Van Mods & Update

I got the solar screen panels for the van’s cargo area windows done. They are not pretty, and I don’t like how much they darken the van’s interior. But they definitely keep the van cooler in the sun.

Solar screen in minivan windows
The solar screen held in place by plastic angle brackets that I attached magnets to. Since the screen wasn’t as stiff as I expected, I had to use a regular magnet to keep them from slipping down. (I also moved the little gray cosmetics holder because it looked tacky there!)

I also trimmed my fleece covered Reflectix window covers so they just slide inside the little white magnetized plastic angle brackets. I was having to attach each magnet individually at night before I found the angle brackets solution, and that was a pain!

Insulated minivan window covers
Fleece covered Reflectix insulated privacy panels in van’s side window.

I also took two 7″ O rings and sandwiched screening in between them for a removeable screen for the floor’s ventilation deck plate. It wasn’t a snug fit, so I whipstitched the screen’s edges around the O rings, hoping that the overlap would make it snug enough to fit tightly enough to keep bugs out. That made it look uneven and bulky. It will do until I can do better.

Van hole in floor for ventilation
It doesn’t look pretty, but it works. It also serves as a hatch to lower Mikkey to go potty under the van when it’s raining.

Finally, after a couple of steamy days, I realized that camping in our sweltering summer would be impossible without an air conditioner. So I combed every description and review of portable air conditioners I could find. The only one I liked was the Climate Rite that sets outside the van and blows cold air inside. But it was too heavy for me to lift in and out of the van. And the reviews were awful!

So I settled on a Honeywell. It’s definitely overkill for my tiny van, but I didn’t feel I had any other option. It’s 40 pounds, which is manageable, and it has good reviews.

portable air conditioner for van
Definite overkill. But it was my best option.

Now for the sad news. My neighbor and I have been excitedly discussing plans to go camping this coming Monday. Now she is waffling, not wanting to leave her husband. So I hope she decides it’s okay. If not, I will go alone.

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