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Old 04-16-2016, 01:28 PM   #1
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Ideas to beat the sun?

A few days ago, parked in direct sun, the interior temperature got up to 100 degrees. I felt sorry for my cat, so I went out a bought a small fan for her. The moment I turned it on she started complaining, I ended up letting he just lay on the floor trying to keep cool.

Today I'm parked in the shade under a big tree and it's considerably cooler than typical. The only problem is that the solar panel isn't charging the batteries because of the shade.

The roof gets hot because of the sun. It's aluminum, which reflects some of the energy. The solar panel gets hot because it's black, but since it's mounted a couple of inches above the roof, I'm guessing that the space below insulates the RV from the panel heat and that the panel is actually shading the roof, keeping the interior cooler. Does that make sense?

Would adding a couple more solar panels not only give me more available power, but keep it a tad cooler inside? And what about mounting just a rigid (not solar) panel over the roof?
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:33 PM   #2
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RV's get hot in the sun. It's just a fact. If you wont run the fans on the air conditioners or actually run the AC then open the windows and hope for a breeze.
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:37 PM   #3
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Finding a spot facing north , with the entry door to the east or south-east , works best for me , awning out when possible.
Do the windows on your RV have any tinting ?
Are your window curtains white ?
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:19 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention that I don't have a generator, so using air conditioning during the day isn't an option, nor is the AC unit fan since it's not powered by my inverter. I do realize that it's going to get hot in the sun, but if managing to lower the temperature a couple of degrees can be done I would be that much further ahead.

I park during the day facing north, with trees to the east. I have room darkening shades on the windows, which keeps the sun out. Circulating air helps, but it's all fighting this heat that is radiating down from the roof.

That's why I was wondering about the solar panel shade. If the shade from the trees makes it cooler, does the solar panel shade do the same thing? Or is it too close to the roof and trapping hot air underneath it?
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:31 PM   #5
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Would adding a couple more solar panels not only give me more available power, but keep it a tad cooler inside? And what about mounting just a rigid (not solar) panel over the roof?
I'm sure panels help. I have 8, but never thought about the shade they create. I use shade screen on my drive windows. Your right, even a small amount of shade from trees cancels your solar panels. I have a silver insulated foil custom cut for each window that I can use as needed. But I much prefer window and patio awnings.
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:33 PM   #6
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You could try a misting system similar to these from Home Depot. Our son uses one on his patio in Las Vegas and it does help.

Misting - Watering & Irrigation - Garden Center - *The Home Depot

Good luck,
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:41 PM   #7
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Check out this other thread on water cooling

Experimenting with misters to cool Class C

Also you could run this from your solar system to cool the interior

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Old 04-16-2016, 02:58 PM   #8
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You didn't say what color the roof is. It would probably help to paint it white. I have read of some roof coatings that provide insulating values, don't remember where.

Another thing that would probably make a huge difference is to put a dark tint on all the side windows. I'm getting ready to do that on our coach.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:21 PM   #9
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DO you have a basement compartment available that you could cut a hole into so the cat can go down there to get out of heat?

I saw this once on a rig. They did it under the table. Made a ramp (with carpet) for the cat to walk down, then put the little box down there and had a gate made to leave the door up for the cats to have fresh air.

Otherwise, if you have ever seen that silver stuff that has bubble wrap in between the layers. Have it at Home Depot and Camping World, can't remember the name, that stuff can be put in any window that gets direct sunlight and reduce the heat transfer by 94% according to adds. Comes in rolls and costs around $30 with enough to do both front windows and a bit more. Maybe just doing the front windows would help.
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:23 PM   #10
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Cats can handle 100 deg heat.
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Old 04-16-2016, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
DO you have a basement compartment available that you could cut a hole into so the cat can go down there to get out of heat?

I saw this once on a rig. They did it under the table. Made a ramp (with carpet) for the cat to walk down, then put the little box down there and had a gate made to leave the door up for the cats to have fresh air.

Quote:
Otherwise, if you have ever seen that silver stuff that has bubble wrap in between the layers.
Have it at Home Depot and Camping World, can't remember the name, that stuff can be put in any window that gets direct sunlight and reduce the heat transfer by 94% according to adds. Comes in rolls and costs around $30 with enough to do both front windows and a bit more. Maybe just doing the front windows would help.

Reflectix
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Old 04-16-2016, 07:15 PM   #12
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Apply a white reflective coating. The aluminum (if untreated) is exposed metal. Talked my father inlaw into it and it lowered the interior by 10 deg (according to the mother in-law).
You will want an elastomeric coating. Ideally a ultra white.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamisl View Post
Otherwise, if you have ever seen that silver stuff that has bubble wrap in between the layers. Have it at Home Depot and Camping World, can't remember the name, that stuff can be put in any window that gets direct sunlight and reduce the heat transfer by 94% according to adds. Comes in rolls and costs around $30 with enough to do both front windows and a bit more. Maybe just doing the front windows would help.
I would put it in ALL the windows. You won't believe how much heat comes in through the windows. This will make a big difference.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:47 AM   #14
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I also endorse the reflectix. We bought a roll of it and cut pieces for all our windows, all the ceiling vents and to cover the shower dome from the inside.

Picture of the shower dome on the blog post below, scroll down to the last picture.

1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Our new toilet-Dometic Sealand Traveler 511H (low profile white)

To hold the ceiling ones in place we used self stick velcro so they are easy to put up and take down. They do a magnificent job of keeping the RV cool.

During the day if we want light or air flow we will keep them in place on the sunny side of the RV and take them off the other side.

Another trick is to park with the rear of the RV into the sun. Generally we leave the reflectix up on the rear window almost all the time. We also cut this piece extra large so the back wall is more insulated.

Reflectix works in the winter also to keep the RV warmer.
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