Many of us enjoy spending some time in hot, arid climates, especially if we have air conditioning in our rigs. But there are a few other ways to keep your RV cool in the summer heat while giving you more privacy and safety. One simple option is to add an RV window tint to the glass in your vehicle. Let’s see how a tint can help you camp in the heat.
Is It Legal to Tint Your RV Windows?
Different states have different laws regarding window tinting. But federal law requires that drivers allow at least 70% of visible light through the windshield and driver and passenger side windows. Some states enforce this law on rear windows, as well. If any of the windows mentioned above already have factory tint and you’re considering adding more, you must have the window tested for its existing VLT (visible light) percentage before increasing it.
As for non windshield and side view windows, it’s perfectly legal to tint them as dark as you wish.
Why Would You Want to Tint Your RV Windows?
There may be several reasons to consider tinting the windows of your RV. Let’s take a look at a few.
Because many RVs spend a lot of time in crowded campgrounds, it might be prudent to tint the windows to provide some privacy from prying eyes. Many tints will allow drivers to look out but make it difficult for passers-by to see into the RV.
RV window tint can help a great deal in cutting the amount of heat that builds up inside the vehicle. While insulation technically helps minimize heat transfer, Darkened windows help keep UV rays and heat out.
Pro Tip: Apart from RV window tint, there are many things you can do to improve insulation in your RV windows. Read more to find out How Do You Insulate Your RV Windows?
With tinted windows, your valuables are less visible to those walking by. Solo travelers may enjoy a feeling of safety, as well, because other campers can’t see into their rig and realize that they’re alone. And pets and children aren’t on display for nosey neighbors either.
A tint can lessen the amount of sun glare you experience while on the road. Glare is not only annoying; it can also present a hazard. Reducing glare makes driving safer overall.
What Is the Best Method of Tinting Your RV Windows?
There are a few different options for RV window tint. Each comes with its own benefits and a drawback or two.
Carbon Window Film
Carbon particles in the tinting film will darken your windows if you use this method. The particles aren’t metallic, so they don’t conduct as much heat as a lesser-grade metal tinting film. They also won’t interfere with cell phone service.
Ceramic Window Film
Ceramic window tinting is a step up in cost from carbon, but you can’t darken ceramic by adding more film. This process involves ceramic particles that are not only non-metallic but also add structural integrity to the windows, making them more shatterproof.
Photochromatic film is a premium tinting option for your RV, involving film that can actually change its degree of darkness when exposed to more sunlight. This window tinting offers optimal UV blockage and reduced glare for any vehicle.
The Disadvantages of Tinting Your RV Windows
The biggest drawback to RV window tint is the lack of sharp visibility, especially if the tint is very dark. It can be difficult to see clearly in circumstances where visibility is already poor, like after dark or in inclement weather. Also, if you choose to use metallic tinting, you might experience cell phone service interruption and problems with GPS, radio, and electronic devices.
Pro Tip: Sun can be hot and bright from within your RV. Keep cool with these 5 Best RV Windshield Covers to Protect You and Your RV From the Sun.
Should You DIY or Pay a Professional?
Deciding whether to install an RV window tint yourself or leave it to the professionals is purely a personal decision. Many vehicle owners have applied tinting film themselves after watching demonstrations in YouTube videos. Your decision may come down to price, as do-it-yourself tinting can save you several hundred dollars or even more.
Keep in mind that tinting can be a cumbersome process that can be very frustrating for a DIY project. We have attempted tinting our own windows before, only to end up taking it to a professional due to problems with clarity, bubbling, and adhesion. This was on car windows however which are curved, flat RV windows are the easiest to tint DIY.
How Much Does It Cost to Tint Your RV Windows?
If you’re doing the tinting yourself, a roll of film can cost between $10 to $100. Most DIYers say they can finish the job in four to six hours. Professional installation can run from $25 to $50 per window, depending on the film you select.
Is Installing an RV Window Tint Worth It?
If you want to cut down on summer heat in your RV or make your rig a bit more private, an RV window tint can be a wise investment. It can also make driving a lot safer by reducing glare. Many RVers have found it easy to add the window tint themselves, while others are willing to pay for professional installation.
Cooling down your RV can be as easy as adding RV window tint to the glass in your travel trailer or motorhome. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be a quick way to improve your campsite experience while giving you more privacy.
Do you have any tinted windows? Drop a comment below!
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