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We took our first foray into the summer heat this weekend... And it did not go well. First day it was 96 outside and 85 inside the RV. So we bought a 7,000 BTU portable AC to add to our existing two roof ACs. Second day was 93 outside and it stayed approximately 75 inside the RV, but all air conditioners were working full time to keep it there. The front of the RV towards the windshield felt like a furnace. 

Both roof ACs are blowing cold air. 

What are some common things to look for that may need fixing? Are y'all adding any type of insulation or air sealing, and if so, what? 

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An exterior sun shade across the front windshield would help alot.

If you have window awnings keep them out.  If you have a large awning keep it out but may not be practical if windy (I  can't).

When I modified my front TV and had it all open in the front I took the time to shove insulation into the void, there was minimal insulation in the front cap.

Last year I took a trip to the midwest in July (bad move), temps got over 100F, temps in the motorhome were +85F with both AC running full blast. 

I decided to change both my 13.5k BTU AC's out last year and upgraged to 15K btu units.  Before I installed the two new units I used an inspection camera on my ducts, had several problems (mice) but the biggest problem was that one of the joints in the duct work wasn't taped, had ~1/2 gap all the way around.  No telling how much air I was loosing.  After the change I took another trip, temps go to 90, the coach stayed ~75F cool with 1 AC running.  

This last week the temps at home got in the mid 90's.  Coach is parked in my garage but still hot.  Decided to excercise the AC's.  Ran both for a little while and the let one run for  couple hours.  Checked the temps remotely via the Easy Touch thermostat and temps were 74F, not bad ~20F differential with 1 AC running.  Time will tell if my $$ was well spent.

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Yes front windshield needs to be shielded, windows tinted with UV protection. Make sure the slide gaskets are not leaking. Jim, the camera inspection in the duct work is a must. Because of age, moisture or mice these duct system leak. We have two 15K BTU’s and at 95 degrees outside the interior holds at 75 degrees.  Wish you the best. 

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Custom windshield covers can be very expensive.  I bought a roll of Reflectix at Lowes and cut it to fit the inside of the windshield.  It works great.  

Reflectix R- 21 Attic Wall Unfaced Reflective Roll Insulation 100-sq ft 48-in W x 25-ft L) Individual Pack in the Roll Insulation department at Lowes.com

Long term, when you decide to update your roof A/C units upgrade to 15,000btu units.  

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I agree with Vito,  the single most effective and cheapest is a sheet of the reflective insulation at the windshield.  The stuff really works.  We have a large one made for motorhomes that I think we bought at Camping World.  It's handy because it fits and it folds for easy storage.   Not a beautiful thing but when you're hot you can sacarifice some looks for comfort.   Last year we were parked where the sun beamed in the bathroom window and it would really warm up in there, so I put aluminum foil on the inside of the window and it was a tremendous improvement.  My DW thought it was tacky looking but allowed it to stay, she reluctlently agreeded it helped tremendously.

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26 minutes ago, Ray Davis said:

I agree with Vito,  the single most effective and cheapest is a sheet of the reflective insulation at the windshield.  The stuff really works.  We have a large one made for motorhomes that I think we bought at Camping World.  It's handy because it fits and it folds for easy storage.   Not a beautiful thing but when you're hot you can sacarifice some looks for comfort.   Last year we were parked where the sun beamed in the bathroom window and it would really warm up in there, so I put aluminum foil on the inside of the window and it was a tremendous improvement.  My DW thought it was tacky looking but allowed it to stay, she reluctlently agreeded it helped tremendously.

Is this sheet mounted on the inside or outside?

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Home Depot sells the stuff in 4' x 15' rolls for next to nothing. Fit the stuff to all the windows on the sun side and your a/c's shouldn't have a problem keeping up. The pull down exterior window awnings should also help if you have them.

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1 hour ago, jacwjames said:

Is this sheet mounted on the inside or outside?

Inside,  although outside might be better.  However the time I tried the reflective insulation outside I didn't have a handy way to keep it in place so a breeze would blow it off or out of place.  Inside works pretty good.

We were in Phonex last July and it was 112 / 115 deg,  we managed to stay comfortable.  It was so hot the water coming in was hot.                                                            My Aqua-Hot really worked great out there.  LOL   Didn't even need to turn it on.

Edited by Ray Davis
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My coach came with a inside windshield cover which helped somewhat at keeping the cockpit area cool.

Replaced it a couple of years ago with an outside mounted Magnashade. Night and day difference! Deflecting the sunshine before it hit's that giant windshield is the way to go!!

Edited by 96 EVO
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The previous owner replaced the inside front drapes with a heavier material.  It helps when the sun is hitting the front windshield.

I like the Reflectix idea, which could be installed by gluing magnets to the outside of the coach?, but #1 I like looking out the front window and #2 don't have a portable ladder to install Reflectix on a daily basis.  For more than I want to spend I can fix #2 . . . 

We're going camping tomorrow in SC for a few days and only 30A service.  Should be fun . . . .

- bob

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We have 4 large windshield shades that collapse down and they fit in the pouch behind the drivers seat.  These are similar to the ones that you use in a car but they are big.  Once one is unsprung the fill up half of the windshield.  The look something like this.   https://www.ebay.com/itm/301914211393?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D20201210111314%26meid%3Da2f0ce7e36e944838053a1af40ef5aa6%26pid%3D101195%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D195135482399%26itm%3D301914211393%26pmt%3D1%26noa%3D0%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DSimplAMLv9PairwiseUnbiasedWebWithSearchFilterPromotion&_trksid=p2047675.c101195.m1851&amdata=cksum%3A301914211393a2f0ce7e36e944838053a1af40ef5aa6|enc%3AAQAHAAABIDNdRuflTEDzBfTKX%2BqmXH8pf%2B8V9puPczI5H7qtyLlQg%2FPd3LbQ9nGE%2BOPvEM%2FBkhS6cKli0KyuGyWAzneSFEpjER6qki9eU50FnbzSOfa%2FqJwHfSqWOdDvKIJII6itH%2FHMIJNCkcvSeQMVB28fvcJ3%2BU98SYBu7sOU6roNa4MflN2iFbbvWvz4UChGHUF4JHKd8oZyuCzw2i8kPb711TnV7hytxBJIPuxQmVOK3Y7KJ6q4qGkRwEhvBkf2mnZnJwNN%2B%2FUeG6NYfJlASB8JgfoMKlLV70jE3buK4HrwdnBePEH9F7GUfTJrvIBdwnUBGEdDWdykg9bd6QZSdznBhtHmCjgmOWb2gVu%2Fgme%2BlreyuvvjjlZGbfLm5RDf3CbnUg%3D%3D|ampid%3APL_CLK|clp%3A2047675&epid=22017020877 

One side is black and one side is silver reflective material.  The work for both privacy and shade/cooling.  When parked somewhere I can unfurl one at a time and put two of them in the windshield, one on the drivers side, and if parked for a while one in the passenger side.  Also use them in the cold.   They help but aren't a magic bullet, the sun still creates heat inside the coach. 

I actually have a set of shades that fit on the outside but the type the use snaps to attach to the front and side of the coach.   Actually made for Monaco Windsor, has the logo on the snaps.  Bought off ebay years ago for a good price.   Have never used them though but may have to revisit with the way it seems to be hotter and hotter. 

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I personally prefer not to force the sunrays through double pane windows twice. Window awnings take the bite out of the worst time of day, pull down shades help with the rest. As for the windshield,  I got a roll of heavy duty Suntex sunshade fabric from Home Depot and my wife made outside shades with it that fit on ouside factory turn locks around windshield and driver window. The rest of the roll serves our house patio. No waste and all under $100. I can see through it and don't even take it down when driving to a dump. All I need to install it is a foldable double step. Works for us.

BTW, for 30A hookup, I got a Microair softstart to run 2 AC units eventhough I have not used it yet.

Edited by Ivan K
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Yeah, I was in a park last year when I had xxx number of nights in one site, then xxxxxx nights in another.

Made the move with the Magnashade on 🙂!

People watching likely thought I was a greenhorn, leaving with a big black screen still on my windshield 😁!

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A fast, easy and relatively cheap fix is to place Reflectix in the front windshield. Last summer I was boiling in the RV even with the front drapes closed. I went to Home Depot and picked up a roll of Reflectix (mirrored form of bubble wrap found in the insulation area of HD or Lowes). Cut it to length and put it on the window using the drapes to hold it in place. Temp in the area dropped 20 degrees in s matter of minutes. Granted it blocks out light and your view but in this heat I would rather be comfortable.

see https://www.homedepot.com/collection/building-materials/everbilt-radiant-barrier-insulation/Family-319933600

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Just a word of caution.  I also use reflectix in the front windshield (given to me at the Gathering three years ago!) 

It is not advisable to use reflectix or any other reflective material or heavy reflective tint inside double pane windows. As @Ivan K mentions, it can cause heat buildup between the panes and cause the seals to fail, resulting in foggy windows. We’ve had at least one case of a member having the outer pane shatter because of reflective material inside the divers side window. 

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Did not know that Scotty. How do I find out if my windshield is double pane? 2005 Safari Cheetah. BTW- I do not keep the reflex flysh against the glass. There is about 2"-3" air gap. I have been using it since last spring without issue, but then my windows may be single pane.

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Thanks for the input all.  I've ordered the windshield and driver/passenger shades from ShadePro.  I'll also return the single hose portable AC with a dual hose one.

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6 minutes ago, 1nolaguy said:

Did not know that Scotty. How do I find out if my windshield is double pane? 2005 Safari Cheetah. BTW- I do not keep the reflex flysh against the glass. There is about 2"-3" air gap. I have been using it since last spring without issue, but then my windows may be single pane.

Sorry to create confusion. Windshields aren’t double pane.

In many Monacos (and other coaches) most of the other windows are double pane from the factory (some on here have changed out fogged or broken double pane windows windows to single pane). The most common area for this to happen is the door window, the driver’s side window, and passenger side windows that may not have shades like the rest of the coach. 

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On the subject of keeping heat out, I experience heat build up in my kitchen cabinets where the sun is beating on the side of the coach.  Has anyone used something like reflectix installed on the back cabinet wall?  I've been considering doing something like this and was wondering if anyone else has done something like this?

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John Wentz was a full timer in a Beaver Coach but sold it a couple years ago.  I think he was on IRV2 much more than this site.  He had put the reflectix materials inside the back of his upper cabinet.   It was noticeable cooler in those cabinets and he was a firm believer.

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If you can get it in there I'd try foam board, thicker the better but even 1/2" (I think) would be better than Reflectix. 

- bob

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23 hours ago, cbr046 said:

If you can get it in there I'd try foam board, thicker the better but even 1/2" (I think) would be better than Reflectix. 

Bob - I was thinking the same thing, but the R value of the 1/2" foam board is around 3 and the Reflectix R value is 21.

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2 minutes ago, Bill R said:

Bob - I was thinking the same thing, but the R value of the 1/2" foam board is around 3 and the Reflectix R value is 21.

The Reflextix requires a pretty good air space to achieve that high of R-value.  If you put it right against the wall in the cabinets it won't provide that high of R-value but still might be better the foam board. 

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56 minutes ago, Bill R said:

Bob - I was thinking the same thing, but the R value of the 1/2" foam board is around 3 and the Reflectix R value is 21.

Looking at Reflectix literature the R value is determined by the application . . . really?  They get an R-21 by encapsulating a crawl space with a double layer of Reflectix under the bottom of the joists . . . and no nearby air movement.  That's a mighty big air gap.  Minimum R can be as low as 1 in Winter (not Summer, which is 7) sandwiched with furring strips in a cathedral ceiling in Northern states (not Southern states, which is 2).  More clauses than my last divorce agreement.  "Your mileage may vary".

https://cdn.reflectixinc.com/wp-content/uploads/N39-Reflectix-Fact-Sheet-per-FTC-Rev-0819.pdf

I'm needing to pull my Dometic RM1350 fridge to insulate the outer wall but mostly to provide a smaller air gap to the coils (which I should have done the first time).  The fridge is failing to cool above 90F ambient in electric mode (park pedestal = 114V).  Propane mode seems to be holding into the upper 90's (with AC on inside). 

- bob

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