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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Thinking of a camper build.

White should be the ideal color because of the heat reflection.

I also like the graphite gray.

But I am hesitant because of the summer heat.

Do you think the color will make much difference?


ps. I will have solar panels on top, that should buffer the heat a bit.
 

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2014 Ram Promaster 2500 159" diesel
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Buy any color you like and have the roof or the whole van repainted with a IR reflective paint. Some of these paints are close to the IR of white. YlnMn blue is a new one. Here's a link to one suppler Shepherd Color http://www.arcticpigments.com/
 

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2016 136WB low roof diesel, converted to an RV by Sportsmobile, TX
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Buy any color you like and have the roof or the whole van repainted with a RF reflective paint.
I think you mean "IR reflective". Not only are Radio Frequencies an insignificant part of the solar heat load, but the metal of the van already reflects them quite nicely. Infra Red radiation, however, is a significant part of the solar heat load.

Personally, I would suggest a plain white. Not only is it stealthier (looking more like a tradesman van), not only is it better at staying cool, but it is easier to get parts in white.
 

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If you are building a camper that leaves interior metal exposed, consider the color there, too. What looks great on the outside could appear dark or garish on the inside.
 

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Any Color and “Cool Roof”™

Buy the color you like as you are going to look at the outside of the van for a long time. I choose between the dark cherry red, dark blue and sandstone, and liked them all. We ordered the sandstone as it looked so nice and is the color of dirt so washing is not so much of an issue. If you are really concerned about heating the van get awning windows and one or two Fantastic Vents to blow ambient air through, paint the roof with a roof coating like “Cool Roof” which is cheap and sticks like stink on a skunk and no one will be seeing the top anyway. In AZ all the school busses are painted white on top. And yes your solar panels will help.
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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An experiment

1) Go to a dealer that has a bunch of PMs in different colors on a hot summer day
2) Measure the temp inside each one

I'd be interested in the results. The graphite may get hotter quicker, but I'll bet they are all close.

I traveled 2 states away to get a Graphite PM and I really like the color. MsNomer raises a good point. I was all set to get the red metallic, but I was concerned that if I didn't cover every inch of the interior, it would not look as good. My Graphite looks good inside and out, not too dark because I added windows all around.

ed
 

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On the AZ house we have flat roofs and when I built it I put a walking deck on the garage part for a nice view. It was tan colored like my van. The rest of the house has the white elastomeric surface. Three or four years ago in May I was cleaning the roofs with a brush and hose preparing to re-coat them and was barefoot as the white roof was truly cool. It was sunny (as always) and about 90. I stepped from the house to the adjacent tan walking deck and burned the bottom of one foot before I could get back to the house. Very painful. I have since recoated the garage white. Nuff said?
I’ll bet Ed’s interesting experiment shows white is cooler BUT all will be above ambient and all will approach 140º on a sunny 90º day. We carry a reflective cover for the front window as the inside of that glass gets uncomfortably hot. We are happy we don’t own White, the Sandstone has been fine.
 

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I currently have a white PM van but have owned 2 silver metallic Sprinters. I think the silver stays about as cool as the white but I certainly would stay away from any other color.
 

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We had the same decision, Alaskans have low tolerance for heat! We went with Sandstone, but also considered White and Silver on the assumption that these three would reflect heat better than darker colors. I tried to find definitive data to support those conclusions but came up short. Regardless I'm pretty happy with the Sandstone, and it doesn't have the blotchy paint that some silver owners have reported.
 
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