Should I paint my roof white?

Lykos

Super Trucker
Hey all. Easy question for the experienced car campers on here.


I have a 96 Suburban that's light blue. It really builds heat quickly inside. There's a LOT of glass...

It's going to be a dedicated camping, music festival, too drunk to drive home from the wine festival rig. I'm going to install a small roof vent but am wondering if painting the roof white, whole or in part, would help with the heat. And if so what's the most economical way to do so?

While on this subject what might I do to help with the greenhouse affect? Darker tint? Reflective curtains?

This is the forum of car camping experts. I know you'll have good advice. Thanks!
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
White paint won't help much. All my trucks and camper shells are white and they still get really hot. I used to carry a digital thermometer in the truck and once recorded 185F inside the shell of a white truck. That was the day my sixpacks of Diet Coke exploded all over the interior. If you do it, think about white bed liner instead of paint (you can use the roll-on stuff because it won't show), and stick some adhesive insulation sheets on the underside of the roof, above the headliner. May require an upholstery guy to reinstall the headliner, though. Window tint will help, but don't just accept whatever the tint shop suggests. Do some research and pick a film that blocks the most UV. If you have dark upholstery, look into some inexpensive light colored seat covers.
 

tacr2man

Adventurer
A very effective answer is fit a tropical roof . They still do it to accommodation units in the Australian Outback . The little landrover shows one fitted. Its basically a sheet of ali, with spacers to seperate from roof , you can put flap vents under it to let air in /out.
White paint helps as well.
 

Attachments

rayra

Expedition Leader
seconding the comment above about white not helping much. Or for very long, anyway. Used my white pickup in the desert southwest for literally decades, still hot as hell.

Best way is keep the sun from hitting the vehicle at all. Erect an awning over it. Either lashed on the vehicle or set things up for an easy to erect 4-pole spread. It would be real easy to put four short sections of vertical tubing on the four bumper corners as mounting brackets and use 4 lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit sized 1' taller than your vehicle and rig a lightweight ripstop fabric awning between them all.

I'm doing something a little different, writing it up as I go in the Awnings subforum -

http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...eas-for-a-lightweight-compact-flexible-design

 

chet6.7

Explorer
This may be of interest to you.
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/128106-Project-quot-Autonomous-quot-F-350/page34
I am waiting to see his temp. reduction results.


I have a white truck with a white Alum shell,as others have stated it gets really hot.
I have been experimenting with the "redneck ac" ice chest mod in my shell,temp went from 101 to 84 in about 1/2 hr for the 2 hrs I checked on temps.That was under a carport,I have not had the time to try it in the sun yet.
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
White paint won't help much. All my trucks and camper shells are white and they still get really hot. I used to carry a digital thermometer in the truck and once recorded 185F inside the shell of a white truck. That was the day my sixpacks of Diet Coke exploded all over the interior. If you do it, think about white bed liner instead of paint (you can use the roll-on stuff because it won't show), and stick some adhesive insulation sheets on the underside of the roof, above the headliner. May require an upholstery guy to reinstall the headliner, though. Window tint will help, but don't just accept whatever the tint shop suggests. Do some research and pick a film that blocks the most UV. If you have dark upholstery, look into some inexpensive light colored seat covers.
Thanks!

If I'm not mistaken the darkness of the tint isn't as important as the UV protection for heat control.

I'm going to Google up clear tint with UV control for the windshield and see if that animal exists.
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
A very effective answer is fit a tropical roof . They still do it to accommodation units in the Australian Outback . The little landrover shows one fitted. Its basically a sheet of ali, with spacers to seperate from roof , you can put flap vents under it to let air in /out.
White paint helps as well.
If I had the means I'd take this to the next level and go with a pop up roof.

A 20' long, V8, American SUV Westphalia? How awesome would that be?
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
seconding the comment above about white not helping much. Or for very long, anyway. Used my white pickup in the desert southwest for literally decades, still hot as hell.

Best way is keep the sun from hitting the vehicle at all. Erect an awning over it. Either lashed on the vehicle or set things up for an easy to erect 4-pole spread. It would be real easy to put four short sections of vertical tubing on the four bumper corners as mounting brackets and use 4 lengths of 1/2" EMT conduit sized 1' taller than your vehicle and rig a lightweight ripstop fabric awning between them all.

I'm doing something a little different, writing it up as I go in the Awnings subforum -

http://www.expeditionportal.com/for...eas-for-a-lightweight-compact-flexible-design



This post struck a chord with me.


A few years ago at Bonnaroo I used a reflective rescue tarp tied to the Yakima bars on my XJ. Made a huge difference! I also covered the Windows with aluminum foil. That and a window fan kept my interior temps almost tolerable in the 100+ degree TN heat. I forgot all about that till just now.


Maybe the tint, the ceiling fan, some interior light blocking curtains with a reflective backing would do the trick?



I think best when I write so welcome to my problem solving process. LOL
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
This may be of interest to you.
http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/threads/128106-Project-quot-Autonomous-quot-F-350/page34
I am waiting to see his temp. reduction results.


I have a white truck with a white Alum shell,as others have stated it gets really hot.
I have been experimenting with the "redneck ac" ice chest mod in my shell,temp went from 101 to 84 in about 1/2 hr for the 2 hrs I checked on temps.That was under a carport,I have not had the time to try it in the sun yet.
Looking at that thread this http://us.henry.com/roofing/reflective-coatings/ struck my eye.


A coating rather than paint makes better sense. I could coat the roof within the perimeter of the roof rack for appearance sake.

I'm seeing a plan forming...
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
I'm going to Google up clear tint with UV control for the windshield and see if that animal exists.
"Clear tint" is a contradiction in terms, but 3M makes a clear film that blocks most of the UVA and UVB. If you do a Google search for UV-blocking window films, one of the hits will be a skin cancer prevention organization that lists most of the available clear films by maker and UV-blocking percentage. I have those bookmarked but I don't remember which computer I did it on. I do remember that a call to 3M's film division helped me zero in on the right film for my needs. While even a clear film may not be technically legal where you are, but if it's done right no one should notice that it's there. Be aware that even a clear film reduces light transmission a little bit. Varies by film, but as an example, a pair of clear prescription glasses with high index plastic lenses will reduce light transmission by as much as 8%. That's with zero tint.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
yep, there's window film available that's both light- and UV-blocking, usually has a metallic sheen to it, usually has a name like e-something. But that's a fine idea especially for bright exposure zones. Everybody goes for light transmissive blocking ('limo tint') but I don't recall ever seeing any direct marketing regarding heat blocking (except as a byproduct of generally dark tint)

going to read up on it some. If there's some heat-blockign specific clear film, it would certainly be worth adding to the whole vehicle.
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/?WT.mc_id=www.3m.com/windowfilm

eta
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/Markets-Products/Automotive/
hmm, never thought of it before, but metallized films interfere with radio signals. duh. 3M seems to have several product lines for automotive, no idea what their price differentials. And I also see their security film is also available for window installation and also has heat blocking properties (41%). I might just add that to my Sub's 'privacy glass', which is already quite dark. Interesting idea to do the windshield. Don't think that is legal in CA / many states, but I'm quickly not caring a lot less about that. Could do the clear security film at least, for the heat blocking.

I've been resigned to my black Sub being hot as hell, tint or no tint. I made sure to get a model with rear A/C and a sunroof. I'm able to walk up to my hot truck, open all the windows and sunroof fully and get down to ambient in a hurry, then fire up both AC units and get it comfortable in a hurry. But that's another issue in a desert trail crawl. Don't really want to run heavy AC when I'm movign 2mph, even with electric radiator fans. Thinking too to add another fan to the front in a pusher config. Or smaller fans in the corners of the radiator. Have to look things over. I've also often run very low speed with my hood latch popped to also help with engine cooling.
 
Last edited:

JIMBO

Expedition Leader
:sombrero: Well, if I hadda "Burb" and lived in the desert--
I'd do the tinting as suggested and then insulate the INSIDE of the overhead--using Thermal/acoustic insulation--

Which is what I've used on my Jeep JKUR and it makes all the diff. in the world for quiet/cool travel and the A/C just has to be cycled on/off occasionally-

I don't know who/what offers kits for your vehicle, but it works great-

Good luck

:costumed-smiley-007:wings: JIMBO
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
"Clear tint" is a contradiction in terms, but 3M makes a clear film that blocks most of the UVA and UVB. If you do a Google search for UV-blocking window films, one of the hits will be a skin cancer prevention organization that lists most of the available clear films by maker and UV-blocking percentage. I have those bookmarked but I don't remember which computer I did it on. I do remember that a call to 3M's film division helped me zero in on the right film for my needs. While even a clear film may not be technically legal where you are, but if it's done right no one should notice that it's there. Be aware that even a clear film reduces light transmission a little bit. Varies by film, but as an example, a pair of clear prescription glasses with high index plastic lenses will reduce light transmission by as much as 8%. That's with zero tint.
Poor choice of words on my part. Glad you understood.

I can't do any metallic films in Virginia without the wrath of many a Deputy coming down on me.
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
yep, there's window film available that's both light- and UV-blocking, usually has a metallic sheen to it, usually has a name like e-something. But that's a fine idea especially for bright exposure zones. Everybody goes for light transmissive blocking ('limo tint') but I don't recall ever seeing any direct marketing regarding heat blocking (except as a byproduct of generally dark tint)

going to read up on it some. If there's some heat-blockign specific clear film, it would certainly be worth adding to the whole vehicle.
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/?WT.mc_id=www.3m.com/windowfilm

eta
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/Markets-Products/Automotive/
hmm, never thought of it before, but metallized films interfere with radio signals. duh. 3M seems to have several product lines for automotive, no idea what their price differentials. And I also see their security film is also available for window installation and also has heat blocking properties (41%). I might just add that to my Sub's 'privacy glass', which is already quite dark. Interesting idea to do the windshield. Don't think that is legal in CA / many states, but I'm quickly not caring a lot less about that. Could do the clear security film at least, for the heat blocking.

I've been resigned to my black Sub being hot as hell, tint or no tint. I made sure to get a model with rear A/C and a sunroof. I'm able to walk up to my hot truck, open all the windows and sunroof fully and get down to ambient in a hurry, then fire up both AC units and get it comfortable in a hurry. But that's another issue in a desert trail crawl. Don't really want to run heavy AC when I'm movign 2mph, even with electric radiator fans. Thinking too to add another fan to the front in a pusher config. Or smaller fans in the corners of the radiator. Have to look things over. I've also often run very low speed with my hood latch popped to also help with engine cooling.

That security film sounds like the ticket! I'll check that out.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
Get your doc to write you a letter or email telling you that you need to protect yourself from the sun and from UVA/UVB rays because you are susceptible to skin cancer. Sun damage is cumulative and if you don't have skin cancer now, you will eventually if you are like the rest of us. Keep a copy in the glove box in case you get stopped. Make sure it is addressed to you and preferably on the M.D.'s letterhead. If the cop doesn't buy it, the judge should.
 

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