Whether it’s your work van, camper, or you use it for transporting specialty goods, you’re considering spray foam insulation for your cargo or sprinter van.
There are a ton of benefits to having the right cargo van insulation including reducing noise, thermal resistance, and protecting the items you haul around.
RetroFoam of Michigan has been in the insulation business for more than 15 years. In that time, we’ve had dozens of cargo and sprinter vans come through our shop for spray foam insulation installation.
In our continued efforts to educate the public on foam insulation, we have compiled all the information you will need when thinking about insulating your sprinter or cargo van.
Why Cargo or Sprinter Van Insulation and the Problems it Solves
There are a lot of different reasons to insulate a cargo van, but it really comes down to what you’re using it for.
As stated above, the most common vans we insulate are work vans, converted campers, and vans used for hauling specialty items.
One of the big advantages to insulating your work van is the sound deadening.
Any time you have a cargo or sprinter van that is all metal inside, you’re going to have a noisy van. Especially if you have a tool rack on the side wall, because your tools are going to be clanking against the metal sides.
Closed cell spray foam on the walls will reduce that clanking noise and echo, making for a much quieter ride to and from job sites.
Instead of dropping big bucks on an RV, many people are converting their vans into a camper.
In this case you get more into the traditional uses for insulation like comfort and thermal resistance. Keeping that cold or heat out while camping can make or break your trip. Spray foam insulation will create the air barrier you need to make sure you are nice and cozy while enjoying the great outdoors.
Depending on the materials you are transporting you may need to keep them and your van safe.
For example, we had a customer ask us to insulate their van because they were transporting saltwater fish tanks. The foam insulation kept the tanks from bumping against the metal sides of the van, but also protected the metal from the corrosiveness of the salt.
Again, it all depends on what you’re using the cargo or sprinter van for and how the foam insulation can help you achieve your goals.
How to Insulate the Inside of a Van with Spray Foam
The best way to insulate a cargo van is by spraying the walls, back doors, and ceiling with closed cell spray foam.
There are some instances where the floor is sprayed as well, but usually that is left unsprayed as there is already a protective coating on the floors.
When insulating a van, we choose closed cell spray foam over open cell for a few reasons.
Mainly because of the durability. Typically, when insulating a cargo or sprinter van, you’re going to leave those walls, ceiling, and backdoor exposed. This means you’re going to be bumping into it. Sometimes you’re going to drill through it to attach a shelf. You just really need a material that is really durable and can keep up with your needs – closed cell does that.
If open cell spray foam is used and something bumps it or brushes it, it will tear the open cell up because it is a softer, more pliable material. Closed cell spray foam is very rigid and dense, so it can hold up to being banged or poked.
Cargo or Sprinter Van Spray Foam Insulation Process
The process of insulating a cargo van is basically cleaning it out – taking everything out of it.
There’s usually some manner of dividing wall that separates the cab, which isn’t usually sprayed.
In preparation of the install, the crew will remove everything from inside the van behind the dividing wall. If there are platforms or shelving brackets, most times those are taken off so that the installer can spray around where they are housed.
Next the areas to be sprayed are prepped, for example if there are drill holes where shelves attach, we would cover those and make sure they don’t get sprayed over.
Finally, the ceiling, walls, and backdoor are sprayed.
How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a Cargo or Sprinter Van with Foam Insulation?
The price can range because it all comes down to the square footage to be sprayed.
The cost to insulate a sprinter van or cargo van with closed cell spray foam insulation starts at $1950.
There are other factors as well that determine the cost including if the van is brought to our shop and the amount of spray foam installed. The above price is based on two inches of closed cell spray foam, which is the requirement for an air seal.
Spray Foam Van Insulation FAQs
Is Foam Insulation Safe?
The foam insulation we use, both injection and spray, are safe to use in your van, home, or pole barn.
Will Foam Insulation Damage the Van's Metal?
Although it’s not that common, there is the possibility the spray foam could slightly bow out the outer wall. However, this doesn’t damage the van at all.
Can I Still Hang Panels in My Van with Spray Foam?
Yes. The foam is applied at only two inches thick. During installation, we are careful not to cover the fastening points.
What About Insulating the Van Floor?
We recommend this because it makes a big difference. Keep in mind it does add cost to the project and should be framed out.
How Should I Prep My Van to be Insulated?
All of your furniture should be taken out and the door panels removed. All wiring should be taped, or zip tied together. Also, make sure the van is as clean as possible.
How Long Will it Take to Spray Foam My Van?
The time to spray foam in your van will range between 2 to 4 hours.
Is it Safe to Drive My Van the Same Day it is Insulated?
Absolutely. The workspace where the van is insulated is ventilated during the installation. With this being said, there still could be a lingering odor, but it is safe to drive that same day.
Learn More about Foam Insulation
Now that you’ve read how spray foam insulation can benefit your sprinter or cargo van, you may want to read up on the material even more.
Check out the Learning Center on our website for more information on spray foam insulation and how it works for different projects.
About Amanda Ringler
Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.