Sound deadening material in Vanagon

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Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby aris » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:33 am

I've taken my vanagon to the burm the last 9 years. I guess I never really slept in it at night, but last year when I did, I found out that the square metal love of my life is in fact a low frequency bass enhancing speaker box when you get inside it.

I'm serious, you can't hear a thing outside, but you go inside and put your head down and you can hear every beat on the playa.

I'm wondering if anyone else with a vanagon has experienced this, and if you've come up with any ingenious ways of deadening the sound reverberations inside the van.

Much love, as always.

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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:48 am

No experience with the vanagon, but, check out DynaMat. You slap that stuff to the body panels and you won't have the reverb or rattles.
http://www.dynamat.com/
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:11 am

Spray foam. Several varieties at The Home Despot.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby wimala1 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:18 am

I have a beloved '89 vanagon as well (but it is a little sick with vanagon syndrome right now :( )

you are getting the reverb because the bed is hard attached to the body, and because it is a breadbox. short of rubber grommets between the bed bolts and the van, i don't know. spray foam is probably a good idea, but i would not take apart my beloved bread boxes interior just to put it in - i'd be too afraid of breaking the plastic.

i wonder if covering it on the OUTSIDE would make a difference? maybe that would upset the sound - who knows, 3 yurt silver panels, one for each side and the top, might be just enough interruption to make a difference. I don't really know how expensive they are, but they are definitely light. I saw a couple load them up on top of a 4 door, strap them down and make the return trip to LA - they said no problems came about on the trip up.

if i wasn't in south fl, and my baby wasn't sick, i would love to be camped right beside you!!

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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby wimala1 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:21 am

checked out the dynamat - it looks like a denser yurt board.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:04 pm

Hell, I hear that stuff just sleeping on my cot in the tent.

Two words: Earplugs.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:30 pm

This isn't the oldest thread that has come back to life, but wonder if the OP is still around.

Almost no commercial sound insulation is designed for bass below 100Hz. It is not possible to reduce bass without mass (weight). Lead sheeting and sand are the standard methods. Weight is not something you want to haul to the playa. So all the foam and mats are going to be useless against bass. And as wim points out, the bass is coming from ground conduction, not resonance - the van is much smaller than the wavelength of bass. Earplugs are of little protection for bass that travels through skull bone conduction.

Suggest sleeping on an air mattress with a pillow size chunk of something heavy, like a 1/2" thick piece of stone countertop or a bag of sand between it and your pillow. And as always, keep earplugs handy for noise above bass.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Bob » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:33 pm

Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Token » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:45 pm

Travel trailers do the same thing but at a slightly lower frequency. My 26' trailer resonates 40Hz bass.

You are correct about the resonator concept. Standing wave will fit the length if the vehicle and amplify. Typically 1/4 of the wavelength will be the magic frequency.

Damping the vehicle will not do much. Just give you cleaner bass.

Things you can do:

If the source of the sound is nearby, park orthogonal to the point of sound origin. Have the smallest dimension of your van face the sound source.

Open the back door if you have one. This creates an infinite baffle and reduces resonance, but now you get to hear the playa. Maybe hang a blanket in the opening.

Reduce the internal length of your van so that it does not pick up the base. A well placed foam board like they use for hexayurts or somesuch.

And finally, make it a convertible. ;)
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:46 pm

some seeing eye wrote:This isn't the oldest thread that has come back to life, but wonder if the OP is still around.

Yeah, I'm sure that a thread from July 6th came back as well...
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Bob » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Couple moving blankets over the top would be easy to try out.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby aris » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:27 pm

[quote="Token"]Travel trailers do the same thing but at a slightly lower frequency. My 26' trailer resonates 40Hz bass.

You are correct about the resonator concept. Standing wave will fit the length if the vehicle and amplify. Typically 1/4 of the wavelength will be the magic frequency.

Damping the vehicle will not do much. Just give you cleaner bass.

Things you can do:

If the source of the sound is nearby, park orthogonal to the point of sound origin. Have the smallest dimension of your van face the sound source.

Open the back door if you have one. This creates an infinite baffle and reduces resonance, but now you get to hear the playa. Maybe hang a blanket in the opening.

Reduce the internal length of your van so that it does not pick up the base. A well placed foam board like they use for hexayurts or somesuch.

And finally, make it a convertible. ;)[/quote]

Thanks much for this informative response.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby dragonpilot » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:21 pm

Corrective....I wear the earplugs to mute the surrounding noise. The bass? I look at that as saving quarters in a cheap motel's vibrating bed.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby pink » Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:47 am

Don't park it near a sound camp.

I have a Dodge 350 van conversion and have had no problems sleeping in it, even when camped behind the Roller Disco. However, someone setting up a tent next to me that kept hitting the side with the tent poles drove me batshit. Sounded like I had a metal bucket on my head and someone was taking a hammer to the bucket.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Hoolie » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:15 am

Despite being a dedicated tenter, the one thing that has always made jealous of the RVers is the extra sound insulation they get. Now I am learning that noise is a problem for them as well, and in some cases, the vehicle structure may exacerbate (i.e. amplify) the problem. In other words, the vehicle can become something of a speaker cabinet. Is this true, or are vans/RVs still better than tents for sound insulation?
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:20 am

I think you're doomed either way.
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Re: Sound deadening material in Vanagon

Postby Homiesinheaven » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:40 am

as a sound dude i'm surprised by the accuracy of the posts by Token and some seeing eye. they're right on! the market for acoustic deadening material is a HUGE rip off which is what that DynaMat sounds like to me. just know, the lower and louder the bass the harder it is to get rid of and sometimes it's impossible unless you're moving walls. you're in a box that's accentuating the sound with a standing wave so your best bet is to sleep elsewhere or as far away from the source as possible.
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