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Old 12-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Mission "Cool Top"

Has been started. Hopefully, it doesn't turn into "mission impossible"

Started to get the 07 C190P Roadtrek top prepared to paint with the very highly reflective paint setup we used on the Silverado steel wheels when we put them on. We did the wheels for appearance, and then found they stayed very cool in the hot sun, very much cooler than the sand color of the body. The paint we will use is PPG base and urethane clear (05 Rover wheel "sparkle silver") with a .004 aluminum flake candy over the silver in the first coat of clear.

So far, I have removed the graphics on the roof, removed the caulking from antenna and Fantastic fan, removed all the antenna except the base, removed the awning, and used wax and grease remover on the entire roof to get off the sap, left over graphic adhesive, bugs, etc. Ceiling height is a definite problem, and is going to make things a bit difficult, but if the middle of the top isn't perfect really doesn't matter.

Next step will be to sand and smooth the whole top with the DA sander and fill any imperfections. Then I will move the van over next to the workbench so I can use the bench for scaffolding on one side. I may also remove the wipers, plastic panel below them, and the hood, so I can stand on the cowl to work on the front of the roof.

Awning off, no graphics left



Decaulked fan, suprisingly bent up flange from the screws.



Most of the antenna off and uncaulked.



Just barely can see the nuts in the roof for mounting the solar.

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Old 12-15-2012, 01:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

Interesting project. As usual, I'm impressed with your skills to tackle a project like this. Maybe some of the manufactures will take note and apply the same type of paint.

On a curved roof I made a "washer" out of pieces of aluminum to help a skylight conform to the roof and protect the plastic flange from cracking. http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=33&t=874 Might give you some ideas if you think the bent flange might ever cause a problem.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

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Originally Posted by markopolo
Interesting project. As usual, I'm impressed with your skills to tackle a project like this. Maybe some of the manufactures will take note and apply the same type of paint.

On a curved roof I made a "washer" out of pieces of aluminum to help a skylight conform to the roof and protect the plastic flange from cracking. http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=33&t=874 Might give you some ideas if you think the bent flange might ever cause a problem.
I like the washer idea. I will have to check a little closer to see if there is a foam type gasket under the fan flange, or if it set into sealer. If it is a gasket, I could probably just ad the washer to pull it down more evenly. If it is sealer that has setup, I will be stuck with what we have, as I don't want to remove the fan at this point.

If i am stuck, I think will try to push some runnier sealer under the flange by hand, before running a bead around the outside. There appeared to be quite a few gaps under the flange, once the bead was removed.

This probably explains why I had to touch up the caulking on the fan after only 3 years, while the caulking on the antenna, that has an aluminum flange, was still perfect when I took it off yesterday.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

After a lot of start and stop, and redo, the reflective top paint is finally finished. I first painted it just like the wheels, but it didn't look right. The clear was sanded and polished very smooth, with all the candy flake buried in the clear. When you looked up at it from close in, the sky, or lights in the garage, reflected off the clear and made the top look like grey primer. The bright silver and candy were nearly completely hidden.

After some experimenting, we found the sparkle showed a lot better if we put a lot more on (no surprise there), and then didn't put as much clear on, leaving it slightly rougher and with some of the glitter still at the surface. It still dulls up a bit looking up at it, but much less, and it is absolutely dazzling in the sunshine.

While testing the solar, the van was side into the sun, so I shot some temps with the infrared thermometer. The numbers from an infrared are always suspect, but can somewhat be compared to each other. Higher emissivity, or being in light the has infrared to be reflected can throw off the numbers. That said, here is what I got, which is pretty close to what the panels felt like to the touch.

The charcoal color on the ground effects was at 120 degrees F

The sand color of the body 1/2 just under the roof was at 109 degrees F

The silver roof was at 89 degrees F

These numbers are pretty encouraging, it will be interesting to see how things change when it is 100F outside.



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Old 03-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

"Cool" idea! 20 degrees difference from the top side and 31 degrees from the lower dark paint. The difference will probably get much greater as the outdoor temperature gets hotter.

One or more of the Class B manufacturers will probably pick up on this heat reflective paint idea. It just makes sense so you can have color but still keep the van cool.
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

Looks good...a question. How tall is your garage door and your van?...I am shopping for a B camper and wondering if it will fit in my garage. My garage door openings are 94"
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by poncho62
Looks good...a question. How tall is your garage door and your van?...I am shopping for a B camper and wondering if it will fit in my garage. My garage door openings are 94"
The garage doors are nominal 9' 3" high, or 111". The van is listed at somewhere in the 103" range, but we are lifted 3" so are closer to 106/107". It is pretty close going in. The doors in the pictures were increased from 96" doors to accommodate the Roadtrek. It was a bit tough to get, but we got 9' 3" doors with a 10' finished ceiling height in the garage, and still have openers on them.

At 94", just under 8', about the only thing I think you are going to find is a pop up top unit like a Pleasure-way Traverse or some of the Sprotsmoibiles.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

Nice job Booster.

This is an idea I have considered before, but I was not sure how it would look.

Do you think the sides of the roof are as important as the top, for reducing solar heating?

We love the looks of our brown van, but I always knew the silver or white paints would be a bit cooler in the direct sun.

It looks like you lost a graphic sticker from the passenger door.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mission "Cool Top"

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Nice job Booster.

This is an idea I have considered before, but I was not sure how it would look.

Do you think the sides of the roof are as important as the top, for reducing solar heating?

We love the looks of our brown van, but I always knew the silver or white paints would be a bit cooler in the direct sun.

It looks like you lost a graphic sticker from the passenger door.
We originally were going to do only the top, and taper it down the front top to the Roadtrek sticker width, but when I looked at the total area, especially once we had the solar on, it didn't make sense to do that little amount. The area of one side of the roof comes close to 1/2 of the top, so it seemed worth it to do, plus it gives a very good demarcation line at the roof gutter.

We were worried about the appearance, also, and that is why we did the high candy content to brighten it up. When we had the clear very smooth over the candy, if you were under it close to the van, it just reflected the sky and looked very dull grey. By leaving it with some of the candy texture uncovered and putting in more of the candy, it sparkles more and reflects less of the sky color at low viewing angles.

yep, the door has no graphic right now. It was the victim of an unfortunate garage mishap. When I was taking the scaffold down, a ladder tipped and dented the door. I had to straighten and paint it. Be aware, the brown is very hard to match. There are 5 variants available from PPG, and none of them match the vans, it appears. I had always been miffed that Roadtrek hadn't managed to match the factory paint very well, and now I know why. We are in the process of ordering the graphic.

I wish I had a panel of the existing brown color to play with. It would be interesting to see if you could just paint on a very heavy silver candy (.004 size) over the brown, without a silver base, and get similar heat rejection. You would probably still have a hint of the brown showing through, which might look pretty nice.

Or you could just cover the entire roof with solar panels, to shade it

We will be in the Badlands in June, so we most likely will find out if it stays cooler. It sure can get hot and sunny there, and the campground has no trees or shade.
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