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Old 04-28-2019, 08:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rsamco View Post
….When occupied, Starr's D5 heater with Rixen thermostat will keep battery (& me) from freezing. BTW, I haven't seen this reported elsewhere: Rixen thermostat setpoint can be adjusted all the way down to 32F!
I have the Rixen digital thermostat sitting on my workbench waiting to work its way up the priority list. We spent some cold-weather nights this past winter where I wanted freeze protection with the temperature set well below the 55 degrees the stock thermostat allows. I called Jim at Rixens, he told me what he had, I had him put it in a box and send it.


Question - did you include the optional exterior temperature reading option? I have a plan as to where and how to install the external thermocouple sender, but if you have it I would like to know where it was installed.


Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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Fitz, I do not have the external temp option...sorry that I can't offer guidance.

I have wondered how one would thread new wiring from the "soffit" area which holds the D5/Rixen, inverter/charger, & solar controller head units. I had briefly toyed with the idea of putting the Relion battery meter up there, but I like it just fine down in the sofa's baseboard -- and I especially liked its trivial wiring run to the battery .
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:33 AM   #13
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Starr's Curtains & Window Coverings

I was up the air re curtains & window coverings when I spec'd out Starr. I was torn between just going with SMB-W's offerings or instead going with the hassle and even-higher-cost of after-market offerings. Also, right when I was finalizing Starr's PO, SMB-W came out with a new roll-up options for some windows, further confusing things for me. Anyway, I decided to just go with SMB-W's choices. Here, in one place, is a description of all those choices:
  • Windshield Privacy Curtain -- This is a light weight, dark-grey curtain that snaps to the top of the windshield & cab door windows, draping straight down to to just below the bottom of the side windows (i.e., about the steering wheel's center) -- thereby providing a wrap-around visual screen. It is very far from 100% light blocking, and I imagine provides minimal thermal insulation. I don't know what SMB-W calls this curtain since doesn't appear on Starr's invoice (therefore a standard, included item?). I don't foresee using this curtain except if we ever go with a cab bed (e.g., hammock) for accommodating a 5th sleeper. This curtain folds up into an approx. 14"x9"x4" bundle.

  • Cab Privacy Curtain -- heavy weight curtain mountable behind the driver and passenger captain seats -- snaps into ceiling & B pillar area & drapes to floor. It has a center slit for access to/from cab (snaps closed). Curtain's rear surface matches Starr's grey tweed ceiling covering and looks great (this is apparently a new material for the curtain); cab-side is light grey. The snap closure causes minor gaps which allows interior light to leak at its top and sides -- not a huge amount, but definitely noticeable from the outside at night. Installing Windshield Privacy Curtain only marginally helps conceal the light leaks. Thermal insulation seems pretty good. Folds up into an approx. 16"x11"x4" bundle.

  • New insulating Roll Down Shades -- These foil-backed shades are on the galley and rear passenger-side windows. Starr's are interior-faced with grey tweed material matching his ceiling and look great. Each curtain rolls up behind a window valance, and is secured with 2 velcro straps. When rolled up, each curtain is entirely hidden from view on inside and shows slightly from outside (but tinted windows help hide and IMO are not objectionable). Thermal properties appear to be excellent. With careful but quick & easy tucking around its edges, each curtain is very close to 100% light blocking. The exception is vertical rows of very small, pinhole light leaks from the quilt-stitching. Very minor, but would prevent extreme stealth camping. Obviously self-storing.

  • Rear Door Windows Curtains -- A light-weight, dark-grey hanging curtain mounted in slider-groove above each rear door window. Slides across window and has perimeter snaps for good privacy & light-tightness from inside (but not nearly 100% light tight for extreme stealth situations). Probably only minor thermal insulation. Stores to the outside window border/trim with a strap-with-snap (i.e., self-storage). I believe that this is a standard SMB-W option (doesn't appear on Starr's invoice).

  • Magnetic Arctic Shades (sliding & rear door windows) -- These are semi-rigid, foil-backed panels that attach to their window openings with perimeter magnets. Starr's are Interior-faced with grey-tweed material matching his ceiling. Thermal insulation appears to be excellent. Rear window shades are close to 100% light blocking with careful, but not difficult, mounting. Slider window shade is very difficult to edge seal; IMO too few magnets to prevent gaps. They all have vertical rows of very minor, pinhole light leaks from stitching.

    Given the detachable nature and sizes of these panels, their storage needs to be considered. For me, I have two different storage situations: frigid vs. warm night time temps. During warm temps, I don't need these panels and store them in the long cavity beneath the closets. For this, the rear shades fold-roll into an approx. 28"x6"x2" bundle (each) and slider shade fold-rolls into an approx. 55"x6"x2" bundle (this long roll just fits in the bottom closet cavity's length). During periods of frigid nights, I'll probably store these panels where they are accessible without going outside the van. I imagine that I'll either leave them on the windows during the day, or fold them up and leave on top of the bedding. For this purpose, all 3 shades fold into a single 29"x16"x3" bundle. This bundle will also slide between the front portion of the PH bed and the PH -- so this is a great option if you have the two piece PH bed option and haven't temporarily removed the PH bed for increased headroom.

    NOTE: When the sofa is used, we just remove the bedding from the front sofa portion of the bed and roll it up behind the sofa's back. So we can also throw the folded/rolled up shades in back.

  • Penthouse thermal curtain -- I did not consider this option for Starr, but I'm including its description for completeness. It apparently snaps around the inside of the penthouse walls and provides thermal insulation. We talked with someone who slept well in the PH with outside temps in 30s (i.e., D5 cabin heat also sufficiently warmed the PH). I don't know its stowaway size.

    NOTE: Light leak testing was performed by installing all curtains/shades and observing light leaks in two situations: (a) from the inside on a bright, sunny day and (b) from the outside on a dark, moonless night with rear cabin galley & ceiling LED lighting on high.
My early assessment is that Starr's collection of curtains and shades are going to work well for me. I like the roll-up shades a lot -- giving up a sliver of light fastness for no storage cost/hassle is a good tradeoff for me. I think that the Cab Privacy Curtain also provides a good tradeoff -- the alternative of a fold-up arctic panel for the windshield for better thermal insulation would have a significant cost in storage and convenience (& $). Of course, without windshield insulation, the cab will be frigid after a night of freezing weather. But the Cab Privacy Curtain can be opened in the morning for D5 warming, or Starr's "H12 Prefired Heater Booster" can be run for awhile before having to get into the cab & drive off.

But IMO Starr's curtain/shade package would not be sufficient for someone who needs total window blackout for extreme stealth camping.

In most non-frigid sleeping situations needing privacy or darkness, I envision at most just sliding closed the rear door light-weight hanging curtains and rolling down the rear passenger-side window shade. This can be done without having to retrieve any shades from storage. This hides/darkens the rear bed-end of the van sufficiently for my typical needs (i.e., seldom do I wish to "sleep in").
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:41 AM   #14
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Starr's Curtains & Window Coverings

(duplicate post deleted)
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:19 AM   #15
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Starr's Curtains & Window Coverings (pictures)

Pictures attached here for previous post.
Attached Thumbnails
GalleyRollDownShadeDown.jpg   GalleyRollDownShadeUp.jpg   PassSideRollDownShadeDown.jpg   RollDownShadeExterior.jpg  
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:33 AM   #16
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Does anyone have a picture of the Sportsmobile thermal penthouse curtains and feedback?

I am not sure if any insulated curtain in the penthouse will do much since at the end of the day its still all canvas around.

The coldest I have had my penthouse Sprinter up is at 28 degrees and with my Webasto on all night the van stayed 48 degrees below but for sure a few degrees colder uptop in the penthouse.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:31 PM   #17
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I've got SMB thermal window curtains in my PH. What I have are foil-backed material. They only cover the windows, which is the large majority of the PH wall area. Each rolls up and stows above the PH window.

We have spent comfortable nights down to 0 degrees F with this setup (with D5 heater, extreme insulation option, homemade insulated coverings for the windshield and front side windows, and standard pull down shades for the other windows.)

I don't have any pics with them down but can post at some point in future when I do.

Those tuck away insulated shades look fabulous.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:11 AM   #18
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I talked a bit about window covering light performance in Post #307 (pg. 31) of my build thread. http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-16293-31.html


I agree completely with Rick's comment about the lack of magnets in the magnetically-attached window coverings. We have three (two back windows and slider) and they work great, much more so now that Laura has gone back and added additional magnets to supplement those originally installed by SMB.


Bajaguy asked for a picture of the penthouse curtains. This isn't the greatest, but it's available. The curtain is rolled down on the left and rolled up on the right.





As to effectiveness, they are surprisingly effective for light (see pictures in thread reference above) but when it's cold outside we leave the top down and sleep down in our 50 plan.


Texas installs the behind-the-front-seats privacy curtain on a ceiling-mounted track vs. the snaps that Rick mentions that Fresno installs. The ceiling-mounted track makes for a clean one-piece installation that is very effective at keeping the light, and heat, in. We are very happy with it.
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I talked a bit about window covering light performance in Post #307 (pg. 31) of my build thread. http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-16293-31.html


I agree completely with Rick's comment about the lack of magnets in the magnetically-attached window coverings. We have three (two back windows and slider) and they work great, much more so now that Laura has gone back and added additional magnets to supplement those originally installed by SMB.


Bajaguy asked for a picture of the penthouse curtains. This isn't the greatest, but it's available. The curtain is rolled down on the left and rolled up on the right.





As to effectiveness, they are surprisingly effective for light (see pictures in thread reference above) but when it's cold outside we leave the top down and sleep down in our 50 plan.


Texas installs the behind-the-front-seats privacy curtain on a ceiling-mounted track vs. the snaps that Rick mentions that Fresno installs. The ceiling-mounted track makes for a clean one-piece installation that is very effective at keeping the light, and heat, in. We are very happy with it.
Fitz..Are those the insulated curtains? What does SMB actually do to provide better insulation in the penthouse curtains?

Mike..0 degrees with the penthouse down correct? I don't see any way possible regardless of van insulation staying warm with the top up at 0 degrees (top down yes).

My limit for the top up going forward even with the Webasto I think is about mid 30's. High 20's low 30's is still too cold to leave the top up.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:48 PM   #20
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Fitz..Are those the insulated curtains? What does SMB actually do to provide better insulation in the penthouse curtains?
Black black-out cloth on the outside, grey tweed to match the headliner on the inside, and a thin layer of what I believe is reflectix in between. All other window coverings are the same, ditto the privacy curtain except no middle layer.
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