Thursday, December 26, 2013

Shake Rattle & Roll and Heat Control

Some odds and ends tonight…
(Warning…  more reading & less pictures today)

First - My truck developed the dreaded
Ford Death Wobble  (Google it)
It happened a couple of times before we left home, then
a few more out here…

Its a violent and unexpected shaking of the front end that is caused by
a myriad of possible culprits.
When I say it is violent it is not an exaggeration.
It is scary...  It feels like the truck is ripping itself apart.

So today I took it to Ford and picked up a rental car.
I figure if they can't fix the problem we can use the rental to
tow the Monty.
Here is a picture of the rental hitched up to the monty.

Yikes…  my trucks fuel tank weighs more than this car!

The long and short of it is that the after analyzing my truck, the local 
Ford dealer here in Tucson said it is my front tires.   
They have plenty of tread but have a strange wear pattern  
(most 4x4's have odd wear patterns IMO but anyway...
tomorrow I'm headed off to a tire dealer to have way to many $$'s worth
of 6 tires installed.

After that hopefully my truck will stop trying to shake itself apart.

Meanwhile I started another RV home improvement project.

All of this gorgeous Arizona sunshine pouring into the windows is sometimes
a blessing and sometimes a curse.

The windows in the Monty have something like a -10 R value.
I think that they actually multiply the cold or the heat by a factor of 10.

Sitting near the back window (where my office is located) on a sunny afternoon
and the heat starts to bake me.  I can actually smell my skin cooking..
(smells like chicken)
Even with the curtains closed - you can feel the heat radiating.

So I started to research solar screens for RV's and almost choked at the price.
Companies are selling them for $400-$600 for a large window.
Some folks have spent over $2k for a full set of solar shades
for their RV.
Way out of this boys price range.

Then the light bulb went off…
A trip to Home Depot for some supplies..

A little bit of snipping and installing grommets…

and Voila…
The Prototype Monty Shade.
Here is a shot when it was still being fit and installed

Its amazing but these solar shades (big out here in Az)
do an unbelievable job of cutting down the radiant heat that travels thru the
window.  It cuts down only slightly on the visible light and you can see 
the world outside just fine - but the cooling effect is amazing.

I shot my infrared temp gun at the window without the shade and it
registered 95 - 105 degrees.   The window was hot to the touch.

After I put the shade on and let it sit for a while the window was 
a cool 70 degrees and cool to the touch.
Pretty sweet!

So… now I'm in the process of putting them on all the windows 
and replacing the existing window/door screens with solar screens.

So…. the money I save by doing my own solar screens
gets blown on new skins for the truck.

And the world remains in balance.


  1. OMG, that has to be a FORD recall issue/topic! I watched a video and it is crazy scary. That could totally though you off the road or blow a tire. What if it does it after new tires? Back to the dealer for a refund? OUCH $$$ big expense and not fun. Good think you can make up the money selling sun shades now.

  2. Smells like chicken?
    Yes window screens are expensive. Glad you have something that works.
    Safe travels

  3. The world remains in balance? Just be certain your check book remains in balance, too! Great solution for the sun shades!!

  4. Do you install the material in place of the existing screen?

  5. Not yet but plan to.

    Unfortunately the rv windows are about 75% fixed glass and 25% opening with screen.

    Right now I just made external/removable screen covers for the big windows. When I finish them I'm going to pull the screens and replace the existing screen with the solar screens.


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