Reflective insulation products like Reflectix® might be one of the best inventions for life on the road. Not only can this material be used in various camping capacities, but it’s affordable and can be easily replaced if necessary. While there are various types of reflective insulation made by several companies, Reflectix® is readily available in different sizes and lengths at most home improvement stores like Home Depot and online from Amazon.
Reflectix® is polyethylene bubble wrap encased in reflective aluminum foil. The bubble wrap provides air space insulation and strength to support the reflective foil surface. For these five applications, look for the double reflective version online or in your local hardware store.
1. Wrap an RV water heater
If your camper doesn’t have an on-demand water heater and stores your hot water in a tank, keeping the heat from escaping from that tank is necessary—especially when camping in colder climates. A roll of reflective bubble wrap can be cut down to fit a standard RV hot water tank. Reflectix® has an R-value of 4.5 and can be attached with Reflectix® Foil Tape.
2. Line your ice chest
If you carry your food in an ice chest rather than a refrigerator, you can extend the life of your ice and your food by lining the inside of an ice chest with sheets of reflective insulation. In addition, the bubble wrap doesn’t take up much room in the chest. Line the entire inside and lid of the chest with the liner and attach it with Velcro adhesive tape. Like teardrop camper Staci Tamaki, you can also make individual Reflectix® containers to hold foods like eggs and cheese.
3. Keep the summer heat out
When parking your car in a hot parking lot, the first thing you usually do is put up one of those handy reflective window shades. To keep the sun’s light and heat out of your camper, you can use the same idea. A roll of Reflectix® can be cut into inserts to fit any RV window. Use newspaper to create a template for the bubble wrap. Place the pieces inside and attach with Velcro tape. If you have a popup camper, place the pieces of reflective bubble wrap between the canvas and the screen.
4. Cozy up your coffee cup
Unless you are wearing gloves, holding onto a hot metal camp cup in the morning can sometimes burn your fingers. A simple hack is to wrap your coffee mug with a small piece of reflective bubble wrap and some duct tape. It not only protects your hands, but keeps your coffee hot for a longer time.
5. Protect your backside by the fireside
Hikers and backpackers will use reflective bubble wrap as cheap and easy sleeping mats that protect them from the cold. If you tend to spend your evenings out by the fire instead of at the top of mountain, you can still utilize Reflectix® as a handy seat pad to keep your bottom as warm as your toes. Cut a piece of Reflectix® that fits your camp chair and seal the edges with duct tape.