In addition to the insulation put in the ceiling cavities of the bus, we applied a special reflective paint to help the roof def the sun’s heat. Before we used it, the underside of the roof was hot. After the application, the ceiling was cool to the touch.
Michael chose Hy-Tech’s “Bus Kote” paint that has little beads in it that reflect the sunlight away from the roof, thus reducing the temperature absorbed and transferred to the interior space. He found it when researching what other bus converters had used.
First we sanded the roof lightly and then put two coats of Bond-It Primer from the same company. We still didn’t know if we were going to paint the roof completely white or possibly had a strip of Massey Fergusen Gray where the previous blue had been. My tired self said to keep it white all throughout. Let’s get on with it! But after applying the white, we realized Michael was right – as usual. The small 3″ detail ended up looking great because it decreased the prominence of the stark white roof.
Michael had ordered too much of the Sealant Flexi-Clear and after 2 coats, we still had a lot left. We didn’t mind because we knew that we would have to reseal the roof after 2 years, per the recommendation of the manufacturer.
The insulating properties of Bus Kote have been beneficial to our comfort. In our 35′ bus, we only use 2 air conditioners (ACs). A neighbor in a campground was using 3 ACs in his 45′ Prevost and was still uncomfortable. He didn’t know if he wanted to install another unit or think about using a paint similar to ours. We left the campground before we knew what he decided but it illustrated that the reflective paint helps get the heat off the roof of highly conductive metal.
As for the elastomeric qualities of Bus Kote, I am not thoroughly impressed. I don’t know if we painted our coats too thinly or if the elasticity is not as high as the company claims. Since it’s a cosmetic issue, we’re going to reapply the whole works again in a few months. We’ll sand, reprime, recoat, and reseal. We did paint a coat of the Flexi-Clear sealant 3 years after the first application, but I think we need to do a more thorough job next year.
Have you used elastomeric, reflective paint on your conversion? Or did you paint it a simple white? Let us know in the comments how you treated the roof.