Seven fellow truck campers share different ways to keep light, cold and heat out of their campers. Here are some great insulation ideas for your camper’s windows, vents and fans!
1. Quilted Insulators For Windows and Vents
Submitted by: Bob Hall, 2005 GMC 2500, 1996 Lance Squire Lite 8’6″
I made insulators to help keep out the heat and cold. They are made out of half inch pink styrofoam used for home insulation. They are covered with quilt batting and then cotton fabric.
The insulator in the escape hatch is two pieces glued together and then covered with batting. The hatch cover comes off when I want to ventilate.
The two insulators on the windows next to the bed are left in all the time.
The one next to the dinette only goes on at night. The windows have little nylon clips to hold them in place. The door window and the window over the sink don’t have one yet because I ran out of material.
2. Black Out Shades and Insulation
Submitted by: Scott Roberts, 2015 Dodge Ram 3500, 1995 Hallmark Cuchara
I needed to make the camper dark so my four year old could sleep. The factory curtains mysteriously ended up pushed to the side, letting the light in, with my daughter’s face pushed against the glass seeing what the others in the camp were up to.
I purchased a few yards of a heavy gray duct material to back the blackout material I bought from the fabric store. I made curtains/blackout shades that were two inches bigger than the entire window. I screwed the male part of the snaps to the wall and put the female on my shades.
If you just make the shades without the blackout material, they will let a lot of light and heat in during the day. In the dinette area, regular curtains bunch up and get caught on the pads. For some reason they are never closed all the way and don’t stay open all the way either. If I want mine open, I just unsnap the bottom, roll the shade to the top, and tie them off.
It’s been working great. I just got back from a week long trip to Michigan and returned with a well rested child.
It took me four hours to complete and cost $60. In my opinion, the skill level of this mod is easy.
3. Snap On Vinyl Window Cover
Submitted by: Michelle Curns, 2008 Ford F450, 2014 Arctic Fox 1150
Above: The factory installed blinds
I removed the factory installed blinds that covered the window that lined up to the rear of the truck. I did this for two reasons; one, they were made of fabric and their proximity to the floor made them prone to dirt, dust, and dog hair. This made the blinds impossible to keep clean. Second, I have two dogs that I was afraid would destroy the blinds.
I made and installed an arctic grade vinyl cover with felt backing for moisture control and nickel plated brass snaps to mount them. Our Fantastic Fan vents came with these covers, so I went to the fabric store to find the materials to copy them. I used a basic sewing machine for the cover. The cover measures sixteen inches by thirty-six inches and the snaps are mounted using stainless screws into the wall.
It’s an easy on/off window cover that’s heavy duty enough to withstand toe kicks from bed access. It’s always clean and blocks out any light.
4. Window Insulation To Keep Sun and Cold Out
Submitted by: Nancy Carvalho, 2006 Ram 3500, 2013 Alaskan Camper
In our Alaskan Camper, sunshine was coming through the mini-blinds and keeping me awake. When the sun came up, it came through the camper windows and mini-blinds, and we were awake.
In our search for something to keep the light out, I wanted something that would fit easily, and be put up and taken down easily. I like mini-blinds for privacy, and didn’t want curtains because they block the view.
I used foil insulation from Home Depot and cut it with scissors to the same shape as the window, slightly oversized. Now, all I have to do is to put the foil insulation pieces in the windows. The mini-blinds hold them in place.
If there’s a breeze and you want to leave the window open, just drop the mini-blinds down and roll a part of the insulation. Then, you can open the window and get breeze.
We did this for the two main windows, and the door. The windows in the cabover had snap insulation that came from Alaskan, so we didn’t need it there.
Above: Insulation under the camper’s mattress
We also put that same insulation under the bed. We just cut the insulation to the size of the bed. It keeps the chill off the mattress.
Above: Insulation on the back truck window to keep the cold and road noise down
I also put it in the truck on the back window to keep the cold from coming in, and to lower the highway noise.
This mod has been really great! It keeps out the cold and light.
It took me twenty minutes to complete this modification. The cost was simply the cost of insulation at Home Depot. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
5. Window Coverings For Privacy, Temperature, and Light
Submitted by: Jodie Ramsey, 2012 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2014 Adventurer 116DS
During our travels across the United States and Canada, we have experienced climate extremes and various quantities of light – both natural and man made. We wanted a way to keep the camper interior temperature more comfortable, and better manage the outside light for sleeping.
The first mod we did was to purchase some windshield screens to use between the glass and privacy panel.
That helped keep us cooler in warm weather, or warm when we camped in the cold. We also cut a piece of a windshield screen to fit in the Heki skylight.
As we journeyed to Alaska, we encountered daylight throughout the night. We had some dark colored towels with us on the trip and used snack clips to fasten them to the valance. That created instant darkness/night in our camper.
This has been a wonderful mod. It helps to keep the camper cool in the hot sun, and dark and comfy for sleeping. If we want to open a window, we can refold the windshield scree and reposition the clip on the towel. Everything is temporarily installed.
It took me minutes to complete this modification and cost me almost nothing. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
6. Fantastic Fan Cover
Submitted by: Morgan Swisher, 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500, 2015 Wolf Creek 850
I wanted to block out the light that shines through the Fantastic Fan over the bed for nap time. I also wanted to be able to keep the heat from escaping when I camp on winter bass fishing trips.
I had some 1/8-inch plywood and cut it to the shape of the Fantastic Fan. I used a jig saw to notch where I wanted to add simple plastic mirror supports. I left them semi-loose so they wouldn’t jiggle loose if I left it on while driving. I also cut the hole where the fan knob is since it sticks out farther than anything else.
I stained and sprayed Varathane on the wood to match the color of the cabinets.
I glued insulated aluminum foil that I had left over from putting it under the mattress and on the windows behind the curtains.
It really works well. I used to feel the cold from the opening during the night, but not anymore. It also blocks out the light.
It took me four hours to complete this modification and cost me $10. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is medium.
7. Fantastic Vent Roller Shade Cover
Submitted by: David Carvalho, 2006 Ram 3500, 2013 Alaskan Camper
We wanted the ventilation of the Fantastic Vent, but also wanted to keep the camper dark. This modification lessens the sunlight and provides a little insulation as well.
We purchased the roller shade from Camping World online. We use the screw to hook it. A great thing is that the fan can still be on when the shade is pulled.
It took me ten minutes to complete this modification and cost me the price of the roller shade at Camping World. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is easy.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.