Insulation recommendations for two weather extremes

My husband and I are gearing up to start building our van. We are active kite surfers and snowboarders so we plan to alternate between two extreme weathers throughout the year.

Would sheep’s wool be too extreme for warmer weather? If so, what would be a good alternative that can handles the extremes of hot and cold weather?


Greetings & Welcome!

As an extreme weather camper myself, I can tell you that your climate control systems are what will keep you comfortable, not any amount or specific type of insulation.

Many opening windows, combined with shade in the summer, & sun in the winter helped me more insulation ever did. Add reliable heating & cooling, and you’re good to go. You need ventilation 24/7 to prevent mold & moisture problems, and ventilation pretty much defeats the purpose of insulation. What you need is enough heating/cooling to over power the necessary ventilation.

For me, reliable DRY heat is the most important. Reliable meaning that it doesn’t require power, only fuel. Heat that requires power can be very unreliable. That being said, 12v or USB powered heated clothing, blankets, mattress pads, and seat cushions can be a welcome luxury.

For cooling I have switched from my faithful swamp coolers to a Peltier powered heat pump. It uses a Peltier chip to heat or cool the water in a reservoir, which is circulated through a small radiator, and a fan pulls air through the radiator to heat/cool the air. For cooling it has been perfect, but for heating it can’t keep up below freezing. Since it only uses about 5a @ 12vdc, it’s much more energy efficient than a traditional a/c and just as effective.

Cooling can also be accomplished in many non-electric ways as well, and it’s wise to familiarize yourself with those methods as well. A simple spray bottle and a dollar store folding hand operated fan can do an amazing job at cooling you down quickly, as well as frog togs type of accessories. Cooling clothing, sheets, blankets, pads, and seat cushions are also available, in both electric & non-electric versions.

I recently purchased a 2 in 1 non-electric reversible heating/cooling blanket on Amazon, and it is truly amazing. It quickly became my new cuddle buddy.


"Stealth is an obvious camper, not a creepy cargo van!" ~ Better Choices

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I don’t have much experience on sheep’s wool vs common alternatives for it like thinsulate, however for your floor insulation and other flat surfaces, between polyiso and XPS foam boards you’ll want to go with XPS.

Polyiso is nice for hot weather, and has a higher R value then XPS but at lower temperatures it loses it’s R value , and XPS doesn’t