WICKHAM CP, FL—I’ve been talking to a few fellow nomads about my Whynter refrigerator problems, and the consensus is there is definitely something wrong with mine. A few brief emails to Whynter support haven’t fixed the problem, but I will call them when they open in a few hours to see if we can find a solution.
The blackout curtains are up. These are mainly used in urban areas and are designed to keep the light in while leaving the appearance of a darkened, empty vehicle. This helps with both privacy and the law (even though I only plan to sleep in places that do not have “No Overnight Parking” signs, sleeping in a vehicle is generally frowned upon).
Though I tried several options, I ended up using the following for the curtains:
- Eclipse Curtains – Inexpensive curtains which block both light and heat.
- Neodymium Magnets – Super strong magnets. Scary strong.
- Self-sealing Laminate Pouches – Sealing the magnets in these makes it easy to staple the magnet/pouch hybrid to the curtain.
I cut the pouches in half, then seal a magnet in a each half. Now I have two, plastic encased magnets. I hold the curtain in place with the magnets, then, when I have them placed correctly, I staple the pouch magnets to the curtain.
While driving, the curtains can easily be removed or simply “raised” by detaching the magnetized bottom of the curtain and attaching it above the window.
I mounted a curtain rod just behind the front seats and have two longer curtains hanging there (parting in the middle). I did the same for the doors/windows at the rear of the van. For the front, I used velcro to hold everything together (I hadn’t thought of the pouches yet). Stapling the velcro to the curtains helped hold the velcro to the fabric. For the rear, I simply slide the curtains closed, then seal them against the closed doors with the pouch magnets.
For the windows, the curtains are doubled over, showing the fabric to both the outside world and the inside. This also has the effect of doubling the heat blocking factor of the curtains. Because the windows are already deeply tinted, the effect from the outside—even standing right next to the van—is a solid black window.
There is still some debugging to be done on some minor light leaks and stowage issues. Also the rear curtains expose their white/plain side to the interior and—because the other (fabric) side is red—they appear pink. Still, I’m secure enough with my masculinity to be sorta OK with these pink curtains.