Reflectix for dummies

Discussion in 'Cold Weather Camping' started by kimberline18, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. kimberline18

    kimberline18 New Member

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    OK...I've bought a roll of Reflectix to make a cooler koosie (which worked fantastic BTW!) and now we're gearing up for 2 or 3 cold/cooler weather trips. I am naturally always cold and have 2 small kids so I'm looking for anything that will help. I have Gizmos which I will put up on the bunkends, plan on getting ceramic heaters and heated mattress pads (are these necessary??) and will also put Reflectix under the mattresses. I'm confused on what to do for the rest of the camper. I see a lot of mention on using Reflectix for the interior windows, but how does this work? Do you put it on all of the windows (2 sides and back of each bunk and 2 sides of the camper?) and, if so, how does it stay put? Does it just wedge in? Does anyone have any pics of the inside of their PUP with the reflectix in it?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. PinnMcrack

    PinnMcrack Active Member

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    From what I understand Relectix will not work under the mattress' I haven't had a chance to do any cool weather camping yet. But the Reflectix for the windows will go in between the screen and the zip out part for the window.
    Heated mattress pads are up to you.
     
  3. twstdpear

    twstdpear Party like it's 2012!

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    What you probably want to do is make window inserts out of the Reflectix to go between the canvas and screen. I found them most useful during cold months, but also helped during hot months to help keep the heat out. A 48" x 50' roll should do both bunks although you'll have some left over if you have a smaller pup. If you have other canvas windows (vs. clear vinyl) in the main living area, you'll want to get them too if you can.

    We stored them flat under the mattresses during travel and mild months.

    I think the primary benefit of the Reflectix is to act as a barrier to stop the breeze from blowing through the canvas and sucking away your heat, and secondarily add a small amount of insulation. Between the Gizmos and Reflectix used this way, we were able to rely pretty much solely on our heat strip in the A/C unit for all but the coldest days when we'd add a ceramic heater and set the furnace to turn on around 55-60 degrees.

    During cold months, we just use our 20-degree sleeping bags instead of linen and blankets.
     
  4. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    You will not get much out of putting reflectix under the mattress, so save some money. We camp in the Colorado high country in November hunting Elk. It gets cold. I use the Gizmos on the bunkends and reflectix in all the windows. This helps keep the camper tolerable, in -10 degree mornings. Cut the reflectix to fit between the window and the screen. Take your seat cushions out and place them by the window you are planning on insulating. Lay the reflectix on the cushion, unzip the window, lay it on top of the reflectix and trace the outline, then cut the reflectix to fit. I used aluminum tape to seal the exposed edges. As previously stated, store your insulation under the beds. As stated in the name, this material reflects heat back into the camper, as well as blocking cold air trying to enter. Do not forget to make a piece for your door and tape it into place. With a Mr Buddy heater and the furnace and real good sleeping bags you can extend your camping season well into the colder months.
    MR
     
  5. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Yep, it's the dead airspace that makes Reflectix effective as insulation. You'd be better off using rigid (blue or pink) Styrofoam under the mattresses.

    It's the wind that draws the heat out of the camper and a pup furnace (or a decent electric heater) is going to be able to keep that pup toasty, it's just a matter of how often you want it to run.

    Were I going "winter camping" in subzero temps, I'd consider picking up a thermal tarp, toss it over the roof, secure it in place with bungee cords and a few tarp clips so it won't flap in the wind and call it a day.

    Even just a single layer tarp would work fine and you could cut it to accommodate venting, plumbing, the door, whatever. Even if you ruin one or two of those, you wouldn't be out a lot of cash.

    Hmm.. if you really wanted to make a project of it, you could even make a custom fit cover that slips right over the whole camper. Oh, and tailor it to fit over the bunk ends, roof, around the door and vents, water/sewer and electrical hookups, hem it all up fancy and put shock cord inside the edges! Wooooh, wouldn't that be the cat's pyjamas! [LOL]

    [​IMG]

    Just make sure it's not touching the exhaust vent on the furnace!

    [​IMG]

    Thermal (insulated) tarp is nothing more than a layer of foam sandwiched loosely between two layers of poly tarp, nothing too fancy but they work like a charm. Inland Plastics makes them. They're a little pricey but with proper care, they'll last for years. You should be able to find a distributor or a building materials supplier in your area who can set you up.
     
  6. fmbhappycamper

    fmbhappycamper PuP Power

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    Is it really dark inside the Pup with Reflectix in the windows?
     
  7. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    It does tend to make it darker inside when the reflectix is deployed.
    MR
     
  8. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    I have heard that it is darker with the reflectix.

    We haven't done this mod yet. I am wondering which is better and/or more cost effective, reflectix $75 per roll or Gizmos Solar Bunk Liners at $55 + shipping? Peter is talking about attending the rally in PA the 1st week in November, brrrrrr!
     
  9. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    Another thing that helps in the cold is to put indoor/outdoor carpet on the floor or at least cover it with several area/throw rugs.

    Reflectix under the mattress is useless. Use rigid Styrofoam for this application.

    Yes, with PUGs on the bunk end roofs and Reflextic inserts in all of the windows it is pretty dark in the PUP. Many people like this because they can sleep better in the early morning.

    Remember that with all of these approaches to keeping in (or keeping out) heat, you have to allow ventilation (usually two windows on opposite sides opened about an inch) to prevent condensation build up. People exhale a lot of moisture and without proper ventilation moisture will build up on inside surfaces.

    JeepMama, I have not used the new PUG solar liners but I would think that a Reflectix window insert would be a lot easier to put in and take out as needed. OTOH, the PUG product would cover the entire wall of the bunk end.
     
  10. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Reflectix blocks light completely but it's nothing a "nightlight" can't take care of.

    [​IMG]

    *please use this product responsibly.
     
  11. AZbubs

    AZbubs Member

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    I just did the Reflectix in the windows on our trip last weekend and it really helped a lot. We had one horracious Thunderstorm and it not only kept the raging wind out, it darkened enough that the furkids weren't bothered too much by the lightning. I had gotten my gizmos the day before we left and just didn't have time to put the Velcro inside the roof.

    Which brings up another question, what is the best adhesive to use? I have the 2nd gen ABS roof, and it is in excellent shape. So Gorilla Glue, Liquid Nails, or ??

    Thanks in advance.
     
  12. kimberline18

    kimberline18 New Member

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    Thanks everybody! A few more things...(I'll get the hang of this some day!)...where do I get the stiff styrofoam - Home Depot? And, just for clarification, I only put the Reflectix in the canvas windows and not the windows with the clear plastic?
     
  13. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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  14. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    You can put the Reflectix in the windows with the clear plastic if you wish. It will help. Some people don't use it in those windows because they want to see outside. When I had my Yuma I had it in all windows because I wasn't looking outside at night anyway. I pulled it out of those windows during the day.

    Home Depot or Lowe's will have several types and thicknesses of Styrofoam board insulation.
     
  15. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    The colder it gets the more you will want every window to have it's own reflectix panel. Trust me on this one. Don't forget to remember to make one for the door as well. I have no experience with the gizmo inside bunkend liners, but if they work as well as the covers (and I see no reason why they wouldn't) they will be a good investment.
    MR
     
  16. n6nvr

    n6nvr New Member

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    With extremely few exceptions, and they may be leftovers from orders, you can't find the 1/2" or 2" extruded styrofoam (pink or blue) in Southern California big box stores. It just doesn't get used much. We don't have the need for that efficient but costly insulation on a regular basis.

    Many of the distributors have it in stock for special requirements. And there is a company in Glendale or Burbank that supplies it to the TV and movie industries for set and prop material. It is one of the new and most desired materials for scenery foundation materials for model railroading, and it is used a lot in many parts of the country. Just can't find it here easily.

    In a pinch the bead styrofoam could be used, but you need tape over the edges to keep the beads in. And cutting it to shape is a real challenge the beads go everywhere and they get staticy and cling to things. But as an under mattress field expedient it would be fine for a few trips, how long it would last is iffy. I wouldn't want to try to cut it to fit windows. It would work to cut and fit under the floor
     
  17. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    You really don't want to adhere anything to the underside of the floor. It would interfere with the wood floor's ability to breathe and expel moisture, thus promoting rot. The best way to insulate the floor is from the inside with carpeting or rugs.
     
  18. scorp28

    scorp28 Member

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    Why is that? The R Value of Reflctix is higher than the rigid foam (3.7 as opposed to 3.0 - 3.3) so shouldn't the Reflectix be better?
     
  19. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    HERE is a Q&A list from the Reflectix website. It says:
    When used without an airspace the R-value of Reflectix is only 1.1. Most rigid foam boards will do much better than that. Reflectix is a radiant barrier so it needs an air space on at least one side to provide its benefit.
     
  20. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    I used the Reflectix over the bunk end canvas (sandwiched between it and a plastic tarp), but really cannot understand using the Relectix under the bunk mattress either. It can tear and get crumpled up quite easily. The Lowe's "blue board" (foam board?) is so much tougher. I think we used both for at least 8 years and neither "wore out".
     

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