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Old 06-13-2019, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default Exterior window coverings for Sprinter 3500

Hello all,

Does anyone have any experience and opinion on what is the best exterior window coverings for the Sprinter 3500?
I want to keep the radiant outside heat from the sun away as much as possible so the Dometic Penguin II 13500 btu A/C can keep the inside cooler especially towards the front 2/3rds of the inside of the coach.
I do have a 12 volt fan I use to blow the cold air coming from the A/C unit forwards but the front 2/3rds of the coach don't cool very well at all.
This restricts me to staying directly under the Dometic to stay cool.
Does anyone have any experience and opinion on a smallish, portable 110v A/C unit I can plug into shore power and use at the front end of the coach?
I value you opinions and this will help me narrow down the search for these products. Any and all ideas on how to cool down the front 2/3rds of the coach are greatly appreciated.
Thanks all.

G Man
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:02 PM   #2
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Hi G Man,

It seems that your question, circumstances are applicable with most any B.

I agree that the front of the van can be the warmest in the sun, or the back wherever the sun is. I suggest pointing the front of the van into the sun with reflectics inside with each window. Then outside the appropriate windshield, side windows cover made for your vintage Sprinter:

https://www.amazon.com/ADCO-2423-Pol.../dp/B00JVQFXB0

Then cool the B with BOTH a/c's, Penguin and Sprinter. B van a/c's are noticeably stronger than the B a/c. Cool air is not enough, the interior stuff can be a heater that needs to be cooled down. After that the B's a/c should do the job.

"After that" can take a long time if the vehicle's interior is 120F.

Bud
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Old 06-13-2019, 03:06 PM   #3
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I think this one is interesting at rvcustomscreen.com because it has a built-in bug screen so you can roll down your windows. I saw this at the B-Rally in Susquehanna, PA last month.

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Old 06-13-2019, 03:08 PM   #4
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Yes Magna Shade,

https://magneshade.com/products/

Great product

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Old 06-13-2019, 04:48 PM   #5
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I have this one from Eurocampers. Side window covers can be rolled up for ventilation through screens. I like it a lot.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:00 PM   #6
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Default Heatshields work Great!

We use Heatshield's product for the windshield and front side windows in our 2016 Roadtrek CS Adventurous (Mercedes Sprinter 3500 chassis).

Keeps the front area of the Van cool and provides privacy... They roll up nicely and store in one of our closets while not in use...

Front Windshield Item# 1547 w/ Sensor $39.95

Side (Row 1) Windows Item# 061S-A Set of 2
Includes both passenger and driver side $39.95

https://www.heatshieldstore.com/
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Old 06-15-2019, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks. I am more interested in keeping the heat out and the cool air in, not so much about bugs. Do you think this screen will do that? Or do you have based on your vast experience any other ideas to accomplish my goal?
Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2019, 04:51 PM   #8
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This was not my van with the exterior cover with screen. I had full white exterior screen covers before and can tell you the cab area will still get hot because it becomes a dead zone and wished I had ventilation like the screen provides where you can get some cross ventilation. Most of the heat buildup comes from the windshield and not the side windows.

I currently have a screen door at my sliding door, a full screen at the back doors and six awning windows with a Maxxfan for exhaust. I can keep my van pretty much at ambient temperature with that setup. I also have magnetic screens for my cab windows and an insulated inside reflective cover for my windshield but seldom get them out. When I had my exterior cover, other than the lack of ventilation, it was nice unless you got caught leaving in the rain. What to do with a wet cover?
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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Thanks Davydd.
So you think most of the heat comes front the windshield and not the side windows? What do you think about any heat build up at the rear windows located on the rear doors? Or does that not matter since the A/C unit is located back there? I am trying to stay cool in the whole inside of the coach and not be restricted just to the rear when I am in Tucson for September, October and beginning of November.
What do you think about a MagnaShade on the outside and Heatshield for the inside on the windshield?
Thanks in advance for all your help.
G Man
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Man View Post
Thanks Davydd.
So you think most of the heat comes front the windshield and not the side windows? What do you think about any heat build up at the rear windows located on the rear doors? Or does that not matter since the A/C unit is located back there? I am trying to stay cool in the whole inside of the coach and not be restricted just to the rear when I am in Tucson for September, October and beginning of November.
What do you think about a MagnaShade on the outside and Heatshield for the inside on the windshield?
Thanks in advance for all your help.
G Man
The more you do, the better. Especially in the front cab area. As you noted, it is furthest from the a/c and has the most to benefit by adding shading.

If you cover the rear windows, that will provide some additional cooling (I cut and insert my own reflectix when my van's in storage), but at the cost of losing your view out making the interior more claustrophobic. Maybe wait and see how the cooling does with just the cab covered first. If you can deploy your awning even partially, it will reduce heat on one side.

Someone who lives in the area can inform you on how much the heat lessens by October and November. Should improve your situation greatly.
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Old 06-18-2019, 12:51 PM   #11
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Thanks Davydd, I really appreciate it. I value your opinion since you are a long timer on this forum so if I may I want to get your opinion on tires for my 2018 Sprinter 3500. I know everyone has their opinion on tires! I have the original Continental's with 34k miles. I just rotated fronts to inside rears due to bad wear patterns on the fronts due to the toe being out of adjustment. I also had a front end alignment. I may have about 5-8k miles to go before I need to replace them. The tire place, they do all the work for Coachmen here in Middlebury IN, suggested either the Michelin XPS at $252 per tire or the Firestone Transforce H/T at $151 per tire. They said all the dually trucks hauling RV's use them. I want a smooth, quiet ride and a high mileage rating just like everyone else. What do you think and do you have any other suggestions? Thanks so much.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:54 PM   #12
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The rear windows have no ventilation by law but they are fairly small and vertical and I don’t think contribute to heat build up. I have magnetic semi-insulated curtains to seal them off, but if hot outside I usually open the back doors and and have a full screen. I’m not one to go anywhere where I feel the need to close off the van and run air conditioning. On my next van I am ordering, for those opened doors, an awning originally designed by Nancy Hawse that ARV furnishes and I notice around the Internet has been copied now.

So far I have on all three of my vans have replaced the OEM Vanco Four Season Continental tires after about 35-40,000 miles with Michelins that have a 60-70,000 mile warranty. The Michelins have been relabeled or replaced over the years but LTX M/S 2 or Defenders are the ones. They are an all-season tire and had an improved ride over the Continentals and the tire wear was matching the warranty. I wouldn’t want an aggressive tread tire because of road noise and though living in Minnesota I rarely encounter snow because I don’t take it out in the winter except occasionally like Mike Wendland’s annual Winter Freezeout Rally in the UP or making an escape to the south. The Michelin all-seasons have performed well.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:46 AM   #13
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I often use this rear door prop to enhance cross ventilation, certainly not as safe as closed door but good enough for me. I still need to get a screen for rear doors. We use it only if we are in the van.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sprinter-NC...orig_cvip=true
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GeorgeRa View Post
I often use this rear door prop to enhance cross ventilation, certainly not as safe as closed door but good enough for me. I still need to get a screen for rear doors. We use it only if we are in the van.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sprinter-NC...orig_cvip=true
That would not work too well if you have flies, gnats, no-seeums and mosquitos.
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Old 06-19-2019, 05:09 PM   #15
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That would not work too well if you have flies, gnats, no-seeums and mosquitos.
It works great on Pacific coast. In presence of bugs a screen is necessary as it is for any opening. Big advantage of this gadget is to have rear doors locked while allowing ventilation.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:34 PM   #16
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I use Heat Shield reflective covers on the windshield and cab interior, plus an exterior windshield wrap similar to the others shown - I forget the brand, but they are out there.

However, that's not where this effort should necessarily stop. I sewed a reflective side shroud that attaches using neodymium dot magnets (#vansizedsewing), because depending on sun angle, most of the gain may come in through the side rather than the front. I believe that we should always park with the nose of the van facing the greatest heat threat, but it's not always physically possible.

You can read how that side shroud (pictured below) was made in this blog post.

I also put 3M CR-70 on the cab windows and windshield, Bus Kote reflective paint on the roof, and other measures. If you are in the mood for a read, there's a thread on Air Forums called Declaring war on summer heat gain that talks about all of the methods I and others have developed (with some humor).

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Old 06-20-2019, 05:29 PM   #17
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I use reflectix and cut to size to fit all windows. I used the heavy front window covers that came with the unit (CS XL) as a pattern. The reflectix covers are lightweight and easy to put up and down and I store the originals in the basement. I usually cover front windows for privacy and keeping sunlight out and when it is very hot cover all windows. Keeps the coach warmer when it it cold also.
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