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Old 06-02-2015, 12:46 PM   #1
Corey Straker's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 82
Lightbulb Improving HW296 A/C Performance - (Gizmo's, Relectix, Etc.)

As the title states, this thread is all about increasing the performance of the air conditioner in the HW296. As many have said before, you are essentially trying to cool a tent meaning on a hot day in direct sunlight you can expect to see 5-10 degrees cooler than outside. This sucks for those of us who sweat bad and cannot stand the heat

Here are some of the things I have done to improve the performance of the a/c in the camper.

Pop-up gizmos solar covers: Now, I could have ordered the super high wind covers but instead I decided to make my own, basically a copy of the gizmos using reflectix, para cord, springs, hooks, and velcro. The hooks attach to the reflectix and run underneath the bed ends and slide out to a spring that provides the correct amount of tension on the para cord. My girlfriend sewed the hook side of the velcro to the reflectix and I used epoxy to attach the loop side on the inner lip of the roof so water can roll off the roof and not get between the reflectix and the canvas. I made all 3 of my covers for about $80 and spent about 3 hours making sure everything fit just right.

Window insulation: Using more reflectix I custom made window inserts that fit in perfectly. It's very noticeable just how much darker the camper is with the solar covers and window insulation. Check out the pictures below to see the only places light is coming through now.

Aside from doing the slide out and bunk ends I insulated the window for the bathroom/shower and the window behind the TV as these are never opened. I considered insulating the huge window on the door side of the camper but found this would be a waste of money on even more reflectix. I always have the awning up and screen room attached when at a camp site which keeps the sun off the windows to begin with.

Cover for the air conditioner: I know it sounds silly but as a test I created a simple shade cover out of yard sign and aluminum scrap that keeps the direct sunlight off the black A/C enclosure. I discovered the air coming out of the unit wasn't that cold and a quick trip on the ladder showed me that sunlight was beating right on the back of the condenser and it was HOT. Placing my shade cover and using 5 pounds in weights to secure it made all the difference. I will be making a much prettier cover soon.

Under floor insulation: This might not help much in the summer but will especially in the winter time. The floor on the HW is not insulated at all and therefor gets very cold in the winter months and a little warm in the summer.. I had some leftover green 2" foam from lowes and tons of aluminum foil so I bought some paint on glue, and coated the foam in aluminum foal then attached it to the bottom of the floor underneath the camper. The past 2 days in Ohio have been relatively cold (50's) and the effect was immediate, no more cold feet!

On to the pictures!

Here you see the forward bed, note just how dark it is. This should making sleeping a breeze when the sun comes up!

Here is the slide out

A quick picture of my home made solar cover

A picture of the adjustable tension system underneath the beds, the knots can be adjusted for more or less tension.

A view where you can see the shade cover for the A/C condenser.

The side picture, here you can see the insulation in the windows. I have since completed making the big window on the slide out completely insulated.

Thanks for reading, my apologies for the horrible grammar. I typed this up in a hurry just to share with everyone. Happy camping and god bless.

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Old 06-02-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
Site Team - Lou
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: South Eastern PA
Posts: 21,368
Reflectix is awesome stuff.

Here is how I covered my air unit.

Pimp My Coleman Mach 3 AC


Lou and Laura with Bella - German Short Hair Pointer
2008 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crewcab SB Allison Duramax
2010 Flagstaff 8526RLWS - Superglide 3300
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
Corey Straker's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Reflectix is awesome stuff.

Here is how I covered my air unit.

Pimp My Coleman Mach 3 AC
That's awesome! That is next up. I noticed the fiberglass on the inside of that metal frame but WOW does that sucker get hot! Nice work my friend
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: MA
Posts: 1,804
I made my first set of gizmos also. I noticed that on the master bed, I needed to add additional reflectix as the 4' width was too thin. It worked great.

For my new HW296 I decided to splurge and buy the actual gizmos with the velcro strip. I am glad I did. They work the same, so no performance gain for the extra money. But I do like the time savings and ease installing them. The HW tenting is very high once the roof is up and it can be challenging trying to get a 60 X 80" sheet of reflectix up onto the top. Add a little wind and it gets more difficult. The gizmos attach to the top before I raise it. If they are clean, you can leave them attached and close it up with them in there.

Corey. Can you post pictures of the insulated floor?



2015 HW296
2006 HW256 (previous pup)
2013 Chevy Tahoe
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