Despite what you might have heard on Game of Thrones, winter isn’t coming – winter is absolutely, well and truly upon us. Being a vanlifer in the UK, after a couple of adventures I have already realised that winter means two things sure to dampen the cosy ambience of a pinterest-worthy, fairylight-adorned van – frost and condensation.
After doing some (very limited) scientific research into how and why exactly the van had just so much condensation of a morning, I found that it was essential to understand how cold-air bridging works (which basically means you need to crack a window or somehow vent your van whilst living in it) and the importance of having a decent insulated screen. Hence this review.
It’s easy to get convinced by the heavyweight competitors such as VanShades or SilverScreens, with full wrap-around, insulated screen covers costing upwards of £176 – I’m 21 years old, recently out of University and flat broke, it’s safe to say I can’t afford one of those.
Boy, am I glad I gave it a go.
It fits perfectly, slotting over the corners of the front doors, underneath the wipers, and tying around the door handles. It provides an almost black-out effect in the front of the cab, and so eliminates the need for internal window covers – although I did have some magnetic ones already that I still use if I want an ultra-blacked-out nights sleep.
It is a rather large piece of apparatus to handle by yourself, but if I can put it across the front of the van in a pitch-black, gale-force windy Edinburgh without shouting out expletives or just surrendering it to the wind, then we can all do it anywhere.
The bad bits:
Not that there’s many, but here are some slight qualms we faced and how we dealt with them…….
- It’s not waterproof, which in aforementioned gale-force windy Edinburgh where it rained all night, turned out to be true BUT come the following morning, we folded the wet side in on itself, popped it back in the lovely drawstring bag with ease and then got it back out when we were back at home to dry it out properly. You can also just hang it over one of the barn doors/tailgate and let it drip dry if you’re lucky enough to wake up to sunshine.
- It did lift slightly in the wind – but we put the wipers up and that seemed to solve it, we also reckon that we can stitch some more ties onto the corners by the mirrors for added grip.
- For £49.50 I think it’s a bit ridiculous to complain about such a fantastic product.
The Good Bits:
- It comes in a compact drawstring bag and really doesn’t take up much storage space at all. We keep ours under our bed so it’s there as soon as we set up bed for the night.
- When it does get wet – it dries out very quickly
- It’s very cheap in comparison to competitors, VERY cheap
- You don’t necessarily need interior blinds for your cab with it, and no need to worry about it getting stolen from the outside as there are big corners that slide over the inside of your doors (just don’t forget to lock your van…)
- It folds really easily, and even if you don’t like folding things up (shame on you), or happen to be in a rush, I imagine you could probably stuff it in the bag rather quickly.
- They have them for all size/age vans on their website! Go take a look!