Self adhering insulation for RV roof?

Hi there,

i’m currently looking for a flexible material that i could use to cover the roof of my car/RV in to keep the sun heat out or the heater heat in, depending on the season.

It should be lightish like styrofoam, but also rugged enough to withstand all kinds of weather and UV radiation without any additional cover over it. Self adhesion to the cleaned paint surface is preferred.

Any ideas?

aerogel, but its expensive

can you even buy that as a private person?

Yes, there are also people who make aerogel and other similar products (Blanket form would be your best bet)

You want to put it on the outside?

yes, as a kind of “cargo bed liner” since the roof ist mainly for packing space and there are solar panels above. So far i have used spray-on rubber, but that’s not very durable nor very insulating.
There is already some sort of insulation on the inside between the metal paneling of the roof and the ceiling padding in the interior, but there is not a lot of space and headroom is generally limited.

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Perhaps a heat shrink UV and flame resistant poly film like used to encapsulate boats, vehicles, and equipment for transport. Its also used to hoard in buildings for working in inclement weather. There is tape that could be used for protusions such as skylights and AC units. I would be inclined to used a rigid insulation under the poly before shrinking. Not sure how viable it would be…

Sounds like you want to spray foam your entire car/RV roof… Adhesive, light, flex, etc. Though I’d be inclined to cover it with foil, myself.

With a quick search I found adhesive-backed neoprene, which might help, though the insulation value is very modest.

I have some experience here, and I found that installing 2" polyiso foam on top of an RV didn’t make a very noticeable difference. With the insulation value being so poor in the walls and floors, improving just the roof insulation doesn’t seem to help very much.


Yep, I would imagine they leak a ton of air too (Probably by design)

Not that bad, i already re did the floor and the walls somewhat using recycled styrofoam and packing materials made from plastic. So far it is enough to not have problems in winter, since the independent heater is able of producing 4,5kW. The floor is also watertight up to the doors.

Now that i have added the small electric AC, which is only capable of around 3200BTU or aro und 900 watts of heat transportation, i have to improve the upper insulation for summer quite a bit.

I’ve looked into it a bit and so far my best bet seems:

Seld adhering EPDM mats for the outside (in white)
Aerogel mats for the inside hollow spaces.

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I use DAP RV/Marine water proof sealant for the roof of my van.

Its meant to withstand seawater and direct sun on the outside of boats. They sell it in small bottles at home depot, haven’t had one leak since I installed it in 2017

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I just used a bunch of 8mm EPDM foam that is self adhering. It’s ugly but gets the job done:

Next ill start saving up for aerogel blankets. Note that the outside foam is mainly to keep the sun from reaching and heating up the metal too much, so the auxiliary airconditioner can actually keep the cab cool faster for longer.