Keeping your vehicle cool

Photobug

Well-known member
I had built an awning for my camper shell that covered the lumber rack over it. It helped keep the shell cooler, was not the plan but an added bonus. Being a hot day for here days in the 80s at 8200 feet it the cab got very hot. I saw one truck where a guy placed a white tarp over the windshield tucking the tarp into the front doors. It seems like a good start but the afternoon rain showers might leak as a result of this approach.

Any other suggestions for covering and keeping your cab cooler?

It was also extremely hot outside. Anyone made a portable mist cooler?
 

shade

Well-known member
One of my friends in Florida got his windshield tinted with a clear tint that rejects infrared and UV that he swears by, says it was about $250 and he insists worth every penny starting on day 1. I still haven't worked up the courage to spend that.
That may be 3M Crystalline film, which I'm considering for my vehicles. @luthj has good things to say about it. In my hybrid car, it should earn a little of the cost back by decreasing demand on the air con system.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Shade is best (no pun intended). Paint the underside of the tarp/awning white to reduce IR transmittance. The 3M crystal tint works well on the windshield, bit its expensive, especially if you replace your windshield often!

Airflow helps too, but that can hard to get without putting holes in the roof. You can make/buy vented thingies that you can put into rolled-down windows that provide ventilation without security or insect issues.
 
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Eagle05

Adventurer
I had my Sprinter van windows tinted with ceramic tint and am very happy with the results. I did not do the windshield and can feel a difference when the sun is shining through it versus the tinted side windows. I will probably get my other vehicle done as well now that I know what I was missing.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
Shade is best (no pun intended). Paint the underside of the tarp/awning white to reduce IR transmittance. The 3M crystal tint works well on the windshield, bit its expensive, especially if you replace your windshield often!

Airflow helps too, but that can hard to get without putting holes in the roof. You can make/buy vented thingies that you can put into rolled-down windows that provide ventilation without security or insect issues.
Just replaced my windshield last week. Since it was the first windshield I replaced in a few decades I don't hope to do it often. My windshield is huge and can get really hot even while driving. I will seriously consider the crystal tint, we are going to Baja in Oct-Nov. Anything we can do to keep it cool I will consider. You mention white tarps. I see white and silver tarps which combination top and bottom would be best for cooling shade? I am considering building a separate shade for the front of my truck. While awkward to put up my lumber rack makes it easier to put up, especially if I bring a step stool next time.527663
 
Someone, somewhere on the forum quoted a study that determined white is the best color to reflect heat. More specifically, a white roof. Tests using white on the sides of a truck canopy showed marginal improvement but white on the roof was able to drop temps at the surface by as much as 25*. Real world observation: my hairless noggin can absolutely tell the difference between my current dark blue Chevy and my former bright white Dodge. Just sayin’...😎
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
I have the side and rear window of my truck tinted 30% and the windshield tinted 50%. It made a huge difference when it comes to heat.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Ideally the top of the tarp is reflective mirror/silver. Followed closely by white. The underside is best kept a bright white color, as that emits less IR than darker colors.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
Starting with a lighter color vehicle is the most logical step, otherwise park in the shade whenever possible.
It's a little late for that. I got a 2003 Dark Blue truck, I don't replace cars till I can't keep it running if Cummins holds up to its reputation I got 900,000 miles till that happens.


Real world observation: my hairless noggin can absolutely tell the difference between my current dark blue Chevy and my former bright white Dodge. Just sayin’...😎
So you are saying Dodges are much cooler than Chevys? ;)


I will be working with a white tarp for the front cooling experiment. I could either go white both sides or silver both sides, going with white.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
I sewed some awnings, designing them to cover the vehicle (also). And I built a solid roof deck to shade the roof, made a big difference. I'd already owned a black 4wd and knew I didn't want another, but after a yr+ of trying to find my project Suburban when I finally found one that met my condition and price desires I didn't care (then) that it was black. Total mistake to have a black SUV in SoCal.
I also want to do the IR window film.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
I sewed some awnings, designing them to cover the vehicle (also). And I built a solid roof deck to shade the roof, made a big difference.
It was your build that inspired me to improvise something. I could not find the awning I wanted so just improvised something. It is more often below zero here than over 80, so heat is a rare thing to deal with for me. I got the parts on order for an improvement on my awning setup. My next camping adventure is in August so I have time to make something bomber.
 

kb1ejh

Member
Check out aluminet shade cloth. It's reflective and a mesh that lets air flow through it. Breathes better than a tarp.
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
My bus has a custom made window cover for my westy that wraps around the sides, you can still see out in day (in at night) but they do pretty damn well at keeping the sun out of the cabin.. they make completely opaque ones, and with screens for your side windows and other features.. they might be willing to anything for any vehicle if the money is right.


Open both doors, fit a lil fitted corner over the outside top corner of each door, close em and it pulls it tight.. a magnet keeps the bottom secure to the vehicle.
 
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