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Van Insulation

Van Soundproofing and Insulation Guide

Van Soundproofing and Insulation Guide

We have big news. The van is back! And for some of you it never left. Most of the time we talk about soundproofing cars, but we haven’t forgotten about our beefier brethren. Vans are essentially big, clanking boxes that are designed for maximum storage capacity as you drive along the highway. As you start to add things inside your van, that leads to even more rattling, vibrating, and overall noise.

Whether you find yourself spending a lot of time in vans for business or for recreation, we can help you make sure your ride is always quiet and comfortable.

We have big news. The van is back! And for some of you it never left. Most of the time we talk about soundproofing cars, but we haven’t forgotten about our beefier brethren. Vans are essentially big, clanking boxes that are designed for maximum storage capacity as you drive along the highway. As you start to add things inside your van, that leads to even more rattling, vibrating, and overall noise.

Whether you find yourself spending a lot of time in vans for business or for recreation, we can help you make sure your ride is always quiet and comfortable.

Free USA shipping
Free USA shipping

Popular Van Insulation & Soundproofing Materials


Damplifier Pro™ Deadening Mats
Luxury Liner Pro™ Automotive Noise Barrier
Mega Zorbe™ Hydrophobic Melamine Foam

Who's Looking for Van Soundproofing & Insulation

The Work Van: Sprinter Vans, Transit Vans, and Other Commercial Vans

We've all seen them. Those Amazon vans that didn't exist in 2018 and now they're everywhere. That type of van is often under-soundproofed and under-insulated.

If you work in a business that uses a Sprinter Van or Transit Van, chances are you’re lugging around equipment, boxes, and who knows what else, from place to place. All these things banging together and reverberating off your metal walls can cause a lot of ruckus. The cargo area is a big tin can if left untreated, with at best minimal sound deadening and insulation to quiet down all that noise. Don’t even get us started on the road noise generated by just driving around. Keeping your van quiet can go a long way towards not just making your drive more comfortable, but also helping you reduce stress and even prevent damage to your hearing.

If you own a commercial van, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by focusing on soundproofing the driver’s cabin, as that’s where you’re spending most of your time, and then reducing the road noise generated in the cargo storage area.

offroad sprinter van in the cold needs insulation

The Sprinter Van we all wish we had...

The Van Conversion: Cargo Vans and Camper Vans

Although people have decided to make vans their hangout spot since the days of Shaggy and Scoob, there’s been a real van-aissance in the last few years. Vans are now homes, storefronts, workshops, recording studios and more. While we can’t help you make your van look like a swanky apartment (although we can refer you to some people who do superb work!), we can help you ensure that your time spent inside is not bothered by outside noise and stays at a comfortable temperature.

If you’re soundproofing or insulating a van that you’ve converted, you should focus on adding material to the back storage living area.

camper van conversion with couch

Where are the seat belts?

How to Soundproof the Driver's Cabin of Your Van

The cabin of your van isn’t much different from your average car. So you can follow most of the same steps. The areas to focus on are the van doors, as well as the partition between you and the storage area. There are 3 types of materials that can help you with soundproofing.

Soundproofing Strategy Types of Material How it Works

Sound Deadening

(1) Vibration damping mats
(2) Water-based viscoelastic polymer

Sound deadening material will help stop vibrations and rattling throughout the vehicle. Less vibrations mean less noise.

Sound Blocking

Mass loaded vinyl

This material will act as a dense noise barrier to keep outside noises from entering the vehicle.

Sound Absorbing

(1) Hydrophobic melamine foam
(2) Treated jute

Sound absorbing material will control the acoustics inside the vehicle by absorbing the noise energy of sound waves from bouncing around inside your vehicle.

When it comes to applying your materials, your steps are pretty straight forward (just like in car soundproofing).

  1. Strip the area you would like to soundproof by removing things like paneling, carpet, and other obstacles.
  2. Clean the sheet metal thoroughly to help the material adhere properly.
  3. Apply the material firmly and get as much coverage as you can for the most effective soundproofing.

 

And the results are phenomenal. Check out the noise difference in this Sprinter Van using JUST Damplifier Pro. The noise level in the back cargo area has gone from dangerously high (consistent exposure to 85+ dB can damage your hearing) to more like your average car driving down the highway.

Sprinter Van Before/After - Almost 15 Decibel Reduction!

Before: it's a subway platform || After: it's your average office

The gang's all here. Let's sound deaden this beast.

That van looks so clean! Sound deadening everywhere, and the ghosted logo is super discreet.

Seriously. Let's look at that "Before" dB reading again

And the "After"... all the way below 75 dB

How to Soundproof & Insulate the Van's Cargo Area

Luckily and unluckily, the back of your van is essentially a big empty box. Lucky because the open bare metal makes it one of the easiest places to apply your material. Unlucky because it's a giant tin can that can be extremely loud.

There are 3 areas that you will want to cover - the floor, the side walls, and the roof. Let’s start with the floor.

Van Floor Insulation and Soundproofing

Start with a sound deadening material to reduce vibration and rattling. Cover as much as the floor as you can and apply firmly with a wooden roller. Sound deadening is most effective when adhered firmly to the metal.

Spectrum sound deadener to insulate the van floor

It's easy to spray Spectrum liquid deadener across the entire van floor

Luxury Liner Pro adds van floor insulation and blocks noise

Add a Luxury Liner Pro noise barrier on top of your van floor's sound deadener

sprinter van hardwood floor over insulation

Then put in that a hardwood floor if you want. It's your van after all.

Once your sound deadener is applied, follow up with a sound blocking layer. This will help keep out road noise and exhaust drone and also act as an additional insulator. We use Luxury Liner Pro, a ⅜” thick, flexible mass-loaded vinyl. You can apply this directly on top of your sound deadening material. Be sure to use a strong adhesive and tape the edges of the material to keep it from shifting as you’re moving around back there.

You can use this material as your flooring, or add your own flooring on top. The most common floorings we see are wooden floors and carpet.

Our best performing & most popular sound deadening material.

Half the thickness and weight of Damplifier Pro. The best deadener per pound on the market.

A liquid deadener that can be applied very quickly if you know your way around a spray gun.

Van Wall Insulation and Soundproofing

What you do here entirely depends on your goals for your van. Are you just looking to soundproof the area? If so, you can follow our standard guide for soundproofing a car. Use a combination of sound deadening, sound blocking, and sound absorbing materials. The most important of those 3 is going to be your deadener, because those large side panels are huge sources of vibrational noise.

If you plan to sleep or spend time in the space, then you probably want to prioritize insulating the entire area. The keys to effective insulation is to cover as much of the inside of your van as possible with a high r-value material and to reduce any air gaps. This means filling every cavity between the metal ribs on the wall with insulation until you have a flat surface all the way across. If you have the space and feel like insulation is a priority, you can choose to add a second layer covering that entire first layer. To some people that will be overkill because you either don't need it or you don't want to take up valuable square footage in a tight space, but sometimes it's the right decision. If you leave large parts of the metal exposed, heat will still have a pathway in and out, reducing the effectiveness of your insulation.

Materials to choose from for inside the wall's metal ribs:

  • Mega Zorbe – Our 1/2" hydrophobic melamine foam is our best insulator and sound absorber. It’s a premium option that can be stacked to multiple layers if you want to increase r-value or absorb more noise. Just peel and stick.
  • OverKill Pro - This 3/8" closed cell foam has our highest r-value per inch and is also water-resistant.
  • Polyiso Board Insulation – we don’t sell this, but it’s extremely high r-value and low cost. The material is not very flexible, but it’s a great option for between the van's metal ribbing.

Materials to choose from for over the top of your first layer:

  • Luxury Liner Pro - Although primarily used as a noise barrier, it also has a high r-value for insulation. This material is the best option if you prioritize soundproofing your walls and turning the cargo area into a soundproof box.
  • Heat Wave Pro – A cost effective and high R-value jute material covered with a reinforced foil fabric that reduces noise transfer and reflects radiant heat. The low cost per square foot makes this material ideal for tighter budgets.

From here, you can leave your walls exposed or cover the material however you choose based on the aesthetic you’re looking for.

van sound deadening applied to walls

Damplifier Pro will deaden those noisy wall panels

Spectrum is another sound deadening option for your van wall

Spectrum also works great for the walls. Again, easy to spray it on.

Noise barrier on the van floor and walls

Luxury Liner Pro installed between the metal ribbing on the walls. I'm no detective, but I'm pretty sure someone's been walking around in here.

A Quick Note on Windows and Doors

Consider a radiant foil “curtain” on your windows that you can close on hot, sunny days. This is the only part of the van where using reflective foil makes a big difference – keeping the radiant heat out. Very common to see in RV window insulation.

You should also check the doors for air gaps as the easy airflow to the outside makes your insulation far less effective. You can check for air gaps by listening for wind noise as you’re driving. If you're feeling extra scientific, use an infrared thermometer to see the temperature difference near these potential openings.

Van Roof Insulation and Soundproofing

The roof is an important area to insulate as it can drastically change the temperature inside your van. We’ve heard from customers about 20 F cooler temperature during peak summer heat just by insulating the roof of their vehicle. You want to keep out the heat of the sun beating down on your roof, and on cold days as hot air rises, you want to keep the heat from leaving.

Van sound deadening on the roof

Man, that roof is going to miss vibrating. It was good while it lasted.

Van soundproofing with acoustic foam

Mega Zorbe insulates the roof and absorbs echos

Heat Wave Pro insulation for van roof

Heat Wave Pro is another good option for roof insulation. Flexible and durable.

Hydrophobic, acoustic foam with a high R-value and sound absorption

High R-value, treated jute that will absorb sound and reflect radiant heat

Dense closed cell foam with a high R-value and water resistance

Check out our Van Insulation Kits

Vans are incredibly versatile, and we love to see what our customers are able to do with them, both professionally and personally. We’re here to help you with your passion, and make sure your time in your van is as comfortable as home.

If you'd like to see all of our materials, check out our guide on car insulation. We also have a Sprinter Van insulation kit that outlines exact materials needed based off the type of van you have.

Feel free to contact us and we can help you find the right materials to finish your project. And when you’ve completed your project, send us pics and helpful tips so we can continue improving our guides! Van insulation projects are one of our favorites to share with the Second Skin community.