Can’t take the summer heat, save money and reduce winter idling. Custom Fit Semi Truck Window Sun Shades for all of your truck windows. This is what you need to keep your truck more than 20 degrees cooler in the summer heat.
There a few specialty websites where you can order custom fit window shades. They aren’t cheap either.
Unfortunately for me none of them have complete sets for my old truck, a 1998 International 9400 with the flat windshields.
I decided to make a trip to the local hardware store to see what type of insulation I could buy and cut it to fit each of my windows and of course the windshield as well.
I was surprised to find 3 different sized rolls of plastic silver foil insulation. They had 16 inch by 25 feet, 24 inch and 48 inch rolls. The claimed summer R value was just as much or more as the solid foam insulation sheets.
Most of the “store bought” sets come in 3 or 4 fold able parts.
I wanted sun shades for my sleeper windows too.
How To Make Custom Fit Sun Shades For Your Big Rig Truck – 4 to 6 Piece Set
Supplies and materials needed
- One roll of insulation material
- Two 5 piece boxs of heavy duty outdoor Velcro, industrial strength
- Clear packing tape or blue painters tape
- Marker or Dry Erase Marker
- Poster board or craft paper
- Tape Measure
Measure all windows and make patterns with the poster board or craft paper. You may have to tape them together to make one part large enough for a pattern.
Tip: You can make them over-sized and attach to the door frame and windshield gasket or trim. This will block out all sunlight. The R value also goes up if there is an air gap between the window and the sun shade.
You’ll be using the Velcro to attach your shades to directly to the window, window frame or trim.
Depending on your vehicle it may be easier to make the pattern from the outside of the truck.
After test fitting and double checking your patterns. Unroll the insulation material and tape on your first pattern. Then cut it out and test fit to the window or window frame.
Trim as needed.
Repeat step 2 until you have all of your shades cut out and trimmed to fit.
Cut Velcro strips into squares or rectangles. Starting at the top of the window or window frame. Attach one piece of Velcro in each upper corner. If there is a curve place the Velcro before the curve on the straight part.
Next cut the opposite Velcro (hook or loop) to it’s partner and remove the film exposing the adhesive backing.
Then carefully stick your shade to the exposed Velcro adhesive. Press firmly. Then unhook your shade and double check the Velcro which should be adhered well one part to the window frame and one part to your sunshade.
You can now place more Velcro squares as needed to the bottom corners and middle edges as needed.
Tip: Cut the Velcro attached to the sun shades larger than the part attached to the window frame, this will allow you to adjust the fit slightly and make it easier to put up your shades.
That’s it your all done!
I take some photos of mine so you can see how I completed each step. Check back soon for the pics.
I used an infrared thermometer to check the difference in window temperatures before and after on a hot sunny day in Florida.
Without my window covers the drivers window was 104 degrees. .
The front windshield readings were about the same 104 without and 81 with the sun shades tucked into place.
In very hot climates like Southern Arizona and Texas my old truck’s AC could not keep up and I was sweating with the AC on full blast in the afternoon until the outside temperatures started to drop before dark. It was about 86 degrees inside my truck with outside temps over 100 degrees.
The floor of my truck cab gets into the 90’s – it’s not insulated either. Guess what my next project will be?
With the sun covers placed it was 82 degrees directly on the back side of the insulation.
I’ll update the after results once I have to do a reset or take my 10 hour break during a hot day. I am confident my 20 year old aluminum bodied International will be able to maintain an inside temperature in the 70’s with the shades put up quickly after parking.
An added bonus – It will be pitch black inside during the day making it easier to sleep in a little or take a mid day nap.