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Old 07-03-2022, 04:26 PM   #1
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Hot weather insulation recommendations wanted

I just spent six weeks camping in a lot of hot weather, and it became obvious I need to add some insulation under the carpet. When I'm done driving, heat soaks up through the floor, likely from the converter and the exhaust pipes. After sitting for 15 to 30 minutes, the interior temp begins increasing, and it tends to stay that way for a very long time in hot weather, to the point that it gets hotter than it is outside by quite a bit. I already have an exhaust fan in the roof, and place double layers of reflitix in the windshield and side windows, now I need to add some insulation to the floor. I'd like some recommendations on products to use that will stand up to being walked on under the carpet and that has an aluminized reflective barrier, preferably on both sides. Additionally, lots of heat comes through the cab roof, which is fiberglass. Placing a sheet of reflectix on the outside really helps, but its inconvenient, so I'm thinking something that sprays on the fiberglass that's tinted white. I'd love to hear what has worked for folks.
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:45 PM   #2
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Same issue here, I was going to try some of this above the cats by removing the stock heat shield applying the barrier and then reinstalling the heat shield.

https://www.designengineering.com/fl...ld-ii-21-x-48/
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Old 07-03-2022, 05:46 PM   #3
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I covered the entire floor in a layer of Dynamat, then put a layer of Dynapad up in the front cab. Helps out with noise and heat a ton, especially on a diesel. You might be able to get away with just installing the pad and probably be ok.

https://www.dynamat.com/wp-content/u...-Sheet_Web.pdf

There are other products out there, but I donít have any first hand experience.

https://www.heatshieldproducts.com/hp-heatshield-mat
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Old 07-03-2022, 08:49 PM   #4
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Same issue here, I was going to try some of this above the cats by removing the stock heat shield applying the barrier and then reinstalling the heat shield.

https://www.designengineering.com/fl...ld-ii-21-x-48/
Always fighting the sun/heat living here in Florida.
Totally agree on the DesignEngineering product linked.
-It was a bit tedious but i installed it to the underside of the van above the transfer case, transmission all the way up to the engine and did a double layer on the engine side of the doghouse as well. It works great and is designed for exterior use, I highly recommend it. The adhesive is serious stuff when it touches that's pretty much it, so make paper templets and tend to go with smaller pieces so you can work it in the spaces. They also sell a metallic tape to seal the seams. I used their less expensive reflective skinned foam product above the rear axle and along side the fuel tank and forward to transfer case. Blocking the heat and noise outside the van is the most effective but does require premium products and a good install. After all that I do also have a highly dense foam layer under the flooring inside the van. My van is very quiet and heat resistant I'm very happy with the results in spite of the effort/cost.
-I also made some heat shields out of aluminum sheeting to put a barrier between the catalytic converters/resonators and the van floor similar to how Ford shields the muffler heat from the van floor.
-When you park and put the reflective sun screen in the windshield put it on the outside of the glass...much more effective. We sewed a 1" wide x 9" long strip of cloth on either side and close the front doors on the strip to help hold it in place ...also use the windshield wipers to hold the bottom. Never had it come off.
-Also when we park, the first thing i do is lift the hood and give the rising heat a easier path up and out rather than holding it in to find its way into the interior. Couple hours later you can close the hood whenever you think about it.
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Old 07-04-2022, 04:03 AM   #5
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Great recommendations.

I've been playing around trying to see if I can keep the inside of my van closer to the ambient temp when parked. I know you are looking at the floor, I know it is a source of heat for me when/after driving. I did put some closed cell foam under my floor in the rear half, need to do the front. I like the barrier underneath.

Using an exterior windshield cover really does make a difference. Twoxentrix has been suggesting this for some time and I have an old vinyl windshield cover he gave me.

At the risk of stating the obvious, I believe it will always be better to stop the heat on the outside rather than inside.
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Old 07-04-2022, 12:32 PM   #6
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Steve Hunt, those are all some great ideas, thanks. I spend a lot of time off road and tend to accumulate sand and mud under the van, so I wonder if you have any experience with accumulation on the insulation? I normally place a lawn sprinkler under the van after each trip, flushing the debris off the undercarriage. Do you think the insulation would stand up to that abuse? Thanks again..............
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Old 07-04-2022, 08:15 PM   #7
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Steve Hunt, those are all some great ideas, thanks. I spend a lot of time off road and tend to accumulate sand and mud under the van, so I wonder if you have any experience with accumulation on the insulation? I normally place a lawn sprinkler under the van after each trip, flushing the debris off the undercarriage. Do you think the insulation would stand up to that abuse? Thanks again..............
I've had the additional exterior insulation on about a year. Zero issues relative to sand and I've been in a lot of that. Can't really speak to mud though. I tend to avoid it. Had a Jeep CJ5 back in the day and enjoyed lots of Florida mud and muck regularly. It can certainly be hard on things mechanical. I don't really feel like dealing with all that these days....that said my feeling is that the Design Engineering floor and tunnel product would be fine. I spoke to Design Engineering on the phone when planning what I was going to do. Initially I too was thinking about adding more measures on the inside and it was Design Engineering that steered me towards the exterior product.
FYI, just to be clear, I used their spray on product in the exterior fender wells and its holding up well.
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Old 07-05-2022, 10:09 AM   #8
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...at the risk of stating the obvious.....there are three modes of heat transfer....


Conduction, convection and radiation.


The majority of the heat from the exhaust system into the body is radiant (radiation mode). For radiant heat transfer to happen there has to be a "view factor" which means the exhaust and body have to see each other. That's where reflective heat shields come in, they block the radiant transfer just by sitting between them.

Keep in mind that the existing heat shields get kinda hot and then they can radiate heat to the body (since their backsides can "see" the body).

When you are driving you have loads of forced convection removing heat from the cat and muffler, etc, from air rushing by but you still have radiation to the body. When you park you lose the convective heat transfer so the temp of the exhaust can increase (heat soak) and it just sits there and radiates.

...so adding additional heat shields spaced under the body will likely be the biggest bang for the buck. I added one to protect my propane tank..thin bent Aluminum.

Anything layed on the floor is mostly going to reduce conductive heat transfer; if it's foil faced place the foil face down....it'll give you a smidgen of radiant heat protection, but not much.

A practical example of radiant heat transfer is standing in front of a bonfire in cold weather. Your front side gets toasty and your backside is cold......then the wife stands in front of you and becomes your heat shield and you freeze your ass off.

...and one final tidbit...of the three modes, only radiation can travel through a vacuum, convection and conduction require molecules to rub together. So 100% of the heat we get from the sun is radiant heat......and of course thermoses work by eliminating conduction and convection by having a vacuum barrier and that barrier is also has a reflective coating to reduce radiant heat transfer.
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Old 07-06-2022, 12:04 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=boywonder;312723]...at the risk of stating the obvious.....there are three modes of heat transfer....

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Although it should be less effective, placing insulation under the carpet will be my first choice, because I will be able to remove it in the winter when additional radiated heat from under the van is desirable, but clearl, adding reflective insulation underneath, and over the catalytic converter should prove to be more effective.
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Old 07-07-2022, 11:28 AM   #10
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Overall - yes, the extra heat in the winter would be nice, but since you can light a furnace/heater with minimal amp draw vs trying to figure out summer a/c, it probably makes sense to tailor your insulation to stay cool first, then manage heat production when you need it.

What about a roof rack with reflectix on the bottom? A 2nd layer of something that would provide shade or reflect heat might be a less permanent option than trying to coat the roof. Otherwise, maybe the white butyl stuff they use on commercial roofs - although that's kinda hard to get at the moment.
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