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I am a few weeks out from starting my van building project and it seems like a lot of the insulation advice is for cooler climates. I plan on running a fan at night when its hot and parking in the shade, but I am mostly concerned with it being hot at night.

What would you guys recommend in terms of insulation for warmer climates? For reference, I will probably be getting a cargo van and completely gutting it before putting in any new insulation/flooring/etc.
insulation works both ways, hot or cold. however you must use something to raise or lower the temp inside to make it comfy unless the ambient temp is already in your comfort range. the insulation is there so you use less energy to keep it comfy. I feel the color of the vehicle is very important also light colors for hot enviros dark colors for cold. if you are in both, then you have a choice to make. highdesertranger
Yes. Insulation will just slow down the inevitable. Refletix used as designed is good for reducing heat gain (sun load). Other insulation like styrofoam have higher R factor for traditional insulation, conserving your heated or cooled environment. I have a combo of both these in my van, but I also use plug in AC of 5000btu and it's barely enough on a hot FL day out in the sun. I have a display van (half windows) you can't insulate glass very well.
Having lived in TX (hill country). I would recommend leaving it during the summers and spending your time in someplace like the higher elevated areas of New Mexico instead. Most of the AC's that are in the 5000BTU range simply cannot handle the kind of heat + humidity there. I tested my AC in west Texas and it didn't fare any better there.
thank you all for the input. can any recommend some of the AC units that work well(ish)?

And also, I will probably be further north more of the time during the summer. I am also just used to the heat.
Not just going north, as altitude is the key to cooler temps.

We had a 5200 A/C from Sears that was pretty cold. It was about $100.
We used it on moderate days in an RV window. When it got over 100 the more expensive to run roof unit came into play and we'd close the hall door to cool the living space up front.

I'd think the window unit would cool an insulated van, especially with the windshield covered with reflective.
Some of it depends on how cool you need to be for comfort. I need 80* or less for sleep. We do have stretches when it doesn't get that low any time during the night. Some folks will not feel cool at 70*, and I don't see how they can manage a Texas summer in a vehicle.

Vickie
Vickie,
Having spent a few summers in the desert in a van under army camo shade I can tell you there nights that sleeping out on a cot can be uncomfortably warm....till about 3-4 am when some extra cover is mighty nice. Went to sleep in the open many nights in my birthday suit still sweating.
I've been in the desert southwest most of my life, so I know to live with it.
On a hot day a pump sprayer and some shade makes a real difference. A shaded van will be a little cooler at night too.
How comfortable you can get depends on where you are and what you can get by with.
On electric with an A/C is really the way to go if possible.
(04-08-2014, 10:33 PM)bindi&us Wrote: [ -> ]Vickie,
Having spent a few summers in the desert in a van under army camo shade I can tell you there nights that sleeping out on a cot can be uncomfortably warm....till about 3-4 am when some extra cover is mighty nice. Went to sleep in the open many nights in my birthday suit still sweating.
I've been in the desert southwest most of my life, so I know to live with it.
On a hot day a pump sprayer and some shade makes a real difference. A shaded van will be a little cooler at night too.
How comfortable you can get depends on where you are and what you can get by with.
On electric with an A/C is really the way to go if possible.

Greetings!

Have you tried those cooling blankets? No power required.

Mine were designed for NASA to maintain your proper body temp, regardless of outdoor temps. They work both ways, both heating and cooling.

I use mine when I'm going to bed about sunrise, and it's a bit chilly, then I can stay in bed pretty much as long as I want, even at 95-100° it keeps me comfortably cool. Really neat stuff. I use one for a chair throw, or cozy sometimes too.

They're a little spendy, and there may be cheaper ones available, but I do love mine. I think they're available on Amazon.

Cheers!

The CamperVan_Man
(04-09-2014, 03:54 AM)The CamperVan_Man Wrote: [ -> ]Greetings!
Have you tried those cooling blankets? No power required.
The CamperVan_Man

Glad you reminded me of those. I had one that came from the hospital. It must have been part of the big downsizing operation a couple years ago. With summer coming it might be a good idea to get another one.
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