Why is 3M Thinsulate SM600l Best Insulation for Van Conversion?

janvier 04, 2023

Van d'ici | L'ENTREPRISE VAN D'ICI | The Van Company Vandici Quebec

Comparison of 3M SM600l Thinsulate over other insulation methods

Selecting the appropriate insulation is essential when planning a van conversion project. The comfort, energy effectiveness, and general performance of your vehicle can all be significantly impacted by the type of insulation you select.

Choosing the proper insulation for your needs is critical because different insulation materials are better suited to certain temperatures and regions.
If you plan to use your van during all four seasons, in a cold environment as Canada can get  (-20 degrees Celcius), Thinsulate insulation from 3M, for instance, is definitely a wise choice. Its ultra-fine fibres trap heat and act as a barrier between your van's interior and exterior.
If you plan to use your van in a hot climate, Reflective insulation where required is a wise choice. The interior of your vehicle will stay cooler as a result of its ability to deflect heat away from it.

Choose the finest insulation for your needs regardless of where you intend to utilize your van. By following these steps, you can make sure your van conversion process is successful and that your van operates effectively in the particular conditions you'll be driving in.


Key Specifications on isolation type for vans :

It is certainly important to make the distinction between the needs of our home compared to our converted van when comes to insulation needs. When insulating a home, we consider the capacity of the insulant to limit heat transfer and to limit fire propagation. There are more details to take into consideration in a van such as the flexibility of the material with all those curved panels, resistance to humidity and acoustic insulation.


1. Resistance to humidity

One of the most important elements to consider is the capacity of the material to resist humidity, which is described as hydrophobic. There is a lot of humidity in a van even with appropriate ventilation and condensation is the last thing insulation material wants. For example, Rockwool is famous for its insulation capabilities in a traditional house. However, it can't deal perfectly with humidity and with time in a van, it'll slowly start to soak up water. In this case, water will interact with the fire retention particles present in the Rockwool and cause rust interior panel. It is a major reason why professional upfitters companies choose the 3M Thinsulate in the automotive industry. It doesn't retain water at all.


2. R-Value 

The ability of an insulating material to resist heat flow is indicated by its R-value. The insulating power increases with increasing R-value. If the material is applied with a thickness of one inch, it will produce an R-value of 6.5; if it is applied with a thickness of two inches, it will provide an R-value of 13.0; and so on. R-value considers all three types of heat transport (conduction, radiation, convection). The ASTM C518 test, also known as the "Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter Apparatus," is used to calculate R-value.

 Material R Value
Thinsulate 5.2
XPS Rigid Board 6.0
Reflectix 1.0


3. Acoustic insulation

One key characteristic of the Thinsulate sm600l is its exceptional capacity to insulate sound unlike other insulating materials available. You can now hit the road knowing your passengers in the back are comfortable with the sounds and sleep without being disturbed by the surroundings' sounds!


4. Lightweight

Thinsulate insulation is lightweight compared to other insulating materials since it is formed of extremely tiny fibres. Due to its lightweight construction, it is a good option for van owners wishing to increase their vehicles' energy efficiency without putting additional load on the engine.



These insulators, in our opinion, are your best bet for insulating your camper van. They have the finest performance and installation ease ratio and are adequately insulated.

3M Thinsulate Insulation for Walls and Ceilling

Although each type of insulation has advantages and disadvantages, 3M Thinsulate is our pick as the best option overall.

Our research shows that 3M Thinsulate is the most user-friendly. Thinsulate may be applied easily with spray adhesive, in contrast to other solutions that call for a lot of measuring and sizing adjustments. Simply spray the desired area with 3M 90 adhesive, wait 30 to 60 seconds, and then firmly press the Thinsulate against the surface, white face on the panel. Compared to alternative options like insulating boards or spray foam, it's considerably simpler to remove and rectify if you make a mistake.

Thinsulate has excellent moisture management characteristics. It doesn’t absorb moisture and allows water vapor to pass through it, so you never have to worry about mold or mildew. 

It’s also non-toxic. This is a great benefit, considering how other materials like fiberglass insulation can shed harmful fibers, and insulation boards are produced with questionable chemicals. 

It costs a little more than other materials, but we think it’s definitely worth the investment.


XPS Rigid Board for Flooring

You could use XPS foam board for the floor due to its high compressive strength and high R-Value. Unlike the walls and ceiling, the floor is a flat section and rigid foam application is easy!