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Author Topic: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling  (Read 254 times)

pasavo

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Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« on: May 25, 2019, 09:19:52 PM »
hello everyone
i was wondering if anyone can give me some advise on cladding the roof of my van that I haven't brought yet (its all dreaming and planing at the mo) watch tons off youtube vids and read loads but i have not seen anyone use Hollow Soffit Board they look like T&G and come in 5 mtr lengths and you could fix them without seeing any fixings they come in different colours  they also have an air cap all the way through which i think would help keep the van warm along with normal roof insulation so if anyone has any thoughts on this sort off panelling please share your wealth of knowledge with me thanks

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 01:53:19 AM »
Greetings and Welcome!

I'm not a huge fan of  insulation in general.  In my experience, no amount of insulation is going to actually keep your van comfortable, that requires active heating and/or cooling.  Without that you're better off just controlling just your body temperature rather than your vans interior temperature.

I prefer converting passenger window vans, that already have finished floor, walls, and ceiling, and then you can just remove the rear seats and move your new camping interior in.  This method can save you a ton of time, money, and headaches.  Opening windows in the cabin area provide much better ventilation than even two expensive roof vents, and require a $10-$20 fan.  The windows also provide a great view, and are a tremendous help at keeping you safe both while driving and while camping. 

Heating and cooling are both easy to accomplish, and has absolutely nothing to do with adding extra insulation to a passenger van.

Cheers!


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pasavo

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 03:12:11 PM »
Hi thanks for the reply but not so interested in the insulation side off things I thought that might be a bonus. Itís more about the panelling it self, would they be any good as an alternative to the normal wood T&G would there be any benefits or down sides to the pvc soffit boards thanks

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 04:00:15 PM »
Greetings!

I guess I was unsuccessful at conveying my thought process, so I'll try again...

If you start with a passenger window van, it is optimized from the factory for the occupant's comfort.  Nobody can improve upon it.

If you're starting with a cargo van, it really doesn't make any difference, because nothing anybody can do to it short of converting it to a factory spec passenger van will ever make it as comfortable or efficient as a passenger van, and no matter what you do, it will cost you considerably more to end up with an inferior result.

Cargo vans and gutting passenger vans to start over are among the major failure points for people attempting this lifestyle.  The goal of the promoters isn't to help you succeed, it's how to get you to part with your money because that's what they get paid to do.

My soul isn't for sale, so I'm trying to tell you the truth...  Stripping a vehicle or starting from scratch is the wrong choice for 99% of everybody, and also more costly for almost everybody, and to wind up with an inferior camper.  For most people, an older factory camper van or motor home will save them a ton of money and they'll be more comfortable.  I've bought like 10 of them over the years for under $2500, and the ONLY one I paid more than that for was a cargo van I converted myself.  Every single one of the cheaper ones was much more comfortable, reliable, and full featured than that cargo van was.  I didn't need solar panels, expensive roof vents, expensive batteries, or expensive power hog12v fridges.  They were well equipped with everything I needed from the beginning.  They were designed right from the ground up, not a hodge podged together mess.  They had safe heat, air conditioning, power, kitchen, bathrooms, beds, and storage, and were designed for both full hookups and off grid boondocking from day one.  They were move in ready instantly with no more than a good cleaning required.

You'll never lose money on a cheap older camper, and you'll never save any money on more expensive ones, due to depreciation.  They might not be a pretty as new ones, or the ones you see on instagram or youtube, but they'll be more comfortable and save you a ton of money.  Building your own, or rebuilding your own, is usually a HUGE and COSTLY mistake.  I have under $1500 in my current rig, and am totally happy and comfortable, and have been living in it for years.  Don't let your ego or the stars in your eyes, kill your dreams.  Forget about impressing others and concentrate on living both cheaply and comfortably.  Spend the money you'll save enjoying your travels more...  Building or remodeling your own should be a last choice, not the first one.

Cheers!
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pasavo

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 04:09:18 PM »
hi again thanks for the reply and your time you spent writing your thoughts but all i want to know is is there any downsides or upsides using pvc soffit board for a ceiling in the van as no one seems to use them or not that i have seen, a simple answer is all i need ie no its a bad idea because............or no reason why you cant or yes its a good idea because.................
I do appreciate people replying to post but why is it on most forums that you read you ask one simple question and the answer goes in a totally different direction

pvc soffit boards are 5m in length 300mm wide  look like T&G and slot in together come in white or wood grain effect would theses be a good or bad alternative too wood (pine) T&G thanks

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 05:26:00 PM »
Greetings!

After going several places and people looking at me like I had forgotten my pants, one old fellow who didn't work there told me there was no such thing.  He said there were vinyl soffit panels, or wood soffit panels sometimes referred to as bead board, or there were hollow cored doors.  He had never heard of PVC hollow soffit boards, and he was a contractor.

So assuming you mean the vinyl panels, they are waterproof, so they will trap the condensation on the inside skin of the roof unless they are vented to allow airflow so it can be evaporated out.

All of your outside skin, floor, walls, and ceiling must be designed to either wick any moisture to the interior where it can then be evaporated out, or it must provide airflow clear to the skin to allow the condensation to be evaporated out.  You can't stop or prevent condensation from occurring on the inside skin, so a proper build must compensate for it and evaporate it out so you don't get mold and rust.

In a passenger van, there is ventilation between the roof and the interior ceiling, and the same goes for the walls.  Floors have a thick felt like padding, covered with carpet to wick the moisture away from the metal and to the interior.  Vans that have rubber mats on their floors frequently have very rusty and moldy floors underneath because they have trapped the condensation.  Most DIY camper builds are trapping condensation, which will lead to bigger problems shortly down the road.

So if your soffit panels are light weight, and you can build it so you're not trapping condensation or moisture, then it should be fine.

Cheers!
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pasavo

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 08:22:10 PM »
hi now that's a reply thank you, this is the item
www.pvccladding.com/hollow-soffit-board-300mm-x-10mm-x-5mtr-rosewood-p-H300WR/

i suppose i could add a few breathing vents (matching color ) in the cupboards or at each end and yes i think they would be lighter than wood T&G
many thanks
Paul

Camper_Dan

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Re: Hollow Soffit Board for roof ceiling
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2019, 12:33:28 AM »
Greetings!

Ahhh... Okay, that explains a lot, since I'm in the USA, the terminology and products are evidently different.

We have a similar product here called coroplast, that is used for other purposes.  It is basically corrugated cardboard made of plastic.  I would be concerned about how prone it is to being dented.  What we have seems to be easily dented or have holes poked into it.  If yours is similar, then I wouldn't recommend it.  Durability is very important. 

If you keep the air space between the interior side of the ribs and the outer skin, it should be self ventilating, and that air space acts as insulation.  That's  the way the ceilings of most passenger vans are designed.  There are ventilation/drainage holes at the very bottom of the walls, to provide the necessary ventilation to prevent condensation buildup behind the interior walls and ceiling.

Cheers!
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