost more than the other two windows combined. For some odd reason vertical windows cost more.

  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 29, 2011 - 08:51 AM

#15

All 3 were from EBay. The one you ask about cost more than the other two windows combined. For some odd reason vertical windows cost more.


Interesting they would be higher cost... couldn't you just mount the horizontal window vertically?? lol or would it wiggle open while driving or bouncing down a dirt road??

  • ITSDOABLE

Posted November 29, 2011 - 09:19 AM

#16

Interesting they would be higher cost... couldn't you just mount the horizontal window vertically?? lol or would it wiggle open while driving or bouncing down a dirt road??


Rain would leak into the trailer since the weep holes would not be on the bottom of the window.

  • DirtRiderDad

Posted November 29, 2011 - 09:57 AM

#17

Rain would leak into the trailer since the weep holes would not be on the bottom of the window.


well there you go... scratch that off my list... lol thanks for the reply. did you frame out those windows or did you have someone do that for you?




 
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