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Old 07-13-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
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Operation "Super C Quiet Cab"

I have quite a bit of engine and drivetrain noise inside my Gulfstream Supernova Super C motorhome. This is a truck chassis and so the engine and drivetrain noise are in front or under me. Not terrible noise, but the stock rubber mat can be improved upon I decided to use some hot rod ingenuity and do the same as what I use on my hot rods. I covered the floor with a sound dampening material. Like Dynamat, but I used a cheaper generic version. Basically this is a high solids rubber with an adhesive and foil covering. The people that do the high end stereo stuff use this material for sound dampening and improving acoustics. It also works great to minimize noise transferred through the floor and other areas to the inside of the vehicle. That was my intent. You can find this stuff for best price on ebay or similar. Dynamat is a name brand and there are other generic versions like Fat Mat or other names. Just be sure to get the aluminum backed material. Not the rubber roof coating stuff, the foil helps it conform to the contours. You will need about 50 sq ft or maybe more. Cost will be around $100-200 depending on your source. The theory is the extra weight will dampen the vibrations and minimize the noise and the floor transferring the noise (and heat, it does have some insulation value). You can double the thickness, don't worry about being cheap, use it all up! More thickness is only better. Once into the job, cover all that you can reach.

I have used this material in my hot rods and it works good to minimize engine noise and it also has decent insulating ability. It is not intended as insulation, but it does help a lot with heat transferred through the floor or firewall. I just had to replace my A/C compressor because of catastrophic internal failure of the compressor and boy was it a hot ride with the heat transferred through the firewall and floor without A/C on a recent 100 degree day returning home. I fixed the A/C, but finally got motivated to do the extra floor noise dampening material.

So here is the process. First clean out the interior to get to bare floor. This is basic unbolting and removing stuff.:




Make sure your floor is clean. Wipe with a wet rage or even solvent if something strange is on the surface. You want clean surface to bond to. Get your shop vac and clean it out, and wipe it down. Next, cut and fit the dynamat type stuff and put it everywhere you can. It is a pain to cut and fit, your fingers will turn grey from pressing the aluminum backing. Use an cheap expendable razor knife to cut the material, it will get all cruddy from the rubber. Cut clearance for any threaded holes or bolts. Press and roll it into the contours with a wallpaper roller or similar. When done it looks something like this:

and


I also took the foam and plastic cover off the engine, and removed the foam. I covered this as well with the dynamat material:


Use some contact cement to glue the foam back onto the cover. This helps the noise that comes through the cover and is probably a source for much of the noise in the cab.

Then just put it all back together, just reverse of the disassembly process. It took me about 5 hours total start to finish. It does make you twist and turn to fit it up under the firewall area and floor. So be sure your back is good shape! Drink a cold beer or two to celebrate the job being done

I did not drive it on the road, as it was end of Sunday and need to get ready for the week. But it does seem to be quieter inside the cab from just starting the engine up and letting it run. I look forward to a real world test on the road. This is not a hard or expensive job, but it does require labor and the Dynamat type material, so figure $100-200 and a good afternoon worth of work.

This can be applied to any model MH. It works great for noise control and I recommend others to do the same
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:20 PM   #2
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Looks like a very nice job. How does it stick to the floor, is there adhesive on the rubber matting? It looks like you used aluminum tape to seal the joints as well.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
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Very interesting, thank you for providing great detail on pictures.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PushedAround View Post
Looks like a very nice job. How does it stick to the floor, is there adhesive on the rubber matting? It looks like you used aluminum tape to seal the joints as well.
The sound dampening material has self-adhesive that is very strong. Once you place it in position and roll it down, it is near impossible to take back off. The roll of the material comes with a waxed paper backing the adhesive side. The material is foil side, then the approx 1/16 inch thick rubber layer and then the adhesive. It sticks to the floor or itself, as I doubled up the areas around the firewall and the feet area. Rest of the floor is single layer.

Believe me, the adhesive is quite strong and it will be more problems to get it placed before it sticks than any other concern. No alum tape or other methods to seal the joints. It sticks on its own very well; which is my statement to make sure it is clean surface so it sticks good.

You do have to be kind of good to estimate the shape and cut around some objects while fitting it. It cuts easy with the razor knife. ensure to cut out around any fastener holes so you can find them for reinstallation of the interior.

Here is an example of the sound dampening material:
Sound Deadener Mat Automotive Deaden Deadening 50mil 100SQFT Free Dynamat Sample | eBay

The cost of the material is approx $1/sq ft or a little more. So figure this project if you use 50-100 sq ft of the material it is about $50-100 cost.

I want to also do my doors, but for now I wanted to get the floor and firewall done. The doors will be the next project.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:47 AM   #5
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Nice looking installation and great explanation and photos.

That is a lot of time spent removing and installing all the interior to then use some cheap Fleabay chinese knockoff material isn't it? What is the performance difference between the real stuff and the knockoff?

I have used REAL Dynamat and it sure looked a lot thicker than that stuff. Real Dynamat does an excellent job of reducing noise and keeping heat out.

Not trying to be a smart a-- or know it all. Just want to point out to others doing a big job like this to think about researching the material further.

Thanx for sharing. It is something that most C class units would benefit from greatly.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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There are different thickness of the materials. The generic stuff is same thickness as the equivalent Dynamat brand product. There are several different products with different noise reduction ratings, mostly a function of the thickness and the material make-up. But of course each person can make their own choices. Of the different types, the rubber-based being the most popular. I am not an expert on the stuff, just have used it on several vehicles in the past, and future.

I have used the generic stuff on several hot rod projects and I see no difference between this and the Dynamat brand material. It just does not have the labeling on the foil. The generic stuff works great for my hot rods and I anticipate it will work similar for the MH.

Removing and reinstalling the interior is not that bad, at least in my case. Just some bolts and screws. Just pay attention to what fasteners went where and watch to ensure you don't pinch a wire.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:23 PM   #7
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Last summer when I did the floor, headliner, and inside back of my cab on mine, I found that Best Buy would match Amazons price as long as as Amazon was the seller.
What Best buy had on the shelf for $109. went out the door with me for $58.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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I have thought about doing this to my toyota FJ cruiser toad as have thought it is seriously lacking in cabin sound insulation. Thank you for your time in posting the write-up and pictures. Glad to know generic is available as high cost of the brand name has always kept me away. Please report back with your impressions after you drive.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
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Any before and after decibel meter tests would be awesome to see. These are available for around $15 on amazon. ( I have one). Haven't tried the smartphone app versions.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:41 PM   #10
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Well, here is an update without official decibel test results. Just my overall impressions and my before and after observations. True, not scientific, but it is my opinion. My ears tell me that it reduced the noise level.

Finally did a real road test, about 12 miles of 55-65 mph on highway and freeway. There is a definite reduction on the noise inside the cab, with less engine and road noise. I can hear the radio better, another indicator of the reduced background noise level. Still have wind noise of course. Overall I am glad I spent the time to do the upgrade and feel it justifies the expense for the material and labor to do it.

If you want large sedan quiet, don't expect any motorhome to give you that. There is too much wind noise to ever be that quiet. Plus my motorhome is a Super-C and is a big truck chassis. It will never be sedan quiet. However my upgrades did make it better and I look forward to many miles of reduced noise coming through the floor and firewall.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:35 AM   #11
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Good project. Waiting for your door project.
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