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Old 05-19-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
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Stop using Reflextix

I've noticed thread after thread and build after build of people putting reflextix inside the walls of their bus. The reasoning is always:

"It's a radiant barrier, so I'll keep hot air in/out by putting it on the inside/outside of the insulation in my walls."

The problem is that reflextix doesn't do anything if there isn't an air gap.

When you see r value claims for it, look more closely. Reflective insulation manufacturers use the r value for the system in their advertising. The system includes real insulation! So they advertise the r value from other insulation in their own claims.

Any space used on reflective insulation is better spent on insulation, especially in a bus where the amount of insulation you have is already limited by default.

Don't believe me?

Here is some reading you can do:

The Foil Faced Bubble Wrap Sham

A list of research studies on it

Why not to use it in a (van) conversion specifically

And here is a good video:

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Old 05-19-2017, 11:07 AM   #2
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Yeah, I only use that stuff as window covering in the summer. Works great for that...
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:19 PM   #3
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Reflectix has air gaps between them so there is no air gap needed.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for this. I discovered the same thing when I did a deep dive searching for heat (thermal) barrier material for the floor of our skoolie. I specifically want to add something to the driver's area, not the entire floor, which is original to the bus. I had hoped to use something like the foil stuff, but realized if it is in contact with the floor, it becomes a conductor, not barrier.
A friend has suggested we add a heat shield to the exhaust system under the bus in that area, which we will probably do, but I'm looking at the likelihood of putting out the $$ for Lizardskin coating unless something else comes along that works as a thermal barrier.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is puzzled by the use of this kind of material without an air gap.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:25 PM   #5
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How much is refelctix? How much is mylar and bubblewrap?
a 4x10 of reflectix is $27 !!! That's EXPENSIVE "insulation".

Bubble wrap is $21 for a 4x50!

Mylar is dirt cheap, so I say make your own if you REALLY want mylar and bubble wrap.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:13 PM   #6
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Thanks PigPen, the Vanholio link was especially helpful.

So now my question is, would using JUST reflectix be a good idea? And if I did, would I be better served with furring strips on the metal and then reflectix on top, then my walls floors and ceiling? Or the other way around, reflectix against the bus skin, then furring strips, then wall on that?

Or could I even double up on the furring strips and leave an air gap on either side of the reflectix between both the bus and the walls, held out by two sets of furring strips?

What kind of R value could I expect with this?
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:14 PM   #7
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I'd say get some real insulation instead of trying to make due with something lightweight like reflectix. That is basically a plastic vapor barrier. As CB said, it can be done for a lot less to achieve the same effect. The question is, is reflectix practical?

My point here is that CB and myself live in very different climates. Mine is cold and his is warm. The point is being able to retain thermal energy in your bus. I'd put up thin rigid styrofoam panels rather than reflectix.

If I'd been saving all the bubble packing material I get from Amazon I could have insulated the bus with that.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:29 PM   #8
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A big cheap roll of bubblewrap, a big cheap roll of mylar, a touch of spray adhesive from 3m, and you can make a TON of "reflectix". But as mentioned, its a horrible choice for trying to have real insulation.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:33 PM   #9
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From that I glean that I'd be better off with rigid foam and spray foam...
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpen View Post
i've noticed thread after thread and build after build of people putting reflextix inside the walls of their bus. The reasoning is always:

"it's a radiant barrier, so i'll keep hot air in/out by putting it on the inside/outside of the insulation in my walls."

the problem is that reflextix doesn't do anything if there isn't an air gap.

When you see r value claims for it, look more closely. Reflective insulation manufacturers use the r value for the system in their advertising. The system includes real insulation! So they advertise the r value from other insulation in their own claims.

Any space used on reflective insulation is better spent on insulation, especially in a bus where the amount of insulation you have is already limited by default.

Don't believe me?

Here is some reading you can do:

the foil faced bubble wrap sham

a list of research studies on it

why not to use it in a (van) conversion specifically

and here is a good video:

thats not the stuff people use here in the video
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:44 PM   #11
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No, the bubbles don't count as an air gap. This is from their own site:

"No Air Space = No Reflective Insulation Benefit
(An R-1.1 is provided from the product itself for the Reflective/Double Bubble material."

The principle shown in the video applies to the stuff people use in skoolies. It doesn't look the same, but it's true for all radiant barriers, which is what reflectix is.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:41 PM   #12
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I need it to prevent the government from spying on me while I'm in my bus.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:09 PM   #13
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Yeah, Reflectix hat!
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:18 PM   #14
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Yeah, Reflectix hat!
Someone in skoolie land PLEASE make a reflectix hat so we can have a new MEME!!!!!!
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:41 PM   #15
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That stuff even sounds expensive for covering windows.

I'm going to have to make a styrofoam hat, but don't worry because it has mylar on one side.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
How much is refelctix? How much is mylar and bubblewrap?
a 4x10 of reflectix is $27 !!! That's EXPENSIVE "insulation".

Bubble wrap is $21 for a 4x50!

Mylar is dirt cheap, so I say make your own if you REALLY want mylar and bubble wrap.

4ft x 100ft for $23.95 shipped
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:06 PM   #17
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Anyone using this stuff? I am still considering it for my project

Anyone have any experience with reflectix?

My bus has a fiberglass top (shuttle bus) and my current plan is to keep the Styrofoam up there, which has plywood under it. I was thinking of reflectix next, then canvas on top of that with wood running down the middle and on the sides.

I think the foam between the plywood and roof will be enough of an air gap. - would anyone agree or disagree?

Or better suggestions of course welcome. I am trying to minimize the amount of space taken up by the ceiling insulation as I am tall.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Omingnome View Post
Anyone have any experience with reflectix?

My bus has a fiberglass top (shuttle bus) and my current plan is to keep the Styrofoam up there, which has plywood under it. I was thinking of reflectix next, then canvas on top of that with wood running down the middle and on the sides.

I think the foam between the plywood and roof will be enough of an air gap. - would anyone agree or disagree?

Or better suggestions of course welcome. I am trying to minimize the amount of space taken up by the ceiling insulation as I am tall.
I'd save my money. The insulation properties of Reflectix are really poor. It reflects, so used on windows it's light and good for reflecting sunlight.

As part of an insulation scheme the manufacturers claim a very high R-value, but also say that the R-value of the actual product is 1.

For it to work it requires a large air-gap, and plenty of, you know, insulation.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:51 PM   #19
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I'm probably going to try both and leave an air gap. You can see what I am planning on my thread:

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/th...tml#post243634

I'm going to raise my roof though so I have room for the air gap and the rigid Styrofoam. By the way as far as rigid Styrofoam goes you want the XPS because it works in the cold as well. The Polyiso has a barely higher R-value, but there have been tests done to prove that it's useless in the cold.
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Old 01-19-2018, 06:17 AM   #20
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I'd save my money. The insulation properties of Reflectix are really poor. It reflects, so used on windows it's light and good for reflecting sunlight.

As part of an insulation scheme the manufacturers claim a very high R-value, but also say that the R-value of the actual product is 1.

For it to work it requires a large air-gap, and plenty of, you know, insulation.
For what Reflectix costs, you can buy good insulation!
As I've said before- just stick some mylar to some bubblewrap and you have reflectix for pennies.
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