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Old 11-30-2014, 08:22 AM   #15
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Which is why you need a high-quality windshield cover in place of the Airstream-original "privacy curtain." I have windshield and front window panels from Outside Van that do the job very well.

I'm also replacing the original translucent window blinds with thermal curtains. The goal is to turn the interior as dark as a cave when all the windows are covered, both to control heat transfer in the sweltering Gulf Coast summers and to reduce UV degradation of the interior to an absolute minimum.
...
(1) Agree with the first point. I immediately bought the custom product for our T1N's windshield.
THE INTERSTATE BLOG: AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE WINDSHIELD SUN SHADE

(2) Do you have a picture of the thermal curtains? I love the look of the AI's dual-setting blinds, but unfortunately the choices are between "somewhat translucent" and "more translucent". Why didn't Airstream make one setting translucent and one completely opaque? This is a head-scratcher.

They might have been concerned about mold and mildew potential. When I visualize a totally dark conversion van, I get a vivid flashback of how badly the 1970's vans stank (literally), pretty much without exception. An enclosed dark humid space is an ideal petri dish for growing all manner of microbiological species.

(3) Additionally, we do have small areas of incipient rust in our roof that we are going to have to repair. This was a natural outcome of the previous owner's part-year outdoor storage. Even if one succeeds in minimizing UV damage to the interior, what is the best body rust preventative if outdoor storage is the choice? For instance, is there a car cover that will work for the AI? I see on the internet that there are aftermarket products for the Sprinter, but with the AI's outfitting (including big roof rack), I don't know if those would be of any value. Additionally, I don't know if those potentially do more harm than good (e.g., in trapping moisture underneath).
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:41 AM   #16
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(2) Do you have a picture of the thermal curtains?
Not yet. I pulled a hamstring not long ago, and that kind of put my "make, do, and mend" projects on hold for a while. Pain will do that. But anyway, the only thermal curtains I have up so far are across the rear doors.
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They might have been concerned about mold and mildew potential. When I visualize a totally dark conversion van, I get a vivid flashback of how badly the 1970's vans stank (literally), pretty much without exception.
Those 70s vans were often the hangout of the hygiene-challenged. Airstream owners are nothing if not clean-freaks; it's a second home, not a make-out wagon. Well, not exclusively a make-out wagon!

Besides, it's not totally dark; I still have my translucent roof vent cover. And I leave the MaxxFan and the bathroom vent open for ventilation all the time except when a hurricane is coming. I've already established that the MaxxFan is thunderstorm-proof even when open, and if water leaks in the bathroom vent, who cares? It will just run down into the gray tank. But even then it doesn't leak often, unless there's a high wind driving the rain half sideways. And if mold or mildew rears its ugly head, then a quick scrub with white wine vinegar usually does the trick. So far it hasn't reared its head; the best preventive measure for stopping mold isn't light, it's ventilation.
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(3) Additionally, we do have small areas of incipient rust in our roof that we are going to have to repair. This was a natural outcome of the previous owner's part-year outdoor storage. Even if one succeeds in minimizing UV damage to the interior, what is the best body rust preventative if outdoor storage is the choice? For instance, is there a car cover that will work for the AI? I see on the internet that there are aftermarket products for the Sprinter, but with the AI's outfitting (including big roof rack), I don't know if those would be of any value. Additionally, I don't know if those potentially do more harm than good (e.g., in trapping moisture underneath).
You might want to PM Maggie (AKA Lily&Me) about the corrosion issue. Apparently that's endemic to that era of Sprinter vans, and she has already dealt with it on her Interstate. But I can advise against the cover idea. The cover will not only trap condensation, it blocks any sort of ventilation (see above), and even the tightest-fitting cover still flaps in the wind and works like sandpaper on your van's paint finish. Worse if there's any source of dust or soot that can get underneath.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:49 PM   #17
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(3) Additionally, we do have small areas of incipient rust in our roof that we are going to have to repair. This was a natural outcome of the previous owner's part-year outdoor storage. Even if one succeeds in minimizing UV damage to the interior, what is the best body rust preventative if outdoor storage is the choice?
There's a product called POR (Paint Over Rust) which I've had good luck with. Just remove the loose, scaly rust and paint. Use of rubber gloves is mandatory as nothing will remove POR from skin except for time. Once it's dry, it can be painted over w/ whatever color you want.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:54 PM   #18
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I'm also replacing the original translucent window blinds with thermal curtains. The goal is to turn the interior as dark as a cave when all the windows are covered, both to control heat transfer in the sweltering Gulf Coast summers and to reduce UV degradation of the interior to an absolute minimum.
I want to figure that out too. I hate how there's translucent and slightly less translucent. why didn't they make the dark ones blackout?
Let me know if you figure anything out.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:34 AM   #19
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I want to figure that out too. I hate how there's translucent and slightly less translucent. why didn't they make the dark ones blackout?
Let me know if you figure anything out.
It's all figured out; I just have to get it done as soon as my pulled hamstring heals enough that I can move around (and sit!) without pain. I wasn't sure how to install the curtain rods, until a fellow AirForums member turned me on to curtain wire, which is widely used in Europe but almost unheard of here. In fact, I had to import a roll of it from England. Basically it's a plastic-coated wire that stretches, so you can put it inder tension. All I have to do is attach hooks at each end of the window and stretch the wire in between. I've got two different kinds of hooks, too. One is adhesive and can stick to the glass, the other is like cup hooks and would screw into the interior molding around the windows. I'll try the adhesive hooks first since drilling holes should never be the first option.

Since I installed a zippered screen door in the rear so I can leave the doors open without letting in bugs and birds if I luck into a lakeside camping space and have a great view out the back, it became a pain to open and close the rear blinds. That's when I got the idea of curtains. At first I put a spring rod all the way across behind the rear seat but inside the screen, and that worked well enough with regular café curtains. Then I discovered thermal lined curtains in the same size (actually they're valence panels, but just about the right size for my windows). So then I started looking at options for using them all the way around in place of the blinds.

Here are the curtains I selected:
Amazon.com - Sound Asleep Room-Darkening Noise-Reducing Backtab Window Valance, Ivory, 42-Inch - Window Treatment Valances
Here is the curtain wire I ordered:
http://www.amazon.com/Curtain-Expand...ing+Wire+White
And the adhesive hooks:
Amazon.com: SELF ADHESIVE STICK ON END HOOKS FOR NET CURTAIN WIRE WHITE ( pack of 8 ): Home Improvement
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:28 AM   #20
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I leave mine on my driveway and my neighbor doesn't like it. He thinks it's too big of a "van" to be park in a gated subdivision.
Tell him if he doesn't like the way it looks to look the other way when he comes out of his house...
Are there any ordinances or codes against it?
What made it unacceptable? The gate?
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:12 PM   #21
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I found that when I back mine in the driveway, it looks less obtrusive and haven't had any complaints since.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:10 AM   #22
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It's all figured out
I'll be curious to see pictures of it. Ideally I'd like to just replace the "less translucent" part of the shade with a blackening one. Like taking apart the current shade and putting something in it's place instead.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:20 AM   #23
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I found that when I back mine in the driveway, it looks less obtrusive and haven't had any complaints since.
Maybe 'cause then the big old Mercedes emblem on front is in full display! Totally classy! (I am NOT being sarcastic)
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:07 PM   #24
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That thought did cross my mind.
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