tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

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tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby avirx » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:15 pm

Please forgive me if this info is somewhere else, with the huge amount of posts/links I have just gotten lost looking.

Any pointers on the best way to keep my SUV cooler (I'm sleeping in it) by reflecting the sun? Would you recommend those flimsy Mylar Space Blankets (taped or otherwise tied somehow), Reflectix on the outside, or any other product you have experience with?

I can't really build a big shade structure as I'm alone until I find my friends, so I'm looking for an easy tape or tie on car situation.

thanks

oh yes, and also does wrapping the cooler in such a material help keep the ice from melting so fast??
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Postby some seeing eye » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:33 pm

The space blankets work perfectly for windows. Just cut them to exact size with scissors when you get there and tape around the edge completely with 2" wide blue masking tape. You can't let any wind get under it or it will tear. Regular masking tape turns to something you can't remove after sun baking. If the car isn't white or silver, cover the roof with something opaque and reflective. Also a good practice to tape over the air vent grille in front of the windshield to minimize dust.
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Postby Token » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:12 pm

Get an old but soft comphorter or two from a thrift store or salvation army etc.

Get some knit shade cloth from a garden supply store, not woven, not a tarp, those won't work. Get ~ 10 by 30 feet of the highest shade factor, 70% or higher.

Get some 12 inch nails from home depot or such. They are two for a buck so get 20 of em and a good claw hammer. Pick up a bunch of rope as well, 50 or 100 feet.

Put the comforters on the suv and cover the windshield & roof. Let it drape over both sides.

Take the rope and run it over the comforter near the spot where the windshield and hood meet. Run it under the suv and tie snug. Repeat mid roof and near the tailgate.

Take your shade cloth and drape it over the padded suv so that the center of the cloth is on the centerline of the suv.

Put a cooler or something else heavy on the roof.

Pull the shade cloth out and make an A-frame type thingy with the suv as the center beam. Nail it in with those nails and hammer. Do one side gently taught, then tighten on the other side real snug.

You may need to fiddle with the tension a few times on account of the windshield slope.

Now you have shade on both sides of the suv and your sleeping quarters are insulated

Or you could just pitch a tent in the morning shade side of the suv.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:27 pm

Buy a carport and park under it.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby rodiponer » Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:52 pm

Something shiney (aluminum foil) in the windows. Aluminet thrown over the top.
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Postby phil » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:08 pm

We tape aluminum foil inside the windows so that no light at all gets in. Our white van remains cool all day and night.
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Postby gyre » Tue Jul 13, 2010 8:39 pm

Someone put reflectix scrim over an rv last year and reported good results.

An air gap would help though.

There is a thread somewhere.
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Postby Thecatman » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:34 pm

gyre wrote:Someone put reflectix scrim over an rv last year and reported good results.

I put reflectix over the west and east facing windows on our house and it helps keep it somewhat cooler. Looks kinda tacky but, this is Dayton NV, not Buckingham Palace.
One morning in June, according to our outside thermometer, it was 81 on our east facing porch. The sun was shining through a window into the foyer where we have an indoor thermometer and it read 108.
Hung some reflectix over it and it stays in the 70s. Cats don't like it cuz they can't look out the windows and some indoor plants we have kinda suffer. I might give it a try on my camper shell this year.
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Postby gyre » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:15 am

3M crystallite blocks most heat with up to 50% light allowed.
Can be used on windshields.
There is a thicker version used for burglar proofing 6 mil.
Not inexpensive yet.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Ratty » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:07 am

I'm picking up some new remnants of 'swimming pool cover' this morning. It's opaque , blue, heavy duty bubble wrap. I plan to cut it to cover my windows. I hope it keeps my van cooler. I know it will help me sleep-in a little longer by just blocking the sun.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby usurpedus » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:42 am

I wouldn't do that. why not follow any if the advice of the previous posters?
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:02 am

Ratty wrote:I'm picking up some new remnants of 'swimming pool cover' this morning. It's opaque , blue, heavy duty bubble wrap. I plan to cut it to cover my windows. I hope it keeps my van cooler. I know it will help me sleep-in a little longer by just blocking the sun.

So, you're going to use something that's designed to float on a water surface while absorbing heat from the sun to heat the pool, and help the pool hold that heat overnight. Exactly how will this not absorb sun & heat while against your RV?

You want something that will reflect sun & heat away, not absorb it.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:43 am

Opaque?
Or not?
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:58 am

gyre wrote:Opaque?
Or not?

Shiny.

Shiny metal foil (like space blankets, foil tape, foil-sided bubble wrap or foil-sided foam board used for hexayurts) reflects both sun light (which turns into heat when absorbed) and heat (infra-red radiation, coming from everything hot around your RV, including the ground and the air). The shinier the better.

Shiny plastic (like cheap store-bought vehicle window/windshield reflectors) reflects sun light, but absorbs a large portion of the heat.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:07 am

I was asking about the pool material.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 am

Canoe, are you saying that if you make a 'coozy' for a cooler with those cheap store foil bubble wraps, that it would actually warm up the cooler, rather then keep it at a lower temp, then if it had nothing on it?
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby skippy3k » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:13 pm

Canoe wrote:Shiny plastic (like cheap store-bought vehicle window/windshield reflectors) reflects sun light, but absorbs a large portion of the heat.


Damn. I just finished my truck window reflector project using cheap store-bought vehicle window/windshield reflectors.Where were you while I was standing in the store deciding on the material to use???
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:54 pm

Bounce530 wrote:Canoe, are you saying that if you make a 'coozy' for a cooler with those cheap store foil bubble wraps, that it would actually warm up the cooler, rather then keep it at a lower temp, then if it had nothing on it?

No. The opposite. An excellent idea - if it's metal foil. An o.k. idea, if it's plastic "foil". You'll get much better heat rejection from the metal foil version of the foil-sided bubble-wrap, like from the construction box stores.
The red, blue or orange coloured coolers absorb goth sunlight and heat. The white absorb less, but they too absorb.

The bubble-wrap part provides some insulation from conducted heat from the hot air, while the metal foil reflects both sunlight and radiated heat away (reflectance around 94%, degrading to around 90% as it gets some crinkles/folds in it. Both values are really good). Some insulation, like a piece of hard foam board, for it to sit on helps too. If the wrap sides are taped to or tucked under the foam board on the bottom, then hot air can't blow in or get convection flow.
Foil tape is excellent for jointing cut pieces together to make your cozy, just don't expect to take it apart.
I'm planning on it for my coolers for electrolyte drinks hauled around the playa.


Using a product designed to absorb heat would be a mistake.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:00 pm

Even opaque black is better than white transparent.

They use reflectix for beer kegs.
I have some keg cozies.

The bubbles are for spacing, not insulation.

I'm a little confused about the plastic distinction.
The silver is usually achieved by deposited aluminum.

True, not all are fully opaque.
Quality control thing.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:49 pm

In practice, the bubbles provide some insulation. They also provide excellent support of the aluminized surface. This limits the crinkling/folding of the surface thereby having a greater surface area maintaining its original reflectance. Way better than space blankets, which can quickly become quite wrinkled with a corresponding degrading of reflectance.

The metal foil type is typically from an aluminized surface. Good sunlight and heat reflectance. The shinier the better the reflectance.
The cheap version is flimsy bubble-wrap and is coated with a shiny plastic. Some are a light flexible foam covered with shinny plastic. Good sunlight reflectance, poor heat reflectance. Found as vehicle window reflectors in "dollar" stores and in various auto and department stores.
What it's not reflecting, it's absorbing. (emittance/absorption % + reflectance % = 1)

"Radiant barrier" implies that it reflects heat as well as the visible spectrum. Requires an air gap next to the foil surface to function as a radiant barrier.

> Even opaque black is better than white transparent.
Not convinced of that.
Black will absorb nearly all sunlight as heat, and absorb infra-red/heat, both from the sun and radiated from the surroundings. That heat will both conduct and emit.
With white transparent (RV white skylights in bathroom), at least some visible spectrum will reflect away.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:53 pm

skippy3k wrote:
Canoe wrote:Shiny plastic (like cheap store-bought vehicle window/windshield reflectors) reflects sun light, but absorbs a large portion of the heat.

Damn. I just finished my truck window reflector project using cheap store-bought vehicle window/windshield reflectors.Where were you while I was standing in the store deciding on the material to use???

Still much much better than not doing it. Just that a better material works better.
Get as tight to the glass as possible and make sure you seal all around the edges to prevent air flow (otherwise you'll get an convective air flow).
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:58 pm

Ok thanks. I didn't go to the extent of adding foam board and such, just wrapped the cooler up with the silver bubble wrap like a xmas gift. taped up the seams.
I still had a chunk of ice block left after 7 days last year without the wrap. So hopefully I'll gain another day or so with the wrap.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:04 pm

Nasa developed this insulation technique for weight reasons.
They found the gap crucial to avoid conducting heat.
Hence air bubbles.
They used a non conducting spacer to prevent layers touching.

Their approach is good for a 260 degree temperature differential.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Ratty » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:13 pm

So. Does that mean that my pool cover painted with silver , (plastic bonding), paint is good or bad? It's just heavy duty bubble wrap.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby gyre » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:30 pm

It's better than nothing, at least.

You can always layer it later.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:31 pm

This is aimed at RVs and Trailers, but can be utilized for any vehicle, and possibly an aid towards other shelters.

There's many ways of doing it, but to maximize the chances of something that will work, keep working all week, least likelihood of requiring intervention or ongoing effort, with minimal effort to install, reuse for another year as a bonus, while not requiring difficult or exacting construction/installation techniques, here's a cheat sheet from a larger document I'm working on.

Heat Cheat Sheet For the Most Comfort (and Least Need for A/C)

Stop Hot Air from getting inside – Seal air vents, windows & roof vents (and doors you won't use)
  • tape openings and seams with painter's, freezer or gaffer's tape (no duct tape!)
  • when taping outside, do not leave any pull-tabs or lose scraps of tape for the wind to catch – a strong or lasting wind can rip the tape off
  • Bonus: helps keep dust out too!
Seal or cover on the inside, not outside, if you want to be able to remove seal/cover to open something without having to go outside first.
Fresh air? Emergency Use?


Block Sun and HeatCover windows, skylights, roof vents and windshield
  • foil-sided bubble-wrap works well – reflects sunlight & heat away; easy to store and reuse
  • cover windows, skylights & roof ventsand their frames!!!
  • tape covering material to the surrounding surface, completely sealing all edges
  • with covers on the:
    • Outside – gaffers tape is the most reliable
      • if the tape gets sun, protect the tape with a cheap foil tape
    • Inside – painter's or freezer tape works well
      • extend the cover onto the surrounding surface to reduce heat from heat-creep
      • if the frame gets sun – for best heat rejection cover the frame on the outside (can extend a bit onto the window to also shade the frame behind glass), with easily removed tape (and way better with a cheap foil tape on top of that tape!)
  • North-facing windows (not in sun) benefit from a cover against radiated heat
  • Skylights/Roof-Vents
    • cover on inside to avoid having to climb on roof.
    • Use two or three layers of foil-sided bubble-wrap to maximize heat rejection.
    • Cover a larger area out onto the surrounding ceiling (reduces heat-gain from heat-creep).
  • for super heat blocking:
    • add a second layer of foil-sided bubble-wrap to windows
    • put a layer of foil-sided bubble-wrap on the whole ceiling

Optional: Use a Swamp-Cooler (and Instead of A/C)
  • cools while providing some humidity
  • provides fresh air, but without the heat (or dust)
  • cools on demand
  • Playa-Tested designs available, including irrigated self-dust-cleaning filtration
    • components available that run on 12 VDC (deep-cycle battery)
    • uses little power, and specific power requirements are well known
    • easy DIY build with inexpensive parts (and with ePlaya support)
  • no A/C heat-exchanger fins to get clogged or corroded
  • save wear & tear on your A/C unit
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:42 pm

Ratty wrote:So. Does that mean that my pool cover painted with silver , (plastic bonding), paint is good or bad? It's just heavy duty bubble wrap.

"painted with silver" - I missed that detail somewhere
"Painted with silver" will do much better than leaving it as the blue bubble-wrap.

You need that silver paint to reflect as much sun and heat as possible. How well this works will depend on the visible reflectance and the heat reflectance of the paint. That's the paint spec fancy way of saying how much of the sun it will reflect away and how much of the heat it will reflect away. What isn't reflected away, is absorbed as heat and will conduct inside, slowed by the insulation properties of the bubble-wrap. Even reflectix on the inside of a window can get too hot to touch in the sun, but it helps keep the inside cool way better than not having it there.

If it comes with that silver already on it, then you're at the mercy of what the paint is. You can layer it for more insulation value.

If it's not silver already, then see what paint will reflect the most, both for sun (visible) and heat. If you can get a very shinny aluminum paint, then it may actually have aluminum particles as pigment instead of colourized mica pigments. The aluminum particles would likely be the best bet for reflecting the most heat away possible.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:03 am

Canoe wrote:
Ratty wrote:So. Does that mean that my pool cover painted with silver ...
...If it's not silver already, then see what paint will reflect the most, both for sun (visible) and heat...

The white elastomeric roof paint reflects a lot for paint, but you're paying for a lot of waterproofing you don't need, fairly expensive and adds weight. It's also geared for reflecting sunlight so it doesn't turn into heat, but not so good at reflecting heat (infra-red; typically ~10% reflectance - very hard to find this data published) like we also have lots of on playa, radiating from hot ground and hot air, but good at resisting conducting heat inside.

I had tracked down some rattle-cans that had suitable reflective paint, but I don't know if I saved that info. I'll look.

The foil-sided stuff will greatly outperform a paint. With foil on both sides, on the outside it reflects heat away, bubble wrap insulates against what conducts through it, and the shiny on the inside resists radiating any heat it's absorbed into the interior space (which it still does, just reduced), but it does conduct heat to glass when installed out the outside and to the interior air when installed on the inside.

Edit: apparently, what we'd want for heat reflective paint is "vacuum metallized aluminum pigment in lieu of a standard aluminum flake".
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby Canoe » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:55 am

Canoe wrote:... I had tracked down some rattle-cans that had suitable reflective paint, but I don't know if I saved that info. I'll look.
...Edit: apparently, what we'd want for heat reflective paint is "vacuum metallized aluminum pigment in lieu of a standard aluminum flake".

Not having any luck.
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Re: tips on keeping the SUV cooler/sun reflection

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:45 am

Canoe wrote:... goth sunlight and heat.

Okay, my brain just broke.
We now return to our thread already in progress...
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