So I have wrestled with reflectix foil covered bubble wrap and gorilla tape and curtains and such, and I have gotten some of the summer heat blocked from frying the inside of the magic bus quite so much as it did a couple of weeks ago.
I wound up completely covering all three windows in the bedroom because it was just getting so fucking hot in there that it was difficult to get it sufficiently cool in there for Sunshine to sleep well at night. Of course, Sunshine can be a little bit ridiculous with his perceived air-conditioning needs at night; one night he had the damned thermostat set so cold that the fucking a/c unit wouldn’t shut down for more than three seconds before it started up again. I can assure you that even if Sunshine slept that night, the incessant stopping and starting going on with the air conditioner kept me awake all night. Now it’s nice and cool in there, and it’s also nice and dark–no more of the neighbors’ lights keeping us awake all night!
The front half of the magic bus hasn’t been quite as simple to fix. For starters, there are a lot more windows up here, and I can’t cover them all because I don’t want it to feel like a dungeon in here. So I started with the window behind the teevee because the teevee pretty much blocks all light from that window anyway. Which is ridiculous, since it’s a four foot wide window. It’s not like we decided “hey, let’s put the most gargantuan teevee ever in a magic bus”. It was more like, “well, we already have this stupidly huge 52″ flat panel teevee and it works perfectly well so why go out and buy a new one?”, so the ridiculously huge teevee sits here looking like a movie screen in our living area. Waste not, want not…right? So that window got the foil bubble wrap treatment first. That was also the window that the satellite cable comes through, so I wanted to plug that air leak.Win-win.
I then covered the small window at the end of the couch. It was already obliterated by one of Sunshine’s mountain-man prints, so it was logical to stop the heat from bleeding through there.
I had hoped that these small steps would make some noticeable difference in the temperature in the room in the afternoon, but it didn’t. I was still suffocating in here in the afternoons.
The way the magic bus is parked leaves the back of the bus getting pounded by the morning sun and the front of the bus getting positively fried by the afternoon and evening sun. There used to be trees nearby that provided some shade, but the landlord cut them all down. In his defense, many of them HAD to be cut down as they were dead or dying. So we bought a large metal carport structure to provide some shade. It did help some, but it didn’t completely solve the problem. The bus is as long as the carport, and the morning and evening sun comes at an angle, leaving parts of the bus exposed to all that heat.
The heat buildup during the early mornings was solved by covering the windows in the bedroom. Now it was time to try and tackle the afternoon heat. I had to tackle the cockpit portion of the bus.
I long ago tore down the curtain that slid across the windshield to keep the sun out. It was so filled with dust and water damage (mold and mildew) from years of disuse that I just pulled it out and got rid of it. We put rigid foam board in the windshield area a couple of years ago, which helped quite a bit. However, we never did anything about the driver and passenger side windows, and these two windows were a big part of the problem in the afternoons. I made Sunshine help me cut the bubble foil to cover those windows and it finally feels a bit cooler in here in the afternoons. When it comes time to move the magic bus to the middle of buttfuck nowhere, we will pull the foam board and bubble foil down for the move; the bubble foil will go back on the side windows when we arrive, and I will cover the windshield more thoroughly with the bubble foil than we were able to with the foam board.
We seem to have stopped some of the greenhouse effect, thank heaven. However, it also seems much darker in here now. Personally, I don’t mind it. It feels cozier, more like a home. And to me, darker always feels cooler.