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Old 03-30-2010, 05:34 PM   #1
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Smile Class A Windshield Screens

I am in the second travel season with our 39' Newmar Ventana and have found that our coach is facing south or west in many camp sites. As a result, we have sun beaming in the front for a good part of the day in Florida which heats the coach. We like leaving the curtains open in order to see out, so I am considering front outside screens since it would appear that keeping the heat outside is the best approach plus my windshield curves around the sides a fair amount. Before I purchase anything I would like input from people who have these screens. I would like input that includes the following:

1) Material preference if there are different ones (is Sunbrella an option?)
2) Material colors - dark vs light
3) Attachment method, snaps, twist locks, suction cups, side bars attached to window frame and suction cups
4) Screws vs rivets for snap attachment
5) Other considerations and experiences

Thanks, Don
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:47 PM   #2
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You might check out these.. kinda look simple to use... Magne Shade - Home
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Old 03-30-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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If you are looking for the best outside sunscreens, and you are going to be in the Tucson, AZ area you should contact Big Daddy Cool Shades. They custom make the screens for the windshield and any and all other windows you desire as well as wheel well and wiper blade covers. You can contact Randy or Judy at 828-320-4863.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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I have used them for many years. I prefer the sunbrella material, at least 85% block denier. I prefer the single bar attachment system. I usually get the additional window shades to match. I prefer white or off white, this will vary with coach colors. I have tried the twist locks, while they work well, too much trouble and I hate drilling into my coach. Be sure to get enough fastners to keep the covers taught. Loose baggy window covers look smarmy.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:49 AM   #5
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We had outside screens by Prompt RV Sunscreen for several years. We liked the Prompt shades because they are held in place by rubber straps, clips, and suction cups. There is no drilling to install, and you can put them up without a ladder (although I am vertically challenged and sometimes needed a step stool).

However, we recently switched to inside screens for the cockpit area held up by snaps and suction cups that I made myself. Once you put the outside screens up, you can't clean the bugs off the windshield. With inside screens, I can put them up even in the rain, and I can clean the windshield at my leisure.

IMO, the ultimate in windshield sun/privacy screens are the powered American Duo screens by MCD. However, the powered shades for the windshield are expensive, and our coach also had some other complications that made the installation of MCD shades a little more difficult so we went with home made screens for the windshield instead.
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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I recently installed MCD shades in my coach. While at the factory I was given full reign of the place and did some testing and comparisons. We found that the internal MCD powered sun screen does just as good of a job at heat rejection as an internal screen. That would be just the opposite from what I would have thought going into this project because I assumed that having the sun screen as the first line of protection would be best. But, I was wrong and various temperature readings with a dual probe digital thermometer proved that. My thinking is that the external screen absorbs some of the heat and transfer it to the glass because it's in contact with it whereas an internal screen reflect the heat energy back out through the glass. Whatever - it works!

The external shades need to be put up and taken down. They also need to be stored and hopefully they aren't wet when you need to do that. The internal shades can also be used as sun visors when driving and are simple to operate. They act more as a heat barrier than just a sun screen so I've found that they keep the cold out on cool nights just as well as they keep the heat out on hot days.

For details on my installation and testing check out MCD Shades - Index
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:35 AM   #7
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We have the Magne Shade.

The first installation is the "most difficult." That is an overstatement. The Magne Shade is held in place by magnets attached to the inside of the windshield. The shade itself has pockets with magnets. A very slender rod with a rubber tip fits into the top pockets that are fabricated by the manufacturer (Hunckler Fabrication). Once the magnets are installed on the inside of the windshield, using the provided 3m tape, it takes about 30 seconds to put up the shade. No ladder necessary. I also have the side screens, and they take about 15 seconds each.

The screens roll up and have a nice vinyl carry bag for storage. Magne-Shade also provides windshield wiper covers and mirror covers.

Visit their web site and look at all the different model of coach installation that has been done.

For you 5th wheel users with a nice picture window on the back, I'd bet that Clare and Roger could make the same type of cover for that nice picture window.

Magne-Shade also has some designer shades for the vogue look.

I am very satisfied with my Magne Shade, and the service provided by Clare and Roger.
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:37 AM   #8
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We have a nice set of sunblock screens on the outside and like them, but find them better for privacy than for blocking sun heat. When in a place with a lot of heat load from the sun, we have found it more effective to put a reflector type (foil) sunshade inside to reflect the sunlight back out. We carry a pair of cheap, folding foil screens from Walmart for this purpose and stick them between the windshield and the front curtain, which is drawn for the afternoon. Works whether the sun screen is on the outside or not.
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Old 03-31-2010, 11:43 AM   #9
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Magne Shade is the easiest shade system to use that I have seen, but I feel they are way overpriced. All the materials can be purchased retail for less than $250. With a pricetag of over $700 that amounts about $450 for sewing. I think this will be my next diy project.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLane View Post
...Material colors - dark vs light...

Thanks, Don
We have had medium-colored screens (gray) mounted outside, medium-colored screens (tan) mounted inside, and black screens mounted inside. I can say beyond a doubt the black makes it easier to see out while still keeping it hard to see in (in the daytime).

The medium-colored shades mounted outside were fairly easy to see out, and they seemed to reflect away more heat than the black.

The medium-colored shades mounted inside were fairly difficult to see out. We didn't keep them long enough to judge whether or not they reflected as much heat as the medium-colored shades mounted outside.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:42 PM   #11
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Off white sun screens by Prompt RV Sun Screens. I'm very happy with mine plus the price was right.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:49 PM   #12
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Contrary to popular belief, black shades are not hotter than lighter color shades.

They don't show dirt as much as the lighter colors, but black may not look good on lighter color coaches.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:00 PM   #13
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We had hooks on our first windshield screen, and suction cups on the one we have now. I like the hooks or suction cups over the snaps. Easy to put on, and no need for a ladder.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az bound View Post
Magne Shade is the easiest shade system to use that I have seen, but I feel they are way overpriced. All the materials can be purchased retail for less than $250. With a pricetag of over $700 that amounts about $450 for sewing. I think this will be my next diy project.
I don't remember exactly what I paid for mine, but it was no where near $700. I may depend on model of RV - I'll have to check

You get what you pay for. Easy to install, blocks the sun, see out, not in during the day. (If lights are on inside then there is some visibility in, but it has to be bright inside. This is typical of all sun screens.)
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