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It occurred to me that if I could create my own shade, when in the desert, it could make a massive difference... so I got to thinking about how that would work.... I looked up what it would cost to buy the shade cloth... $300.. The idea would be to mount 12" high stanchions in each corner of the rig roof, with a stand off disc for the cloth to ride on with a grommet to hold and align...  then two down the middle of the rig roof at 18" high to get over the top of the AC and other roof items....  then of course grommets at the edges of the cloth to tie down to the ground around the rig. 

Other than really screwing up any solar mounted on the roof... what other issues would there be?
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you can get shade cloth tarps a hell of a lot cheaper than that. I paid 69 bucks for a 12 x 20. mount it to the side of the rack. other issues might be wind and rain. especially wind. however you mount it needs to be able to handle wind. highdesertranger
If you can mount it to give shade without covering up the solar panels it would be more practical. The panels make shade in any event, so no need to cover them. Ive used white sheets to keep it cooler for my dogs.
(08-02-2020, 05:10 PM)Sofisintown Wrote: [ -> ]Screwing up the solar would be reason enough for me to NOT cover the roof.

What if my plan is to use moveable panels. In cases where there  are trees, panels on the roof will be compromised, where as when they can be moved around they can be positioned optimally...  Cool
(08-02-2020, 06:02 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: [ -> ]you can get shade cloth tarps a hell of a lot cheaper than that.  I paid 69 bucks for a 12 x 20.  mount it to the side of the rack.  other issues might be wind and rain.  especially wind.  however you mount it needs to be able to handle wind.  highdesertranger

If you click on the image above, you'll see that the tarp I had in mind, it was 18' x 36'. This means fabricating to get the width, so basically 4 of the sheets you are talking about sewn together, and then edged and grometted ...  so my pricing is close... Thumbs Up
(08-02-2020, 06:23 PM)Malamute Wrote: [ -> ]If you can mount it to give shade without covering up the solar panels it would be more practical. The panels make shade in any event, so no need to cover them. Ive used white sheets to keep it cooler for my dogs.
I had thought about that too.. Idea Idea putting a bit oval in the middle for the AC and solar panels...  it is a thing I will do down the road .. so I don;t have to decide ... these are the best decisions to consider... the ones you don't have to make yet...
way to big,

first I hope you are not planning to be in the desert in the summer. in the winter you don't need that much shade and you don't need to cover your vehicle. watch your wind load, even those shade tarps make one hell of a sail.

highdesertranger
I have thought of creating shadecloth panels for my rig. In looking at other nomads' shadecloth creations, it appears to me that the most commonly used shadecloth is rated at or about 70%. But this "thin" shadecloth seems to let in a lot of sunlight, which causes the rig to heat up to a high temp.

As a result of my research,  I have concluded that "thick" shadecloth, rated at 90%, would do a better job of cooling a rig. But the 90% cloth wld increase wind resistance, eventually weakening the fabric due to increased material fatigue. To prolong the life of the 90% shadecloth, I plan to attach stretchable loops to the lower corners of the panels to increase their working life.
when setting up any tent or tarp always use bungees cord on the guy lines. this makes a huge difference on the shock load from wind. they give but don't break.

Note, the bungees must be strong enough to have some spring left in them.

highdesertranger
My opinion is tarps, shade cloth, awnings, easy up type canopies and most tents will not withstand desert sun and wind through the monsoon season unless they can be stowed quickly and even then a mini blast will surprise you and take them out. Mounting the solar panels with plenty of air space above a coated roof will help keep inside temps cooler and the panels will work more efficiently if the underside is cooler. I would be tempted to use solar panels for shade by extending them by slides out from under raised solar panels on the roof and held in place by support arms down to the sides when extended. I currently have a large panel with hinges and two painter’s poles that is parallel to the ground when extended that works well while providing shade over the rear of the RV. In the winter it allows me to angle the panel for maximum efficiency. It folds flat against the rear of the RV while traveling and is easy to clean while folded. I have a shade tarp but only use it when I know there will be no wind or with quick releases on bungees when I am there to take it down quickly. Mine is small, I can’t imagine trying to handle a large one while standing on a ladder or top of the RV!