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Has anyone put shade OVER their rig to cool it? I think the right kind of shade tarp with a 1-2 ft gap between it and the roof can eliminate AC in certain climates. I have a design Idea I am tinkering with.
I would love to be able to do that but my extended van is 9.5 feet high. I do not carry a ladder big enough and would not really want to try to be up that high rigging a shade -- -but would love to have it.

I am going to try a makeshift awning next week which would shade one side but not the top. My hightop is fiberglass so I'm not putting any holes in that.
That's also what I'm working on now for my 7'x12' CT before I leave. Using 3/4" emt for 10'wx10'h frames and the tarp will be on top of one frame (attached and rolled up on 2" pvc pipe) staked down and set against the left side of CT and extend over roof and out 13' from right side to another frame 10'wx9'h line staked down tight. Tarp will be 2' over roof, but might need another frame against right side or mid way to the end frame. It will be an evolving project as I use it. I fitted the emt vertical pieces with foam pipe insulation top and bottom to protect the CT.....fits tight. I bought a silver solid tarp but will be shopping for a mesh one for dry windy weather. It should keep the CT much cooler esp if I put up reflectix on the ceiling and run the fan with door and ramp open. I really don't mind the heat as long as it's dry and there's at least a breeze. There's no way though I'll be able to deal with sleeping in an aluminum can that's been sitting in the AZ sun all day with no defense. Good luck with your project and post as you progress. I hope to be in AZ by early Aug and hopefully by then will have the bugs worked out.
I'm working on an ez-up sort of thing, but for the roof. I have to weigh shade versus solar panel coverage... I have 400 W on my roof, but mostly at the back.
From what I've read on this forum having shade is very effective for keeping the rig cooler with adequate ventilation of course. Plywood painted white or silver or a tarp secured to a roof rack.
Securing a tarp has to be a challenge in the southwest. We've had our heavy awning torn by sudden gusts before the safety sensor can react and retract it. I've seen solidly built units that do the job and stand up to the wind, but they aren't something that could be quickly rigged up for temporary use.
I recently asked about the wind issue and it seems mesh tarps are pretty resistant but of course a degree of shade is lost. Always a compromise.
Instead of using a shade tarp as an awning, I've seen people wrap it along the side facing the sun with a foot of space or so. This provided shade while allowing a breeze to blow through and was less likely to get blown away by the wind.
I carry 8 collapsible tent poles. The 6 for the sides are 8 footers, and the front and back ones for the ridge line are 12 footers.

Between them, I can set up any sort of structure I desire. I just use rope for the ridge line between the poles, and rope woven through the eyelets for outer ridges all the way around. This keeps everything pretty windproof.

For the problem of getting the tarp or shade cloth over the van, I just attach ropes to it, then throw the ropes over the top of the van and then simply pull it up and over using the ropes from the other side.

If I'm only doing an awning for one side, I put small pieces of rope under my tires, then move the van slightly. Using the same method to get the tarp up and over, then I just run ropes down the one side to connect to the two ropes secured by my tires.
(06-17-2015, 04:00 AM)Off Grid 24/7 Wrote: [ -> ]I carry 8 collapsible tent poles.  The 6 for the sides are 8 footers, and the front and back ones for the ridge line are 12 footers.

Between them, I can set up any sort of structure I desire.  I just use rope for the ridge line between the poles, and rope woven through the eyelets for outer ridges all the way around.  This keeps everything pretty windproof.

For the problem of getting the tarp or shade cloth over the van, I just attach ropes to it, then throw the ropes over the top of the van and then simply pull it up and over using the ropes from the other side.

If I'm only doing an awning for one side, I put small pieces of rope under my tires, then move the van slightly.  Using the same method to get the tarp up and over, then I just run ropes down the one side to connect to the two ropes secured by my tires.
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