Keeping Cool Without A/C - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-11-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
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If one can keep the egg in shade during the day, it will be a lot cooler at night because it won't become 'heat-soaked' -- Here's one way to do it that doesn't involve stringing a rope between trees ( which won't work if there are no trees or if CG regulations don't allow tying stuf to trees).

A second tarp or tarps can be rigged on either or both sides or ends as awnings, depending on needs, to provide more shade and keep the ground around shaded



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Old 04-11-2009, 04:54 PM   #2
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More photos and details. The triangles are glued, but the ridgepoles are not -- I used a cord down the assembled ridgeline, tied at both ends, to stiffen the whole thing, but some sort of pin would be better (one that didn't chafe the tarp).


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Old 04-11-2009, 04:59 PM   #3
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Final photo:


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I had to search on-line before I found a source of white tarps, the best color for reflecting light (silver tarps absorb a surprising amount of heat, if you have ever felt one at a flea market, compared to white and yellow).

The green padding is from swim noodles, the kind that already have a hole down the center.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:27 PM   #4
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Very cool, good idea.
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Old 04-11-2009, 06:48 PM   #5
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A not well kept secret called environmental lapse rate. Approx three degrees of cooling for every 1000 ft of elevation above sea level.
Read: Deserts in the winter. High mountains in the summer.

PS if you live in Florida I am sorry. The mountains are a heck of a long way to drive.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:06 PM   #6
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It was still uncomfortably hot the Summer I was camping at 9,900' in Colorado where those photos were taken -- I was OK under the trees, but campers in the open sites were hot, which was why I built the shade.

I have also seen photos of Boler with pole holders welded to frame and bumper to hold a tarp over it.

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Old 04-12-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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It was still uncomfortably hot the Summer I was camping at 9,900' in Colorado where those photos were taken -- I was OK under the trees, but campers in the open sites were hot, which was why I built the shade.

I have also seen photos of Boler with pole holders welded to frame and bumper to hold a tarp over it.
Pete what is "uncomfortable to you"? LOL? where do you live?
I don't think there is a place in North America that averages a high of more than 72 degrees at 10,000 ft elevation... regardless of the month.
What temperature did you experience? Where were you camped?
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:47 PM   #8
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A not well kept secret called environmental lapse rate. Approx three degrees of cooling for every 1000 ft of elevation above sea level.
Read: Deserts in the winter. High mountains in the summer.

PS if you live in Florida I am sorry. The mountains are a heck of a long way to drive.
I don't feel sorry for myself, Ron. We had a beautiful, sunny Easter Sunday here in Tampa Bay...

Fall, winter, and spring are wonderful here in Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico is beautiful, and three seasons of great camping. When the summer heat becomes annoying, the mountains of western North Carolina are only about 12 hours away... Not so far... and wonderful views, cool mountain breezes...
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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I don't feel sorry for myself, Ron. We had a beautiful, sunny Easter Sunday here in Tampa Bay...

Fall, winter, and spring are wonderful here in Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico is beautiful, and three seasons of great camping. When the summer heat becomes annoying, the mountains of western North Carolina are only about 12 hours away... Not so far... and wonderful views, cool mountain breezes...
Poor choice of words on my part
I don't feel sorry for Florida!
Call it civic pride or something on my part. I love the Rocky mountains and deserts and want everyone to come warm up in the winter and cool off in the summer.


Ron (Utah Chamber of Commerce)
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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Pete what is "uncomfortable to you"? LOL? where do you live?
I don't think there is a place in North America that averages a high of more than 72 degrees at 10,000 ft elevation... regardless of the month.
What temperature did you experience? Where were you camped?
I was a Full Timer, based in Florida at the time.

Median Summer temps in Silverton (9,300') are 75* and that was *not* a normal Summer.

That summer was hot -- I didn't have a thermometer but it was a lot hotter than 72*. As I said, it was in Colorado at 9,900 feet -- I was surprised because I had gone there specifically for the cooler altitudes; it was really hot when one descended to Montrose or Durango and also hot for the folks camping out on the open areas by the creek.

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Old 04-14-2009, 10:04 AM   #11
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I was a Full Timer, based in Florida at the time.

Median Summer temps in Silverton (9,300') are 75* and that was *not* a normal Summer.

That summer was hot -- I didn't have a thermometer but it was a lot hotter than 72*. As I said, it was in Colorado at 9,900 feet -- I was surprised because I had gone there specifically for the cooler altitudes; it was really hot when one descended to Montrose or Durango and also hot for the folks camping out on the open areas by the creek.
Pete I think tolerance for heat is what you get used to. It gets pretty hot here in kanab sometimes so maybe I just get used to it. You being from Washington are probably used to something else and sherrynpaul have an entirely different feeling about temperature and humidity where they live in Florida. I have never had my AC on in any part of the Rockies over 9000 feet. I have been warm but not uncomfortably hot. Humidity is always very low so that helps.

(Weather and climate is a bit of a hobby with me. I have a National Weather Service approved metta station in my backyard and should you be interested in the current weather in Kanab it is online at http://kanabco.com/weather/ )

Also, if anyone out west wants to see all of the historical NWS repository of weather data go to
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/

Silverton's average high temp in July (the hottest month) is 73 according to the NWS. In the last 20 years they have had only a few dozen days over 80 with the absolute top temp of 85 in 1998 (probably when you were there). I think if I was there camping with you at 9900 feet (mineral creek I assume) then I may turn on the AC for awhile to cool off (assuming I am in the afternoon shade as always). Mineral Springs Campground would have an average high of 71 and hottest in the last 20 years would have been 83.

I just didn't want travelers coming out west to think they will be uncomfortable in the high mountains except for an aberration every twenty years or so. It is the place to go to stay cool for most travelers.

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Old 04-19-2009, 12:03 AM   #12
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Those triangles are neat-o! Light and easy to carry/move.

We are fellow "tarpologists" and use reusable nylon grocery bags with handles, filled with any nearby rocks for weight. We hook the tarp ropes onto the handles, and to tighten the lines we -- meaning the kid -- pulls the rock-filled bags away from the trailer from time to time. Easy-breezy!

The only issue is when the clerk in the grocery store sees our bags full of sand and dead bugs....
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:29 PM   #13
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I found a picture of the Boler modified to provide overhead shade:


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Old 04-19-2009, 01:41 PM   #14
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That's a neat Boler mod! I wonder if the whole thing would go pear-shaped in the rain, or if it would stay up okay (I'm thinking they [you?] may have made it just for desert sun)

That photo was a saver

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Old 04-19-2009, 06:17 PM   #15
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Ok, here's my question. What if the tarp in question was made from 90% UV block Solar Screen? Like this PolyCB2 MX-90 Solar Screen ?

Since it is supposed to block the UV (heat causing) rays, could that keep an egg as cool as an AC? Just wondering.....
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:09 PM   #16
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It's quite unlikely that any tarp would keep the eqq as cool as an a/c would because it actually removes heat from the air and also dehumidifies the air. All a tarp can do is bring the temperature down to shade temperature.

In my case, what I was looking for was to keep the eqq from being heat-soaked in the direct sun because then the insulation works against you and keep the inside warm for a longer time at night. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it kept it pleasantly cool during the hot days also when I used it in the open at Black Canyon of the Gunnision River NP later that Summer. As I said, I have also had good performance from a tarp over the egg on a rope between two trees, but that isn't always an option.

BTW, in the Boler photo it looks like the shorter poles are PVC and the longer ones are metal.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #17
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I found an ez up works well for this too, if you have the small egg that fits under the canopy. Good for times when there are not any trees to tie off from, though you do have to secure the ez up some how, stakes, bricks or sand bags ...

excellent mod! in either case! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:44 PM   #18
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Any thoughts on just laying out some type of large rectangular piece of reflectix insulation on the roof (perhaps leaving openings for any vents and such)? My understanding is the infrared radiation from the sun (and not the UV) is what "soaks" into the trailer the most during the day, so reflection might be more effective and less trouble than a standard white tarp. They put reflective material around refrigerators for that purpose also.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:59 PM   #19
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Reflectix comes on rolls that aren't as wide as a tarp, so you'd have to do some sewing, but it would make great shade material. Of course, you really still want a way to suspend it because it all works better if there's space between the tarp and the egg.
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