A DIY RV Windshield Sun Shade Idea: Reflective Bubble Wrap Insulation Makes Your Motorhome Much Cooler Inside Without Running The AC!

by Curtis

Camping Tips, Green RVing, Motorhomes, RV Accessories, Sun And Heat Issues, Vents, Windows And Glass, z1


One downside to RVing in the summertime is this:

You may have little or no say as to which direction your motorhome is pointed when you’re parked in an RV campsite.


  • If you have to point the nose toward the east, then you’ll have to deal with sun steadily heating up the inside of your RV all morning.
  • And if have to point the nose toward the west, then the afternoon sun is going to blast through the RV windshield, making you feel like toast in no time.

Of course, parking in the shade and making good use of crosswinds would be ideal. But that’s not always possible.


Strategically park your RV to take advantage of any shade that is available, especially on the side where the refrigerator vent is located. Don’t be afraid to ask for a shady site when you check in at the campground. This will not only help cool the RV down, but your refrigerator and roof A/C will work much more efficiently.


As recent as last week I had to run my onboard 7KW diesel generator for 4 hours, just so I could keep both air conditioners operating at full blast. Sadly, the motorhome still was not as comfortable as I would have liked.

Come morning, when I was firing up to get back on the road, the real price of running that power plant hit me right in the face. I could have been driving for half the night on the amount of fuel consumed just to keep cool during the hottest part of the day!

Here’s a great way to save money and stay cool in your RV…

A Simple RV Windshield Sun Shade

When I bought my used motorhome, there was a rolled up coil of reflective bubble wrap insulation inside one of the closets. At the time, I had no idea what it was for, so I stored it away.

Recently, I saw an RV discussion online and realized the purpose of this material: it was cut to perfectly cover the RV windshield and block out the sun!

Today, as the mid-day sun was starting to make the interior uncomfortable, I installed the reflective insulation on the inside of my windshield. The interior temperature dropped immediately! Down it came by at least a good 10 degrees. It’s probably more, but I’m being conservative.

Here’s how Reflectix bubble wrap insulation works.

There is a trim piece along the top of the RV windshield that makes it easy to tuck the reflective insulation under it — providing a tight seal along the top edge. This is useful because heat rises. If that seam were to be left open, the heat would rise and escape into the RV. By sealing it, there’s no hot air flow inside the motorhome.

I’ve read that the effectiveness of using reflective bubble wrap insulation could be even better if it is applied to the outside of the windshield. But for me, placing it on the inside is easier, more secure, and does a remarkable job as it is.

Putting aluminum foil or mylar over the windows (on the outside) is going to lower the temp in the RV by a 100 factor over the best direction your RV is pointed. I did all of the windows in on our RV this year, and you could really feel the temperature drop as I covered each window. The one facing west toward the setting sun was too hot to touch between 3:00 pm and sundown until I covered it.


The difference is so remarkable that now I am running only the ceiling vent fan to draw in fresh air and push out hot air. Though it is well into the 80’s today, there will be no need to run the A/C — something that will come in very handy when I’m boondocking in the Southwest this winter.

Now I can keep my electrical power for running important things — like my computer — instead of wasting a lot of fuel running the air conditioner.

RVers Share Other Ways To Keep Cool Inside The RV