Summer sunlight can add to your discomfort in an RV, with heat searing through the windows.
We can’t control nature’s temperatures, but campers can take a few actions to fight the heat and glare that can overwhelm recreational vehicles. One of the best reactions is to add tinting to the vehicle’s windows.
Today we’re looking at the potential to tint your RV windows.
Why Would You Want to Tint Your RV Windows?
There are numerous situations where tinted windows would benefit your comfort in a recreational vehicle. Here are just a few:
Camping in organized campgrounds can be pretty crowded, and privacy can become a luxury. Tinted windows will cut down on the views into your RV while allowing you to see out. Plus, thieves can’t spot valuables inside your RV no matter where you park.
You can somewhat mitigate the scorching summer heat from being stuck in a tin can by adding window tint to your vehicle.
Depending upon the level, it can deflect up to 70% of the infrared heat that bombards your glass, cutting down on air conditioning costs and wear and tear. Tinting also helps during cold winter days, as it keeps heat loss through the windows at a minimum.
Pro Tip: Tinting your RV windows isn’t the only way to keep your RV cool. As the seasons start to change, try out these 15 Ways to Keep Your RV Camper Cool This Summer.
With darker windows comes less glare. The low sun in the sky makes it difficult to see as you drive, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
A tinted windshield will alleviate a good portion of the afternoon sun and keep you safe on the road. The tint may also cut some of the glare inside your vehicle on electronic devices like televisions positioned in direct sunlight.
Is It Legal to Tint RV Windows?
There are no federal laws limiting window tinting in RVs. However, each state has different regulations regarding the tinting of vehicle windows, although none are specific to RVs. However, these laws likely apply to all motorized vehicles, so check with your RV’s registered state to see their limitations.
Most states limit the amount of tinting on windshields, with fewer restrictions on the back or side windows. They do this by measuring the amount of light passing through the tint.
This figure is called the Visible Light Transmission (VLT). A 30% VLT tint allows only 30% of sunlight to come through, so the smaller the VLT number, the darker the tinting film.
How Dark Can You Tint Your RV Windows?
Motor vehicle regulations state that the windshield, driver’s side, and passenger’s side window tinting must allow no less than 70% of visible light to pass through (a VLT of 70%).
All states require this baseline. However, back windows vary, with each state usually allowing different degrees of darker tinting. Check with your state to see the allowances.
Options for RV Window Tinting
When you consider adding window tinting to your RV, you will need to decide what type of tint film will suit your needs and pocketbook. Here are the three main options:
Newer technology has produced a photochromic film, a window tint that darkens in sunlight then gets lighter in darkness. Pigments in the tinting protect the vehicle’s interior by increasing the shade of color when the sun hits it.
Ceramic Window Film
Though an expensive alternative, ceramic window film is an excellent product that actually cuts glare and heat in a window without changing color at all. This tint uses ceramic nano-particles unseen to the naked eye and absorbs light without reducing clarity. Additionally, the ceramic window film doesn’t interfere with cell phone reception or GPS operation because it doesn’t contain any metals, unlike some other options.
Carbon Window Film
Carbon window film has become quite popular. It has a black matte appearance, won’t fade as some films do, and will protect your vehicle from heat and glare. It doesn’t involve any metals, so electronics will function properly.
How Much Does It Cost to Tint RV Windows?
For do-it-yourselfers, tinting film can cost between $10 and $100, depending on the number of windows covered. Additionally, you’ll have to consider the varying levels of quality in window tints, as you usually get what you pay for.
And your time will usually average between four to six hours of labor. Or you can opt to have a professional do the job for several hundred dollars, priced at a rate of $25 to $50 per window.
Should You DIY or Hire Help?
If you are an ambitious DIYer, taking on the job of tinting your RV windows might not seem too daunting. However, it’s a painstaking process, as you’ll want to try to avoid bubbling without distorting the vision through each window. If you don’t have a lot of patience, it might save you some frustration if you take the RV to a professional window tinting service.
Pro Tip: Keep your RV windows in tip top shape by finding out Do RV Window Seals Shrink?
Drawbacks to RV Window Tinting
The main limitation of window tinting is less clear vision through the glass. You may have more difficulty seeing sharp details with darkened tint, especially in low-light situations.
For instance, in backing out of a parking space and watching for traffic, the rear windows may be darker than the windshield. You may not see a vehicle approach or a pedestrian walking behind your RV when looking through these darker windows, especially at night. So be aware.
If your window tint is metallic, you may discover problems with cell phone signals and GPS units. The metallic tint can interrupt radio waves to these and other electronic devices, wreaking havoc with your communications.
To Tint or Not to Tint
Many RVers have found window tinting to help reflect heat and keep them cooler. And the privacy tinting can offer gives them a sense of security and protection. Deciding to add a tint to your windows is a personal choice, but it might be a great addition to fighting heat and glare on your next camping trip.
Does your RV need some tinted windows? Drop a comment below!
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