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Old 06-22-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
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1972 31' Sovereign
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Thermal properties?

I am sure it has been discussed here before but I am having trouble finding the threads, so I will just ask and maybe someone can post a link to past discussions or the simple answer.

Has actual testing ever been done as to what level of polishing is best for heating/cooling properties?

I think many people would guess that a high shine is more reflective and thus able to keep a unit cooler in the summer? But, does that make it colder in winter?

OR, is it that it is aluminum that heat transfer never changes whether polished or standard brushed aluminum look?

Has anyone had trouble with neighbors or RV parks not liking the high shine of a full polish?


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Old 06-26-2014, 06:49 AM   #2
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I don't have an answer so just an observation. Painting something white seems to be the only thing that makes a significant difference. Not that one would ever consider painting anything but the roof white.

Seems like polished surfaces would reflect heat. I'm guessing that they absorb the infra red. If you leave a shiny chrome wrench laying in the sun it will get too hot to pick upon minutes.

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Old 06-26-2014, 07:09 AM   #3
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I'm waiting for a lawsuit over someone's polished camper.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:27 AM   #4
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Yeah, all the neighbors have to wear sunglasses when they go out just because of Bob's Airstream!
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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Shiny surfaces reflect more light and therefore are less radiant compared to dull finishes. I remember that shiny white is the most reflective of light and radiates the least heat. That is to say how much the surface radiates. If it is hot or cold, so is the surface. I guess what you are considering is the absorption of heat. The lighter and more shiny surface reflects the most light and the material surface matches the environmental temperature (equilibrium) so it would transfer less heat in the winter and summer but it would still match the outside temperature. Insulation is key.
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