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Old 03-09-2010, 06:35 AM   #1
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Reflection..

I may seem stupid for asking, but I don't know, so I will ask.

Does the aluminum skin of the Airstream reflect a lot of heat away from the unit? Does it keep the interior cooler then units without it?

Newbie here.. I can ask stupid questions and get away with it..
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #2
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Aluminum has reasonably good reflectivity, the bare metal will reflect about 80% of the light and heat, the clear coat may reduce that percentage slightly.

Better would be a paint with titanium dioxide pigment, which can reflect as much as 90-97% depending on the binder and formulation.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:30 AM   #3
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:33 AM   #4
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White reflects more heat than silver, so many people (us included) have painted the top panel of their roofs white to help.
I did perform some tests in that regard, and it really does help. Several years ago, we were parked next to a 1971 Globetrotter (21') with our mostly white Argosy 20 (20'), and the interior temp of our trailer was significantly lower than our neighbor's. Currently, our 31' Sovereign has a white painted roof, and a 13,500 btu a/c unit, and it stays as cool as our friends' 31' Sovereign with silver roof and 15,000 btu a/c. Again, sitting next to each other.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:53 AM   #5
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Hi GoldStreamer. I still have my Grumman canoe under the deck (only wish it was alclad -- still would look nice with a Nuvite polish!). Plastic canoeists always would diss the hot temps Al canoes could attain, and they were right. For quite a number of years the factory has been using white coated aluminum on the roofs of Airstreams.

The inside of an Airstream or SOB isn't particularly cool on sunny days. Nature of the beast -- only 2" thick walls, formed aluminum ribs, and all...
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