Van shade!

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Van shade!

Postby yeshua_batholiths » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:47 am

Hi y'all...

Headed back to the playa after a few years away and wanted to pick brains of those of you who have camped in conversion vans on the playa before. The last couple years I went were tents or trailers with lots of space to setup shade. I have to keep a somewhat minimal footprint in camp or I'd go with one of my older shade systems. I already plan on building one of FIGJAM's bucket coolers, but also wanted any ideas that other folks have tried for shading their vans. Mylar duct-taped to the roof seems one plan, but I also don't want something that will tear off and make moop in the event of a dust storm.

I already know how hot my Chevy van gets sleeping in the woods and can only imagine the roasting temperatures on playa trying to sleep in the day!
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Re: Van shade!

Postby Savannah » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Here's a thread called "Burning Inside Van", although alas the picture bobushka_king posted is no longer viewable. You could Private Message him, if you want. Basically, he extended some shade off of his van . . .

viewtopic.php?f=277&t=42334

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Re: Van shade!

Postby Bob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:15 pm

They sell stuff for that. Go look at it and think whether you can reproduce it, make something better suited for a week-long desert trip in the style to which you're accustomed, or just cave and have something installed that extends from the side(s) and stows securely. Stating your needs, expectations and budget might help. Think about adding a luggage or ladder rack to hold materials and build off of. Flopping a single sheet of foil-backed insulation board (ie what those hexayurt hipsters use) on a rack might help a lot, or even a sheet of plywood painted a light color.
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Re: Van shade!

Postby dragonpilot » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:15 pm

Covering your entire van can be done, but it takes a fair amount of material and work. If all else fails consider running a shade structure off one side of the van, pitching a sleeping tent under that.

Or just get to bed early (yeah, right) and get up before your van turns into a toaster oven. If it's reasonably calm and there's not a lot of dust in the air, crack some windows for cross ventilation.
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Re: Van shade!

Postby danibel » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:23 pm

Here is a link to another thread that has the image Savannah was trying to share. I am doing a similar set up this year. I have heard that the costco car port is another fine way to go if you are trying to just shade the van itself. I know from last year that I can sleep until 9am or so before I must vacate the van from the heat. I want a space to set up a little kitchen have a chill area in the shade for my afternoon foot bath. ;)


viewtopic.php?f=277&t=53255
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Re: Van shade!

Postby yeshua_batholiths » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:23 pm

Thanks all for the feedback! I was thinking that building a system off of the van somehow might be the best plan.

I need to get a really solid setup going as I'll be out there for four weeks (DPW!) -- budget is definitely a concern, so trying to maximize efficiency for keeping cool and saving $$$. I will be sleeping at least during part of the day since a lot of my shifts don't start until afternoon and evening so early to bed isn't always going to work ;)
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Re: Van shade!

Postby Savannah » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:31 pm

Good one, Danibel! :D Thank you.
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Re: Van shade!

Postby Bob » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:47 pm

DPW? Definitely consider buying a sturdy rack, then piece something together from cast-offs from the shade crew and others.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Re: Van shade!

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:09 pm

Look under "Box truck camping tips".

We were just talking about how to shade a big box truck and I think we came up with a pretty good salution. 8)
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Re: Van shade!

Postby pink » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:05 am

Get some of the reflective bubble wrap type insulation from Home Depot. It's really lightweight, but just taping it to my windows made a huge difference last year, and on a trip I made a few weeks ago. This year I'd like to bring enough to damn near wrap the whole van. I use blue painter's masking tape, and it'll come right off when it's time to leave. Also helps seal up any cracks around your windows where dust can seep in.
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Re: Van shade!

Postby evilwoodnymph » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:41 pm

I'm sure this is far too late for this year but in case it is not. My hubz and I are long-time van sluts with many years in the desert camping. Our van is dark blue so becomes a total furnace in the sun. Here are our tried and true methods:

* Reflectix from Home Depot for all windows (silver bubble wrap that comes in a roll - search the brand on HD). Cut it to just fit or *slightly* larger than the inside of each window. We've found most tapes don't hold up in the desert heat but duct tape (bring a whole roll) will do in a pinch. We have used elastic string in the past to fasten them in but eventually that wore out. We now have slide tabs screwed in around the windows that we are very happy with but requires some pre-camping installation. Reflectix is best we've found for keep the heat out over curtains, cloth, foil, etc. Because it is not only reflective material but also insulated. (This is also a bonus to keep heat in when we snow-camp)

* For the windshield, buy an insulated reflective sunshade is easiest.

Then shade...

Depending how lazy we feel about set up and how mobile we want to be once we set up camp, we have two methods that keep us cool sleeping well into mid-day especially if there is even the smallest breeze.

1- Van Burrito

Image

Super easy. Buy a giant snow camo tarp from an online army surplus type place. It should be significantly larger than your van. Wrap it over the van and secure it to the undercarriage most of the way around. Where your sliding door is leave excess room and stake to the ground so you can get in and out. This is also a good place to store your cooler. This has the advantage of presenting a very small footprint to the wind and minimizes tearing during storms. This has the disadvantage of making more of an effort if you want to leave camp and drive (tho not a problem at BM). And there is no place to sit outside under the shade, only inside the van which is totally fine sometimes especially if you are with a larger camp that has group sitting shade.

2 - Quonset Hut
A bit more prep but and supplies but less expensive than a carport (which is totally legit as well for shade). Use the same snow camo plus pvc poles, rebar, etc. and build yourself one. I would write up a bunch of directions but someone else already has with instructional pictures even. :)
http://www.wps.com/J/BM/PVC-Quonset-Hut-assembly/
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Re: Van shade!

Postby evilwoodnymph » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Oh yes - the Reflectix bubble wrap and some duct tape around your cooler is a big plus especially if you don't have good shade to store your cooler. Love that stuff!
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Re: Van shade!

Postby fireninja » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:55 pm

What ever you do you need to cover the windows or it will become an oven -- if you don't want to go with the burrito wrap, buy a bunch of reflective windshield sun screens and cut them up to fit your windows -- if your wan is white or silver it will be near as good as a burrito wrap, if it is black, well you're screwed. Mylar spaceblankets work too.

Then you can hang some kind of shade tarp of the side: I like using raingutter clips from roof racks to secure it and mil-surplus trap spreaders.

Here is a pic of my rig last Burn -- I draped the shadenetting over the van and extended the one side out on spreader poles to create a shaded space in front of the sliding door.
[attachment=0]IMG_0682.1.jpg[/attachment]
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