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Old 06-03-2008, 09:16 PM   #1
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Pop Top Insulation for HOT Days

I didn't want to 'jack the other thread, but I wanted to know if the same stuff you guys are using for winter insulation works well for heat. We generally camp in places that are waaaaay to hot and now that I'm reading that my a/c will most likely only cool 20 deg less than the outside temp, I really want to insulate the van from outside ambient and direct heat. The places I think are important seem to be the pop top.. Pretty much all over and under the roof in the cab. Did anyone find any insulation up there? Has anyone removed the paneling on the inside of the pop top and throw in some reflectix. Does that stuff noticeably help with reduction of the heat? What about using that same stuff for the fridge?

Joe
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:55 PM   #2
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Joe, it's plenty hot here in South Texas.
I haven't torn apart the ceiling of the cab or the penthouse roof, but have bought many yards of reflectix, originally to cut to fit the windows and the vertical sides of the penthouse. My opinion is that it's effective, esp. at double thickness, but the cut edges are too fragile to stay intact without reinforcement such as being spray glued to a fabric like SMB does for their "artic shades" or at the very least using duct tape to bind the edges. It's cheap enough to experiment with. I'm thinking of some kind of vertically spaced stiffeners, sort of like whale bones in a corset, which could be done using slats taken from a set of dead Venetian blinds. These wouldn't interfere with the reflectix being rolled, but would contribute to it's life expectancy of being handled.
I sewed curtain rings on the top and the bottom edges of the PH in regular paired intervals, put the reflectix up and hooked bungees top and bottom to the rings to hold the reflectix up and flush with the canvas. It makes it dark, and cuts down on the breeze, but you can take it down and roll it up at night for cross ventilation.
Sorry, no camera so no photos.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:50 AM   #3
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I have not done a tremendous amount of research on this, but this site does have a more flexible product . http://www.cetsolar.com/thermalfabric.htm

You could also try spraying this on the top of your roof. I know Zugg was looking into lizard Skin as a insulation alternative. When I contacted the company it was recommended that I use Lizard skin white. Again, my research stopped there, but you may want to look into it.
http://www.lizardskin.com/lizard_skin/r ... lation.php

greg
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:58 AM   #4
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We do a lot of camping higher up along the continental divide, which is usually at the end of a long road climb to the camp site.

As soon as I set up camp, I have started to always open the hood of the SMB to help the diesel cool off faster, rather than heating up the interior. This does help, and I may have to insulate the doghouse as has been described in previous posts on this forum.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:24 PM   #5
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Has anyone ever used the Lizard Skin insulation? If so, how well does it work for keeping heat in/out depending on the season?

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Old 06-07-2008, 08:37 AM   #6
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I was thinking about this insulating question yesterday....

It seems if you are wanting to avoid heating things up, you really want to shade rather than insulate.

If you want to keep the inside warm, then you want to insulate.

For avoiding heat, has anyone tried shading the sides of the penthouse? I am wondering what would happen if a curtain of some of the mentioned materials were hung around the penthouse from the edge of the fiberglass roof. THis would provide a large airspace that would help moderate the temperature in the penthouse volume.

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Old 06-07-2008, 09:00 AM   #7
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True. Good idea! But depending on how you're looking, you are looking at insulating against cold loss from the A/C through the PHT.

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Old 06-07-2008, 09:50 AM   #8
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I think I would worry more about things heating up and requiring more cooling. If you allow the sidewalls of the penthouse to heat up then you do need to worry about cooling them. If we can keep from heating the walls then it should require less cooling.

In the winter the needs would be different. Then you don't want to loose heat, so you need to keep the warth from migrating through the penthouse walls, and thus would require more insulation at the penthouse walls.

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Old 06-13-2008, 09:33 PM   #9
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Has anyone tried putting additional material between the canvas of the Penthouse and the elastic cords that pull it in as it lowers?

I am wondering if this could help insulate some in the winter and if it might not even need removeal.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-13-2008, 09:36 PM   #10
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OH.... and I was wondering if anyone has utilized the snaps that are available above each window as part of the window shade attachments.

It looks like you could create something that snapped on these and went from one end of the penthouse to the other to add some additional insulation. Again, this might help in the summer but would seem to be able to help more in the winter.

.
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