Sunday, 3 March 2013

Roof insulation...

Back in 2011 when I purchased my Microbus the headlining had a few splits in it, and as a goodwill gesture the House of Dub, the company where I purchased the bus from included a new headlining as part of the sale. I had intended to fit the headlining, but have since decided on fitting a birch ply headlining instead. Having spent a few nights away in my bus I can say that it wasn't that warm, and as I have already insulated the sides of the bus I decided to insulate the roof.
This picture was taken just a week after buying
my bus, and even here you can see some of
the splits in the headlining. Over the past few
years the splits have just got worse.
After removing the headlining and the bows
which hold the lining in shape, I found a very
thin layer of felt type material stuck to the roof.
This was pathetic,no good for insulation or
soundproofing. You can see the thin layer of
felt over the cab section of the roof.
Once all the felt was removed all I had to do
then was remove all the little bits left that
were still stuck to the roof, otherwise the new
insulation would not stick properly.

Roof all cleaned up and ready to start
measuring the insulation panels.

When the old felt was removed I discovered
5 rivets on each side  in the roof at the rear.
I have no idea why these are here, it looks
like something was bolted to the roof at some
time in it's past.

The rivets are the same pattern on both sides
so must have been something bolted to the
roof. Looking at the outside of the roof there
is no evidence of the rivets at all... strange!

Having looked around all the D.I.Y. stores, I
decided on this product from B&Q. It is a 5mm
thick 2 in 1 insulation with a polystyrene back
and a metallic layer on the front. It says it
has 'extremely high thermal insulation' which
should be ideal for what I require.
Only time will tell if I have purchased the
correct insulation or not. I bought 2 packs of
this insulation, at £18 per pack and I had to
open the second pack to finish the last half
of roof section. I will use the remainder to
insulate under the bed and floor area.

To fix the insulation to the roof I decided on
grab adhesive rather than glue. I also bought
some silver foil tape to seal all the joints and
edges of the insulation just to tidy it all up.

Tools I used were: a mastic gun, sharp knife,
scissors, pen, tape measure and a small paint
roller to ensure when the insulation was
offered up to the roof I could roll the whole panel
to ensure the grab adhesive spread out giving
more adhesion but without damaging the foil

First section to be done was the middle part
of the roof, just because this was the easiest
to get to.

Half of the middle section done and it looks
better already, it has a great reflective finish.

Both halves of the middle roof section done
and the wire for the interior light taped up
using the foil tape.

I used the foil tape to seal the edges, and seal
any gaps.

This photo shows the reverse side of the
insulation panel with the grab adhesive put on.
I bought 2 tubes of adhesive, but in reality due
to the amount I had to use on each panel I
ended up using almost 3 tubes.

Middle section and cab section all done.

Again using the foil tape to seal edges and to
fill any gaps on the cross braces on the roof.

All 3 sections of the roof finished. The edges
have been taped, and any gaps filled with
cut offs of insulation and again taped.

Fitting the insulation around the 2 interior
lights was tricky, but I took my time and made
sure it would fit before applying the adhesive.

Finished, it's almost a shame to cover it up
with the birch ply headlining, but I will. As
I said, only time will tell how efficient this
insulation is, but I will let you all know.

So that was how I spent a lazy Sunday. It did take me most of the day, and about £60 for all the bits I needed but if it works it'll be worth it. I will be fitting the birch ply headlining in the coming months so keep checking out my blog to see how I get on.


  1. Its got to be worth Mate somthing is better than nothing, And damn they get cold at night, When you getting the birch sheets gonna look cool.

  2. I'm going to be looking at the Volksworld show for the 'J' runners that go down the sides of the bus, if I find any I'll buy them, fit them then order the birch ply.