This is part 4 in a series about reducing heat loss in my Vanagon Westfalia. In this installment, I show the affects of insulating the rear hatch. A spot that I have always felt is drafty and cold when sleeping. Especially since I sleep with my head toward the rear hatch. If you haven’t read PARTS 1-3 in this series, then check them out here:
VW Vanagon Westfalia Pop-Top – Reducing Heat Loss – Part 1- Roof
VW Vanagon Westfalia Pop-Top – Reducing Heat Loss – Part 2 – Tent Sidewalls
VW Vanagon Westfalia Pop-Top – Reducing Heat Loss – Part 3 – Window Glass
In this post, I test the Fanchers.com’s rear hatch thermal (yep, Fanchers again!). First, here’s a picture of the poorly cut piece of Reflectix that I’ve been using:
One can easily see why that would be drafty. It worked better than nothing, that’s for sure, but it was drafty.
Here is a picture of the Fancher’s product installed. It’s a perfect fit, and snaps into the same snaps as the rear hatch screen. Installation is a “snap” (pun intended)!
Here’s a view from inside:
Like part 2 and 3 of this series, this test was done on the evening of December 31st, 2016. Actually, between 2am and 3am on January 1st, 2017. 🙂 I won’t post my baseline temperature pictures again, as those can be seen in part 2 and 3. I will state the temperature in the barn was about 29 degrees Fahrenheit, and the inside of the van was about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
NOTE: Thinking back, I had the barn door open for a while when these pictures were taken, and the back of the van is just a few feet from where the door is when closed. I didn’t take a thermal temperature reading of outside, which I probably should have done. It was later in the evening too, so the temperature probably dropped a bit (probably closer to 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside by this time). Let’s get started!
First, some thermal images with no rear hatch insulation:
Next, the pictures with the Fancher’s rear hatch thermal installed (a definite improvement):
As you can see, the rear hatch thermal really improves the heat loss of the hear hatch. Most importantly, from a practical daily use perspective, it doesn’t feel drafty along the back hatch anymore. My van is feeling super cozy, and that makes me happy!
In part 5 of this series, I’ll be testing Campervanculture.com’s exterior reflectix tent thermal (Westfalia Roof Thermal Wrap). I think their product will kick ass too, just as much as these products from Fancher’s. Here’s a picture of the Campervanculture.com product: