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DIY Camper use all year round ?
Just out of interest does anyone use their DIY built camper all year round ?

  Did you insulate it ?

 Did you fit a heater ?
Black Hyundai i30 1.6CRDI 2011
Silver 1.9D Mutispace desire 2004 DW8B non Turbo..
White 1.9D Van 2005 DW8B non turbo..
Silver MGF 1.8 16v 1999
What kind of climate were you thinking of?
It's a bit of a difference between camping in Southern France, near Eastbourne, or somewhere in Lappland...

Insulating the Berlingo is a difficult task. There's so many places you won't be able to do it well enough for a 'non-heated' overnight in sub-freezing temperatures.

No, I don't have a camper conversion in mine, but I drive on Norwegian winter roads...
One of my rules of working on the car is that 'if I open a panel, I insulate a panel'.
I removed the door card on the passenger side door recently, to get to the wires for the mirror, and at the same time I stuffed in 30mm 'sound insulating' mats.(metal foil on one side, adhesive on the other side.)
I did the same on the rear quarter on the driver side when I installed a 220V inverter and outlet in the back.
but even if I manage to insulate all accessible areas, that leaves the pillars, the gaps between doors and pillars, the roof... the windows(and yeah, I have the ragtop version)... the effing FLOOR!

The Rear windows you can fix with pieces of lexan or something, with a rubber seal around so that they fit snugly on the inside of the normal windows.(plus a bit of duct tape to stick it in place)
I'm actually considering something like that as part of my standard winter kit, really.

The floor I guess you could raise 2" to fit insulation.

It may actually be an idea to make 'inner walls' that pads the walls with 2" or more of Glass wool insulation, and is just slid into place just like the rest of the camper conversion?
Saves you from all the tedious work of trying to insulate inside the rear walls.

Maybe add a curtain behind the front seats to keep the 'warm' air in the rear from mixing with the air in the front during the night?
(Remember a normal person = 200W heater)

I started this work after I drove home after visiting my relatives near Oslo a Christmas, and by the time I passed Lillehammer(remember the Winter Olympics), the window washer fluid had frozen. As I got higher up towards Dombås, I had to gear down from 5th to 4th to keep a decent temp inside the car.
A 1.4i doesn't really produce enough heat for such a large coupe in the winter.

What I would do first is to borrow an IR camera(or buy one. The Cat S60 phone has one built-in), run the car up to temp at a cold day and take a look at where the worst heat losses are.
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Gadgetman for this post:
  • knownowt
I have skied in Scotland twice for a week and slept in my MultiSpace and done numerous Spring and Autumn hiking trips. I have not suffered with the cold even in below zero outside and snow.
For the car I made a three section wooden concertina style single bed, stove and cook box. I use a Duvalay and fleece sleeping bag liner. I did have made lined fabric window screens which Velcro on; with a large one that closes off on the back of the front seats,
I do usually have an evening pub meal and drive off to a wild camp. I minimise opening doors after I get there to retain any vehicle heat. A pee bottle is used to avoid going outside during the night and letting cold air in.
Might be harder with more than one person,
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to lakeside for this post:
  • knownowt
Nice insights, Gadgetman.
There are two distinct choices here.

The first is to go overboard with insulating the entire vehice. This is time consuming, costly, and will never be a complete insulation job.

The second is to insulate the person.

Warmth is needed mostly when you retire for the night. If you've been a hiker or a trekking camper you'll know the theory of layers.  Apply this to your sleeping gear, both for your body, the mattress, sleeping bag, etc. This is a much better and more efficient alternative than trying to keep the whole van warm. Add a hot water bottle (remember them?) and you'll snug out the bitterest weather. Sure you'll wake up with a cold nose and a reluctance to get out of your cocoon, but hey - you've survived cosy and warm!

As Gadgetman, I insulate any panel I open - mostly for sound deadening rather than heat retention - and at any site with ehu I carry a small heater (designed as a frost heater for greenhouses etc), so keeping snug is a compromise. Much easier to keep the person snug rather than the car though.

[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Gravity for this post:
  • knownowt
Get some thermals and snow sleeping bag 
Big Grin Exclamation
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to toweasy for this post:
  • knownowt
I've never had the problem of keeping warm, my problem has been the condensation each morning and having to wipe all the windows  So I just ordered a set of 2 Rechargeable Moisture Absorbing Cordless Portable Dehumidifiers and hoping this will solve the problem

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Never thought of using dehumidifiers - that sounds a good idea.

Looking at those portable units, they are technically not dehumidifiers, because there is no air circulation facility. They are water absorption units.

At a claimed 120 gram maximum absorption, I wonder how effective they'd be in a closed vehicle? Allowing for a bit of exaggeration in their claims, that's a tenth of a litre - or about half a wine glass of water per unit. There is no indication of how long it takes to absorb that amount of water.

Bearing in mind that window glass is colder than mattress, bedding, clothing, and other things you will also have in a camper, when water droplets are present on the glass you can guarantee that there is also moisture in these other items. That's an awful lot of water inside the vehicle.

Reviews of these little gadgets are mixed. Some say that they work well in a car, but that's by people who don't sleep in their car overnight. I would be extremely interested in learning how effective these little units really are for use in a camper.

I thought I would give them a try as they are not expensive thought I would use them on the windscreen as that is the hardest to get rid of the condensation the rear and side windows are easy to wipe. I don’t mind a slight mist on the windscreen not the heavy condensation.
I have used cat litter in an old sock which did work a little but it was the powder it left after a few days, although I did leave in the car and it was cheap cat litter maybe a better quality cat litter would be better.
How about trying those microwavable dessicant bags ??
2007 M59 1.6 HDi 

Serieal Berlingo owner  Heart Heart Heart

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