Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Quick Help From the Heat

We live in Florida and it is hot.  Today it made it to 98, so summer has started.  We park Fuse in the sun at home and are always looking for ways to keep it cooler.   When looking around the motorhome  it felt like most of the heat coming in was from the bathroom.

Winnebago Fuse Skylight

The heat was actually coming in from the skylight over the shower.   I like the skylight and the extra headroom it brings but it was a letting in a lot of heat.   I was trying to decide what to do about it.  A little afterwards I was walking through Walmart and saw a reflective window shade for $3.50.   Bingo!
Sunshade from
Photo from

Now it was way too large for the skylight so I was about to cut it to size and stopped myself.  I could just fold it in half and get twice the insulation for no extra work.  

So I folded the shade in half (it had a fold in the middle already) and since I am not a good person with a sewing machine, I just duct taped the sides together and I had it.  

I put some white velcro on the ceiling above the shower and matched it to the edge of the shade and it holds.  Remember, Velcro is your friend.  I did not use much,  maybe 8 - 2" pieces and we were in business.

Winnebago Fuse Skylight Shade

With the shade in place, very little heat is now coming in from the bathroom. I know it is not the most attractive thing around. We may come up with something nicer in the future but it works for now.   I am sure most people could do better, but for 10 minutes invested and $3.50 out of pocket, it made a huge bang for the buck.


  1. Is the skylight plastic or glass? I am concerned that the reflected heat may warp a plastic skylight.

  2. It is plastic. 2 parts. A fairly thick white inner portion which seems to make up the entire top of the shower. There is a dark piece on the outside that I don't know what it is made of. (we are having a tropical storm today so it is rather wet and I did not climb up there in the rain)

    To the question, it is a good one and I am not sure if the heat will cause problems with warping.

    Someone else commented it might cause cracks. I am more concerned that it might cause the caulking to fail faster but I am not sure.

    I think cracking would come if there was too much thermal stress from rapid heating and cooling. I don't think that would happen with the outer cover being in place. If we were worried about trapped heat than outer and inner construction could cause this as well. Though the air space would also mitigate any rapid change in temps. I would really be concerned if screws were close to the opening and cracks could extend from weakness caused by the screw holes.

    As far as warping, I think the piece is large enough to counteract that effect. Reflected heat might cause hotter temps and if that is the problem we could just put a piece of fabric over the reflective material. Will have to see how hot it is getting in the space.

    I guess the next step is to ask a mechanical engineer his thoughts and see if I can get some insight. Luckily I have one on the payroll I can pester when our paths cross over the next few days (my son has a BS in mechanical engineering and is a masters student)

    These are great questions