Bubble wrap for windows

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mattyjwr, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I've searched for this but can't find an answer - apologies if it has been covered already.

    We have internal and external silver screen covers - I don't know how good they are but assume that they are ok. However, they make the mh dark.

    I wondered whether I would get a reasonable insulation effect using bubble wrap on one or more windows instead of the foil so that some light would get through. Has anyone tried this? How much heat loss is by radiation as opposed to convection and conduction? If there is little loss by radiation, I would expect the bubble wrap to be just as good if it is thick enough.
     
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  2. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    How would you resist the temptation to pop the bubbles?

    JJ :Cool:
     
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  3. flatpackchicken

    flatpackchicken Funster Life Member

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    Good question, look forward to the replies on this subject I expect many would like to know the answer to this question, regards Garry Flatpackchicken
     
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  4. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Internal screen I consider a waste of time, especially ref condensation.
    External silver screen blinds are by far the best. We used to have the "paragon" one that allowed the middle section on the windscreen to pull down and had the mesh so you had light coming in...
    Maybe if yours are not that type it may be worth looking for some similar on ebay etc and sell the ones you have...

    Bubble wrap, loads on ebay. Interesting idea but how long before it gets popped, ripped etc.
     
  5. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    I'm hoping that if I can get enough bubble wrap, I'll be have enough left over to play with :)

    Re the Paragon type, I have seen them but was thinking that they would still allow heat to escape and they would require the door to be opened to access the screen to open and close it.

    Using bubble wrap should, in theory, allow light to penetrate the cabin without having to get in or out of the van and still allow reasonable insulation.

    In addition, I was wondering how much difference it would make if we used them in conjunction with the silver screens when the weather is very cold.
     
  6. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    For the very same reason, i.e. lack of light, I did try making a bubble wrap external wraparound cover for the front of the van a couple of years ago.

    To be honest it seemed to work ok stopping the internal condensation, but I found it difficult making it robust enough for long term use so I ended up buying a silver-screen type cover.

    I've also tried making bubble wrap internal window covers for the front screen and side windows but unless you can make them fit tight against the glass without any gaps you still get a certain amount of condensation. :Sad:
     
  7. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    How are you going to make it stick to the windows ? you could trap it between the fly net ?
    terry
     
  8. thehutchies

    thehutchies Funster

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    I've been planning to make one for the last couple of years :BigGrin:

    I can't stand how dark the silver screens make the interior.

    I was thinking of a sheet of bubble wrap between two clear plastic sheets, sewn together with a polyester ribbon edging for extra strength.

    I might get around to it one day...
     
  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    bubblewrap is good for its intended purpose...protection.

    but i cant see it having anywhere near the thermal properties of a proper, muti layered screen cover.
     
  10. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I'm working on the basis that the silver aspect of most covers is to reflect the radiated heat back into the van or to stop it coming in from the sun.

    Conducted heat loss may be minimal as little is touching the glass.

    Convected heat loss is lowered by reducing the air movement over the glass. I wonder if the bubble wrap would provide similar convection insulation to the silver foils by reducing the opportunity for cold air to get to the warm windows.
     
  11. BwB

    BwB Funster Life Member

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    I've got a roll of bubble wrap here and I don't think it would last more than a few uses as the plastic is very thin. I have, however, had products delivered which have a very heavy duty bubble wrap. Some of it is silvered in colour but you can see light through it. If you could find out who supplies that stuff I'm sure it would last ages.
     
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  12. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    We spent 3 winters in the MHs, all in west Wales, half way up the side of a hill - snowed in on a couple of occasions for 2 or 3 weeks ... We made up a quite snazzy screen with bubblewrap. A huge roll was purchased via Ebay - can't remember now how many metres long but we've still got a lot left years later, after having also used it to insulate the windows in a static caravan one of the boys lived in. The bubblewrap was well under £20 incl. delivery.
    It's 'greenhouse' quality, meaning bubbles are marginally bigger than the norm. Only slightly though... Anyway, two layers trimmed to shape, edges bound with silver duct tape, small patches of Velcro at intervals along top of screen (intervals, well, one each end & one in the centre). Wipers held the bottom in place. Ends (cunningly shaped flaps :Smile:) tucked in doorshuts ...
    Separate covers made for the other windows, also attached with small squares of Velcro.
    One set lasted us 2 winters in the Merc 608 and we made another set for the Dethleffs (bigger windows etc). The new owner of the Merc used the b/w screens for 2 further winters and has just renewed them - they were becoming a bit bedraggled.
    Sometimes the temp. reached 28c in the van necessitating turning the heating down a few notches thus saving gas ...
    It took less than an hour measuring/cutting/gaffertaping the windscreen cover - a lot less to do the ones for the side windows. It could be fitted in less than a minute - rolled up from each end it could be positioned at the centre of the w/screen, the Velcro would hold it in place while each side was rolled out in turn. Only small bits of velcro are needed, about 1.5" x 0.75", so unnoticeable when not in use.
    And plenty of light inside.
    :thumb:
     
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  13. Wildbill

    Wildbill Funster

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    I used a similar system with bubble wrap on our old Leyland fright rover patent transport conversion to good effect with silver sun shades in side at night :BigGrin:
    Necessity is the mother of invention:thumb:
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
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  14. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We also use bubblewrap as extra insulation for rooflights when skiing!:thumb:
     
  15. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    It looks like good news from the posts above. I'll experiment with some bubble wrap that I have already. If it seems to work, I'll get some more ordered. I probably only need approx 8m or so x 1m max width - although it seems most are sold at much longer lengths. Amazon / Ebay would still be cheaper than Homebase etc. I can shove the remainder into the loft to use in the future.
     
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