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Best Ways to Soundproof / Sound deaden Your Campervan

Updated: Nov 14



There is one small detail that can make your road life unbearable: noise. A rattling van that offers no protection from road/outdoor noise can make a pleasant road trip quickly become an ordeal. In this guide I will show you how to very easily soundproof / sound deaden your van conversion! I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the van conversion instructor at Udemy, author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So let's jump in and have a look at how to remove rust from your van.


Index


A noisy campervan rattles with every movement on the road. It reverberates with the unevenness of the road and receives all the engine and outside/neighbourhood noise, giving you a bad travel experience. It will make you (and even moreso, the children) cranky and irritable, thereby making your whole road experience unbearable.


What brings about rattling in a van?

A noisy or rattling campervan results from the shaking or vibration of the thin steel body of your car when it's moving on the road. These thin sheets vibrate and resonate with any movement of the car on the road. And this makes the panels produce a rattling noise.


This problem is more prevalent in older vehicles that are travelling on bumpy roads. The higher vibrations, the more your campervan becomes noisy.


The thin body of the car also offers little or no resistance/insulation to external noise. So, if you are in a noisy place or in the wild at night, any animal or party noise will infiltrate your campervan, making it loud.


To prevent the occurrence of a rattling and noisy ride, you need to sound deaden or soundproof your car.


Soundproofing your camper van is easier than you think. It will help you travel in comfort and keep the outside noise out. Soundproofing your van will help you rest in peace, travel in silence, help you focus, and will improve the effectiveness of your internal sound system.


Areas you should soundproof

Roof

The roof is the recipient of all-weather elements. It receives the brunt of rain, hailstones, and strong wind. When these elements land on the roof of your campervan, they produce an irritating sound that makes it hard for you to sleep and drowns out your conversation or stations you are watching or listening to.


Walls

Campervans have thin steel walls. This makes it easy for any noise or external sound to enter the interior of your car. These walls also produce rattling sounds when on the road. Soundproofing these walls is the best way to do away with the noise.


Doors

Car doors (driver, passenger, back, and side doors) produce a lot of road sound, especially if they are not shut well or if there are cracks between the doors and vans and around the window.


Best products or materials for soundproofing your van conversion

The soundproofing materials you use should be thin and lightweight. They shouldn't take up too much space and add weight to your campervan.


Dodo dead mat

This is the sound deadening material that I used. And I found it to be an excellent way of soundproofing my campervan. Dodo dead mat is a superior self-adhesive, foil-backed sound deadening vibration damper. It reduces unwanted vibrations and structural noise. It is probably the most popular sound deadening choice for van conversions.

Dodo deadmat for van conversions

RoadBlockR

This sound deadening material is in the form of a thin, lightweight sheet that effectively deadens sound in a campervan.


Silent Running SR-500

This soundproofing coating absorbs both sound and vibrations in a campervan. You can apply it on metal (steel surfaces like doors and walls), fibreglass, and some plastic surfaces in your campervan.


Quiet barrier

This soundproofing material comes in many variations: high-density soundproofing sheets, sound-absorbing acoustic quilts, and peel-and-place tape. It is also easy to clean.


Mass loaded vinyl

It is an excellent sound barrier for vibration, sound dampening, and heat. Mass-loaded vinyl is also a great sound deadening mat because it also improves the inside sound.


Acoustic foam

This soundproofing material absorbs excess sound and improves the acoustics in your campervan. It is excellent for hard surfaces like the walls and roof of your van.


Butyl sound deadener mat

This soundproofing material comes as a butyl sheet with an aluminium foil layer at the back. It absorbs unwanted rattling (rattles) and vibrations.

The butyl sheet is made of butyl rubber, which makes it great at absorbing vibrations and sound waves when driving. An excellent example of the butyl sound deadener mat is the Dynamat sound deadener.


Sound Deadener insulation

The sound deadener insulation is closed cell foam wrapped or covered by foil. It is a combination of sound deadening and thermal insulation.

It is an excellent soundproofing material because it is heat resistant, durable, flexible, self-adhesive, making it easy to install as it easily moulds to the vehicle's surfaces.


Calmat automotive sound deadening mat

This butyl mat and foil mat absorb engine noises, vibrations, metal rattling, and outside noise. Its internal and external noise deadening makes it one of the best campervan soundproofing materials.


Sealants

Yes. Sealants play a big role in soundproofing. Use sealants to block cracks and any spaces around doors and windows, and panels. This will block sound from entering through the cracks.


Things to consider when choosing a sound deadener

  • Effectiveness of the mat in blocking or absorbing sound and vibrations

  • Ease of installation of the material

  • Level of heat resistance of the material

  • Material's sound-enhancing qualities on the inside of the campervan

Again, I chose Dodo dead mat because it ticked most of the boxes above.


Procedure for soundproofing your campervan

  • Strip your camper van panels. You can use a drill to do this.

  • Clean the steel sheets with an alcohol solution and leave them to dry.

  • Peel off the outer covering on the dodo dead mat sheets

  • Apply the dodo mat or any other sound deadening material

  • Stick it to the interior steel panels of your campervan

  • Use it to cover as many metal sheets as possible

  • Around the wheel arches and on the doors is particularly important


Conclusion

I hope you found this guide to installing a sound deadening in your van conversion useful! You now know the best way to soundproof your campervan. A well-soundproofed campervan shouldn't block out all external sound. It should leave room for you to hear important sounds like that of cars approaching, braking, and so on. That aside, it will help you enjoy your travels in peace.


You are well on your way to a beautiful self-build campervan! Don't forget to subscribe to The Van Conversion Newsletter for everything you need to get started with your own van conversion.


If you're converting a van but unsure of how to do it, you could also check out the Van Conversion Course on Udemy. In the course, you'll learn directly from me how to convert a van into your dream home - no prior experience needed!


Until next time,

Shane ✌️