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  1. #1
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    Default Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    With our Ratel being made of metal (as well as many other makes), how best to isolate the roof in order to minimize heat inside? The issue is mainly whilst driving, the enclosed van gets seriously warm and when having to setup in the sun. The roof is a huge area that transmits a hell of a lot of heat to the inside.

    I’m after a more permanent solution, not get a aircon or pull a silver sail across the van.

    Options I’m aware of below, but what really works, are very effective? Oh and does not look like … and devaluate the van.


    1. Cover the inside of the roof with a layer of say at least 20mm polystyrene or equivalent material.
    2. Paint the exposed roof areas with a reflective substance, the areas not covered by solar panel(s). Normally this is white and how will a khaki Ratel look with a white roof, FJ style


    What in you experience is the best solution and how to do it as a DIY jobbie?

    Thanks for the help.
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    I think Sondor creates some products that are used in the automative industry for heat insulation - possibly having a look at their range might give some ideas?!?
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    That silver foil they use in building roofing works well. I have that in my 1200 adventure bikes top boxes, glued to the roof inside. I can keep chocolate in them in the full sun.

    Very light strong and can be glued into place. For my trailer, my lid becomes a table, so I can't glue it in place, but I keep it loose inside when the lid is closed.

    Any of my vehicles, if I remove the ceiling for any reason - I put that stuff inside.
    Current off-road vehicles: *** Great family accommodation. See Facebook, Google maps and airbnb. Mkulu Kei at Wild Wind Ranch
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Why not install air vents so you get airflow into trailer when traveling and standing
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Lining the inside with cork tiles helps. They reduce the heat transfer considerably and also help alleviate condensation

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Why not install air vents so you get airflow into trailer when traveling and standing
    Airflow will help whilst on the move, whilst stationary we always have plenty ventilation, but the roof gets so hot you can hardly touch it.
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
    ‘18 Land Cruiser FJ - build to play
    ‘19 Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 - my best overland build ever
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    2013 LC 200 4.6 Petrol V8 - Ex. The best car I have owned, apart from its thirst
    2014 LC 79 V8 - Ex
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    2013 FJ Cruiser - Ex
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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Why not install air vents so you get airflow into trailer when traveling and standing
    May have problems with dust and water whilst driving.
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  11. #8
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Was sent this pic, looks "cool" . 20mm hi-density polystyrene used with a hardboard cover.

    Now if I combine the polystyrene and the mentioned roof foil with a hardboard cover it'll be both functional and look smart
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ratel Roof.png 
Views:	293 
Size:	1.18 MB 
ID:	612413

    This weekend I will swap the current 150W panel on the roof with a mighty 325W. This will cover slightly more of the roof, but what I think I should do is drill a few holes on each side of the panel to allow for hot air to escape (I will mount if on ~5mm foam strips with open spaces in-between, which will let air in from the bottom as well). The airflow is more for the panel than the roof.
    Dirk Theron - Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!
    ‘18 Land Cruiser FJ - build to play
    ‘19 Hilux 2.8 GD-6 Auto 4x4 - my best overland build ever
    ‘17 BL865 Ratel4 - the house on wheels
    2013 LC 200 4.6 Petrol V8 - Ex. The best car I have owned, apart from its thirst
    2014 LC 79 V8 - Ex
    2001 LC 105 4.5 EFI - Ex
    2013 FJ Cruiser - Ex
    1996 LC 80 UK spec VX 4.5 EFI auto - Ex
    2001 Jeep TJ 4L - Ex
    2006 Jeep Cherokee - Ex
    1989 LC Bundera 1KZ-TE 3L auto - Ex
    1996 Nissan Sani DC 4x4 - Ex

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    I know Louis oradba69 installed some insolation under the roof carpet in his Afrispoor Cheetah, maybe contact him.
    I would think some material on the inside of the roof would be the best option, you must just find the right stuff.
    "The problems we have today is because the guys who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." - Magnus Heystek

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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Quote Originally Posted by DCTheron View Post
    Was sent this pic, looks "cool" . 20mm hi-density polystyrene used with a hardboard cover.

    Now if I combine the polystyrene and the mentioned roof foil with a hardboard cover it'll be both functional and look smart
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ratel Roof.png 
Views:	293 
Size:	1.18 MB 
ID:	612413

    This weekend I will swap the current 150W panel on the roof with a mighty 325W. This will cover slightly more of the roof, but what I think I should do is drill a few holes on each side of the panel to allow for hot air to escape (I will mount if on ~5mm foam strips with open spaces in-between, which will let air in from the bottom as well). The airflow is more for the panel than the roof.
    Another option would be to install the reflective film on the remainder of the roof. I opted for the silver sail and reflective film on the sides as I like my solar panels loose. Speak to Romeo for from All outdoors (083) 397-8067

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  15. #11
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Quote Originally Posted by DCTheron View Post
    Was sent this pic, looks "cool" . 20mm hi-density polystyrene used with a hardboard cover.

    Now if I combine the polystyrene and the mentioned roof foil with a hardboard cover it'll be both functional and look smart
    White reflects heat. Might be an option to paint the roof white? Wil make a huge difference.

    A layer of polystyrene inside will also helps, with and/or or a type of reflective layer inside on the roof, or heat reflective paint on top.
    Last edited by JLK; 2021/04/20 at 12:05 PM.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Ruil die Ratel in op 'n Arctic addition....

    Die dak op my Miskruier is so klein en met die sonpaneel wat weg van die dak gemonteer is, is die orige oppervlak wat son vang te min vir die kleur om 'n verskil te maak. Die paneel is op brackets so daar is ventilasie tussen die dak en die paneel wat ook help.
    Michael (Kooskop) My naam is NIE Koos nie..
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  19. #13
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    On the very old Series Landy's there was a tropical roof option. It's a single thin plate on supports that keeps the roof in permanent shade and a roof rack can be fitted over it. Pic of my Series 2A with tropical roof near Elands Bay:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSC01011.jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	471.7 KB 
ID:	613093

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  21. #14
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Dirk

    Met al die rate hierbo is dit duidelik daar is geen maklike oplossing nie. Selfs 'n motor met goed geοsoleerde dak wat met toe vensters in die son staan word bloedig warm. Daar is nie raat nie. Om luginlate te maak vir wanneer jy beweeg is ook sinneloos. Daar is dan juis 'n waaier om positiewe druk te bewerkstellig en sodoende stof uit te hou.

    Wanneer jy reeds op jou kampplek staan en die dak gelig is sal daardie sonpaneel baie help om die dak koeler te hou, dis te sκ as daar 'n lugopening tussen die twee vir ventilasie is.

    Ons het al gevind dat die blink sonseil nie so effektief is soos wat ons geglo het nie. Sonder hom koel die wa baie vinniger af in die laatrmiddag as met hom. Met die seile se openinge aan die dakkante oop help dit baie om hitte binne uit te laat.

    Ons is maar geskroef hier... tog bly kampeer die beste!
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  23. #15
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Ek het n wit glasvesel kamper, is leefbaar binne oor die middag onder n boom, maar ook net net.
    Johan Kriel

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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    I've had 2 Conqueror Companions. Both have a metal roof. I tried the polystyrene inside which works (sort of).

    The only way to fix the problem properly is to put on a Safari Roof like the old Series LR had. Basically a heat shield. That will be the best and most permanent solution for the heat. Anything else will be a "Heath Robinson" fix - it'll work, but not as well as you want. And you'll spend double on trying to fix and change
    Ubbo
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  26. #17
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    Default Re: Caravan temperature reduction – metal roof isolation

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubbo View Post
    I've had 2 Conqueror Companions. Both have a metal roof. I tried the polystyrene inside which works (sort of).

    The only way to fix the problem properly is to put on a Safari Roof like the old Series LR had. Basically a heat shield. That will be the best and most permanent solution for the heat. Anything else will be a "Heath Robinson" fix - it'll work, but not as well as you want. And you'll spend double on trying to fix and change
    That Safari / Tropical roof is easy and cheap to make too. Thin metal sheet, drilled holes, spacers and screws / nuts & bolts. Solar panels can be mounted on it too. The advantage is the roof itself is permanently in the shade.

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