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Hello all, I just finished cutting out all the Reflectix window inserts for my van windows.  

Now I'm looking into also adding window tinting to help.  There is a lot of confusing, inconclusive info on the internet.  I understand that a ceramic based tint would be best.  Has anyone here had experience with window tinting in combo with Reflectix?  One doubt is that the tint will make the windows hotter and that heat will radiate inside.  This is an article I just read on the topic, but I'm not convinced:

http://www.christopherteh.com/blog/2013/03/car-cool/

Other than Reflectix and window tint, what are peoples' favorite solutions for dealing with heat gain through the windows?  (I'm prepping for hot climates, jot the cold ones.)

Also, I noticed that the Reflecrix actually does not block out all visible light--is translucent--and so, when interior lights are on, it can be seen glowing from the outside. I was thinking of painting the backside (interior side) of the Reflectix with something opaque, but I wonder if that will decrease its insulative value. The sun shade sold at the auto parts store--the one supposed to work better than the others at keeping heat out of the car--is black on the inside surface, so now I'm thoroughly confused.
I don't think any window tint/reflectix will do much to reduce heat coming in, it will just block the brightness from the sun. The window will still heat up and transfer heat inside.

The only thing that will work is if you cover the windows over with thick insulation. I done that to all my vans rear windows. In the article you mention the lowest temp I saw was 50 celcius (122 degrees) with the tint. On my van parked in the sun with all windows close it rarely gets over 100 degrees in the back, its usually in the low 90s with the swampcooler running. The front uninsulated van can get as high as 150 degrees.

My rear windows use to be heavily tinted and I also use black cardboard to try and reduce heat but the heat was unbearable. Thick insulation was the only thing that worked.


temps from front and back of van
[attachment=23389]
Unless you need a degree of stealth, it's better to attach Reflectix or other reflective material to the outside. With Reflectix on the inside the space between the glass and reflective coating heats up and escapes around the edges, into the vehicle.

Forms of shade work better. Awnings, tarps, windshield covers and so on.

As for me, I prefer parking with the windshield facing north and having all the doors, windows and vents open to let whatever breeze there is blow through. And plenty of insulation in the roof and walls.
Yes, going for stealth, no Reflectix on the outside. For the windshield and front driver and passenger windows I've installed two layers of Reflectix ,with at least an inch gap between each layer. On the windshield, the first layer wedges up behind the van upholstery right behind the windshield, and the second layer hangs down from the top of the windshield and goes straight down to attach (velcro) to the dash. This makes an enclosed triangle over the dash. (I'm also going to get a lighter colored dash mat.)
I've also done the same to the rear cargo door windows--two layers of gapped Reflectix--but since the rear windows can stay covered more permanently, I might add some thicker insulation there, like the 1/2" foam board. But then when I want to take the window inserts out, there will be two more bulky things needing a home in a tiny van. Out of all the reviews of people using Reflectix in their van windows, I didn't see anyone mention that they used two gapped layers. Perhaps this will make a difference.

I wanted to insulate the front cabin area really well because I want to be able to sit in the front passenger seat (swiveled around to face the back) while living in it, instead of having the front and back closed off from each other. But I also plan on installing a thick insulative curtain between front and back for when I'm driving, sleeping, and generally anytime I don't need to use the swiveled front passenger seat.