RV solar shades
RV solar shades keep the sun out, keep the inside of your RV at a better temperature, give you privacy, let you sleep in longer and reduce condensation.
The shades come in two main forms:
- Internal shades fit on the inside of windows to keep the sun out, provide privacy and reduce condensation and reduce extreme variations in temperature.
- External shades fit on the outside of windows to keep the sun out, provide privacy and reduce condensation and reduce extreme variations in temperature.
So they do much the same thing as each other, but just some are fitted on the inside and some are fitted to the outside.
Differences between internal and external RV solar shades
| Aspect || Internal shades || External shades |
| Ease of fitting and removal during bad weather || You can stay inside and out of the weather || Someone (usually me) has to go out and brave the conditions, plus some internal temperature may be lost when the doors are opened and closed, particularly when fitting RV solar shades to the windscreen because the cab doors usually need to be opened and then closed on the ends of the shade. |
| Effectiveness of insulation || Generally less effective in summer heat, because some of the heat makes it into the window glass and to other parts of the RV and eventually inside. The reverse is probably true in winter || Generally more effective in summer heat because more of the heat is kept out. The reverse is probably true in winter |
| Winter ice buildup || No positive impact that I am aware of. || Reduces or eliminates windscreen icing. |
| Security || Makes it harder to see what is inside, making things more secure from thieves and other less savory types || Much the same except they can be removed easily so they can peep in |
| Appearance || Look like you care about your vehicle's temperature, or you're a bit odd, depending on the viewer's perspective. That's their problem, is my view. || Same |
Remember: Heat rises. So, you will find that a lot of warmth goes out the roof hatch or skylight while you sleep. Fit a skylight mat and wake up warmer than you would without one.
So, if you can cope with the techie appearance of some RV solar shades, you can live on the road at a better temperature, have more privacy, sleep in longer and reduce condensation. Not bad for a simple gadget you can buy almost anywhere.