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Full Version: Reflectix backing question
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Howdy! 

I previously posted a question and got lots of great information. Now I'm trying to decide between two ideas for my windows: 

1. Reflectix with foam backing (painted black) 

2. Reflectix with black Gorilla tape backing

My primary goals are to keep heat out and privacy for stealth camping. I will put the black side facing out at night, and the reflectix side facing out during the day to keep heat out. 

If I go with the foam backing is there a specific foam grade I should be looking for? Can I easily cut it with an box cutter? Is there a specific kind of paint I should look for? Is breathing dust particles from the foam a concern? ( I have severe allergies)

Would the gorilla tape not provide the same kind of insulation (keeping heat out) as the foam board? My guess is it wouldn't be as effective. 

Thanks in advance for any insight!! 
 
I don't know all of the answers here, but most of the value from Reflectix is that it reflects sunlight. Black absorbs heat from sunlight.

Gorilla tape doesn't have any insulative properties, but it does have a great adhesive!
It wouldn't be possible to see thru the Reflectix at night, so I'm wondering why you would need to be able to switch to a darkened side? Is it because the shiny side out would signal 'van dweller' ?
If you're concerned about foam, cork works well.

Also this stuff, DIY oven pads:
http://www.allbrands.com/search?search=insul-bright

Magnets sewn around the perimeter
*Sigh - Reflectix is a radiant barrier. Look up how to use effectively. The ability to reflect visable light has nothing to do with it.

As far as black surfaces absorbing sunlight it is irrelevant if that material is of low density. There's no mass to absorb, hold, and radiate that energy. It matters very little unless the material in question is dense and/or good at transferring heat. Think about it ... A black piece of foam in full sun all day might get warmish while a white metal van or a laid down reflective metal tool gets too hot to touch in minutes.

Backing with foam is good because it creates the appropriate air gap for a radiant barrier to work properly and adds insulation (Reflectix is NOT insulation). However, it will make the panels rigid which might make for storage issues. Backing with Gorilla Tape or similar is nice simply because it keeps the window panels flexible and therefor easier to store.

As far as "black side out" for privacy you will find that, with even low levels of tint, having a reflective surface on the other side makes them virtually invisible. On the other side of my tinted rear windows is a 2-3" air gap and then mylar backed paneling. Mylar being the shiny material of Reflectix. Laminated on it's virtually a mirror. Try as I might I can't see that there is anything shiny on the other side.