If you want to reduce temperatures in your RV during the summertime, park it facing north or south. The sun shining into your RVs large windshield heats up the interior really fast and makes it hard for your RV air conditioners to keep you cool.
Since we can’t always get a north/south facing site when we travel in our Class A RV, we decided to research the best options for keeping our coach cold in the summer.
RV Window Tint or RV Windshield Sunscreen- What’s Best?
RV window tint can help to reduce heat in your RV, but once the glass on our Class A windshield heated up the heat transferred inside. Tinting helps but an exterior sunscreen blocks the sun from hitting the glass. This keeps your windows from heating up and transferring the heat inside your RV.
One thing to consider if you decide on RV window tinting is to choose a good quality tint, which can be very expensive.
The other thing to consider about window tinting is that unless it’s really dark tint it doesn’t offer much privacy for people looking in. If you drive your RV at night, a really dark tint might reduce your visibility.
We decided that exterior window sunscreens would work better for our Class A RV. Here’s what we learned and how we chose our RV windshield sunscreen.
Our RV Already Has Interior Shades- Don’t They Block Heat?
We have day shades and night privacy shades on our RV. The day shades are designed to block some of the heat, but the dashboard gets very warm so that tells me it’s not blocking that much.
The privacy shades do block more of the heat, but then we can’t see outside. Blocking our view defeats the purpose of traveling in an RV!
Exterior sun control shades keep the heat off of the outside of the windshield, which helps reduce heat inside.
Differences in RV Window Sun Shades
There are several manufacturers of RV Sun Control Shades, but most are made of a similar PVC coated fabric. All promise to block at least 90% of the heat and UV rays.
Which Color Fabric Is Most Effective For RV Windshield Sun Screens?
Some shade manufacturers offer color choices, but all say that black is most effective in blocking UV rays from entering your coach.
Interior or Exterior Shades
We found one company that makes shades that you mount on the inside of your RV windows. That doesn’t solve the problem of blocking the heat before it hits the windows.
How RV Sun Control Shades Are Mounted
The most significant difference in RV sun shades is how they are mounted. We found four different ways exterior window shades are attached to RVs- Snaps and Rivets, Suction Cups, Velcro or Magnets.
Snap and Rivet Attachments for Sun Shades
The snap and rivet attachments for exterior sun control shades require drilling holes in the exterior of your RV, something we did not want to do! We also have a friend that has this windshield screen attachment system and he has to climb on the roof of his RV to put on or remove his screen. Another thing we didn’t want to do!
Suction Cup Attachments to Secure Sun Control Shades
Suction cups wear out in extreme heat and aren’t very reliable. We don’t want the hassle of replacing suction cups to secure our motorhome sun shade.
Using Velcro to Attach Sun Screens
While we use Velcro for many other things in our RV, this is not a good way to mount sunscreens, especially in extreme heat. The glue that attaches the Velcro to the window will melt on the hot window surface.
Magnets To Attach Sun Shades
The last option to attach RV sun control screens we learned about is a very clever patented system from a North Carolina company, Magne Shade. Magne Shade uses Neodymium Magnets (also called Earth Magnets) to mount your custom-made shade. One magnet is glued to the inside of your RV window and a second magnet is inserted into pockets sewn on the exterior window shade to hold the screen in place.
Magnets seemed like the best way to mount exterior sunscreens to avoid drilling holes in the exterior of our RV and still keep the screen in place. The other added benefit is that after the initial installation, they are very easy to mount using a pole they provide, and putting them on takes less than a minute. The most important benefit to Magne Shades is that – NO LADDER IS NEEDED to put them on and take them off.
What is a Magne Shade
Magne Shade is an exterior RV Window Sunshade designed to block up to 93% of the heat from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Made from a PCV coated fabric, Magne Shades are custom made to fit each coach and can be ordered in 2 different colors or can be custom printed with your own image.
What makes Magne Shade so unique is its patented magnet mounting system.
How Much Do Magne Shades Cost
Magne Shades cost $600 for a Class A RV Windshield shade. Each additional window and door shade costs about $200 each. If you want to add your own image to your Magne Shade and have them digitally print it onto the windshield screen, they charge an additional $395.
Some people complain that Magne Shades are expensive, but when we investigated other similar quality RV windshield screens we found the pricing to be pretty competitive.
What Are The Best Advantages of Magne Shade?
There are several advantages to Magne Shades versus competing brands.
Magne Shades Look Great
They are custom made to fit your RV, so if you give them the correct dimensions, the shades fit tightly and look great. Magne Shades’ friendly customer service team will provide you with estimated measurements based on your year and model of coach, but they do ask you to confirm them just to be sure!
Magne Shades Offer Daytime Privacy Without Obstructing Our View
We do have daytime shades but rarely close them anymore since our Magne Shade gives us the privacy that lets us see out but people can’t see into our RV. You can see into the coach at night if lights are on though, so that’s when you’ll want to close your privacy screens.
Magne Shades Are Easy To Use
Magne Shades mount with a patented magnet design, so they don’t require you to drill any holes into the exterior of your RV.
No Ladder is needed and no climbing on the roof of your coach to install these shades! Magne Shades are the easiest to attach since they come with a mounting pole that hooks into a top pocket sewn onto the outside of the sunscreens. After the initial installation, you hold the shade up to the windshield and the magnets attract each other. You don’t need to get a ladder to remove them either, just pull on a side to release them.
Many reviews from fellow Class A RV’ers say they wish they would have bought a Magne Shade first, instead of wasting money on other shades that they don’t use because they are hard to install.
Magne Shades Can Transfer To New or Replacement RV Windshields
One last big advantage to Magne Shade versus window tint is that if your RV windshield gets broken and you need to replace it, you can remove the magnets and transfer them to your new windshield or Magne Shade will send you new ones.
Does Magne Shade Really Reduce RV Interior Temperatures?
I decided to put our Magne Shade to the test by using a heat monitor to test if it really reduces the heat inside our RV. Here’s some pictures of the actual temperature registered on our Class A RV windshield before installing our Magne Shade and after. This test was done in Florida in April with our RV parked and facing West.
As you can see from the temperature gauge, our Magne Shade dropped the inside windshield temperature by more than 25 degrees! We can feel a significant difference in the temperature inside our RV, the air conditioners don’t run so often and we don’t need to close the day shade so visibility is great!
Be Careful With The Magnets- They Can Be Dangerous!
Magne Shade uses Neodymium Magnets which are VERY strong. They caution that if you wear a pacemaker or defibrillator you should NOT handle them and need to stay at least 2 feet from them. You should have someone else install the screens for you or take your RV to the Magne Shade factory and they will do it.
Also, you must be very careful to follow their installation instructions when separating magnets. Keep them at least 3 feet apart from the remaining stack as you install each one and away from any sensitive electronics.
Magnets can be broken if they crash into each other and don’t sit the stack on the dash as you install them because they can attract to each other and break your windshield! We sat our stack 3 feet away on the floor of our RV as we installed each one.
Do RV Sun Shades Blow Off?
One of the most asked questions on forums is will the Magne Shade sun screens blow off. We have experienced storms with gusts of over 50 miles per hour in our RV and our Magne Shade never moved.
Can You Drive With RV Sun Shades Installed?
No, you should not drive with your RV windshield sunscreen on. While the magnets that attach the Magne Shades are very strong, it’s going to blow off at highway speeds and may cause an accident if it hits another vehicle.
How Much Ultraviolet Light Do Sun Control Screens Block?
A quality RV Sun Control screen like Magne Shade blocks 93% of UV rays, which protects your RV interior and keeps the heat down inside.
Will Solar Sunshades Keep Your RV Interior Warm In The Winter?
No, sun shades will not help you keep your RV warm inside during the winter. They are designed to keep the UV heat off of your windshield, and not transfer heat into your motorhome.
How To Store Your Magne Shade When Not In Use
Magne Shades come with very specific storage instructions including do not fold your shade to keep creases from damaging your shade or ruining your printed image. Magne Shade suggests rolling the shades around swimming pool noodles so that magnets don’t repel each other and storing them in the optional bag (which we ordered).
Another smart RVer mounted PVC tubes in his basement up high out of the way and stored the rolled-up shades in them when not in use. Just make sure your shades are dry before storage or mildew and mold can happen.
Magne Shade also cautions that if you are in the West, iron ore dust can accumulate on the pockets which can act as a friction reducer if it builds up. Make sure to keep your shade pockets clean to make installation easier.
What Else Does Magne Shade Make
In addition to windshield shades for Class A, Class B, Class C, and Super C RVs, Magne Shade also makes driver and passenger window shades, shades for your slide windows and tire shades. We ordered a shade for both our driver’s window and full wall slide window in addition to our front windshield shade.
TIP: Our electric AutoMotion shade motor was getting so hot from sun exposure before we installed our Magne Shade that it wouldn’t work in the afternoons because it was tricked into thinking it was overheating. After we installed our Magne Shade on the slide window, it works fine!
We like the tire shades because they only cover the RV tire and not the rims and are easy to install.
Magne Shade also makes windshield wiper shades which they include at no extra charge with a windshield screen order.
Tip: If you have hidden wiper blades, ask Magne Shade to trade the windshield wiper covers for a storage bag instead!
How Long Does It Take to Get Your Magne Shade
When we ordered our Magne Shade, production time was 4-6 weeks. You can pay an extra fee for to expediate your shade.
Do We Recommend Magne Shades For Your RV?
Yes, we highly recommend Magne Shades for your motorcoach. We were not paid or compensated by Magne Shade in any way to recommend their product. As you can see from our invoice below, we did not receive any discounts on our shades. We liked their products so much we wanted to share what we learned and our experience with Magne Shade.