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Old 02-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #1
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Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

I've searched for a while to find some material to use for insulating the penthouse sidewalls, along with wanting some material to make van body window shades (privacy and insulation) to use while camped. I'm not a big fan of Reflectix in my SMB due to durability concerns, the aluminized facing can leave black marks on the canvas, and it feels like I'm sleeping in my attic, so I searched for an alternative.

I really like the material that my HeatShield windshield screen is made of (http://www.heatshieldstore.com/index.php), so I set out in search of that. I contacted HeatShield to see if they would sell the material to me and they declined. I'm not looking to undercut HeatShield or go into the windhsield screen business, I just want to custom make my own shades with the same material. It took a while, but I located and contacted the manufacturer of the material who will sell to anyone provided they make a minimum quantity buy. Turns out the quantity is not small at 300 linear feet of a six foot wide roll.

This potential group buy would be for the raw material only. Cutting of the material to fit your application, and finishing of the edges if desired, would be up to you. I'm not about to learn how to sew, my wife would never agree to sew banding on all the edges for everybody, and I don't want to deal with 20 custom orders in any case.

I've provided a link to the manufacturer's website below for information and a picture. The material is a "Three-part lamination of a cross-linked polyethylene foam sandwiched between a metalized polyester film and a clear polyester film. Used for sun & heat reflectivity and insulation." The material is silver on one side and white on the other, and the customer rep told me the material is 1/8" thick. The material is nice and smooth on both sides, based upon the HeatShield shades I have.

Bottom, righthand side of the link below:
http://www.deccofelt.com/materials.htm


I measured the interior height of the PH canvas walls at 27". My plan would be to cut six panels (each the width of the roll of material; 6 feet by the necessary height of 27") to go around the PH walls.
1 Driver's side, front
1 Driver's side, rear
1 Passenger side, front
1 Passenger side, rear
1 Front of PH
1 Rear of PH

Rounding up to a convenient number, and providing a little safety margin, let's call it 2.5' or 30" tall for each panel. Six panels @ 2.5' each yields 15' of material needed. This would provide for 20 "orders" out of a 300 foot roll. This would require you cutting the top and bottom edges. The six foot width could be accomodated by either cutting down the width to only what's needed, or overlapping the edges of the panels to eliminate gaps. Alternatively, you could cut the material lengthwise if you wanted longer sections (e.g. 15' is right around the length of one full side plus front or back of PH) and the amount of material used would be the same. There are numerous ways to customize the approach to meet your preferences. My interior meaasurements of my EB penthouse canvas was 10' 5" front to back, and 48" side to side.

Of course getting the material to you is another hurdle. Due to the dimensions, I would think that shipping might be prohibitively cumbersome and expensive. Are there enough SoCal SMB owners interested to make this happen? We could organize another SoCal meet & greet to make "the exchange", but making multiple delivery trips would put me upside-down on this deal. I'm thinking somewhere around $65 for 15 linear feet (by six feet) of the material, which would cover the cost of the material and a just a little for my time and trouble (like picking up the material in Glendora, CA). This comes out to $13 per yard of material (6' wide material) which seems fairly reasonable to me. This is all assuming the full roll will even fit in my SMB

For a price point comparison, Lowes sell a 25' x 2' roll of Reflectix for around $30, so that is a cheaper way to go, and while I'm a fan of Relectix in my attic, I'm not a fan of it in my SMB. At that price, Reflectix would be $0.60 /sq-ft, and the window shade material I'm talking about would be at $0.722/sq-ft, though the quantity of Reflectix is much different, and getting the Reflectix is much simpler. I just wanted to provide a point of comparison.

I personally want a double order (2 @ 15') in order to have material on hand to make the van body window shades for parking /camping. In order to make this work, I'd need at least 10 additional orders before I'd even think about placing the order with the material manufacturer, and I'd be much more comfortable with 12 orders.

Please post up if you might be interested, and if there's enough potential interest, I'll finalize the details and post those up before making any final decisions, and before looking for any commitments from people who would be interested. The last thing I need in my house is a 300' x 6' roll of insulation, and a long-term hole in my bank account. This will also be a one-time event. FWIW, my HeatShield screens have been very durable so far.


Herb
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

What happens to it if you walk on it Herb? If I could stow it under my lower bed I would be interested. I'd like to have enough to do my van windows as well. Too bad it's silver on one side. To tell the truth I'd like to have a cloth like material that could roll up like the privacy curtains up top.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:21 PM   #3
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Re: Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
What happens to it if you walk on it Herb? If I could stow it under my lower bed I would be interested. I'd like to have enough to do my van windows as well. Too bad it's silver on one side. To tell the truth I'd like to have a cloth like material that could roll up like the privacy curtains up top.
Dave,

I'll go out to my SMB in the next day or two and check my HeatShields for "crush resistance". I don't think there are any issues with this material crushing and loosing it's insulating properties, but I'll doublecheck.


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Old 02-25-2011, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

Well given the completely underwhelming response, I think this is a dead issue. I'm going to call them back and see if they won't sell me a smaller quantity, but if not, I'll have to go another direction.


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Old 02-25-2011, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

Maybe put this in DIY, your excess might be good as a replacement for reflectix as insulation, which I think someone was talking about recently.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:24 PM   #6
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Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

I think my wife is ready to start making PHT insulation panels and non-cab window insulation panels with matching SMB fabric ... But I think it is reflectix and we have not done a cost study yet.

We have nor had any issues with the reflectix marking anything to this point.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:03 AM   #7
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Re: Feeler - penthouse & window insulation/shade material

For those of you searching for Penthouse Insulation Options:

Check out TheSamba
Search on Poptop Insulation under Vanagon

There are 1000's more of these out there over 30 years

Some good solutions for insulation as well as Mods to our rigs......

BW
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