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Old 08-31-2005, 07:54 PM   #1
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I currently have a box cutaway van machine with an interior that looks like this http://truckconversion.net/photopost/showphoto.php?phot...ort=1&cat=500&page=2

and an exterior that looks like this

http://truckconversion.net/photopost/showphoto.php?phot...edium&cat=500&page=2

It's roof is solid metal and the box has no windows so it's quite dark inside with the door closed or at night. Can't see much inside. Not good.

However, with a translucent roof like this pictured here, there is so much light that it makes a huge difference.

http://truckconversion.net/photopost....php?photo=761

At night, if you park under a street light, you can also see very well inside without any interior lights.

The only drawback is that you have approx 1/8" of translucent plastic between you and the outside.

So it can get hot inside during the day if the heat is not vented and is cold at night if it's really cold outside.

But that could be fixed with some kind of thermal blanket...

I really like the translucent roofs or something similar that lets in a lot of light.

Hoping to change my box trucks roof from solid metal to translucent. I got one or two quotes at $1,500, but that seems like a lot of money.

Any suggestions for my truck to let in more light?

Anybody know of anyone in the San Francisco area that could replace the roof for less?

Anyone like the translucent roof idea?
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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.....hate it!....drips condinsation if inside humidity goes above outside humidity or if outside temp drops below inside temp....because of NO Thermal Resistance. No way to prevent it....insulation should be at least an R15 or 2'' polyisocynate insulation in roof that is water proof and will not collect water-styro will keep water inbetween spaces between beads....moisture is a big problem in any trailer/conversion/motorhome and most builders ignore it.....there are a lot of used units that have bad water damage that is due to condinsation/mold and not roof leakage....Open/janged FRP will bow inside if there is a leak in the seam that is not sealed....I have fixed 4 fiberglass bubbles in the last year for friends-I use a vacuum machine and inject the area with liquid resin-patient type job but they are friends and now they OWE me!.....I have repaired fiberglass boats that leaked between the layers and froze over the winter the same way....The other issue is MOLD and I have a way of killing it off with out making a mess....more later....geofkaye
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:48 AM   #3
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Does the condensation thing occur with an uninsulated metal roof also or is it just the translucent roof?

And what if you were to cover it with an insulated thermal blanket at night or lived in a mild climate?

The natural light factor is what impresses me. It's like a bath of natural light, no power required.
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:52 PM   #4
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....you are completely correct-metal drips also...ask any city driver-like ups or dhl....they are always falling on their azz in their own trucks-'specially winter with the aluminum floors now.....Most trucks have a ceiling cover for that reason-but then again a lot don't because of being a lease or a rental truck. Mild climate or HVAC will alleviate the situation somewhat as well as a de-humidifier in a trailer or motor home.....can't stress enough the improtance of ventulation and air changes.....many drivers have had problems with box truck-CO/CO2/hazmat spill/work site astma/mold and mildew/consentrations of dust and frickin' lint from cotton fibers.....If you have a mobile living quarters you need a lot of air flow-either hot or cold along with fresh make up air.....a sealed van is energy efficient with proper insulation -but a sealed coffin without.....we each off gas 1 pint of water a day naturally and some of us sweat more than others....geofkaye
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Old 09-02-2005, 03:54 PM   #5
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So does anyone have any suggestions on how I get natural lighting into my box truck? I am willing to cut into the roof. ie skylights...

The ceiling does have a built in dome for rain runoff. Something to consider.

I don't want to use electrical lighting. Nothing compares to natural light.

Suggestions?
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BravestDog:
So does anyone have any suggestions on how I get natural lighting into my box truck? I am willing to cut into the roof. ie skylights...

The ceiling does have a built in dome for rain runoff. Something to consider.

I don't want to use electrical lighting. Nothing compares to natural light.

Suggestions?
BD
why cut up a perfect tight one piece aluminum roof? i did it on our MDT and installed two of them POS camping vents : that vent rattles at night in the wind and always opened itself and broke/lost the lid.
i would never do it again
why dont you install lots of windows in the side?
we got all our windows on ebay
if you take your time and dont realy care about the actual size/shape (no existing hole to fit) you can get some great deals.
all our windows are nice tinted "Heers" with inside trim and we got them from $ 9.50 each (new original KW K900 sleeper replacement windows) to $ 60 each ( new, big 2'x 3' slider windows)
to let the heat out of the box or for some light ventilation i installed two of the original Pete sleeper vents in the roof. you can buy them new here; Vent

"bombproof" design and easy to install/seal with that wide flange
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Old 09-02-2005, 10:45 PM   #7
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....I agree with NOT cutting into the roof for any reason if possible-avoid it.....But there are a few domes that are double layered, usually over the shower, which will not leak and have clear or translucid plastic domes....they are double paned so they don't have a dripping problem and usually about $35.00 some are higher because of Lexan instead of sheet plastic to keep vandalism/yellowing to a minimum.....or you could use flat panel auto glass and make your own frame out of aluminum shower door channel and caulk/tape it in....geokaye
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Old 09-03-2005, 02:18 PM   #8
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What do you think about these boating type of hatches installed in the roof. They are designed for ocean going boats so you know they are made well. You can order a bug screen and shade.

Because my roof is domed and the hatches are made for flat surfaces, I could fill in the space with some wood cut on a band saw and some sealant.

My roof joists are 24 inches on center so I could use a hatch thats 20 x 20 inches or so and wouldn't have to cut the joists. Install 2 or 3 of them. I could use them as an escape hatch if necessary.

But I still like the translucent roof and then put some hatches in it. The amount of light let in is really nice.

http://en.lewmar.com/products/index....id=1&page_id=4
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:44 PM   #9
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Checked the site; those hatches look really nice!
Might have to use one in the "Future Rig"......
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Old 09-03-2005, 09:27 PM   #10
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....boating= high prices mdse.....well made but it will cost you an arm and a leg....geofkaye
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