Insultation/reflection questions

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Insultation/reflection questions

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:18 pm

I'm sleeping in a rented cargo van. I've read posts that recommend using Reflectix material, and one person that just used aluminum foil inside. So I guess I'd put this on my roof on my windows (provided the reflection doesn't bother neighbors), right? How best to affix it? That tape you savvy hexayurt dwellers use? And is it also recommended to use it inside the vehicle, as some have said? That won't make it hot inside?

And if I'm going to use a swamp cooler inside the van, I need have ventilation. I'm thinking of taping some kind of filter over a window on the outside, so I can close the window inside. What is something easy and effective for ventilation while keeping dust away, or is that a fool's dream? A simple heating duct type filter from the hardware store?
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby BBadger » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:25 pm

At least for me, I felt pretty cool (relatively speaking) so long as I was in the shade and had proper ventilation. For your situation, I'd get a reflective tarp instead of dealing with foil, and if you're using foil, my intuition is that you'd want it on the outside of the window, because being on the inside causes the glass to absorb some of the heat going through it twice, and the foil conducts heat, which will contribute to heating the interior. It'd be better to have the foil suspended away from your window so that it can't conduct heat it manages to absorb at all.

Your swamp cooler? Your airflow will be terrible with a filter, and I can't imagine you'll have enough power + water to keep that thing going like you'd want. Plus, for me, I absolutely hate humidity in conjunction with heat. The playa is just awesome with respect to the concept of "dry heat". I remember waiting in line to leave the playa and just having the door open to the van meant we stayed cool. So for me, I'd ditch the swamp cooler altogether and use the space for something else.

Just my own two cents.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:07 pm

Thanks Badger, although many here sing the praises of the swamp cooler. We're bringing a generator and lots of water this trip, but I don't know how much is "enough" for this. And we're trying to keep the dust out of our little sleeping nest so I really don't want wide open doors/windows if I can help it. But maybe you're right. Maybe I just need to trust in layers of shade.

We're actually parking the van under the reflective tarp of the "black rock shade" structure: http://www.formandreform.com/wordpress/?page_id=2576 I'm just going for MOAR cooling!
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby junglesmacks » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:24 am

Why not ditch the cargo van and just go for a box truck? The price difference isn't all that much, but you'll have a whole hotel room with full shade instead of living out of a car.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:37 am

yargh, then everything changes again, that's why! Plus box truck won't fit under shade structure. Also, cargo van is not a car. It's got less windows and it's much bigger inside. It's in between the two.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby some seeing eye » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:16 pm

Mr Badger is correct, the foil goes on the outside of the window, never the inside. I have used mylar "space blankets" available at any outdoor store, cut to size on playa with scissors and taped down with 1 1/2 or 2" blue masking tape completely around the edge. Pulls right off at the end of the week. You should be fine with the shade structure over the roof. Light color vans - white are better. Beware putting a tarp directly in contact with the paint. Any wind causing flapping can wear paint off over a week.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby DesmondDoomsday » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:23 pm

Oh those tips are golden.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:57 am

DesmondDoomsday wrote:yargh, then everything changes again, that's why! Plus box truck won't fit under shade structure. Also, cargo van is not a car. It's got less windows and it's much bigger inside. It's in between the two.


With the shade that the box truck provides, you don't really need it to fit under a shade structure.. just saying.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby Dr Jet Sinister » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:10 am

Swamp coolers are fantastic on the playa! We used one for nap time during the afternoon in a canvas tent and it was a meat locker inside. What little humidity was created wasn't a problem, it felt good on my dry playa nose.
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Re: Insultation/reflection questions

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:08 am

The ladies I know who shared a box truck last year draped theatrical curtains onto poles extending off the end of their truck to make shade. It was really attractive. They did it in such a way that they could still close the door of course, but so that they didn't have to hide inside the truck for shade.

Of course, you get plenty of shade in the shadow of the truck if you aim the big door North (not South, 'cause that's where the greatest share of the wind comes from) and don't let anything park in the immediate East Shadow or West shadow.

But they wanted to aim the back of their truck East . . . which helped make a broad wind-shield for someone else.
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