passenger van well insulated?

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May 13, 2023
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Trying to decide whether to start my camper build with a cargo van or a passenger van. I am currently thinking that since I can get a passenger van for about the same price as a cargo van then why not? It already has heating and A/C in the back and it is already finished and insulated on the inside. (Plus I want windows. Plan to make insulated blinds for the windows.) My question is does anyone have any idea how the passenger van's insulation would compare to the first rate insulation I would have put into a cargo van if I get one? Any advice on this decision between passenger and cargo?

I'm a new member here and I just want to say thanks to everyone! You all have been so very helpful. I really appreciate it!
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I have a 2012 Ford E350 passenger van which originally had 3 rows of back seats. I took all the seats out and made my camper out of it so I got an inside look at the factory setup in the process of the build. The rear area of the passenger Econoline is completely finished with plastic panels up to the ceiling and headliner-type upholstery on the ceiling itself. The plastic wall panels don't have any extra insulation between them and the metal skin but the headliner ( which contains the ductwork for the rear A/C as well) is fully insulated. There are also like four speakers built into the wall panels The floor was just bare metal but I covered it with a layer of roll insulation and then plywood and carpet to make it flat and level.

The overall effect is that you get a lot of insulation, both from outside road noise and outside temperatures, and it looks nice and soft. The downside is that all that stuff ( particularly the rear heater/A/C unit ) takes up a lot of space and reduces your inside width and headroom.

I'd still go with the passenger van, though, because I like the comfort and quiet of the upholstery and I love my rear A/C and heater. Good luck with your build and have fun!

Keep in mind the rear ac and heat only function with the engine running, and could "be in the way" when you build out the van.

A friend has redone their 8=door window van and has added sound deadening mats to most of the inner sides of the metal and then insulated in addition. Factory insulation will not hold heat well, not keep it out in the summer...


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