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2014 3500ext Gas - VA
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250 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With summer upon us, it seems appropriate to start a thread on interior temperature management for a stationary van.

When shopping for a Promaster, it is often difficult to find anything other than the standard contractor-white Promaster. Though maligned for their pedestrian appearance, this article indicates white (or silver) paint equates to approx. 10F degree lower inside temperature on sunny days.

I purchased a white Promaster 3500ext for a camper conversion... based on the above information, I originally wanted a light silver Promaster but the law of supply & demand won out and I opted for the readily available white van at a lower cost than custom ordering a silver van. During the build, I used Reflectix window shields which seemed to really reduce the inside temperatures so I decided to use them going forward.

I recently ran a couple of informal experiments to measure the effect of various temperature management techniques:

Setup: White 2014 Ram Promaster 3500ext, passenger sliding door with glass and rear doors with glass. Coleman Mach1PS HVAC roof unit installed (approx. 12500 BTUH); FantasticFan installed. Exterior shade awning not deployed.

External Conditions: 95-98F, direct early afternoon sun, no clouds, no wind

Observed interior temps for various scenarios...
Windows closed, no window shades, no forced ventilation: 113F
Windows closed, window shades. no forced ventilation: 104F
Windows closed, no window shades, Coleman AC on low: 95F
Windows closed, window shades, Coleman AC on low: 82F
Rear door cracked open, no window shades, FantasticFan on med: 104F
Rear door cracked open, window shades, FantasticFan on med: 98F

The same thermometer was used for all measurements; the AC cold air discharge temperature measured 65F.

Other successful techniques for reducing interior temps?
 

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2016 136WB low roof diesel, converted to an RV by Sportsmobile, TX
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409 Posts
Things to try:
Shades on the outside of the windows rather than inside - keep the heat from ever even entering the van.
Fan on, driver's and passenger's side windows cracked a bit.
Fan on, rely upon the vents in the back for air flow.
Shade trees.
Evaporative cooling pad with water in one window + fan (in dry climates).
 

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Premium Member
Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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883 Posts
I just returned from a 4000 mile 10 state road trip. We saw temps in the 30's and up to 115 degrees. Our Promaster is insulated very well with as thick of polyiso foam board as can fit in the voids and sealed with spray foam. The best advise I can give is to make or purchase insulation for the windows. That will make the most difference in comfort in cold and extreme heat. We have two layers of Reflectix glued together for the slider door and opposite on the driver side. For the front windows we have the quilted insulation kit purchased from Eurocampers.
 

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Premium Member
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8,809 Posts
We spent 10 days along the gulf coast with no AC and ambient temps in the 90's some days. We did like jostalli and put our reflective and insulated covers on the windows, had the Fantastic Vent open and blowing out, we have polyiso insulation, and we had the side awning windows open and the windshield covered with refletexix. We could keep the Sandstone van down to about 5º over ambient. Closed for an hour and it would be 20+ above. My swamp cooler would only lower the indside temp about 3 degrees so I removed it to use the fan normally. AC would have been nice. Every camping spot including the state campgrounds in the south have power at the sites.
 

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Registered
2014 3500ext Gas - VA
Joined
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250 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
We spent 10 days along the gulf coast with no AC and ambient temps in the 90's some days. We did like jostalli and put our reflective and insulated covers on the windows, had the Fantastic Vent open and blowing out, we have polyiso insulation, and we had the side awning windows open and the windshield covered with refletexix. We could keep the Sandstone van down to about 5º over ambient. Closed for an hour and it would be 20+ above. My swamp cooler would only lower the indside temp about 3 degrees so I removed it to use the fan normally. AC would have been nice. Every camping spot including the state campgrounds in the south have power at the sites.
Is your swamp cooler a commercial version or a DIY like this

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Cooling/RVSwampCooler/RVSwampCooler.htm
 

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Registered
2014 3500ext Gas - VA
Joined
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250 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Things to try:
Shades on the outside of the windows rather than inside - keep the heat from ever even entering the van.
Fan on, driver's and passenger's side windows cracked a bit.
Fan on, rely upon the vents in the back for air flow.
Shade trees.
Evaporative cooling pad with water in one window + fan (in dry climates).
External shades... hadn't considered that... Thanks!
 
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