September 23, 2021

How to Soundproof a Cargo Van

How to Soundproof a Cargo Van?

Why is there a need to soundproof your cargo van?

There are vehicles that are specifically designed to give the optimum comfortable ride to their passengers, but there are also vehicles that are built for tough tasks, and one of such vehicles is the cargo van. Most car manufacturers of this type of vehicle had omitted the soundproofing material that will dampen the sound and vibration to cut down the cost of production. This results in the production of vehicles that may not be as comfortable as the others but still appealing to the market due to their price.

How to Soundproof a Cargo Van

If you got a cargo van and are bothered by the irritating noise both from the external and internal noise, then you may opt to resort to soundproofing your van. There are zillion reasons why you need to have your cargo van soundproof. Still, we may just zoom in to just some of the few beneficial effects of soundproofing the cargo van, such as preventing hearing damage that may be a possible effect of being exposed for a long period to a loud environment and preventing any distractions.

The reason for having a soundproof van is to reduce and eliminate the different types of noise. Based on some studies, it has been shown that there were two types of noise which are the impact noise and the airborne noise. Understanding the differences between the two would make one be able to choose the right material that can effectively dampen the sound and noise.

Difference Between The Two Types of Noise

Impact Noise

This type of noise is oftentimes being referred to as structure-borne noise, and it is usually being propagated through solids and the direct result of the shock delivered to it. The impact noise is coming from the engine itself when the object impacts another, thereby creating a transformation of sounds.

Airborne Noise

You may have been bombarded by this type of noise almost every minute of your life, for this noise is being carried and transmitted through the thin air. These are the sounds of people chattering, laughing, crying, and as well as different types of sounds from the radio, television, and the list would go on.

These types of noise, which are the impact noise and the airborne noise, can be referred to as engine noise and road noise. Both of which can be reduced not by the regular foam panels but rather by the use of the impact noise blockers. The critical areas that you must focus on to get rid of the engine and road noise are the engine area, the cabin floor, and the wheels wells.

Best areas to install the soundproofing and the perfect deadening material to use

Wheel Wells

This is the area to place the soundproofing material if you want to eliminate the mechanical vibrations, drivetrain noise, the heat loss and heat gain, as well as road noise. You can make use of Mass Loaded Vinyl and Butyl Sound Deadener Mat.


If you opt to get rid of any type of drivetrain noise, heat gain, heat loss as well as roadside noise then you must focus on putting the deadening material on the floor area. The ideal material that you can use is the Mass Loaded Vinyl and the Butyl Sound Deadener Mat.


You can have this area soundproof if you want to target the wind noise, panel vibration, road noise, heat gain, and heat loss. Perfect for this job are the Heat Shield Insulation Sound Deadener, Butyl Deadener Mat, and the 3m Thinsulate sm600l.


Place the sound deadening material on this area if the issues are panel vibrations, wind noise, heat loss, as well as heat gain. You can depend on Heat Shield Insulation Sound Deadener, Butyl Deadener Mat, and the 3m Thinsulate sm600l.


If road noise, wind noise, and panel vibrations are the issues, then you may soundproof the doors, and you can rely on Heat Shield Insulation Sound Deadener, Butyl Deadener Mat, and the 3m Thinsulate sm600l.

Check out these different types of deadening materials

Before you start, you must consider the type of material you are going to make use of for the soundproofing of your cargo van. Here is a quick guide of which you can take a glance to give to you a hint which product is ideal for you;

Butyl Sound Deadener Mat

It already earned a mark among product people that oftentimes associated van soundproofing with this product. The aluminum foil backs the butyl sheet and acts as an absorber of any annoying rattles and vibrations. Some of the well-known brands of this Butyl Sound Deadener are the following which are the Kilmat, Dynamat, Noico Solutions, FatMat, GTMat, and Siless.

Heat Shield Sound Deadener Insulation

The Heat Shield Sound Deadener Insulation is a foil-backed, closed-cell foam that is known as the Thermal Acoustic Insulation. It is ideal for the next step in the van soundproofing process. It is rather easy to be installed, and it comes to self-adhesive backing. You can find a wide array of this type in the market. Some of the popular brands for Heat Shield Deadener Insulation are the following Shinehome, Pyle Uxcell, ZOOMJ,, as well as eBay’s’ Thermal Acoustic Insulation.

Thinsulate Insulation Rolls/3m Thinsulate sm600I

In the automotive industry, this is known as a thermal, acoustic product. This is specifically designed for soundproofing and insulation. This product is mildew, moisture, and mold resistant. You can only find one brand in the market, which is the 3m Thinsulate SM600L.

Process of Soundproofing

Take a reality check as to your time and budget. If you have both of these, it is better to soundproof the entire van for you to enjoy a comfortable ride. But if you are tight both as to time and budget, you can soundproof the van on a piecemeal basis.

The issue as to how much sound deadener should be installed and its coverage is still not being settled. For some, they claim that the more deadener is far better, and for others, just about 30% is already good. No matter what is the basis but still the deciding factor is your budget for the soundproofing.

The engine compartment may be the best area to start with your soundproofing and on the floor of the cabin, install the FatMat. For superb results, you can place any type of mat underneath the carpet before placing the FatMat. You must remember that though FatMat is made of strong material, it may last longer if properly placed on any protective layer.

It is also ideal if these materials are used for soundproofing the back of the van. It will drastically reduce the vibrations coming from the road and the possible impact of it on your driving.

Considering that most vehicles do not have smooth surfaces, it is better to make use of thin and flexible material. You may want to check the FatMat Self-Adhesive Deadener and the Boom Mat Spray-On. These products are the top-notch choice of DIYers in soundproofing the engine compartment, the cabin, the doors, the walls, the roof, and other critical areas which we have identified.

Take time to measure the area

Experience taught us that when buying materials, you need to make sure that they are enough to cover the area that you want to cover. It is also true when buying deadening materials; you need to measure the surface that will be insulated. Though exactness in measurement is not being required considering that the deadening mats can be cut into smaller pieces with the use of scissors.

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It is advisable that to have an extra length of materials, and it cannot be considered as a waste of money for any excess of the materials can still be used in your other DIY projects. It is better to end up in excess rather than ending up without sufficient material to complete the insulation process fully.


After the insulation process, you can make use of the spray-on foam, which is ideal for spraying on the smaller areas inside the van. It is advisable to use this spray-on foam on the areas that are not visible, considering that it doesn’t look that appealing. It is ideal for soundproof inside the engine compartment and door panel. Among the DIYers, this one is super-effective for soundproofing purposes.

You will not spend too much for a spray for one can of spray-on-foam is sufficient enough to cover the small nooks and crannies of the vehicle. You better have this spray, especially on the hard-to-reach areas. For better deadening and soundproofing results, you may use both the FatMat and as well as spray-on foam.

Product Recommendations
Noico 80 mil 10 sqft car Sound deadening mat, Butyl Automotive Sound Deadener, Audio Noise Insulation and dampening

LINGDA 21.53 SqFT 10mm Heat Shield Thermal Sound Insulation Proofing Deadener Mat Car Noise Control Acoustic Dampening Moistureproof Waterproof (40"X80")


Soundproofing your cargo van to make your ride comfortable and free from any annoying noise both from the engine and road noise is a wise use of your money. Though it may entail shelling out a few bucks, surely having a quieter ride will be worth it.

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Christy C. Araujo

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