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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I’ve been reading up a lot about people making their own privacy curtains. This makes a lot of sense, since the Honda curtain is way over priced. Sheniferous for example has a great tutorial on how to make your own curtain out of nylon. But the one thing i cant really get over is that i absolutely hate the look of having a curtain hanging sloppily from the ceiling of a car. Even the professionally made Honda curtain looks horrible. Isn't there some other way to block out the windows?



So I was taking a nap in my brand new element the other day, and I got to thinkin', why not just put some kind of panel in the window? The shapes are fairly simple, and there's a rubber seal going around the inside of every window that would perfectly hold some kind of panel if it was sized right. So I did some searching on this site and couldn't find anything but "curtains curtains curtains!"



Anyway, I had a few hours of free time and high quality cardboard lying around so I decided to go ahead and try it. I made cardboard cutouts that perfectly matched the inside dimensions of every window but the windshield (including the sunroof) and popped them in just to see how it looked. To my surprise, they look great! They fit cleanly and blocked out almost all of the light that came into the car! Better yet, there's no curtain flopping around. I was originally thinking about using the cardboard cutouts to make duplicates with something more durable, like plastic, but actually decided that the cardboard was fine and I would hold off on that.



The panels do need to be painted, the brown of the cardboard clashes terribly with the blue/gray theme I have goin’ on. But overall I like the cheap, simple, easy to use, and better looking panels far more than any curtain I’ve read about. If anyone is interested I could write a pretty easy How-To and post pics.:D
 
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Reflectex bubble pack works well for this type of panel, especially in the rear windows where there is something of a lip in the plastic lining. I also use such a panel in the skylight to cut down on cooling radiation at night. I store my set of panels in the left rear window. They are held in place partly by the seat belt, and partly by other camping gear stored in the back.

paulj
 

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Sounds like a great idea. I agree, Pictures. You could paint the panels or spray with contact adhesive and get some sort of material to laminate to them. Something coordinated with the colors in the Element. Or, how about using each one as a canvas and paint some sort of artistic design or whatever. Do something really personal. Will definately have to think of this option.
 

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paulj said:
Reflectex bubble pack works well for this type of panel ... I also use such a panel in the skylight to cut down on cooling radiation at night.
I realize Reflectex is opaque, but gosh, that gives me an idea: ordinary small-cell bubble wrap should provide privacy because it's translucent, yet by the same token would keep the car from being a dark cave; plus it should insulate reasonably well. You could trim it into window-size sheets, held in place with Velcro at the corners. Hmmmm.
 

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Another vote for pics.

How are they secured to the glass? Velcro on the edges? Suction cups? Good ol' duct tape?
 

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The babel fish tanslation is almost incomprehensible. I was able to make some sense of the Element manual translation, but this must be more idiomatic. I did deduce that he is using the window covers more for warmth than for privacy - like me.

I just cut my Reflectex a bit large, and let the edges crumple up a bit when I put the pieces in place. This approach wouldn't work on the front door windows where the inside rim is smoother.
 

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Sounds interesting but what is Reflectex? I did a GOOGLE search and don't come up with much other than it is an insulation material that includes layers of foil and polyetheline(sp?) and Bubble Wrap. Is this a ridged, board, type material or is it a sheet, fabric, type material. A couple entries there mentioned Home Deopt but their server is down right now. Lowes didn't return anything to my query.

I am not great on judging thicknesses but one post mentioned something of about 5/16ths of an inch? 1/3 of an inch, apprx?

If it is a sheet material that is flexible, Could you cut it the shapes of the windows, fan fold it and attach it to a ridgid piece of of wood that could be attached inside the top of the window. Then weight the opposite end so it will fall flat. You could then attach strings so you could draw it up or let it down like a window shade. Or just stick it in place with a few small Velcro Tabs that you could stick and leave attached to the corners of each window. I would think that would get a little unsightly though. Or, you could attach it to the backside of some Foam Board (they sell it in Gray and Black, in fact) or other cardboard type material, using contact cement. On DIY, I think it was, they mentioned wrapping heating ducts with it and using foil tape to seal the ends. You could use the foil tape on the edges of your foam board for a finished appearance. Then you could just stick that in the window openings. Maybe it would hold there with simple friction. I might have to look at how the frames around the windows are and if that would work.

Or, if it is a more ridgid board type material, just cut it to size and fit it in snugly as mentioned above with simple friction
 

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what about foil over the windows, then the next morning you can cook the bacon on it..... :-D
 

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wmas1960 said:
OK, finally got through to Home Depot. It is ReflectIX not ReflectEX. That is, probably why I didn't get much in GOOGLE. HD did correct my spelling.
Sorry about the spelling. I've used the stuff on and off for 20 years, so haven't paid close attention to the brand name(s) - to me it's 'reflective bubble pack'. I used to be able to buy it by the foot off a roll. Now the best deal, for my purposes, is the narrow roll intended to span the space between rafters.
 

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No problem about the spelling. I got a few posts, just nothing too informative, under the other spelling so it must be a fairly common situation. My only point is that it explains why I couldn't find info on GOOGLE or on Lowes.

GOOGLE tried to correct the spelling to Reflective and Lowes didn't attempt to correct at all. HD seemed to check their database for products of similar spelling and clued me in to the error. That is once the server went back online around 4am.

Definately looks like sime interesting stuff that could be fun to play with.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
wow, lots of good ideas. What i originally used was just your standard box-makin' carboard that i had lyin' around from some used packaging. I would say it's roughly 1/4 inch thick and very rigid.

Sorry about the delay...i put all the panels up in my car again and brought in the digital camera to take some pics but unfortinately it was too dark! My camera has no flash and it was very dark and rainy today so i had practically no light to take photos with. I May have to wait for better weather to post pics, (my camera is not very good). Maybe if i have time i'll find a good light or flashlight i can use, but right now i'm horribly busy. so keep the ideas coming and i promise i'll post some pics whenever i can.

To answer questions, the panels use nothing other than friction to stay in place. The rubber window seal has a roundish edge to it and the cardboard snaps right into it. With the peices cut right to the size of the window (and very roughly cut at that) they hold very tightly and wouldn't budge unless you smashed the window with a hammer! Some of the windows lack this rubber seal, for these i was able to slide a few edges the cardboard into the small gap between the inside plastic and the glass, not as tight as the rubber, but still holds great when configured right.

As for the painting idea, a few friends and i were joking around about painting the panels with fish and coral to make it look like we're in a submarine....maybe i'll pass on that one...but the ideas are limitless.

I dont know about the bubble wrap idea....it would definately provide privacy and let in some light, but i kinda like the idea of being able to sleep till noon without the hot arizona sun shining on my face, purely a matter of prefrence.

I do think that something other than cardboard would be ideal. I'm not too worried about the panels bending and breaking, but my experience in the heavy rain today is that it would be nice to have a material that could get wet.

This ReflectIX material sounds intriguing, i'll have to learn more about it. I'm assuming it's realtively rigid? The beauty of the cardboard is that they just pop in and out because they are pretty rigid but can be flexed slightly. And for me light blockage is a must! Keep the ideas coming and i'll work on getting you guys some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, got an extension cord and some finally some light....here's some horrible but sufficient pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
and heres some more....lol
 

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foam-board panels

I made my window block-out panels out of 1/4 inch foam core board. It's available from most art supply stores, & what's really cool is that it comes in black! When the panels are in, it looks like the windows have limo-tint blackout. The foam-board comes in various sizes, and can be easily cut with a razor blade. I added a small loop of black duct tape to one edge of each panel to make removal easier. The panels are feather light, & I can store them all behind one of the back seats.
 

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Re: foam-board panels

tat2scott said:
I made my window block-out panels out of 1/4 inch foam core board. It's available from most art supply stores, & what's really cool is that it comes in black! When the panels are in, it looks like the windows have limo-tint blackout. The foam-board comes in various sizes, and can be easily cut with a razor blade. I added a small loop of black duct tape to one edge of each panel to make removal easier. The panels are feather light, & I can store them all behind one of the back seats.
Pictures????
 
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