My wife and I spend our RV summers backed onto a beautiful Vancouver BC salt water estuary. We enjoy peaceful scenery and abundant wildlife viewing through the large rear picture window of our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer. Unfortunately, the window faces southwest. During the late afternoon/early evening, the sun pours into our rig, and we roast.
Even the AC on full has a hard time keeping up with the heat. To help keep us comfortable and lessen the load on the air conditioner I insert a sheet of Reflectix bubble foil insulation. The reflective foil does a decent job. However, the beautiful views are gone for the rest of the day.
So you can see I was quite interested when a company called EZ Snap emailed me offering a sample of their RV window shade product for review. EZ Snap is an exterior shade that attaches to the outside of the RV. It claims to block out the suns heat but not the view. The shade material is attached to the RV exterior with no special tools, drilling, or screws. I was eager to give it a try.
Installing an EZ Snap RV Window Shade
Prepare the Exterior Surface
The EZ Snap studs use 3M VHB (Very High Bond) adhesive pads attached to the window frame or RV side wall. For them to adhere properly the surface needs to be totally clean and flat. You want as much of the adhesive pads surface contacting the mounting surface. ie. don’t mount on an uneven or curved surface
I decided to stick the studs to the white fiberglass rear wall rather than the black metal window frame. This gave me a flat surface and some extra shade coverage beyond the window frame. I ordered white adhesive studs to match the rigs fiberglass (they come in several optional colors).
I prepped the surface by washing the rear of the RV with soap and water then wiping around the window with Simple Green cleaner. I figured this would remove any dirt and old wax build up on the fiberglass. Then as instructed by the EZ Snap installation manual I completed the surface prep using isopropyl alcohol. They recommend a 50/50 mix with water so the isopropyl alcohol is allowed to work a little longer before evaporation takes place.
Stick on the EZ Snap Adhesive Studs
Once the surface prep was done and completely dry, I pressed the EZ studs in place. The manual calls for at least 15 pounds of force. They say to install the studs between 5 – 10 inches apart. I went with closer to 5 inches apart since we often RV in windy areas, especially the desert and along the coast. On the window corners, I mounted the studs closer together in an L pattern for extra strength at this key location.
The setup time for the adhesive studs is 50% bonded after 20 mins, 75% after 60 mins, 90% after 24 hours, three days for a 100% bond. I elected to wait the manuals recommended 24 hours before mounting the shade. Also, it suggested applying the studs during temperatures of 70F or warmer.
Cut the Thermo-Weave Shading Mesh
The window shade mesh material is easily cut with a sharp pair of scissors. The kit came with a white pencil to aid in marking out my cuts. The EZ Snap RV window shade is encapsulated thermo-weave which does not fray. So, special edge preparation isn’t required. The corners can be left square or cut rounded whichever you prefer.
Install the Shading Mesh using EZ Snap Fasteners
I positioned the window shade by pushing the stud points through the mesh material. The EZ Sap shade arrives rolled up. You want to apply it to the window with the curve facing inwards. This way the edges will naturally want to fold towards the RV rather than away.
The material is non-elastic, so it’s important not to try and stretch it between studs. The resulting tension could cause them to fail. The mounting process was fairly straight forward starting with the top studs and working my way down. Once it was all in place, I made a bit of adjustment here and there to remove any wrinkles.
After I had the shade in place the final step was to push on each fastener cap. They are plastic and click into place on the stud trapping the shade between them. Once the mesh shade is installed, it can easily be removed anytime by using a little pry tool included with the EZ Snap kit.
EZ Snap RV Shade Install Video
The installation of the EZ Snap exterior shades was extremely straightforward and doable by almost any DIYer. I’ve decided to hold off my full review of the shades until I can use them for a few weeks. It’s still August, and some hot weather is on the horizon. Stay tuned.
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