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Old 07-31-2021, 11:49 AM   #1
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Isata 3 - Improving AC Efficiency

After taking several long trips this summer in places w very hot temps I have now experienced what others have mentioned on this forum. That the single AC in the Isata 3 can’t keep up when it’s very hot out. Looking for ways to improve the AC efficiency, by limiting the amount of heat infiltrating the motorhome.

On our most recent trip I brought my infrared thermometer to see where most of the heat is coming in.

1) Roof vents
2) Coach Windows (Especially on the side where exposed by sun)
3) Shower roof dome
4) Front cab

Even with keeping all the shades pulled and minimal lights turned on I still had Temps of 140į in the roof vents and 120į in the window shades when it was 105į Plus outside. Less heat coming in from the front cab.

1) Prior to my trip I had purchased two of the insulated pillows that push up into the vent opening. Unfortunately Amazon only had 2 that could be delivered before my trip so I still need to get one for the bathroom. These completely eliminated the heat coming in from the vent.

2) Even though the window shades were pulled, there is a tremendous amount of heat coming in from the windows. I’m sure the black windows and black shades don’t help. I am planning on getting some of the rolled reflective window insulation and cutting some sections the size of the windows that I can place inbetween the window and the shade.

I am also thinking of getting the same material and making sections that cover the outside of the window as well Possibly held on by suction cups like the factory window shades that came with the motorhome for the front cab.

3) Not sure if anyone has seen something like the insulating pillows for the vents for the shower dome? The curved sides might pose a problem for a similar design

4) Thinking of adding an additional cover that goes on the outside of the windshield and side cab windows or possibly some kind of cover that can seal off the front cab from the rest of the motorhome, possibly held on with Velcro.

Would love to hear what others have done to help with this problem and if anybody has found the insulated reflective material already made up in various sizes for the inside or outside of the windows w suction cups or something else to attach them.

Thanks as always for the input!!!

PS: For now I have piled pillows up against the bedroom window and placed my comforter over the dinette window wedged inbetween the ceiling and the window valance. Both have helped quite a bit to cut down on heat coming in.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:41 PM   #2
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We were in Washington State a month ago with temps approaching 110. We have a Prism 24G which is the model with side and rear slides. The bed is in the rear slide. I put reflectix in the windshield and side windows of the cab. I also put a curtain just behind the cab seats fairly tight against the ceiling.

During the day I had the slides in to reduce the amount of space being cooled. I also had the bedroom curtain drawn. Put the vent pillows in the front and rear vents and kept the bathroom door closed. When possible, I had the awning extended when the sun was on that side and also to keep the fridge out of the sun. I have a pic of my weatherstation that shows it to be 103 outside and 76.5 inside. We kept the fridge closed, using a cooler for drinks and the fridge mostly stayed in the low 40's at the daily highs with the freezer getting up to 10F.

In the morning I would turn the AC down to 60 and just let it run all day, adjusting the temp setting upwards as the interior temp rose. (No sense in having the thermostat set for 60 when it can't cool below 75).
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Old 07-31-2021, 01:46 PM   #3
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When I had a 2017 Isata 3, I used the exterior windshield cover to keep the UV out of the cab. The window reflective fans they provide are good, but the heat is already in the cab when it’s reflected. The external cover keeps it out.

https://www.sprinterpartsdepot.com/c...33680467984519
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkman55 View Post
When I had a 2017 Isata 3, I used the exterior windshield cover to keep the UV out of the cab. The window reflective fans they provide are good, but the heat is already in the cab when it’s reflected. The external cover keeps it out.

https://www.sprinterpartsdepot.com/c...33680467984519

Thanks milkman. Great suggestion for the outside window covering over the cab windows. Glad to see it makes use of magnets and doesn’t require some sort of Velcro or snaps to hold in place.

So I don’t have to re-create the wheel, I am also hoping that somebody already makes window coverings for the outside coach windows that make use of suction cups. Hoping somebody has already found something like that and will respond to this thread.

Thanks
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:00 PM   #5
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Sprinter ac

Thanks Milkman. Iíve already bought the silver insulation from Loweís and cut pieces to fit my windows Would like to order the outside windshield cover.
MyRV is A 2019 but the pink slip says first year sold 2018.
Should I purchase 2018 windshield cover
Thankyou
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Old 08-01-2021, 01:35 PM   #6
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I hit that same heat wave last month also while traveling in my MBZ Solera. I use a foam core board( available at most art supply stores) in the skylight shower ceiling. I also cut foam core for the large dining table window. I use reflectix on the other windows. I also use reflectix in the windshield. The side cab windows I use reflectix also w/ suction Cups that frequently fail, so I use the spring loaded tension bars to keep them in place. I use the pillow cushion vent covers too. The majority of heat (or cold in the winter) comes from the cab area. So, I then hang a heavy blanket to seal off the cab area, works great! I do have the exterior Adco windshield cover also. It has magnets in it that can scratch the paint. Windy weather did a number on my full body paint job on the doors. So I rarely use it- never in the wind now.I also added a pullout window awning outside over the large dining table window . I wish I added that a long time ago.
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:05 PM   #7
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I have this (rv quick shades) for my one piece (held in place with suction cups inside) large windshield in the Georgetown. It surely makes a difference and allows viewing out the windshield but no viewing from outside. Do have to bring down the windshield blind at night. Might be what you're looking for.
https://www.activervupholstery.com/rv-quick-shades.html
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Old 08-01-2021, 02:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jneum525 View Post
After taking several long trips this summer in places w very hot temps I have now experienced what others have mentioned on this forum. That the single AC in the Isata 3 canít keep up when itís very hot out. Looking for ways to improve the AC efficiency, by limiting the amount of heat infiltrating the motorhome.

On our most recent trip I brought my infrared thermometer to see where most of the heat is coming in.

1) Roof vents
2) Coach Windows (Especially on the side where exposed by sun)
3) Shower roof dome
4) Front cab

Even with keeping all the shades pulled and minimal lights turned on I still had Temps of 140į in the roof vents and 120į in the window shades when it was 105į Plus outside. Less heat coming in from the front cab.

1) Prior to my trip I had purchased two of the insulated pillows that push up into the vent opening. Unfortunately Amazon only had 2 that could be delivered before my trip so I still need to get one for the bathroom. These completely eliminated the heat coming in from the vent.

2) Even though the window shades were pulled, there is a tremendous amount of heat coming in from the windows. Iím sure the black windows and black shades donít help. I am planning on getting some of the rolled reflective window insulation and cutting some sections the size of the windows that I can place inbetween the window and the shade.

I am also thinking of getting the same material and making sections that cover the outside of the window as well Possibly held on by suction cups like the factory window shades that came with the motorhome for the front cab.

3) Not sure if anyone has seen something like the insulating pillows for the vents for the shower dome? The curved sides might pose a problem for a similar design

4) Thinking of adding an additional cover that goes on the outside of the windshield and side cab windows or possibly some kind of cover that can seal off the front cab from the rest of the motorhome, possibly held on with Velcro.

Would love to hear what others have done to help with this problem and if anybody has found the insulated reflective material already made up in various sizes for the inside or outside of the windows w suction cups or something else to attach them.

Thanks as always for the input!!!

PS: For now I have piled pillows up against the bedroom window and placed my comforter over the dinette window wedged inbetween the ceiling and the window valance. Both have helped quite a bit to cut down on heat coming in.
This is huge. I've monitored temps in my trailer with remote sensor when not using it. Temps would typically rise 17 deg above ambient temps on sunny conditions. Now with insulated reflective pillow in skylight, only 12 deg above ambient. I used this, fit enclosure with sloping walls fine. I remove it when showering.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Paid 30 bucks for it a year ago, I'm sure they want stupid prices now.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:11 PM   #9
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Thanks all. Great feedback. Appreciate all the links. If any of you have some pics that would be great too.

Keep the suggestions coming. Pretty soon I will need a blanket. 🤣
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:17 PM   #10
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Oh wait, I just re-read your post that shower skylight has curved sides. My pillow link, the mfr says it will work on sloped sides like mine, but not curved. sorry.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jneum525 View Post
Thanks milkman. Great suggestion for the outside window covering over the cab windows. Glad to see it makes use of magnets and doesnít require some sort of Velcro or snaps to hold in place.

So I donít have to re-create the wheel, I am also hoping that somebody already makes window coverings for the outside coach windows that make use of suction cups. Hoping somebody has already found something like that and will respond to this thread.

Thanks
I have one of these outside covers and even though the magnets are inside a cloth pocket they will scratch the paint if you drag the cover on the door. I cut them out and use 4 stronger magnets on top of the cover along the bottom edge. It stays in place and doesnít scratch the paint.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:43 PM   #12
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I have one of these outside covers and even though the magnets are inside a cloth pocket they will scratch the paint if you drag the cover on the door. I cut them out and use 4 stronger magnets on top of the cover along the bottom edge. It stays in place and doesnít scratch the paint.

I have one also. First year I used it all winter in outside storage in AZ, the paint faded a tad differently under the cover. Also a few paint scratches. Have it folded up and not using it.
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Old 08-03-2021, 05:30 PM   #13
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Oh wait, I just re-read your post that shower skylight has curved sides. My pillow link, the mfr says it will work on sloped sides like mine, but not curved. sorry.
Depending on the style of shower you have; I have the shower door parallel to the skylight on one side. I wedge a large thick foam core board over the skylight and above the shower door which holds the board in place well. I find this works better than using Velcro.
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Old 08-04-2021, 04:01 PM   #14
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So here is another AC "efficiency" question: should the fan be left on Auto, Low or High?
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:27 PM   #15
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I have one of these outside covers and even though the magnets are inside a cloth pocket they will scratch the paint if you drag the cover on the door. I cut them out and use 4 stronger magnets on top of the cover along the bottom edge. It stays in place and doesnít scratch the paint.
Scratches can be eliminated by putting gaffer tape over the magnet on the attachment side. Duct tape works too but when it deteriorates with weather it leaves a mess behind. Replacing the gaffer tape is much easier and its more robust than masking tape.
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Old 08-05-2021, 01:33 PM   #16
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I live in the Texas Hill Country and I have experienced the same issues. The most significant remedies have been the Sunguard windshield and cab window cover and the fan covers with foil on one side. I keep on Cool Hi and keep the diverter vents open.

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Old 08-05-2021, 02:04 PM   #17
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A bit off subject (because you've gotten good advice).... Our friends use a fan inside the rig that help equalize the hot and cold spots and helps keep the rig 'feeling' cooler.
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Old 08-15-2021, 04:24 PM   #18
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Work in progress...

Back from my trip and working on my "insulation" project. Thanks to all that provided feedback on this subject.

Just ordered my 3rd vent insulation pillow and some reflective backed foam insulation that I plan to cut the same size as the coach windows and place inbetween the windows and the shades.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRZXRO6...roduct_details

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ref_=pd_gw_unk

If I measured properly, I think I can cover all the windows with one roll. Not sure how effective they will be inside the window (the IR thermometer will tell for sure), but if they are, it eliminates the need for finding a way to attach the shades to the outside of the windows as I think they will stay in place setting on the window cranks, squeezed inbetween the shade and the windows.

Placing these shades on the inside rather than the outside of the windows also enables me to still travel with them in place. Hoping it provides good results. Will report back on effectiveness.

As for the cab windows/windshield, I was all set to order a one piece cover for the outside until I saw all the responses on this string and elsewhere about magnets, etc. scratching the paint if the wind comes up. Something I really want to avoid. Especially to my I-3's beautiful paint job.

Got me thinking, what If I ordered another set of Dynamax privacy shades for the outside of the windshield and 2 cab windows to double up on insulation. The suction cups would work on the opposite windows as compared to the inside and the wipers should keep the winshield cover in place, assuming not too windy outside.

Curious if anyone has tried this and if anyone knows what the price of the 3 privacy shades from Dynamax are? This type of solution should eliminate the risk of paint scratching, I would think.

Thanks as always...
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Old 08-15-2021, 05:30 PM   #19
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Personally, I’ve never had good luck with suction cups. I would think that they would come off easily on the outside. I hold mine in place on the inside with tension bars. I also used that roll of thick reflectix that I cut to size in some of my windows under the he shades. It works well and I like the blackout properties of it in the bedroom.
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Old 08-15-2021, 06:00 PM   #20
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I use reflectix on the inside of the windshield and cab side windows of my Sprinter based Prism. It makes a huge difference in temperature. When it gets really hot, I'll hang a curtain behind the cab and also close the bedroom curtain to minimize the space being cooled. With an outside temp of 103, I was reading 76 inside.

On my 5th wheel in AZ I use reflectix on the inside of the windows on the sunny side plus I have some external see through sun shades on the outside that snap on. I don't put the reflectix up on the inside til the outside temp starts inching up into the 90's - the outside sunscreens do a good job until then. IR thermometer on bare glass in full sun with an outside temp of about 90 will read close to 150 deg. Put the reflectix up inside and that drops to about 90 on the reflectix.
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