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Old 04-07-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
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Insulating aluminum window FRAMES

Just wanted to get a discussion and ideas going for insulating our aluminum window and door FRAMES! All I can find is insul the window panes with film, blinds, tint... BUT what about the FRAMES. During the day here in Oklahoma my alum frames get hot enough to cook on, on the inside! You can feel the radiant heat coming off them. And I do have the windows blocked/shaded with reflective bubble sheet but damn the frames are hot. And in the winter they're ice cold sucking heat out. Idea #1: glue and tuck some sort of thin foam backed fabric to inside frame surface. Idea #2: I only had the one! Any experience or awsome ideas out there?
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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When the window frames are sizziing hot, don't touch them
If your windows are single pane glass, you can replace them with insulated dual-pane (thermopane) glass.
There are a lot of pros and cons. Pro's: Insulate, better sound barrier Con's: Co$t, fog sometimes, some are not sealed,
Check out: Replacing Dual-Pane RV Windows | TrailerLifeTV
Thermopane (double pane) windows
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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Wink

Hey doggy I dont touch em, to hot! Lol I could boondock and cook on em if they were horizontal. I have single panes and with the reflective bubble sheet no heat radiates from there. Its the aluminum heat sinks that are like heating coils/elements in the summer and refridgerator coils in the winter. Hmm just wondered if i could screw peltier devices the whole way around and generate a butload of 12v dc! I cant afford windows as I still have to replace entire roof decking and upgrade foam to aluminum reflective type. And line-x it for seamless NO leak ever roof. Gotta come up with solution to the heatsinking of frames... Thin adhesive dense white foam of some type?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #4
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Instead of replacing windows, one can have custom made exterior solar and thermal shades the cover the entire outside window and frame. RV Side Window Cover - Features There are various types of fabrics and material and numerous types of fasteners. UV light and heat hates velcro. Snaps, studs and twist locks require adding holes on the outside of the RV and require routine maintenance to prevent corrosion and rust.DOTŪ Fasteners, Snap Fasteners, Caps, Studs, Posts, Screw Studs, Washers and Grommets
Many require a ladder to put-up/install and some can be done from the ground easily with magnets. Magne Shade - Home
I like the magnets as they are invisible from the outside and are maintenance free.
But they are pry-see, quality always is.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:05 PM   #5
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I like the window covers. I really cant use window awnings around here which sucks. The normal wind is 20 to 30mph. I've ridden out 80+ before, yee haaa! Cant use the big main awning either. Ask me how I know...yea it ripped 3 of the 4 strut mount points off in one gust. Fixed more gooder stronger now! Do they make a wind permiable low drag material for awnings instead of a solid tarp? Then I could use the smaller window ones I think. Oh my windows are tinted too, but its probably decades old and not very thermal reflective. Whats the opinion on the mirrored tinting?
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:11 PM   #6
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Just noticed your retired Army Doggy, Im an AF Vet, this rv is my home full time. Thats why Im so interested in max "insulating" this. For comfort and utility savings!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #7
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I really cant use window awnings around here which sucks. The normal wind is 20 to 30mph. I've ridden out 80+ before, yee haaa! Cant use the big main awning either. Ask me how I know...yea it ripped 3 of the 4 strut mount points off in one gust.
Where is your primary stomping ground that is so windy I am a resident of SD but am in CA four or more months a year. Got to spend time with grandson and snowbird when it is cold.

IMHO mirrored tinting (film) is okay from the inside the RV but can be a blinding reflective nuisance if your outside enjoying the sun shine. If I went film, I would check the warrantee and guarantee of the product and installer.
With an old coach, you don't want to invest too much in modifications that can't be transferred to a newer coach later.

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Old 04-10-2013, 12:51 AM   #8
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I live in s/w Oklahoma. We have real wind farms south west and north of my location. Right now were 20+ gusting to 50... As for the age of coach, its pd off 100%, no rent where im at, and i know every screw,nut,wire and pipe in this machine...as ive fixed most everything! Mostly labor n tlc. Cant afford an upgrade @ 30-40k$ but can afford a couple hundred here n there. Like fixing the windows next lol!
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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Just a couple thoughts?
If I were working towards cooling the window frames in the heat, they would not be painted black on the outside (or anywhere for that matter)? Have you considered stripping them to bare aluminum and leaving them "clear"?

While I think your coach looks great, that black stripe (or any dark color) can be a huge heat magnet.

Second, if you want to prevent thermal transfer, you need a "thermal break" between the inside and outside. That could be something similar to a gasket used between the window frame and the inside trim ring. Problem there is using a "gasket" there would mess up the distance needed to squeeze the wall between the inside and outside window frames. So you would need to make a second "gasket" to put beteen the window trim ring and the wall?
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:37 PM   #10
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Just a couple thoughts?
If I were working towards cooling the window frames in the heat, they would not be painted black on the outside (or anywhere for that matter)? Have you considered stripping them to bare aluminum and leaving them "clear"?
While I think your coach looks great, that black stripe (or any dark color) can be a huge heat magnet.
Bare aluminum will tend to reflect sun light, pit, collect corrosion and turn rags black when polished if not coated with paint or lacquer.
If your going to change the color of the exterior window frames, reconsider the color White.
Though the color black does attract heat, in the cold of winter it speeds up clearing glass of fog, ice and snow.
Old school of using sheet aluminum foil or foiled bubble wrap on inside of windows is the cheapest solution.
Using clear plastic wrap (or precut plexiglass) taped to inside of window frame in the winter will act as a two pane storm window. Kits that do this with shrink wrap and hair blow dryers are found in many hardware stores in the fall.
Affixing plexiglass on the inside of the screen door in the fall & winter will also act as an additional door insulator.
Using canvas or tarp with rope/parachute cord and duct tape to make a skirting around your RV, you will trap heat under your RV keeping snow and ice from cooling the RV floor from the ground level and moving cold winds (sorta like a mini igloo).
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:22 PM   #11
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We got exterior UV window shades.
They work both ways, in/ out
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:02 AM   #12
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Ahicks those are some great ideas on isolating the thermal conduction! The black stripe is actually faded grey but yes i agree it it doesnt help. After the roof gets replaced i plan on repainting white with trim colors, i havent decided what colors yet but like light teal for graphics. Doggy beat me to your sugesstion on frame color...white! Can do when repainting, will pull window frames to reseal then anyways. Aircraft spray, paint stripper works good for that. Then etching primer for the aluminum then the white. Think ill do the inside white too. At the least itll be different. I just hope i can finish before the Zombie Appocolypse I do think ill make some type of "wind forgiving" awnings first right after the roof. Heres another idea ill toss at ya! Line-X the window frames with a thin coat in white! The plastic will insulate the aluminum from conducting heat/cold both ways, white will reflect absorbtion AND they never corrode!!! Ill have to think and plan for changes in clearances. Or powder coat in white...hmm. Sorry slow, still trying to get used to new keyboard on my new SG Note phone...argh.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:10 AM   #13
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Ahicks, the gasket or thermal break idea you had could be made from a 1/16" sheet of wood veneer, cut and sanded to shape then sealed with resin for longevity. Basicly like phenolic type insulators!
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:09 AM   #14
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Ahicks, the gasket or thermal break idea you had could be made from a 1/16" sheet of wood veneer, cut and sanded to shape then sealed with resin for longevity. Basicly like phenolic type insulators!
Yup, that would work fine! To economize on the amount of material you would need, just cut it into strips, width dependent on what you need, then make the corner pieces seperately? When done, use some contact cement to hold them in place while you assemble.

I was thinking some kind of vinyl or plastic, but wood, cork, even linoleum would work fine?

Regarding raw aluminum (mill finish/clear), old school I guess. Not too worried about corrosion for my purposes? I know better than to try and keep up with a polished finish, and mill/clear finish was/is very popularly used on many coaches built today, many more in days past! Has to fit your minds eye in the end though. Suit yourself!
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