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Sound Deadener Mats – A Vanlife Essential?

Ready to hit the road and embrace the vanlife? Whether you’re planning a cross-country trip or gearing up for weekend getaways, there’s one thing you’ve probably overlooked—sound deadener mats. Yes, you heard (or didn’t hear) right!

Picture this: you’ve found the perfect spot nestled between towering pines. The birds are singing, the wind is rustling through the leaves, and…wait, what’s that? The annoying hum of your van’s engine or the echo of your dog’s excited barks bouncing off the metal walls of your van.

Not exactly the serene escape you were hoping for, right?

That’s where sound deadener mats come in. These unsung heroes of van conversions can seriously upgrade your on-the-road living experience. In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about these noise-reducing wonders: what they are, why you need them, and how to install them in your own camper van.

So strap in, grab your furry copilot, and let’s dive into the quiet world of sound-deadener mats for van conversions. Trust us, your ears (and your pet’s ears) will thank you!

This post includes affiliate links, but rest assured that we only recommend items we would use ourselves. And if you choose to make a purchase, we receive a small commission. No sponsorships, just the truth about our favorite finds.

What Are Sound Deadener Mats?

Extra work gets put into a converstion van. Sound Deadener Mats installed to help reduce noise when traveling.

Let’s talk about a little secret weapon in the world of vanlife. Something that can turn your rolling home from a noisy tin can into a peaceful sanctuary. We’re talking about sound deadener mats.

Purdue University tells us that a passenger car driving at 65mph clocks in at around 77 decibels. The upper 70s are considered annoyingly loud to some people. For comparison, a power lawn mower hits about 100 decibels and is 8 times as loud as 70 decibels.

So, when you’re rolling down the highway in your van, sound-deadening mats can help lower this decibel level significantly, giving you a more pleasant drive.

And they work! Studies like the one reported in the Journal of Safety and Health at Work found that when sound-deadening mats were applied to construction equipment engine compartments, the decibel level was significantly reduced.

Below, we’ll give you all the details on what sound deader mats are, how they work, and where to put them in your van!

What Are They?

Sound deadener mats are typically made from a particular type of sound-deadening material, such as rubber or asphalt material that’s been mixed with metal particles. The result is a flexible, durable sheet that can be cut to size and stuck inside your van.

How Do Sound Deadener Mats Work?

It’s all about vibration. When your van moves, vibrations and sound waves bounce around inside the metal shell, amplifying sounds like your engine’s hum, road noise, or your pup’s excited barks as they see another dog.

Sound-deadening materials and mats absorb these vibrations, stopping them from bouncing around and reducing the overall noise level inside your van. It’s like a giant mute button for unwanted sounds! These sound absorption mats are a must-have if you plan to van life in any climate that gets too warm or cold.

Where To Install Sound Deadener Mats

So where should you put these magical mats? The most common places are the wheel wells and the floor of your van. These areas create the most noise as they’re directly exposed to the road. But you can also place them on the walls and roof for maximum peace and quiet.

When it comes to van sound-deadening mats, think of the noisiest places in your van and stick them there!

Think of it like this: You wouldn’t go hiking without your trusty boots, right? Just like those boots protect your feet from rough terrain, sound-deadener mats shield your ears (and your pet’s ears) from the harsh noises of the road. They’re an essential piece of gear for any vanlife adventurer seeking tranquility on their journeys.

So, if you’re ready to turn down the volume on your adventures and listen to the sweet sounds of nature (or enjoy a quiet conversation with your travel buddy), it’s time to consider adding sound-deadener mats to your van conversion toolkit.

Luckily, this was not a mistake we made on our van build. However, we made plenty of other little mistakes along the way. You can read about them in our article about the 5 mistakes we made while building our van. This way, you can avoid those silly mistakes that cost time and money!

Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the benefits of these game-changing mats in our next section!

The Benefits of Using Sound Deadener Mats in Your Camper Van

The last thing you want to hear when enjoying a peaceful evening in your van is the buzz of traffic or the dull thrum of conversation outside your vehicle. Luckily, sound-deadening mats can help keep this noise to a minimum so you can enjoy peace and quiet while relaxing in your van!

There are various benefits to installing sound-deadening mats in your van. Let’s start with the most obvious – noise reduction!

Noise reduction

Ah, imagine it: you’re cruising along the beautiful coastline, but instead of the annoying hum of the road, all you hear is the soul-soothing purr of your engine and the subtle serenade of the waves.

This, my friends, is one of the most significant benefits of sound deadener mats – noise reduction. They work like a charm to absorb those irritating road noises and vibrations, making your ride as peaceful as a Sunday morning.

Temperature Control

The benefits of sound deadener mats continue beyond noise reduction. They’re also a secret weapon for temperature control. These mats add an extra layer of insulation to your van, keeping it cool as a cucumber in the sizzling summer and cozy as a heated blanket in the frosty winter.

That said, it’s always good to have a second source of insulation since most soundproofing mats aren’t designed to cover the entire van.

More Enjoyable Vanlife

So what does this all mean for your journey? Comfort, peace, and the freedom to enjoy the sounds you want to hear, whether that’s the whisper of the wind through the trees, the laughter of your travel buddy, or the latest episode of your favorite podcast.

In essence, sound deadener mats are like the unsung heroes of your camper van toolkit. They protect your ears from the harsh noises of the road and enhance your overall van life experience, giving you the peace and tranquility you need on your adventures.

If you’re unsure whether or not vanlife is right for you, you can check out our article on all you need to know about vanlife!

Common Misconceptions about Sound Deadener Mats

There are a few myths floating around out there that might be keeping you from embracing this quiet revolution. So let’s shine a light on these tall tales and set the record straight.

Here are some of the most common misconceptions we’ve come across:

  • They’re too expensive: Sure, sound deadener mats aren’t free, but let’s put things into perspective. Think about all those nights you’ve spent in noisy campgrounds, the engine rumble interrupting your peaceful slumber, or your pup’s barks echoing around the van. Now imagine a world where those sounds are just a faint whisper. Sounds priceless, right? The truth is, these mats are an investment in your comfort and peace of mind on the road, and they’re worth every penny.
  • Installation is too tricky: We get it. Sticking sheets of material all over your van might sound a bit daunting. But fear not, adventurous friend! Installing sound deadener mats is actually pretty straightforward. You measure, cut, peel, and stick. Plus, we’ll be guiding you through the whole process in a later section of this guide. So don’t sweat it. You’ve got this!
  • They’re unnecessary: This one couldn’t be further from the truth. While you might think you can live with a bit of noise, trust us when we say that once you’ve experienced the peaceful tranquility that sound-deadener mats bring, you won’t want to go back. They make driving more enjoyable, sleeping more restful, and overall van living a more serene experience.

Don’t let those myths keep you from a quieter, calmer vanlife experience. Sound deadener mats are affordable, easy to install, and essential for anyone looking to transform their van into a peaceful haven on wheels.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll dive into how to choose the suitable sound deadener mats for your specific needs. Strap in, adventurers; we’re just getting started!

How to Choose the Right Sound Deadener Mat for Your Van

So you’re ready to take the leap and invest in a sound deadener mat for your van. Awesome! But where do you start? With so many options, choosing the right mat can feel like trying to find the perfect hiking trail—exciting but a little overwhelming.

Don’t worry. Like a trusty old trail map, we’re here to guide you through this journey.

First off, let’s talk about the different types of mats available. There are three main types: rubber mats, asphalt mats, and mats made from a mix of both.

Rubber mats are flexible and easy to install, but they might not be as durable. Asphalt mats, on the other hand, are super tough but can be a bit more challenging to work with. And then there are the hybrid mats that give you the best of both worlds.

Now, how do you choose the right one? Well, it depends on a few things:

  • Size of your van: Bigger vans might need thicker mats to absorb all those vibrations properly. Smaller vans can get away with thinner ones.
  • Climate: If you plan on adventuring in hot climates, asphalt mats are not the best choice, as they can become sticky. Rubber or hybrid mats are often better suited for warmer weather.
  • Budget: Like any piece of gear, sound deadener mats come in a range of prices. Decide how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it. Remember, this is an investment in your comfort!
  • Personal preference: At the end of the day, you’ve got to be happy with your choice. So listen to your gut!

Top Recommendations For Sound Deadener Mats

Now, let’s talk about recommendations. Here are a few popular choices among our fellow vanlifers:

1. Dynamat Xtreme

This top-of-the-line option is loved for its excellent sound-deadening capabilities. It’s a bit pricier, but many say it’s worth every penny.

  • Pros: Excellent noise reduction, durable
  • Cons: More expensive, can be harder to install

2. Noico

A more budget-friendly option that still delivers excellent results. It’s also easier to install, making it a favorite among DIY-ers.

  • Pros: Affordable, easy to install
  • Cons: Not as durable as some other options

3. FatMat Self-Adhesive RattleTrap

A hybrid mat that offers an outstanding balance between price and performance. It’s also heat-resistant, making it a good choice for those hot summer adventures.

  • Pros: Good value for money, heat-resistant
  • Cons: Not as thick as some other options

4. Kilmat

An affordable and effective option that’s well-liked by vanlifers on a budget. It’s straightforward to cut and install, making the process less hassle.

  • Pros: Budget-friendly, easy to install
  • Cons: Not as sound-absorbent as some higher-end options

Remember, choosing a sound deadener mat is like choosing the right climbing gear or the perfect hiking trail—it’s all about finding what works best for you and your adventure buddy (four-legged or otherwise). So take your time, research, and before you know it, you’ll enjoy the peaceful tranquility of your newly quiet van.

How to Install Sound Deadener Mats

Installing sound deadner mats for a converstion van.

So, you’ve got your mat and are ready to start. But how exactly do you install these magical noise-reducing sheets? Don’t worry. It’s easier than setting up a tent in the dark (we’ve all been there, right?).

Let’s break it down:

1. Prep your van: Start by removing any interior panels or carpeting. You’ll want a clean, bare surface to work with. Then, give everything a good wipe-down to remove any dust or grease. This will ensure the mats stick correctly.

2. Measure and cut: Next, measure the area where you’ll apply the mat. Then, using a utility knife, cut the mat to size. Remember, it’s better to cut a bit extra than not enough. You can always trim it down later.

3. Peel and stick: Once your mat is cut to size, peel off the backing and carefully stick it to your van. Start from one edge and gradually smooth it out to avoid bubbles or wrinkles.

4. Apply pressure: After the mat is in place, apply pressure to firmly stick it down. You can use a roller for this, but a good old-fashioned can of beans works too!

5. Repeat: Now, repeat these steps until you’ve covered all the noisy areas in your van. However, remember that you don’t need to cover every square inch of your van to reduce the noise. Your sound-deadening mat will have instructions on what percentage of surface area you need to cover (for example, kilmat is only 30%).

Here are a few tips to make the process smoother:

  • Take your time: This isn’t a race. Take time to measure accurately, cut precisely, and stick the mat down properly. Trust me, it’ll save you headaches down the road.
  • Work in sections: Instead of covering your whole van simultaneously, work in sections. This will make the process more manageable and less overwhelming.
  • Remember the nooks and crannies: Remember those small, hard-to-reach areas. They might seem insignificant, but every little bit helps when it comes to reducing noise.

And there you have it, folks! With a bit of patience and a dash of elbow grease, you can transform your noisy van into a peaceful sanctuary. So grab your mats, and let’s get to work. Because a quieter van means more peaceful adventures, and who doesn’t want that?

Other Types Of Sound Deadening Materials

No matter where you look, there will be sound deadener mats favored by vanlifers. But those few brands aren’t the only sound-deadening material you can use to turn down your van sound.

Below, we’ll go over some unconventional ways to lower the noise and vibrations inside your van for a more peaceful ride and enjoyable time in nature.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV): Think of MLV as the heavyweight champion of the sound-deadening world. It’s dense, it’s heavy, and it’s really good at blocking out noise.

  • Pros: Excellent noise blocking, durable
  • Cons: Heavy, can be tricky to install

Butyl Sound Deadener

Butyl Sound Deadener: This standard sound-deadening mat is made with butyl instead of asphalt or rubber. It’s flexible, easy to work with, and does a decent job of reducing noise.

  • Pros: Flexible, easy to install
  • Cons: Not as effective as some other materials

Rigid Foam Boards

Rigid Foam Boards: These are typically used for insulating homes but can also help reduce noise in your van. They’re lightweight and easy to cut, making them a popular choice among DIY-ers.

  • Pros: Lightweight, easy to cut and install
  • Cons: Not as effective at noise reduction as some other materials


Thinsulate: This type of insulation is often used in clothing, but it can also help keep your van quiet. It’s thin, soft, and easy to work with.

  • Pros: Thin, soft, easy to install
  • Cons: Not as effective at noise reduction as some other materials

Sound Deadener Mats Vs. Other Sound-Deadening Materials

So how do these compare to regular sound-deadening mats? Well, while mats are explicitly designed to reduce noise, these other materials have the added benefit of also providing insulation and therefore minimizing radiant heat. This means when you’re cruising in your Sprinter van, it will keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter—a big plus if you’re traveling with pets or planning on hitting up some colder climates.

Here’s a crazy idea – combine them together! Van insulation and soundproofing? Yep! In our van we installed kilmat sound-deadening mats directly on the walls of our van. Next, we added Havelock Wool insulation for a double whammy. Our van is quiet and cozy all year long!

Remember, every van is unique, just like each of our adventures. So take your time, research, and find the material that best suits your needs. And as always, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

Have you tried any of these materials? Got any tips or tricks to share? Drop a comment below, and let’s continue this adventure together.

Still trying to figure out where to start? Check out our article on How To Start A Camper Van Conversion! We have some excellent tips on where to start and what to avoid.

A Quiet Conclusion!

We’ve been on quite a journey today, haven’t we? Like that epic climb or that unforgettable hike, we’ve tackled some pretty big topics. We’ve debunked myths about sound deadener mats, explored how to choose the right one for our vans, and even navigated the installation process together.

Why did we embark on this adventure? Because we believe in making our van life as enjoyable as possible. And trust us, investing in a good soundproofing mat is like finding that perfect camping spot—once you’ve experienced it, there’s no going back.

Remember, these mats aren’t just about reducing noise (though that’s a big plus). They’re about creating a serene, peaceful haven on wheels. A place where you can relax after a long day of exploring, where your pup’s barks don’t echo around the van (or maybe your cat has an incredibly loud meow!), and where you can truly enjoy the sounds of nature outside your window.

So, are you ready to join the quiet revolution? We hope so! And remember, every vanlife journey is unique. Maybe you found a different mat that works for you, or you’ve got a killer tip for installing them. Whatever it is, we want to hear from you.

Drop a comment below and share your experiences with our community of adventurers. Because, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. And for more vanlife tips, check out our vanlife blog!

Keep exploring, adventuring, and making your van life the best it can be. Until next time, friends, happy travels!


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