The Sprinter Van Conversion Page
One special specific type of Tiny House is the Sprinter Van Conversion, though the idea applies more widely to van conversions, RV conversions, and 'skoolies' or school bus conversions.
We have received many inquiries from people converting their RVs, School Buses (Skoolies), and Vans (especially Sprinter Vans), into Tiny Homes. Most of these inquiries are regarding natural insulation, though our natural flooring and natural finishes are also a 'natural' fit. Perhaps our next most popular product for these conversions is our selection of Forbo Marmoleum natural flooring. Marmoleum is not limited to floors though! The owner of Eco-Building Products did the counters, walls and ceiling of his food truck too!
Sheep wool insulation has many advantages as an insulation product in any application. Here are some advantages that may appeal to the rolling household:
- Sheep Wool Insulation naturally moderates and handles moisture
- Sheep Wool Insulation is naturally fire retardant
- Sheep Wool Insulation is resilient - we have multiple customers who make custom speaker enclosures, and they have switched to sheep wool because the speaker vibrations cause fiberglass and cotton to disintegrate over time, whereas a sheep wool fiber and bend and flex 30,000 times without breaking
- Sheep Wool Insulation does not off-gas - in fact it can absorb and lock up indoor air pollutants
Regarding the road vibrations, you will want a way to address the possible settling of any insulation. Regardless of which insulation you use, you may want to leave an access at the top of your walls, perhaps a 1x6 wood panel, that you can remove, check for settling, and add more insulation as needed.
To keep your wall insulation from settling, you may want to anchor it to the top of the wall. This is not really an issue if your wall framing is divided into many smaller areas - it is more of an issue if you have tall wall cavities, perhaps all the way from the floor to the ceiling. Some approaches include:
- Attach a wood header to the top of your wall and staple, nail, or screw your sheeps wool insulation to the wood
- Otherwise nail or screw your sheeps wool insulation to the wall
- Some customers glue their sheeps wool insulation to the van wall, though we do not have a recommendation on the best for indoor air quality
- Insert vertical wood framing and staple the sheeps wool insulation to the wood framing
- Compress thicker sheeps wool insulation into a more shallow cavity and rely on friction to hold it firmly in place
With cavities that are smaller you can probably rely on some combination of volume, friction, glue, or tape.
One of our Sprinter Van sheep wool insulation customers shared this article about their conversion experience.
Another Sprinter Van converter documented his method for holding the sheep wool insulation in place: Installing Sheep Wool Insulation in Sprinter Van
The folks at SEEK Dry Goods documented their Ford Transit Van Conversion here.
Finally, if your are in the Pacific Northwest and want someone else to set you up with a completed van, checkout our collaborators at ActionVan, where they "strive to use eco-friendly, low VOC products, and materials whenever possible when building our vehicles. Waste is minimized and recycling is mandatory."
Check back, as we will be adding to this page regularly!
Regarding materials, so far most of our van conversion customers have chosen Black Mountain sheep wool rolls over the Oregon Shepherd loose sheep wool because settling can be an issue due to road vibrations. We don't know of many people who have chosen non-wool products. We have four sheep wool roll products: two are 14.5" wide and two are 22.5" wide; two are 3.5" thick (R13 = two 1.75" plies) and two are 5.25" thick (R19 = three 1.75" plies). Many of our customers separate the plies so they can do either 1.75", 3.5", or 5.25" thick/deep in any given space. Here are the dimensions and coverages for each of our four Black Mountain sheep wool rolls:
|Item||Width||Thickness||Length||Sq.Ft.||1.75" Plies||total Sq.Ft. at 1.75" Thick|
We are now offering an opportunity to exchange wool rolls and remnants between our website visitors. Currently we have the following listed as available (contact us and we will contact them on your behalf):
|Austin,TX||Offered||3 rolls 24" R19||not available|
|New York City||Offered||24" R19||not available|
We are also encouraging people shipping small amounts long distances to combine orders. This would probably require one entity to prepay and take responsibility for distribution of the order to participants, as freight orders will be packaged 2 or 3 rolls to a bag and either 14 or 24 rolls to a pallet. Currently we have fledgling group orders for the following areas:
|City||Participants||# of Rolls||Contact|
|Las Vegas||1||unknown||not available|