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Old 08-01-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
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Windshield Solar screen

New project is to try to decide what solar screen to get. I was out in the woods boondocking again and parked mostly in the shade, but the sun was hitting the windshield around 3 pm to 6 pm. Made the temp in the rv go up to 80. I had my inside screen down and the shade down and they were just this side of useless for blocking the heat. I closed the thermal curtains I made and they helped a little but not enough.
In desperation I started to experiment; I had a silver tarp with me which I rigged up to hang on the outside over the windshield. From the two antennas on the roof it covered the top area of the fiberglass and the windshield to the wipers. It really made a difference. Temps maxxed at 75 after and you could go in the drivers area and not feel like you were in an oven.
Only drawback was it looked terrible.

The last RV I had was a Class C and I made a screen out of the sun blocking screen that lowes sells. Similar stuff that they use on those custom fit outside screens. Supposedly blocks 90 percent. I put that on the outside of the windshield and it didn't do much good.
Makes me wonder if the screens they sell would be all that good either?

I was thinking of making one out of reflectix type silver bubble wrap insulation if I can find a piece large enough. Or maybe I'll just forget how bad it looks and attach a few grommets to the tarp so I can attach it better. ..
I have some of the super solar screen left so maybe, if I have enough, I'll try to make one out of that first.Cant hurt for trying.


Any suggestions as to what works well? either materials or attachment methods.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #2
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we added a curtain rod and curtains right behind the front seats... Dropped the temp inside 15 degrees and only cost a few bucks... We purchased inexpensive curtains and a rod at WM. Cheapest and Best upgrade we ever did on.

cheers
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgia View Post
we added a curtain rod and curtains right behind the front seats... Dropped the temp inside 15 degrees and only cost a few bucks... We purchased inexpensive curtains and a rod at WM. Cheapest and Best upgrade we ever did on.
cheers geo
The drop may have something to due with the less space for the AC to cool.

Quote:
I was thinking of making one out of reflectix type silver bubble wrap insulation if I can find a piece large enough.
This did my windshield and 4.5 other windows.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_13358-56291-BP48025_0__?productId=3011906&Ntt=reflective+insul ation&pl=1¤tURL=&facetInfo=
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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I did what Triker did last weekend. I bought the 4ft by 25 ft roll to do the windshield and skylight in my shower. It was 108 here and 135 inside the coach. I used adhesive backed velcro to stick it to the windshield. I am not sure how that will work over time but it is a start. Just by doing those two, the inside temp dropped to the same as outside. And i still have enough to do side windows if I want.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:54 AM   #5
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I can't help with material or attachment methods but will testify that a good set of solar shades make a huge difference. Several years ago we had a set custom made for our coach's windshield and two side windows. Use them all the time if we're setting up for more than an overnight stay.

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Old 08-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #6
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We use the MCD Innovations custom made solar covers for the windshield and driver's & passenger side cockpit windows as well as covers for the wipers. They work extremely well at filtering out the heat and glare from the sun and as with the commercial grade solar screen material you can purchase at the home improvement stores, you can see out through them. The material they use to make these covers is more dense than what I have found at home improvement outlets and is definitely more effective at keeping the heat out than the solar shades we have installed on our home windows. They make these covers to fit most any RV.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #7
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This is the solar screen fabric I used before. I think I have enough to drape over the front if I stitch it together. I did have it tight to the window on the class c and it got hot as well as the window, and didn't seem to do much. Maybe with an air gap it would work better.

Shop Phifer 48" x 25' Charcoal Super Solar at Lowes.com

I wasn't able to use a/c that much in the woods as I wanted to enjoy the solitude.
I will probably need it at some places during the summer when I have to park in the sun and am unable to run both a/c units.
The dark paint they used on the motorhome makes it worse. You just have to touch the dark painted areas on the sidewalls and compare them to the lighter areas to appreciate how much heat is being absorbed in full sun. The inside of my clothes closet is like an oven if the sun is on that side.

Has anyone used the reflectix on the outside of the window?

Are the custom made screens able to be transferred to the next coach? or does the attachment system they use make it necessary to include them when I sell?

It's too bad they don't make an awning for the front windows. One with side channels down the pillars and a roll out type like a window shade , I would think, would be the bees knees. Mount the roller on the top of the front cap. I doubt it would interfer much with the "aerodynamic" or "lack of aerodynamic" lines that exist already lol Like the pull out awnings they make for the smaller RV van units even.

Picture of the tarp I set up:
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:47 AM   #8
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I have solar shade cloth over my windows, and slip reflextic under them when needed. The best of two worlds!

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:58 AM   #9
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On these super hot summer days the first thign I do when I park the house is put some of that "Sliver bubble wrap" as you call it in the windshield.. I do not check an indoor thermometer but it feels about 10 degrees cooler the instant that goes up.

Warmer in the winter too.

Personal opinion: GOOD STUFF.

They also make custom fit screens.. These are either a solid color cover or some of them have patterens (A painted scene) on them, You can still see out of these but they greatly darken the interior,, They fit on the OUTSDE, and look good.

But I'm not sure if I like them better than the silver screen, advantages to the silver screen.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
I can't help with material or attachment methods but will testify that a good set of solar shades make a huge difference. Several years ago we had a set custom made for our coach's windshield and two side windows. Use them all the time if we're setting up for more than an overnight stay.

rick
X2- outside screen works many times better than inside, also helps keep warmth in on the cool desert nights. Cover any window that is not dual pane.
Look at the thread about coach colors.and how dark colors effect interior temps.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #11
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we made an inside additional shade from the refletix. that rolls up and stores in the basement.
its has material on both sides, one is of deer and the other is tropical fish
dw did a great job sewing it up


we have the roll down full window shades but they just cant hold back the summer sun

i to have drawn up a few ideas for a roof mounted front awning, but i think the cost to make it look right would be over the top
but a front cap with a molded in recess for the awning and then retract back to be streamlined would be sweet
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #12
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My 17 year old exterior, snap on, sun screens work great. At least 10 degree drop in coach when sun is at the front of the rig. Like me, they have lost some elasticity over time.

I used the Pfieffer 90 stuff to build solar window screens for my 3,000 sq ft house. It made a similar temp difference in the house and a major difference in our PG&E bill during our 100 degree days in the summer.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:05 PM   #13
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For kicks I just went out and measured the temps of the different colors on the sidewall of the coach. Black/dark brown was 164, gold was 151 and the white was 140 in full sun.

90 degree ambient temp. This is at late afternoon at 5 pm The side in the shade ( which was sunny earlier ) is measuring 98 no matter what the color.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #14
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I painted my windshield sunscreen, kids love it, I liked the movie Cars. mine attaches with twist-locks, haven't looked at the label to see the brand but it works, does not make it dark inside and we can see out, sorta.
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