How We Roll in Our RV: Sun Shields and Trip Research

In this episode of How We Roll, we tackle questions about something we’re using in place of front privacy curtains and the way we do trip research so we can be sure to see everything of interest on our route.

Jennifer shares our modern and old fashioned methods of trip planning as she answers a reader named Rhonda’s question about our next big trip – which will be retracing the historic Route 66 west. Jen talks about the way we use both the Internet and a stack of books and maps we purchased.

The modern way involves Internet research on our in coach Wi-Fi network, provided by our Verizon Wireless Jet Pack. In remote areas, we use the Wilson Sleek cell phone booster.

The books we’re using for this trip are:

Route 66: EZ66 GUIDE For Travelers – 3RD EDITION

Route 66 Adventure Handbook: Turbocharged Fourth Edition

Route 66 Dining & Lodging Guide – 17th Edition – Spiral Bound

And I show off something we are using in place of the standard cloth privacy curtains that Velcro around the windshield and side widows.

We’re now using windshield and front side window sun shields that I ordered from a company called High End Motorsports. I found the windsheld sun shields also on Amazon.

The sun can heat the inside of a vehicle up very fast. It can also ruin leather and fabric. These sun shades – custom sized for our Mercedes Sprinter Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL – not only cut heat buildup by as much as 40 degrees but they also go up easier than the standard fabric curtains.

And in the winter, they keep heat from escaping from the vehicle.

They fold up in a tight roll and easily store out of the way behind the driver’s seat.

If you have a question for a future How We Roll in our RV segment,  just drop us an email.

 




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  • Russ

    Good sales job Mike! I’ve been thinking about getting or making a set of these. I was concerned about the fit around the rear view mirror assembly for those of us with rain sensor and automated hi/lo beam headlights (boxier). I called High End Motorsports and talked to a VERY courteous and professional women who advised that they now have a redesigned version for the newest Sprinter mirror configuration. I’ve ordered a set (ie windshield and 2 side doors) of shields…..$66 ain’t bad!
    I was curious about other capabilities and talked to Steve at High End…another nice guy. They can make shields to fit ANY window including the CS’s galley windows. I’m considering a full set, pending how well the 1st set works. I’m also considering whether shields covering the jalousied windows should be sized for the fixed window portion only (ie allowing opened windows to pass air thru….making it as a thermal only shield vs privacy) or cover the entire window. Just send them a pattern and they can make it. Good attitude company!

  • Eagle Driver

    I’ve tried all sorts of windshield sunscreens, but then I found the according style that stay attached to the window, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. They do a great job at keeping the heat out (probably not as good as the Motorsport brand, but close), but these are the easiest, most convenient sun shades I’ve ever owned. No more folding or rolling and storing, just release the Velcro in the middle and they auto retract out of you way. You can learn more at http://www.eclipsesunshades.net, and no, I have no affiliation with Eclipse, just think it’s a great product.

  • m1nd7r1p

    I went to Home Depot and bought a roll of Reflectix for $50, bought some tracing paper rolls to make window patterns, and made my own window covers in about 4 hours. Most Sprinter-advertised sun shields are either made of Reflectix or Produx, two insulations for attics & crawlspaces. The manufacturers of both materials do NOT recommend using them as window covers; without a closed air space insulated on all sides by their material, the R values are not great–2 for Reflectix, about 6 for Produx. However, with the intense mountain sun we get in Colorado, I find the Reflectix works great for keeping the interior of our coach cool; I also have two MaxxFans with temperature sensors and remotes, and set them to come on (one in, one out) when temps get above about 78 deg F. Works like a charm. The roll I purchased was enough to make covers for the windshield, driver/passenger windows, all the windows in the back of the coach, and even covers for the MaxxFan vents–we use our van all winter long and covering the fan vents at nights provides just a little more insulation, never a bad thing! I still have leftover Reflectix for replacing some of the smaller windows if needed, though don’t have enough to do another windshield.

    I have not hemmed them yet, trying to decide how I want to do that. I found a blog post by another individual who used ironing board cover material from a fabric store to make a nice lining, and glued magnets in around the edges to keep the shields in place. Currently, the sun visors hold the windshield in place, and I cut some tabs that stick out onto the edges of the driver/passenger covers; those fold flat at a 90-deg angle and usually hold the covers in place, or if they’re being finnicky can be held in place by the doors themselves–I open the doors, let the tabs go into the gasket space, and close.

    If you have a little time and inclination, you can easily make your own for much cheaper than you’ll find online. I did consider the accordion-style covers, but these are MUCH more energy efficient–which is what I really wanted, given that I am *always* boondocking and never plugged in.