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Old 06-26-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
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Van Cooling

Spent 5 days parked in Moab in 100 weather. The top outside temp was 100.4F and the top inside temp was 89.6 on different days. That's shade temp, the van was in full sun all around. I was pretty amazed at the results, considering I expected the inside to basically melt.

Setup:
Roof Cab: Fantastic Fan set to #1 speed exhaust
PH Roof: Up with 4 side windows open to screen along the top
Reflectix: Fully deployed- around PH inside (2 pieces), in all windows, and full windshield
Side and rear popout windows (1 each): open w/ screens and reflectix in place (no longer exact fit...)
Two awning windows: cranked open, each in shade of respective awning
Passenger Side Awning: 11'8" Fiamma roughly facing East - deployed to minimum height (couldn't open side doors) and minimum expansion (brace rail collapsed) with feet attached to van
Driver Side Awning: 6' Camping Lab deployed over fridge area, from drip rail to 3' out from side steps
Rear: military mosquito net draped over rear area for partial shade, this was mostly to "help" the ice chest on the back



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Old 06-26-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
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Re: Van Cooling

its the humidity
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Van Cooling

I see you drilled holes in your body for the Fiamma brackets. And, good to see you are using the Fiamma awning center support rod to prevent a disaster.

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Old 06-26-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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Re: Van Cooling

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Old 06-27-2011, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Van Cooling

Awesome setup - love it!

Can you give a quick compare and contrast on the two awnings? I realize they are different sizes but would you consider the Camping Lab as your main passenger side awning or is the Fiamma worth the extra $?

Since I've detoured the topic, we're also considering cheaper tent style options too like the Bus Depot setup but I really like both the camping lab and Fiamma options from their perceived ease of operation (haven't personally used either).
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Re: Van Cooling

The thing I like about the Fiamma is the size- I went with 11'8" (most SMBs have 10') to provide maximum protection. I was disappointed to read it's only for shade and should be taken down in other conditions- still our main intention will be for light rain shelter.

The Camping Lab I think would allow too much side entry- sun or rain, so it would work to keep a patch over your barn doors, provide a space to enter and exit without getting wet, but you probably can't sit and play cards under it or anything. Cooking shade if you like to stand at the doors and cook maybe.

The Camping Lab awning poles are attached to a flat metal cross piece that you can see in the picture. This cross piece gets rolled into the canvas with the poles folded in. My SMB is a bit tall to make stowing and deploying easy, and I've never set and staked the awning, so I don't know how it performs set up. The fiamma on the other hand was opened/closed/extended or retracted at least 4 times a day.

As much as I want(ed) dual awnings, and the CL served it's purpose for this trip, I've got "too much" going on on top of my van and I'll be putting it up for sale soon, with the brackets.
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: Van Cooling

Thanks for the thoughts. I was thinking that there was a wider Camping Labs version, but at 6.5' you're right - I think I'd want more over my outdoor living space. It might be kind of cool over the back doors though.

From the videos I've seen of the CL setup and takedown you confirmed one of my other concerns - height. I think my van is just as tall as yours and I could see that being a pain, even if you did have the side door opening to work out of.

We're looking for ease of use (otherwise it would probably not get used) and its sounds like you're rolling out the awning no problemo any time you stop. Sounds great!
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