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Old 09-28-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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Insulation for windows?

Hunting season is approaching and I have never moved forward with a better solution for keeping my coach area warmer during the colder months. I have a regular body Chevy Express 1500 where I did a lightweight RB50-style build. My van really isn't insulated at all but everything I read is that the windows are the biggest source of heat loss so I plan to start there. My Express van was ordered as a cargo style but with the passenger van windows, so I have a TON of glass throughout the vehicle. I'm trying to figure out a solution that provides the best balance between cost, performance, fabrication time, and the ease of stowing for running down the road.

Do most members here make a "panel" out of Reflectix and press it into the window? I've read other references to make a "Reflectix sandwich" (coach | Refectix | additional insulation | Reflectix | window) or (coach | Refectix | additional insulation | window) with the "additional insulation" being jute or other thin insulating material.

I did some more digging on Reflectix and found information that it isn't everything it is cracked up to be. I've read that to get the advertised insulating factor, the Reflectix needs at least a 3/4" air space between it and the surface to be insulated but this air gap can lead to excessive condensation/moisture buildup in a van/RV. I also found a rather unflattering review of foil-faced insulation in general - Stay Away from Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap | GreenBuildingAdvisor.com. I found another site claiming that during the warmer months, Reflectix in the windows can damage tint and crack the glass due to the excessive reflected heat.

So I'm just looking to debunk any misinformation and arrive at the best solution for my windows. At this point, something will be better than nothing. My initial idea is some sort of panel for each window that could roll up or lay flat under the rear couch/bed, that would then press into the rubber seal that lines each window. I would be interested in seeing or hearing about your solutions!


Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:34 PM   #2
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I can't offer any science here but I use Reflectix cutouts sandwiched in my windows for a few reasons. First, it's an average insulator........I hope, but more than that it is cheap and simple to cut to fit, easy to store and gives you privacy. I don't live in a harsh climate and usually put a heater in any van I've had if it didn't come with one, but I bet a good enhancement would be to use the reflectix stuffed into the windows and then have some heavy curtains made that hang inside the trim a couple inches off the Reflectix. All this will be for naught though if you don't insulate your van pretty well every other way (floor, ceiling, etc) and a big place vans are poorly insulated is around the dash, doghouse, front doors, etc. I've had a few motorhomes (class C van cab) and a heavy drape or privacy curtain hung behind the front seats closing off the cab does wonders to keep cold or heat in or out.

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Old 09-28-2016, 05:42 PM   #3
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This is the stuff I used, but I used the version with the radiant barrier on both side. I wanted what I at least I thought would give me better insulation than Reflectix, and a more durable product as well. Only used it for a year or so before I sold my SMB, but it worked well during that time. I was somewhat more bulky than Reflectix however.

UltraTouch™ Radiant Barrier « Bonded Logic


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Old 09-28-2016, 05:48 PM   #4
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Dang Herb, I just pulled that stuff up on HomeDepot.com and it's 21.95 for a 48"x6' roll. If my math is right, to do all the windows in my EB passenger van, it would be about four thousand dollars!
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:54 PM   #5
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48" x 75' double sided foil for $280.99 at Summit.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/tru-12475


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Old 09-28-2016, 05:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Dang Herb, I just pulled that stuff up on HomeDepot.com and it's 21.95 for a 48"x6' roll. If my math is right, to do all the windows in my EB passenger van, it would be about four thousand dollars!
Just how many windows do you have? I think there's a decimal error in there somewhere.


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Old 09-28-2016, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
...and a big place vans are poorly insulated is around the dash, doghouse, front doors, etc. I've had a few motorhomes (class C van cab) and a heavy drape or privacy curtain hung behind the front seats closing off the cab does wonders to keep cold or heat in or out.
Is there a suggested type of material to make this curtain? This is another feature I was looking to add.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
Just how many windows do you have? I think there's a decimal error in there somewhere.


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Oh I was just being sarcastic. Having an EB window van again and recently spending hours cutting Reflectix for is I was reminded how much glass there is in one. ALOT!

As for curtain material I have no idea but I would use something heavy or double it.


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Old 09-28-2016, 09:52 PM   #9
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Am thinking about cutting down a heavy blanket from a queen size bed to use as a divider between the front and rear of the van.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #10
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Made a trip to good ole W-Mart and picked up quite a few super size windshield sun blockers.,mahout $7 each. Easy to cut, can be sewn or taped together to make some pretty good widow covers. They can also be doubled up.

Another workable solution is to glue them to cardboard or another thicker/stiff material with air pockets, like Coroplast, in it to create more insulation. The inside face can be covered with material for even more insulation.

In our window van, we used to leave the rear most side windows aft of the side doors always covered and made those covers extra thick. Rest of the windows were single or double layers and easily folded up for storage.

Love to hear more ideas!
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