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Old 05-02-2018, 05:50 PM   #1
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Default Why no insulation in Roadtrek

I've noticed that my CS Adventurous appears to have no insulation whatsoever, which results in a tin can oven on hot, sunny days. This, of course, demands running the AC all day, which goes against the idea of a boondockable Class B.

Do other Class B's insulate? If not, why not? That seems like the best way to reduce AC usage.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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I've noticed that my CS Adventurous appears to have no insulation whatsoever, which results in a tin can oven on hot, sunny days. This, of course, demands running the AC all day, which goes against the idea of a boondockable Class B.

Do other Class B's insulate? If not, why not? That seems like the best way to reduce AC usage.
What exterior color is your coach?
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:50 PM   #3
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What exterior color is your coach?
Charcoal Grey. That obviously exacerbates the problem. All the more reason to insulate!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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Charcoal Grey. That obviously exacerbates the problem. All the more reason to insulate!
Some builders like ARV emphasize their insulation component, but with all the single pane spacious windows typically found in a class B, I wonder if the insulation in the rest of the body will have much of a positive impact toward interior temperature regulation.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:12 PM   #5
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Some builders like ARV emphasize their insulation component, but with all the single pane spacious windows typically found in a class B, I wonder if the insulation in the rest of the body will have much of a positive impact toward interior temperature regulation.
From my personal experience, yes. It's true a lot of heat comes in through the windows, but I can tell you that the walls and cabinets heat up to an amazing degree, from the heat coming through the wall. I'm considering dropping the cabinets and wall covering and insulating myself, but it will be a tedious process. I've already covered the bare metal on the roof with reflectex and that made a big difference.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:25 PM   #6
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From my personal experience, yes. It's true a lot of heat comes in through the windows, but I can tell you that the walls and cabinets heat up to an amazing degree, from the heat coming through the wall. I'm considering dropping the cabinets and wall covering and insulating myself, but it will be a tedious process. I've already covered the bare metal on the roof with reflectex and that made a big difference.
Agree. Our rig came fairly well-insulated, and I added more. Makes a huge difference. Well-fitted pleated shades actually do a pretty good job at insulating windows during the night, since they trap still air. And, of course, you can always supplement them with homemade Reflectex sheets.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:34 PM   #7
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Agree. Our rig came fairly well-insulated, and I added more. Makes a huge difference. Well-fitted pleated shades actually do a pretty good job at insulating windows during the night, since they trap still air. And, of course, you can always supplement them with homemade Reflectex sheets.
I've also considered tinting the glass with the ceramic infra-red block, to stop the heat before it enters the glass. What rig do you have that is insulated?
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:55 AM   #8
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What rig do you have that is insulated?
2014 Great West Vans Legend, sadly no longer in business. They did a good job everywhere, except that they failed to insulate inside the door cavities and a few of the smaller enclosed areas. The doors make a huge difference, especially the large rear doors. Fortunately, fixing it is just a matter of popping off the inside panels and adding the insulation. Quick and easy.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:17 AM   #9
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I've also considered tinting the glass with the ceramic infra-red block, to stop the heat before it enters the glass. What rig do you have that is insulated?
I added good ceramic window tinting to my Subaru and it did a fantastic job at reducing heat. I didn't get the dark stuff, it worked great at reducing heat and didn't make night driving a problem. I got a chance to test drive a Subaru without tinting a few months later and I thought I was a bug under a magnifying glass. All future vehicles will have window tinting.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:52 AM   #10
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I added good ceramic window tinting to my Subaru and it did a fantastic job at reducing heat. I didn't get the dark stuff, it worked great at reducing heat and didn't make night driving a problem. I got a chance to test drive a Subaru without tinting a few months later and I thought I was a bug under a magnifying glass. All future vehicles will have window tinting.
There's no problem with tinting installed by the manufacturer but before adding tinting to any vehicle windows on your own, you do well to review the DMV regulations regarding tinting in the state in which the vehicle is registered.

There generally are no constraints for tinting in the rearward portion of a vehicle but for the driver and passenger area some venues limit the tinting level for the protection of traffic officers. While it's selectively enforced that doesn't eliminate the possibility that your tinting results in your turn in the barrel for dealing with an equipment cite that requires striping the tinting for correction. Just one more reason for being polite if not pleasant during a traffic stop.
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:55 AM   #11
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I've noticed that my CS Adventurous appears to have no insulation whatsoever, which results in a tin can oven on hot, sunny days. This, of course, demands running the AC all day, which goes against the idea of a boondockable Class B.

Do other Class B's insulate? If not, why not? That seems like the best way to reduce AC usage.

The Winnebago ERA is no better.

(Sprinter based class B)
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:57 AM   #12
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There's no problem with tinting installed by the manufacturer but before adding tinting to any vehicle windows on your own, you do well to review the DMV regulations regarding tinting in the state in which the vehicle is registered.

There generally are no constraints for tinting in the rearward portion of a vehicle but for the driver and passenger area some venues limit the tinting level for the protection of traffic officers. While it's selectively enforced that doesn't eliminate the possibility that your tinting results in your turn in the barrel for dealing with an equipment cite that requires striping the tinting for correction. Just one more reason for being polite if not pleasant during a traffic stop.
Good advice.

Do the auto companies use ceramic tinting?
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:04 AM   #13
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I've wondered about double pane windows vs chassis insulation, so I hacked up a spreadsheet comparing my van and a maximal window van at some different r values for the chassis section and the chassis windows. Two things stood out, one is that the floor, ceiling and walls dwarf the window and skylight/vent areas, so adding double pane windows only adds five percent to my total R and nine percent to my imaginary maximal window R. Whereas adding R 4 to all metal walls, floor and ceiling in the chassis (cab stays R 1 everywhere) added 60% to the total R. That's impressive to me. The other thing that stood out is that my van really sacrifices window space for the rear bathroom and cabinet space.

None of this considered solar gain, which is probably the major window issue in the summer, Reflectix is probably a better investment. This doesn't consider noise abatement either, where double pane can help.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:15 AM   #14
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My Van is fully insulated with Thinsulate, window curtains are from double fabric with white one towards the windows. Insulation works even with our passenger van with 360-degree windows.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:19 AM   #15
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I cut Reflectix to fit each window in our Roadtrek, including the driver's and passenger's Chevy windows. I made each piece about 1/4 inch long in both directions. I just force fit them in place when it gets really hot and we are parked. It helps a lot.

Our RT has twin beds and I simply put about half of the pieces under each bed and spread them out under there. They don't take up much room, remain flat storing like that and we can retrieve the appropriate ones when needed.

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Old 05-03-2018, 04:49 AM   #16
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Anyone wanting to apply tinting onto their windows to reduce the heat load but not wanting to run afoul of the legal system might want to consider 3M's Crystalline Series window tint. It reduces the IR and UV rays without significantly reducing visibility.

https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...2716668&rt=rud
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:54 PM   #17
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The anecdotal consensus is that 3M Crystalline CR-90 is the best bet (some say it is the only rational choice) for reducing the huge cab heat gains while simultaneously posing a low risk of running afoul of law enforcement personnel and state inspectors.

In Texas, it's not legal to place any "tint" on a windshield, except for the top few inches. But a product that lets through 90% of the visible light is less likely to raise ire.

That being said, CR-90 is extremely difficult to obtain. I'm in greater Houston, population 6.5 million and hotter than the southern hinges of hell, and I have not yet found anyone who will agree to do my rig. It's so pricey that the resulting target market is very small, and thus installers are reluctant to invest in the large rolls in which it is sold to them by the manufacturer. If they buy a roll of CR-90 but then only do a few vehicles with that product because of the demand curve, they end up spending more money than they make, so that becomes a situation of them uttering all the nopes in nope-land - they are not going to take the risk. This thread on Air Forums discusses those difficulties in the Class B context.

And that too being said, there are several other means by which heat gain, especially via incident radiation, can be minimized in a Class B. Heat minimization is sort of like security maximization - it works best with a layered approach. I've mentioned a few of these methods on other threads, but here's a blog post summary:

1. Reflective exterior side shroud for when the Class B is parked (here).

2. Reflective roof coating (here).

3. Interior cab window coverings - pretty basic commercially-available measure (here).

4. I'm working on a way to create interior window coverings using a Thinsulate competitor known as Insul-bright. I've got a prototype for the slider and it works very well (except for some attachment issues I'm still ironing out). Right now I'm using Reflectix on the rest of the body windows, but I think I can develop a better method (see here for the prototype).

5. Every time we have any reason to open up a part of the rig, we increase the effective insulation in that location. We did this with the cab ceiling when we took down the headliner (no blog post, my bad) and it made a HUGE difference. The Sprinter has a large forehead which acts like a sun-catcher. In the deep south, we would roast in the cab prior to that job. We added a radiant barrier and Dynamat underneath it. Prices seem like they've come down recently on products like Thinsulate, so I anticipate adding more spot insulation to the van in the future.

6. I recently met an owner of an older LTV Class B who had a spray foam insulation applied under her chassis. She said it made an enormous difference in helping to regulate interior temperature. I haven't looked into that possibility yet but it sounds interesting.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:10 PM   #18
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This is what I've done to cut down on heat gain inside my van. I taped six Space Blankets together with clear packing tape and attached them to the side of my van. I also have two that cover the windshield from the wiper blades to the roof peak. All eight together cost less than $10 from online Walmart. It makes a huge difference. The side that is covered by the Space Blanket has no heat gain on the inside wall.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:40 PM   #19
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Anyone know if Pleasureway insulates their units?

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Old 05-03-2018, 07:11 PM   #20
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Classbud, that is a heck of an idea. I have no knowledge of these space blankets other than that they exist. Would you post a link to the ones you are using? Since they work for you so well, I would like to emulate your idea.

Paul
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