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Old 01-18-2018, 05:53 PM   #1
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Beating the heat - roof platform vs alternatives

Hello everyone!

I'm considering adding a platform on top of my short bus, with the primary purpose of reducing heat inside by having airflow between the roof and platform. Am I crazy for thinking this is the way to go? Better to insulate the roof? I'm worried about headroom because I only have 3" inside to spare, and the floor I'm putting in will put a dent in that.

Any help, advice, anecdotes or miscellany are greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:07 PM   #2
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Any shade over the roof will help.
But the sides of the bus and the windows that are left in place will also allow heat in.
Heat rises.
In my mind covering the roof will help when the sun is in those hours where the deck shades the roof.
Parking where the sun shines in in the mornings is always pleasant but that means the afternoon sun is a full blast on the other side of the bus as it is going down?
I am debating an awning on both sides of my bus so I can accommodate the onslaught of the SUN on both sides because I kept most of my windows in the front half.
Food for thought?
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:31 PM   #3
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I'd certainly start by using a roof coating to reflect the light and heat. I'm not a big fan of adding a bunch of weight to the roof of a tall vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:47 PM   #4
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That is a well known method of dissapating heat before it directly hits the vehicle. It doesn't have to be a party deck, just something light that stops the sun.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phirewall View Post
Hello everyone!

I'm considering adding a platform on top of my short bus, with the primary purpose of reducing heat inside by having airflow between the roof and platform. Am I crazy for thinking this is the way to go? Better to insulate the roof? I'm worried about headroom because I only have 3" inside to spare, and the floor I'm putting in will put a dent in that.

Any help, advice, anecdotes or miscellany are greatly appreciated!
Henry's tropical seal and a deck...just remember the more height you add the more bridges you gotta watch out for

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Old 01-18-2018, 08:51 PM   #6
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We've had this discussion before. Best examples of this theory are the older African safari style Land Rovers. They installed a lightweight aluminum secondary roof over the actual vehicle roof with about three inches of air gap. Simple. You will always stay cooler in the shade. And the second roof provides just that. They work. A roof deck can do the same. Just try to keep the weight down.

For what it's worth...I am doing the above on my rig.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:39 PM   #7
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You know, the ceiling panels we take out of the interiors could make a nearly perfect sized heat shield.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:00 PM   #8
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cover it in solar panels,.....
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:08 PM   #9
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cover it in solar panels,.....
There ya go
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:39 AM   #10
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Regular flat white paint will do wonders, and its easy/cheap.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:18 AM   #11
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Here is a picture of a 1979 MCI Challenger MC5C built for service in Saudi Arabia. Zoom in and note that the roof is double with an air space .

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Old 01-19-2018, 10:45 AM   #12
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cover it in solar panels,.....
That's exactly what I did. Eight big grid-tie panels hinged to a central walkway between my two roof hatches. The ceiling inside under the panels and walkway is noticeably cooler (less hot?) on a sunny day. I also painted my roof with pixie dust (Hy-Tech ThermaCels ceramic insulation additive) mixed into the Rustoleum gloss white paint, but who knows how much difference that makes to interior temperatures? Keeping the direct sunlight from touching the roof is effective. So saying, if it's a hot day the roof will still be at ambient temperature because of the air itself. Whatever you do, it's important to maintain sufficient space between roof and covering to allow airflow, otherwise the air trapped there will become very hot and bake the roof.

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Old 01-28-2018, 09:55 AM   #13
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For some reason I wasn't getting the email notifications, so I'm just getting around to reading these replies. Thank you everyone for the great info!

Here in SoCal they paint the tops of all the buses white so that step has already been done for me. Based on the feedback here I think I'm going to put solar panels on the front half and a light "roof" over the back.

What's a good way to support the structure? Welding strut to the frame maybe?
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Old 01-28-2018, 11:43 AM   #14
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Re-using the ceiling panels for a raised second layer is a great idea. I'm adding it to my list of maybes for the big bus build.
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Old 01-28-2018, 12:03 PM   #15
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Regular flat white paint will do wonders, and its easy/cheap.
I totally agree with you. Just 0ne gallon of Rustoleum Flat White will make a noticeable difference and then combine that with what to OP suggests will be a great way to go.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:21 PM   #16
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The deal with coating using rubberized or elastomeric is two fold. Not only does it really stop heat soak but it also seals the roof. If the roof ever leaks and needs a seal job, going over Rustoleum or any house paints will cause peeling issues. The roof would need to be sanded or stripped back to apply the rubber or elasto coating. It's one of those once and done kind of deals. Touch ups on rubber or elastro is simple as a hose down and recoat.
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:56 PM   #17
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The deal with coating using rubberized or elastomeric is two fold. Not only does it really stop heat soak but it also seals the roof. If the roof ever leaks and needs a seal job, going over Rustoleum or any house paints will cause peeling issues. The roof would need to be sanded or stripped back to apply the rubber or elasto coating. It's one of those once and done kind of deals. Touch ups on rubber or elastro is simple as a hose down and recoat.
I understand there's a primer recommended?

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Old 01-28-2018, 09:27 PM   #18
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I understand there's a primer recommended?

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I have only sanded the roof on some of the units I have done. Then I wash them down really good with a degreasing soap like dawn dish soap and give the roof a quick wipe down with denatured alcohol to be sure to get anything left behind. I sand the roof with a manual floor sander, aka block sander on a long paint roller handle. I use a long paint roller handle, loose nap roller, and paint the coating on from the side while on a ladder. It keeps from tracking stuff on the roof from walking on the ground. You could cover the roof with a tarp or plastic drop cloth to stand on and move it back as you're coating the roof.

Here's a link to a similar sander that I use. It's called a pole sander, ceiling sander, floor sander, etc... It's known by lots of names. Link for reference.
https://www.amazon.com/Goldblatt-G15...e2d174b4e271dd
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:48 PM   #19
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I have only sanded the roof on some of the units I have done. Then I wash them down really good with a degreasing soap like dawn dish soap and give the roof a quick wipe down with denatured alcohol to be sure to get anything left behind. I sand the roof with a manual floor sander, aka block sander on a long paint roller handle. I use a long paint roller handle, loose nap roller, and paint the coating on from the side while on a ladder. It keeps from tracking stuff on the roof from walking on the ground. You could cover the roof with a tarp or plastic drop cloth to stand on and move it back as you're coating the roof.

Here's a link to a similar sander that I use. It's called a pole sander, ceiling sander, floor sander, etc... It's known by lots of names. Link for reference.
https://www.amazon.com/Goldblatt-G15...e2d174b4e271dd
Thx

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Old 01-29-2018, 07:52 AM   #20
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Thx

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You're welcome.
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