Should I paint my roof white?

jamesmrichards

New member
Land Rover Tropical Roof

Older Land Rovers (I assume the Series models) could be optioned with a "tropical roof." It was a second roof spaced fairly closely to the standard roof and provided a air space to insulate the cabin from the heat. I assume it was popular with desert Land Rover owners prior to the adoption of auto air conditioning. I am not certain of the spacing gap, but it was not a large gap in the picture I viewed. Also, the roof was white as well.

James Richards
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Doubtless what spawned the white roofs on the original Land Cruisers.


I just tinted the front door windows and sunroof on my suburban this past week, using 20% film. Deliberately not using the metallized 'heat resisting' film because I don't like the mirrored appearance of it and was trying to match the factory privacy tint. Made a marked difference in felt heat while in the vehicle, made very little difference in the vehicle when parked in the sun for more than 20mins. That last bit is what renders moot the whole baseline of this discussion. What or black, it's getting quite uncomfortably hot in short order.

As it is now my routine when leaving the house is drop all four windows and open the roof, let that first billow of boiling air out. Get started, get the vent lowing on high as I start my drive and kick in both ACs on max & recirc, then closing the windows, then close the sunroof as the cold air makes a dent and a few minutes later I turn the rear AC off if no one is ridign in back. In a few more minutes things are blowing so cold I can dial the front AC fan way back. It will stay comfortable after that, until I park it and close it up somewhere for 15mins+ and I have to do it over again.
A bit similar experience in my white pickup and our pewter Tahoe. Makes no matter. Lots of glass and metal and tint, still hot as hell. The color doesn't really seem to matter in normal use.

I still want a tray in my rack and still intend to try the shade trampoline. I'm real curious if I can make that work at 80mph+
 

Lykos

Super Trucker
Doubtless what spawned the white roofs on the original Land Cruisers.


I just tinted the front door windows and sunroof on my suburban this past week, using 20% film. Deliberately not using the metallized 'heat resisting' film because I don't like the mirrored appearance of it and was trying to match the factory privacy tint. Made a marked difference in felt heat while in the vehicle, made very little difference in the vehicle when parked in the sun for more than 20mins. That last bit is what renders moot the whole baseline of this discussion. What or black, it's getting quite uncomfortably hot in short order.

As it is now my routine when leaving the house is drop all four windows and open the roof, let that first billow of boiling air out. Get started, get the vent lowing on high as I start my drive and kick in both ACs on max & recirc, then closing the windows, then close the sunroof as the cold air makes a dent and a few minutes later I turn the rear AC off if no one is ridign in back. In a few more minutes things are blowing so cold I can dial the front AC fan way back. It will stay comfortable after that, until I park it and close it up somewhere for 15mins+ and I have to do it over again.
A bit similar experience in my white pickup and our pewter Tahoe. Makes no matter. Lots of glass and metal and tint, still hot as hell. The color doesn't really seem to matter in normal use.

I still want a tray in my rack and still intend to try the shade trampoline. I'm real curious if I can make that work at 80mph+
I went ahead and got 3m Color Guard.tint on my Suburban. It makes a huge difference in the amount of ac needed to cool the behemoth down.

As for sitting still...

I still think the white roof would make a difference when sitting still but only if I'm moving the hot air out. The next step is a vent fan to use while sleeping. I'll keep this thread updated ...
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Late to this thread and I didn't read it all but what I've done in my vehicles over the years including several VW vans and campers is to tint the windows with a quality UV protective tint, place sound deadener then insulate the inside/underside of the roof with Reflectix (or similar) then reinstall the headliner, insulate the body with Reflectix and install window vent visors on the windows so I can leave the windows cracked when parked. Place a reflective windshield sun shade in the front glass when parked (the kind that accordion out and you flip your sunvisor down to hold in place work as well as the fitted ones) and for extra bonus points put Reflectix panels in all of the windows but is a PITA for short trips or when you aren't going to be parked for long, especially on the VWs with all of their glass. If you are going to be parked for a while then put a tarp over the vehicle with an airgap between it and the roof so that air can circulate.

I had one of those small solar powered exhaust fans that you roll up in your window and it seemed to help a little but it didn't last long and I never tried it in the electric windows of the trucks.

Ensure that your A/C unit is in good condition and if you drive an older vehicle it may be worthwhile to upgrade to the newer, more efficient, compressors. I usually start the truck with the windows down and after I start rolling and the truck has had a minute to vent the hotter air then I cut the A/C on.
 

Ducky's Dad

Explorer
Ensure that your A/C unit is in good condition and if you drive an older vehicle it may be worthwhile to upgrade to the newer, more efficient, compressors.
Think twice about installing a new compressor. Most are designed for R134A which is not as efficient at cooling as the older R12 refrigerant. I'd rather have an R12 system in good working order.

I had the side windows in my white Dodge filmed a couple weeks ago with 90% (almost clear) 3M Crystalline and did not get the windshield done until this week. In the interim I did the old "hand on the glass" test between the filmed side glass and the un-filmed front glass, and there was a very distinct difference between the temps of the two surfaces. Stuff seems to work.
 

robert

Expedition Leader
Think twice about installing a new compressor. Most are designed for R134A which is not as efficient at cooling as the older R12 refrigerant. I'd rather have an R12 system in good working order.

<snip>
While I agree for the most part, upgrading to a newer compressor can help vehicles like air-cooled VWs which have so few hp (~60) to start with that that you really can't spare any, especially on the vans which really struggle to try to cool that big interior with lots of glass. :snorkel: I did that on the '79 Transporter I had for a while and it made it more comfortable around town. :)
 

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