Thursday, March 14, 2013

DIY Sprinter Window Insulation

Our Roadtrek is surrounded with single pane glass windows, although tinted, they don't do much to reflect/ block suns radiant heat. The AC struggles to cool the inside of the RV during summer, and there is a lot of heat loss through the glass windows during winter camping. Insulated window coverings should help.

I made the window covers using Reflectix insulation (available at your local Lowe's home improvement store) backed with an ironing board cover with special aluminized coating and padding (available at Joann Craft Store). I used newspapers to make window templates. The template is then laid into the Reflectix and traced the edges with a marker; I then cut about 1-cm. allowance outside the line to compensate for the Reflectix sagging overtime. The layers were fused together using spray adhesive, then a grey color seam bindings were sewn around the edges. The rear window covers just slips into the frame around the windows and they stay put real well. The covers make a huge difference in interior temps, both in the summer and winter.

For the front window covers, super strong neo-magnets were used to hold them in place. A more rigid reflective insulation was used for the windshield. I found a cheap ready-made windshield sunshade for trucks/RV's at Campingwold. It is thin and rigid and perfect for the sprinter, just needed some trimming to fit. But with the addition of the aluminized backing, the windshield cover becomes heavy enough that collapses on its own weight when installed. To prevent the windshield cover from buckling, I placed plastic ribbings in-between the reflective front and the backing for rigidity. The plastic ribbings were salvaged from a broken beach umbrella. The windshield cover is just held in place by the sun-visors.

If you decided that the DIY solution is not for you, Amazon has wide variety of window/ windshield sunshades from the fancy Remis privacy blinds to the pre-cut custom fit reflective sunshades- check them out first: Covercraft UVS100 and Coverking Custom Sunshade for Select Sprinters are available on Amazon.

Tap pictures to enlarge.

Portable Blongo Ball/ Ladder Ball Game

My kids love this game. Camping is always fun if they have something to do/ play with, and this is perfect. It is portable and cheap to make. For those who rather buy them ready-made, Amazon has them listed from $29.99 to the more expensive $89.98 sets. Here are the links: $29.99 set$56.07 set, and the $89.98 set.

For this project, you need a PVC pipe, PVC fittings, golf balls, a nylon rope, and a PVC cement. How much PVC pipe you'll need depends on how big you want your ladder to be - see the sample measurements below. You can use any size PVC, it's a personal choice, I used a smaller 1/2-inch pipe. You can find PVC pipe at a hardware store, as well as nylon rope. Buy 6-elbow fittings and 6-T fittings. Make sure the golf balls you choose are solid all the way through.

Cut all of your PVC pieces to size. Use a hacksaw, a miter saw or a plastic pipe cutter, I use the later, it's so much easier. For this built I ended-up using about 20 feet of 1/2-inch PVC pipe.
  • Cut (7) 24-inch  PVC pieces.
  • Cut (2) 18-inch  PVC pieces.
  • Cut (4) 8-inch PVC pieces.
Fit the pipes together. Build the ladder from the base upward. I did not use PVC cement on some of the PVC pieces so you can easily disassemble them for portability. I then painted (optional) the detachable PVC pieces for easy identification. Click on pictures to enlarge.