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Old 03-13-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
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To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

OK, still obsessing about PH and van window shades/insulators for use when parked and camped. Far too many material choices, but it seems anything I really like is only available in very large quantities.

Looking for some opinions out there (facts would be even better), about whether having a metalized reflective surface on the side facing outward is truly beneficial, or if a light colored material would be nearly as productive in managing the solar heat gain through the windows? Have I been overly concerned about finding the ideal material that is reflective and durable?

I've been coming across a lot of fabric options that seem promising, except for the lack of a reflective surface (e.g. insulated curtains, neoprene, automotive headliner material).

The PH top I think I'm very comfortable with a non-reflective insulator, but the van windows I am still leaning towards a reflective surface.


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Old 03-13-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Herb ,
Check this Web sight , I have ordered a half a dozen samples over the last three years ,looking for good replacement for our penthouse roll down curtains everything I received was too thick ,
stiff or had to much memory . This material looks like it may be promising . I haven't ordered any yet but was shown a small piece by the lady that makes my Boat covers and it looked like a very usable material .
http://www.radiantbarrier.com/radiant-curtains.htm
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Greggde,

Already have a sample of that fabric that those curatin liners are made from, which I really do like, but the best price I've fond is $18.71/yard (w/free shipping) at BarnWorld.com. There's also a 10 yard minimum order.

Trying for something more budget friendly first but a great recommendation.


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Old 03-13-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Herb ,
Good luck and if you find something suitable PLease Post .
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Here's the latest material I'm getting a sample of. Don't bother with the Request a Sample link, it didn't work for me, so I called instead. It's a 3/8" thick cotton batting with an Aluminum facing. I'm curious to see the durability of the facing once I get the sample. From the manufacturer's website info, it does have some pretty good insulative properties, so if nothing else, it might make a good van body insualtor for you DIY'rs. It's sold at Home Depot, though online only there as far as I can tell.
http://www.bondedlogic.com/insulator.htm


I'm also considering quilted ironing board material. Not highly reflective, at least visually, but it is designed to reflect heat. I now know the non-quilted ironing board material dos not have insulation. The quilted stuff has cotton batting behind it, though the stitching does concern me as far as creating paths for cold air to travel through. FYI, it can be found cheaper at Joanne's Fabric if you have a 50% off coupon.
http://www.beverlys.com/quilted-ironing ... oth-silver

With either of these fabrics, I would back them with fabric.


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Old 03-14-2011, 11:20 AM   #6
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Herb ,
The first material looks promising and I will go to our local Home Depot and see if the have it in stock . My wife has made Hot Pads for serving Casseroles and the such on wood surfaces out of the Ironing Board material with success . She was able to get this material at Joann's Fabrics here locally . I spent additional time last evening researching these types of materials . If I find anything interesting I will be sure to post . What I have had in mind was to be able to reverse our Penthouse Roll Down Curtains , Silver to the outside for Sunny Days and reverse them when it is cold .
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:39 AM   #7
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

I have been thinking about the same general subject. Keeping the van cool(er) in hot sunny weather. I see many class A's that us front window cover made of a screen material. It blocks 50%(?) of the light (and heat?). You can't see in the RV in the day light but they can still see out.

I am thinking a adding industrial strength Velcro along the underside of the penthouse top. Buying a roll of "cat proof" screening and make shade curtains to hand down from the penthouse top edge. Should reduce the heat load on the top canvas, being 3-5 inches away from the canvas should self cool a fair amount. Because my awning is already attached to the passenger side of the penthouse I would only need it on the drivers side, front or rear (one long piece and one short piece) depending on direction the van is parked in.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

LenS ,
I guy lined one of the Silver Tarps that you can purchase to the Roof Rack during a Dove Hunt in Yuma , Arizona last year and it dropped the temperature 20 degrees during the course of the day I also noticed that our refrigerator cycling slowed from the lack of direct sunlight on the side of our EB-50 .
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #9
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
I am thinking a adding industrial strength Velcro along the underside of the penthouse top. Buying a roll of "cat proof" screening and make shade curtains to hand down from the penthouse top edge.
You might have trouble getting velcro to stick to the inside of the PH, it's pretty rough up under there from what I recall. You can make a "curtain" rod out of rope, anchor one end and then anchor the other to a turnbuckle to tension the rope. Just sew a pocket along the screen for your shade. Not sure I'm keen on anchoring anything to the PH from any direction though.

The other thing I've done along the same lines is to put a spring on the end instead of the turnbuckle, then a hook for a loop in the rope. The spring provides tension and you can unhook the loop to remove whatever is on the cord. I would think soft material or soft screen would be better, I used to use old bedsheets for my curtains with this setup in my truck cap.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #10
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Re: To reflect or not to reflect, that is the question

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
I have been thinking about the same general subject. Keeping the van cool(er) in hot sunny weather. I see many class A's that us front window cover made of a screen material. It blocks 50%(?) of the light (and heat?). You can't see in the RV in the day light but they can still see out.

I am thinking a adding industrial strength Velcro along the underside of the penthouse top. Buying a roll of "cat proof" screening and make shade curtains to hand down from the penthouse top edge. Should reduce the heat load on the top canvas, being 3-5 inches away from the canvas should self cool a fair amount. Because my awning is already attached to the passenger side of the penthouse I would only need it on the drivers side, front or rear (one line piece and one short piece) depending on direction the van is parked in.
Len,

You may be thinking of solar shade material (Coolaroo), available at Lowes and Home Depot, and other places. Provides a ceretain amount of shading percentage, but you can still see through it to some extent.


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