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Old 11-27-2016, 02:51 PM   #1
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Sunshades for winter camping?

We are new to full-timing and winter camping. DW took job at the cardiac unit at the hospital in Flagstaff. We just got to the KOA here a couple days ago and are living in our MADP. We are pretty well setup for the winter (it is below freezing and snowing right now) but sitting here watching football and looking out the windshield, I was wondering if our MCD external sunshades would add any positive benefit as far as insulating the windshield in cold weather? I don't know if having them up would negate any solar heat gain we might get on sunny days or any other negative result.
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:16 PM   #2
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We are new to full-timing and winter camping. DW took job at the cardiac unit at the hospital in Flagstaff. We just got to the KOA here a couple days ago and are living in our MADP. We are pretty well setup for the winter (it is below freezing and snowing right now) but sitting here watching football and looking out the windshield, I was wondering if our MCD external sunshades would add any positive benefit as far as insulating the windshield in cold weather? I don't know if having them up would negate any solar heat gain we might get on sunny days or any other negative result.
There is a product called Reflectix (it's foil faced bubble wrap). Available in Lowes in insulation aisle. 4 ft. X 25 ft. roll is about $40. Cut to fit. Reflectix tape can be used to join pieces. Makes a 10 degree difference. You can use leftovers for other windows. Easy in/out for sunlight. Works equally well in hot weather.
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:30 PM   #3
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Yes, we already have some reflectix for the inside of the windshield that we use at night but it blocks out the precious winter light during the day and we don't want to live in a dark cave using that all day long.

I am mostly wondering if there are any positive benefits to the sunshades and/or no negative results.
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Old 11-27-2016, 03:56 PM   #4
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Yes, we already have some reflectix for the inside of the windshield that we use at night but it blocks out the precious winter light during the day and we don't want to live in a dark cave using that all day long.

I am mostly wondering if there are any positive benefits to the sunshades and/or no negative results.
HAving wintered in GOlden for three years - we used the reflective insulation and would have the unit facing SOUTH so as to get as much of that heat as possible - when it got to be to hot we would just close the front shades.

But you could not go a night without the reflective insulation - plain glass is COLD!

. .. .
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:48 PM   #5
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During the winter we faced the afternoon sun which warmed up the motorhome for the evening. We had an outside shade and it didn't seem to cut down on some warmth although I'm sure it did to some extent because during the summer it worked wonders to keep it cool. At night I think it also helped because the glass wasn't nearly as cold as doing without it. We did close the drapes at night for added warmth.
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:18 AM   #6
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We are new to full-timing and winter camping. DW took job at the cardiac unit at the hospital in Flagstaff. We just got to the KOA here a couple days ago and are living in our MADP. We are pretty well setup for the winter (it is below freezing and snowing right now) but sitting here watching football and looking out the windshield, I was wondering if our MCD external sunshades would add any positive benefit as far as insulating the windshield in cold weather? I don't know if having them up would negate any solar heat gain we might get on sunny days or any other negative result.

The MCD external shades will reduce heat gain during sunny days and provide little, if any, insulation advantage at night. When in doubt, check the temps at the glass with an IR gun thermometer.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:17 PM   #7
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Good advice. I have a Ryobi IR gun and will try that.
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Old 11-29-2016, 04:34 AM   #8
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Good advice. I have a Ryobi IR gun and will try that.
Good thing to have .... keeps track of the efficiency of the A/C units and heat pumps too.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:47 PM   #9
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For the last week, it has gotten down to mid 20s to the upper teens at night with this last snowstorm (so far so good!), but our original site at the Flagstaff KOA was in too much shade (behind a big Ponderosa Pine) so I moved to a much sunnier site in the next row today. Should make a big difference. I also cut up some Reflectix to fit about a quarter of the windows (good start, more tomorrow).

Supposed to get down to 8* tonight. Just in time, our new leased external propane tank will be delivered tomorrow so I can keep the nighttime temps a little higher because our onboard propane tank is getting pretty low. It has been too icy for me to feel comfortable driving to a place to fill our onboard tank.

I think we have a good baseline now to see if the sunshades make a difference.

Our Newmar MADP has been a winter camping champ! Love this adventure!
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:12 AM   #10
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For the last week, it has gotten down to mid 20s to the upper teens at night with this last snowstorm (so far so good!), but our original site at the Flagstaff KOA was in too much shade (behind a big Ponderosa Pine) so I moved to a much sunnier site in the next row today. Should make a big difference. I also cut up some Reflectix to fit about a quarter of the windows (good start, more tomorrow).

Supposed to get down to 8* tonight. Just in time, our new leased external propane tank will be delivered tomorrow so I can keep the nighttime temps a little higher because our onboard propane tank is getting pretty low. It has been too icy for me to feel comfortable driving to a place to fill our onboard tank.

I think we have a good baseline now to see if the sunshades make a difference.

Our Newmar MADP has been a winter camping champ! Love this adventure!

Thanks for the update!
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #11
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Watch out using interior sun shades in the cold. You will get a lot of condensation between the glass and the shade.
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Old 12-09-2016, 04:00 PM   #12
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I use two folded up towels and placed them at the bottom of the windshield to catch any drips over night and remove the 4'x9' Reflectix every morning to wipe the glass dry. So far, all winter camping systems are working according to plan (only down into the teens so far)...
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