What is the best insulation for your camper? Armaflex AF vs. XG vs. ACE in comparison11. January 2020
Armaflex AF and XG have the same specs when it comes to insulation capabilities. AF has an antibacterial surface called Microban, which makes it more expensive.
ACE, on the other hand, is an older version of Armaflex with worse insulation capabilities and is therefore also cheaper.
There are two reasons why you landed on this post. Either you have a camper, and you want to insulate it, or you are a plumber, and you need to know some product specs of Armaflex to insulate some pipes. For all the plumbers out there, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but this post focusses mainly on the camper insulation part. Still, I got some facts about Armaflex in this post, which could be interesting for you.
Why insulating a camper makes sense
If you got a van, a camper, or even a mobile home and you plan to stay the nights in some colder areas, it would be a good idea to insulate your vehicle. When it's getting cold outside, you maybe want to heat your camper in some way. Between the cold outside and the warm inside, there is only a thin body sheet which can not hold the warm air inside. Additionally, there is a lot of condensation. When you sleep at night, your breathe releases moisture, which is in the air inside the vehicle. The humidity in the warm air will result in condensation on the cold windows and the cold body sheet of the car.
What to use for insulation
In the past, mineral or glass wool was used a lot to insulate campers. Though mineral wool is moisture resistant, glass wool is not at all; it can accumulate some humidity when condensation occurs. This condensation water is kept inside of the wool and can not dry fastly, which results in an environment where mold and rust can develop.
Armaflex is a very compact foam that can not take up water or moisture as the surface is completely closed. Even if there is a destruction of the surface, water can not penetrate. Because of this, Armalex is a much better choice for insulating vehicles. Gluing the Armaflex on the inside of the car on all possible body parts is an excellent way to keep warm air inside the camper, keep cold air outside as pleasant as possible and prevent the humidity from condensing on the cold body sheet. You can buy Armaflex in several different models and sizes, and it is essential to know what you buy.
As you read in the title already, there are three different models of Armaflex. Like written in the intro, the insulation capabilities of AF and XG are almost the same.
What should I use to insulate my camper?
First of all, do not use ACE. Though it is cheaper, the insulation capabilities are not very good, and some people are complaining about a nasty smell. So the decision is between XG and AF really, and this one is pretty straight forward as well. XG is entirely sufficient to insulate a camper, and the antibacterial feature of AF is not needed for this purpose. It's more of a nice to have. So if you really don't care about the money and you want the best in class shit, go for AF. Otherwise, choose XG and buy some more solar panels or a bigger battery with the extra money in your pocket. When it comes to the thickness of the Armaflex, which is available in various collections from 9 up to 32mm, most people go for the 19mm version. It's thick enough to provide robust insulation capabilities and thin enough for easy application in the sometimes very complicated room situations between inner frame and outer walls in most vans.
Enough said, take my money 💰
When it comes to buying Armaflex, it can get a little tricky. In Switzerland where we live you can buy Armaflex only from dedicated stores for insulation and other building materials, which is very expensive. So the best way to get your hands on Armaflex is Amazon. But watch out, there are a lot of sellers and deals which are a little scruffy. Sometimes you get the cheaper ACE without further notice. So make sure to read reviews of the seller before ordering. If you get your stuff from amazon.de, I did the research for you already. You can use the link below and buy from "isolierprofi". I tested this seller myself and was very happy with the delivery.
Other brands are producing similar stuff to Armaflex. I did not use this myself and did not research a lot about them, so do your homework if you like to use those instead.