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Old 06-29-2015, 04:47 PM   #1
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour - Better solution for front night shades?

Just picked up our 2016 Grand Tour.
We have previously owned Roadtrek Agile, Adventurous and a Great West Vans Legend EX.

I was quite surprised to find the Airstream solution to providing privacy at the front windshield and front side windows. Seems complex and bulky to me.

On GWV we had a track that a curtain was suspended from. The curtains were tacked behind the side driver and passenger windows when not in use and then just pulled around the track to block out the front and side windows at night.

Has anyone tried a better solution to the Airstream default?
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Before the current shades, they used very crude curtains which were dreadful: no tracks at all; they had pockets sewn in them for the corners of the visors to go into, and at the rear were elastic hooks which were always coming apart, plus stuck on velcro to pin to the B-pillar, and they were always coming unstuck.
In my opinion, the easiest shades to use are those from Remi: they have to be installed properly, but once there, its a matter of sliding them open and closed.
Available from Eurocampers.
Remi Front III Cab Window Shade System for 2007 - 2015 Sprinter
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Old 06-29-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by UKDUDE View Post
When I was shopping for a Sprinter-based B-van, I test-drove a Winnebago ERA. It had these blinds, but they were very flimsy; on the brand-new van I test-drove, one of the blinds was already torn! If you get these blinds, treat them very gently. Also, the blinds did not cover the front windows, only the windshield. Also don't expect them to block heat; they are for privacy only.

I have no less than three aftermarket windshield covers, that I use in various combinations. One is a white canvas cover that goes on the outside of the windshield and front doors. The sides have roll-up sections with nylon screen behind them so you can leave your windows rolled down for ventilation. White canvas is only moderately effective at blocking heat transfer.

The second one is a Prodex (or similar) foil-covered insulating foam inside cover that I bought from Autosportcatalog.com. This one doesn't cover the front windows, so I often use it behind the canvas exterior cover to block heat transfer.

The third is a set of interior windshield and front window covers by Outside Vans. This is the set I use most often when I'm storing my Interstate in between uses since an exterior cover could be tampered with by potential miscreants who want to see what goodies I have inside, and the interior covers can't be.

I still have the original privacy curtain that came with the van, too, but hardly ever use it. It's inferior in every regard.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:45 PM   #4
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour - Better solution for front night shades?

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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
When I was shopping for a Sprinter-based B-van, I test-drove a Winnebago ERA. It had these blinds, but they were very flimsy; on the brand-new van I test-drove, one of the blinds was already torn! If you get these blinds, treat them very gently. Also, the blinds did not cover the front windows, only the windshield. Also don't expect them to block heat; they are for privacy only.

I have no less than three aftermarket windshield covers, that I use in various combinations. One is a white canvas cover that goes on the outside of the windshield and front doors. The sides have roll-up sections with nylon screen behind them so you can leave your windows rolled down for ventilation. White canvas is only moderately effective at blocking heat transfer.

The second one is a Prodex (or similar) foil-covered insulating foam inside cover that I bought from Autosportcatalog.com. This one doesn't cover the front windows, so I often use it behind the canvas exterior cover to block heat transfer.

The third is a set of interior windshield and front window covers by Outside Vans. This is the set I use most often when I'm storing my Interstate in between uses since an exterior cover could be tampered with by potential miscreants who want to see what goodies I have inside, and the interior covers can't be.

I still have the original privacy curtain that came with the van, too, but hardly ever use it. It's inferior in every regard.

I'll agree with Protag that none of them is perfect. My point is simply that the Remis are the easiest to use.
However, I do have the Outside Van covers and use them most of the time, but as I've reported before, they are tricky to put on accurately enough to satisfy my wife!
The latest offerings from Airstream are very similar and I suspect they may also be made by Remi.


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Old 06-30-2015, 03:26 PM   #5
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I purchased the outside cover from Fanchers Upholstery for the outside of the front windshield and side windows ( one piece). Purchased the one you cannot see thru. It has "D" rings on each window cover for securing to door handle in case of high winds. Easy on and off with storage bag. I have stopped looking for anything better as this product meets my requirements. I have used the ones furnished by Airstream for my 2015 Interstate Grand Tour due to the heat of the sun. Do not know if it helped or not, but it was too hot not to try.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:17 AM   #6
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My wife and I made ours from the foil covered bubble wrap available from Home Depot and/or building supply stores. You can buy it by the roll. Trace the pattern over each window. Cut it out. Edge it with seam binding material and add a few Velcro strips for good measure. Works great. It does help if you have a sewing machine. For storage, we lay the side window pieces on top of the windshield piece, roll it up, wrap it with a couple Velcro strips and stick behind the passenger captain's chair.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:04 AM   #7
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Since the original poster is a new Interstate owner, I should add to my post above that the sun generates a huge amount of heat in the cab and partially defeats the coach AC up front, even on full blast. So a reflective and insulated set of blinds was a major consideration for us. And the set from Outside Van are pretty good for that.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKDUDE View Post
Since the original poster is a new Interstate owner, I should add to my post above that the sun generates a huge amount of heat in the cab and partially defeats the coach AC up front, even on full blast. So a reflective and insulated set of blinds was a major consideration for us. And the set from Outside Van are pretty good for that.
Being sensitive to that, we purchased the white exterior rig as we do the vast majority of our camping in warm climates.

I've been looking at the ASGT front cockpit overhead configuration and trying to find a way to make the system used in the Great West Vans Legend we had work. Not going to be easy as the configuration is quite different between to two rigs, but it was excellent. Did not have any reflective quality to it BUT it did provide excellent privacy in the van and easily stowed.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:17 PM   #9
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I bought a set from Easycurtain.net. They come in 3 pieces. The side windows roll up on a flap on the side curtains then the front curtain slips over the visors and attach to the side curtains with velcro. One advantage is they cover the dash to help protect it from the sun. Very easy to put on an stow and they fit very tightly. Best of all they only cost $110.
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Old 07-02-2015, 11:20 AM   #10
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I bought a set from Easycurtain.net. They come in 3 pieces. The side windows roll up on a flap on the side curtains then the front curtain slips over the visors and attach to the side curtains with velcro. One advantage is they cover the dash to help protect it from the sun. Very easy to put on an stow and they fit very tightly. Best of all they only cost $110.

Easy Curtain's website is under re-construction but they can be contacted at (323) 757-2207. Current price is $89.95 + Shipping.
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Old 07-02-2015, 04:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jpkski View Post
My wife and I made ours from the foil covered bubble wrap available from Home Depot and/or building supply stores. You can buy it by the roll. Trace the pattern over each window. Cut it out. Edge it with seam binding material and add a few Velcro strips for good measure. Works great. It does help if you have a sewing machine. For storage, we lay the side window pieces on top of the windshield piece, roll it up, wrap it with a couple Velcro strips and stick behind the passenger captain's chair.

We did the same thing and made a cover for every window in the van. Now I can block the sun hear gain as needed.


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Old 12-06-2015, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao View Post
Just picked up our 2016 Grand Tour.
We have previously owned Roadtrek Agile, Adventurous and a Great West Vans Legend EX.

I was quite surprised to find the Airstream solution to providing privacy at the front windshield and front side windows. Seems complex and bulky to me.

On GWV we had a track that a curtain was suspended from. The curtains were tacked behind the side driver and passenger windows when not in use and then just pulled around the track to block out the front and side windows at night.

Has anyone tried a better solution to the Airstream default?
Hi, My wife installed a tension curtain rod across, behind the front seats. She hung a pair of proper length curtains that are pushed to the sides when underway. The side facing out is white and that facing the living quarters is black. When settled in for the night we simply pull them together behind the front seats and have easy, complete privacy.
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:58 PM   #13
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My current setup is a washable exterior canvas cover from Eurocampers.com for privacy while camping, paired with the Outside Vans reflective quilted covers on the inside of the van for moderating the heat gain.

For storage I use the Outside Vans quilted reflective covers without the exterior canvas cover because they're more tamper-resistant.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:55 PM   #14
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Being in Arizona, sun protection is as important as privacy. We found the reflective units for the windshield and front windows from high-end-motorsports.com inexpensive and the owner (Steve) was exceptionally easy to deal with. We use the reflective units for storage or long stays and the factory curtains for over-night parking (utilizing extra industrial Velcro for the B column.)
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Old 12-07-2015, 05:26 PM   #15
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We have a big piece of foil-faced-foam material cut to the shape of the windshield, with flaps cutout for it to fit around the mirror. Lay it over the outside of the window as a pattern to get it close to the right size then do the final trimming to get it to ft inside. We stuff the lower edge in first then pivot the top up and work the flaps back behind the mirror. Then we lower the two visors to hold it. We use it every night. We use it at every stop during hot sunny days even if we just stop for lunch. What a difference that makes!!! When not using it we simply lay it on the back bed - which we always leave made up since it is just the two of us. It is starting to show a bit of wear and tear after several hundred uses. Looks like I might need to cut a new piece every couple of years. I can live with that.

We also use pieces cut for the windows in each door. These are held by a spring loaded adjustable curtain rod the we run vertical about midway front-to-back. Only problem with this arrangement is that we have to enter through the sliding door. We can use the front doors, but need to be ready to catch the rod and foil/foam because they fall out soon as we open the door.

We also use the same foil-foam on the side windows at the rear. Complete darkening - much better than the pull-down cellular blinds. Also lessens the greenhouse effect. We leave the foil in the upper (fixed) rear windows permanently - since nobody rides back there. We have smaller pieces that we can place over the lower (opening) windows if we prefer darkness over ventilation.

All of the above look a bit hokey but is very effective, and I prefer function over style.
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:58 PM   #16
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I'm missing something I guess, but...we have 2016 Grand Tour on 2015 Sprinter. We received nice, well insulated units to put I windshield and side windows. Takes only a few minutes. Have privacy and good insulation qualities.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:17 AM   #17
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Hi, My wife installed a tension curtain rod across, behind the front seats. She hung a pair of proper length curtains that are pushed to the sides when underway. The side facing out is white and that facing the living quarters is black. When settled in for the night we simply pull them together behind the front seats and have easy, complete privacy.
This is an excellent idea, and would be especially good for overnight stops when you didn't want to bother with putting up the inside or exterior windshield cover.

I'm going to copy this to the Small Space Living thread, and I think try it out myself.

The bottom half of a cafe style curtain might just do the trick.


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Old 12-17-2015, 09:17 AM   #18
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"Law of unintended consequences" observation regarding front window shade options --

Some products and combination of products in certain circumstances can produce an interior condensation issue of such magnitude as to make me worry about the safety of components down inside the dash.

I had this happen on the trip I took earlier this week which was subject to Houston's "winter whiplash weather" phenomenon. I packed up the Interstate in a 78-degree subtropical downpour - all of my stuff got wet. I then drove north through the cold front that had caused the meteorological melee, and overnighted with hook-ups as the temperature dropped into the upper 40's.

As I almost always do, for privacy and heat retention I used my Heat Shield aftermarket windshield and cab side window covers. I also ran the furnace extensively to dry out all my stuff. Under those conditions, the closely-fitting, insulating Heat Shield turned the windshield into a fabulously efficient dehumidifier. I have seen condensation before, but not like that. Water streamed down the massive windshield into the dash. I saturated a large microfiber bath towel and numerous paper towels trying to control it.

With endpoint weather in the 40's, it would have been harsh and inefficient trying to run the Fantastic to get rid of all that sloppy moisture. My idea for a possible future workaround is to sew a thin absorbent fabric tube filled with those polymer "crystals" that can hold many times their weight in water (similar to those cooling neck bands sold at outdoor stores). If I leave such a device laying in the crevice where the windshield meets the dash, it will hopefully do its protective job without me having to sacrifice my towels. Houston gets a few dozen cold fronts per year, so this is not a rare scenario for us.
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Old 09-27-2016, 06:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tao View Post
Just picked up our 2016 Grand Tour.
We have previously owned Roadtrek Agile, Adventurous and a Great West Vans Legend EX.

I was quite surprised to find the Airstream solution to providing privacy at the front windshield and front side windows. Seems complex and bulky to me.

On GWV we had a track that a curtain was suspended from. The curtains were tacked behind the side driver and passenger windows when not in use and then just pulled around the track to block out the front and side windows at night.

Has anyone tried a better solution to the Airstream default?
Solution: My wife made a pair of curtains, white on the cab side and black on the cabin side, hung with an adjustable curtain rod (the kind that extends and is held with a spring inside), with tie backs when underway. Simply pull them closed behind the front captains chairs and put down the night shades = complete privacy!
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:25 PM   #20
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Solution: My wife made a pair of curtains, white on the cab side and black on the cabin side, hung with an adjustable curtain rod (the kind that extends and is held with a spring inside), with tie backs when underway. Simply pull them closed behind the front captains chairs and put down the night shades = complete privacy!

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