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Old 03-06-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
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Foam vs Batt Insulation

I'm new hee, but I did a seaarch and can't seem to find a thread on this, so forgive me if this has been asked previously.

I'm researching fifth wheels and the way they are constructed. One area that I notice that really varies is the type of insulation used. I see foam block sandwich, residential type fiberglass batt, and wool batt insulation used. It would seem to me that when (it seems from what I read not if) you have a leak then moisture would be trapped in the batt type insulation and lead to mold and mildew problems. Yet I notice brands that are highly touted, such as Excel, use batt insulation. Anyone care to enlighten me on the pros and cons of each?

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:04 PM   #2
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Interesting question.

I can share with you what I found in my rebuild of my older Teton.
It has bat type fiberglass insulation. Many say it will sink in the wall?
I didnt see any evidence of this although there was a small leak on all four corners. I found that the bat insulation had allowed the water to travel many paths until it found something to absorb it. And in a Teton it is backed with block or foamboard. That hasnt been effected yet it masked the damage because the water was trapped between it and the outer skin.
Although before removing any parts the 40' fifthwheel was very warm and as far as thermal ability it showed all good . So it isnt good if you may have a leak, yet it has good thermal properties. and doesnt seem to sag in the wall as some think it may if applied properly . We will be going back with a tightly sealed foam and radiant shield on our rebuild just because it is easier and the thermal is rated the same.

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Old 03-06-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
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Everything you said is correct. I believe batt was used until computer driven cutting jigs came about to precision cut foam. The fiber was easier to work into odd corners, etc., and very forgiving (maybe not long lasting with settling, but manufacturers don't care much about that). When using those jigs, they cut large wall panels and ones to fit between frame members very exactly, and a unit is actually easier to assemble than with batts. Before those jigs, cutting foam precisely wasn't all that easy.
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Polyurethane Foam has about double the "R" value than the equivalent thickness of fiberglass batts. If it's not glued in properly though, it can squeak.
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