Insulating Bernie’s Floor and Walls

I appreciate good insulation. I have plenty myself which means I’m usually too hot rather than too cold. Even on a mountain top in winter, my layers of body fat, combined with some forward motion, keep the fingers and toes cosy and warm.

I finally had some time to start turning Bernie into a more than just a van. The dream has been to give her a more impressive decor and the last two days have allowed me the chance to get started.

There are, according to YouTube, at least 3459 different ways to insulate a potential camper van yourself. All of them different. And each of the film makers stressing that their way is the ONLY way to do it properly. So for the lay man like me, doing this for the first time, I’ve taken my time to research the best method which will keep Bernie cool in the summer and got in the winter (on top of a mountain or otherwise). The internet has been a big help. And my friend Rich has also faced a barrage of questions, having done this sort of thing before. I am forever in his debt and the free pints will never stop flowing.

I took Young Johnston shopping. He kindly agreed to carry the small stuff like screws and aluminium tape while I carried the insulation, timber and plywood.

First the floor. The ply floor was removed and aluminium foil insulation run underneath on wooden batons.

Young Johnston helped with measurements. And also in the creation of bungee spider webs.

I though that would take an hour. It took 4. Thankfully the lessons learned (e.g. how not to break drill bits) kept me in good stead for the walls, which came next.

I stripped the ply and put it to one side. I would use this again later.

Aluminium foil and recycled plastic bottle insulation (never even new there was such a thing until recently) were put up, hopefully in the right order, and secured.

I surprised myself with the neatness of wall one after the ply was reattached. In contrast to the mess on the floor.

Wall two next. And it was twice as big.

Last fix of the day was to insulate and cover a footwell, to ensure warm but also would increase floor space by a few more cm2, which in a wee van like Bernie would be useful. A few sawn pieces of ply, insulating materials and some offcuts of flooring lino and I think it looks pretty good.

You can maybe tell by the last photo, this job took me into darkness, by which point I felt I’d done enough. A floor and two walls complete. Still a roof and three doors to go. She’s not ready for a night up Ben Nevis just yet.

Seals of St Abbs

Just an ordinary, cold, sunny day with Neil on the Berwickshire Coastal Path from Dowlaw to St Abbs. With added seals! We got so close to them, the wee white ones are just pups, only a couple of weeks old.

Apparently they come here every winter for a couple of months of breeding. We saw them in three different bays along St Abbs Head. An absolute treat.

The views were pretty amazing, on a par with my last trip here a few months back.  There are a couple of old stone/bronze/iron forts where the rings of trenches and barriers are really clear.

The cliffs are truly spectacular.

Pettico Wick was lovely wee stone beach and harbour, where the seals set up camp to breed and the national trust ranger, a guy called Kieran, had set up camp to observe.  And we spent a lovely 10 minutes chatting about the seals behaviour and watching them through binoculars.

The rock formations in the background gave us a lot of pause for thought too.  Nature at its best in one small bay.

More seals were to be found in each of the next three bays.

Two sections of this coastal path completed, two to go at some point.


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