Getting the Vauxhall Movano van to a usable camper as soon as possible was always one of my priorities. This means the insulation and bed has to go in first so it can be used for nights away, even if the rest of the van isn't ready. So the first job was insulation, and this article and video will show you how I did it.

I popped along to my local Jewsons and bought some 50mm thick Recticel PIR insulation boards. I bought a pack of 20 4ftx2ft boards which should be enough to do the whole van. Other popular brands that can be used are Kingspan and Celotex - but they all do the same thing. Total cost was around £70.

These boards are similar to what I bought:


The insulation boards are really easy to work with. You can cut them easily with a saw or Stanley knife. As the sections in the wall of the van were square or rectangular, the boards were easily enough cut to size. Some of the sections around the wheel arches needed a bit more attention, but within an hour one side of the van had been done.

I chose to cut the insulation boards so they fitted tightly into their respective slots. Some of them needed a little persuading to fit, but this meant that they would stay in place by themselves. To back this up, I put duck tape along any joins, and stuck the ends of the tape to the metal wall of the van.

The last job was to fill the metal strengthening cavities. Looking online, some people had chose to fill them with expanding foam when they did their conversions. I wasn't so keen to do this as if I ever have to remove the insulation to do any welding, expanding foam would be a nightmare to remove from inside the cavities.

So I chose to use normal recycled plastic loft insulation from B&Q. I was able to poke this into the cavities with a thin pole. This will provide some degree of insulation, but most importantly, it can be removed for any necessary repairs in the future.

Now whilst installing all the insulation, I gave some forethought about the electrics in the van. The back of the van will have the raised bed, and I plan on putting USB sockets into the wall above the bed, so I can charge my phone/camera at night.

To do this, I picked up a top tip from Mike Hudson's Van Dog Traveller website. When building his van, he placed a length of hosepipe in the van wall cavities, and run it from the front of the van to the back. This allows you to feed the 12 volt wires down the hosepipe, even when all your boarding and insulation are on the walls. Fantastic idea!

So there we have it. That's how I insulated the side walls of the van. It's pretty straight forward if you use the Recticel/Celtox/Kingspan type of insulation. The roof will be a bit trickier, so I will cover the insulating of the roof in another blog post soon.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! 🙂

Related items for sale

Recticel Celotex PIR board 2400x1200 100mm Thick Price Per Sheet
Recticel Celotex PIR board 2400x1200 100mm Thick Price Per Sheet
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