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Old 11-01-2017, 11:59 AM   #1
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Skoolie in extreme heat

What have you found is the most effect way to keep your bus cool in extreme heat?

Outside temps near a 100 inside ideal in the low 70's

Some background:

My bus has a white roof with stock fiberglass, the floors and walls under the windows have 1 1/2" ridge foam. The windows have just thin see though curtains on them and in 80 degree weather with just one 5K window unit going it feels like the bus is 100 inside. (I will have 4 total 5K BTU units two in the front living space one midship and one back)

So is my money better spent finding heavy lined curtains with a layer of reflectix over the windows or making "storm windows" meaning a reflectix 1/2" ridge foam and thin plywood sandwich covered in white fabric and keeping the thin curtains.

Would it be worth the money to built a roof/pole barn over the bus with good fiberglass and a white metal roof?
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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One of the most effective ways to reduce heat coming in through the roof (other than proper spray foam) is to add another roof over your existing roof. Think the old safari type Land Rovers. They put an aluminum outer roof a few inches above the actual vehicle roof...waalaa...it's "in the shade" everywhere it goes. The spacing is for airflow to carry away the radiant heat from the outer shell so it doesn't heat up the inner.

Simple, and it works. A roof deck on a Skoolie can do the same. Plus...you have a nifty place with a view to sit and sip Margaritas.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:11 PM   #3
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Are you looking for something stationary (the roof/pole barn) or something that can go on the road with you? Clearly putting the bus in a building or under shade is going to do the most for you because it prevents about 100% of the solar heat gain from sun shining on the body and through the windows. All you're exposed to at that point is warm air.

If you need to limit heat gain while you're out and about where parking in the shade isn't an option there are many techniques. The single-pane clear glass bus windows will admit a lot of heat when the sun shines through them. Well-chosen curtains can help. A window film with good solar heat gain coefficient probably could do even more. Removal of any windows you can do without (and replacement with steel sheet and insulation) reduces heat gain further still.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:43 PM   #4
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I am looking for something stationary. I don't want to cover the windows over permanently either, I like the light and in the winter the temps will be in the 50s. So I would want to uncover the windows come winter.

How far of an overhang on the roof would I need like plus two feet each side of the bus? If I have said over hang would the windows still be a major heat collector?
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:30 PM   #5
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The length of the overhang is dependent on a few things?
The height of your poles,truss bottom's, width of your shelter,direction or angle you are parked with the sunrise sunset.
I would want it where it still shades the windows from the sun up to at least 5-6?7? Pm. When things start cooling down in your area or make something like a piece tucked under a normal soffit that folds up for view when you want it and folds down to block the sun or wind as needed?
I keep debating with doing something like a permanent awning idea that folds down for travel and up when parked but I kept some of my windows for the view?
I won't need them while driving but as a passenger I would want to be able to see something,anything while on the road?
Good luck
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:54 PM   #6
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The sizing of roof overhangs to shade windows in the summer but admit light in the winter is a big thing in passive solar design. It's not all that hard to calculate, and there are good resources at Built It Solar. In the "Window Shading and Overhangs" section near the bottom of that page is a link to some free design and simulation tools at Sustainable By Design.

The projection of the overhang depends upon latitude, the height of the window to be shaded, and the height from the bottom of the window to the lowest point of the eave/overhang. In a fixed building design I did several years ago a 24 inch overhang shaded a 36 inch high window which bottomed about 5.5 feet down from the overhang. I worked out the design with those tools at Sustainable By Design, and when I built it, I found that it actually worked. Lots of sun in the winter, window fully shaded in the summer. Some sun still comes in through the very late summer and fall when the heat isn't necessarily wanted; that's because I optimized for full sun in the winter and decided to just deal with what unwanted sun will come in during those months.

Orientation is a big thing in passive solar design too. Glass facing due south is great for heat gain in the winter. Surprisingly, it's not terrible for excess gain in the summer -- IIRC west-facing glass is worst there (at least in the northern hemisphere?) because the sun shines through west-facing windows from just a little after noon until sunset which might be as late as 8 pm.

If the glass is fully shaded then it won't have solar heat gain. There'll still be some heat transfer just from having hot outdoor air against the glass, but eliminating that direct solar gain will go a long way toward reducing the cooling load.
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:58 AM   #7
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Family wagon. Thank you . baby website calculation.
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Old 11-04-2017, 01:06 PM   #8
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What would be the best way to park the bus, to avoid the most sun heat gain?

What way would I want to face the front North/South or East/West
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:31 PM   #9
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Just an opinion
But I would park so that I had full sun in the front window to help with morning warm up and full sun in the back in the afternoon instead of full broadside in the side windows morning,noon,and afternoon?
In the summer but I would want to change direction in the winter to get the full sun?
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:57 PM   #10
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How about making a rather large carport for your beast?

Another option is installing an electric radiator fan in one of your roof hatches? They move tons of air and you could install a DPDT switch to reverse the airflow.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:42 AM   #11
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Yup my plans for sure. I am thinking 12X48 should do it with.

Jolly I don't understand what you are saying, I would assume you mean park the front end facing East or West the sun would high enough by the time it reach's the southern sky to be covered by the car port


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How about making a rather large carport for your beast?

Another option is installing an electric radiator fan in one of your roof hatches? They move tons of air and you could install a DPDT switch to reverse the airflow.
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Old 11-05-2017, 03:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigskypc50 View Post
Yup my plans for sure. I am thinking 12X48 should do it with.

Jolly I don't understand what you are saying, I would assume you mean park the front end facing East or West the sun would high enough by the time it reach's the southern sky to be covered by the car port
Yeah man.
Your exact orientation will depend on your location.
And to me the sun coming in the windshield versus in the mornings would help with warm up verses running to stoke the heater again and the sun going down hot in the rear end with only the back door window shining is better than a full broadside in the morning and afternoon.
I myself would love the full broadside in the mornings but my family would complain in the afternoons unless it was winter time. They all complain about the heat in the summer and beg for it in the winter.
I work in steam rooms year round so walking outside in the Summer is air conditioning for me and in the winter I lose all my winter close to go to work and freeze to death until I can get dressed again at morning break,lunch afternoon break and quitting time everyday.
I love sunshine year round.just gotta figure out how to make the family happy
Good luck
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