Three window covers for the Jeep JK. One for privacy and heat, a louver for airflow and mosquito socks to keep the insects out
We have a windshield cover. It is a made out of a fabric with aluminum lamination that attaches to the outside of the Jeep. It keeps the heat out in the summer and it prevents ice buildup on the windshield in winter. It has no insulation layer and folds into a small square pouch of less than half an inch thick. We keep it under the driver seat. We can not improve on the design. This brings us to all the other windows. No window covers will protect you from the cold. When you are out there in winter, you need a sleeping bag that is rated for the outside temperature. Do not depend on any heating source other than what works without power or fuel.
Beside the window covers for privacy and condensation, we have mosquito socks to keep the insects out. And lastly we have a louver that fits into the rear window.
Interior windows driver and passenger side
With the Sleeping Platform installed, we have to cover the windows. The three reason to cover them are:
In the cold season, the covers prevent condensation build up.
In the warm/hot season it reduces the bright sunlight in the early morning hours.
It provides some privacy.
The insulation factor is not an issue, the Jeep is not designed to keep the cold out. We'll make adjustments when needed. The first one will likely be a hot weather with lots of mosquitoes and 'get the sticky air circulating' problem. We have some ideas, stay tuned for updates.
We looked at reflective heat mat, the ones that you wrap around the hot water tank. Some car sunshade are made of a similar material. They are flimsy and would need some sort of fastener. And they are expensive as well.
We used the Floor Mats from Dollarama, our local Dollar Store, in the past. One mat is $3, super lightweight and robust enough to keep the flat shape. They are also soft enough and will not scratch the plastic and rubber door frame parts.
The installation is simple. Open the window and hold the mat into the void. Mark one frame with an oil pencil.
Make the first cut and hold the mat into the frame again. Mark the second cut and so on. Once you have a perfect fit, just duplicate the other side by placing the finished piece on the mat. Easy, right?
Interior windows cargo area
We still had three of the thicker floor mats from another project. The hardtop windows don't have a nice frame like the front windows.
When we tried these larger mats, they actually fit snug into the hardtop. We still need to cut one mat and extend the mat by a few inches. We have to find a glue that will bond this material.
Interior rear window
The only window left is the rear window. It is actually the most important cover of them all. The heating coils are fragile and the sleeping bag rubs against them. We will likely use another two mats from Dollarama and glue them on the long side. This should cover the full rear window.
We have to find a very simple way to attach them to the rear. Still working on that.
We didn't know if the mats can withstand the heat inside the Jeep during summer. It was time to do a test.
The outside temperature was around the freezing point. A bucket and the heat gun, we were ready to 'cook' the samples.
The heat inside the 'oven' went up to about 60 degrees. From previous projects where we had to bend one of these mats, we had to apply direct heat from the heat gun so the mat would hold the form. Only a second too much heat, and the mat melts. But this was way in excess of the 60 degrees we had in the box.
Short answer to the 'heat resistence' question: "no problemo"
We needed the Window Mosquito Sock fast and no trusted source to get them. Time to get the leftover mosquito netting from the tent awning and sew them to the exact size. The fabric is double and is not as see-through as we hoped. A better option would be a dark fabric with larger loops, but this is what we had.
We didn't use any elastics or tie downs. Once the door is closed, the sock stays in place. We use them when we are stationary and prefer the easy handling. It's a matter of seconds to slide them over or take them off.
We got the idea from CheaperJeeperTV in one of the Sleeping Platform videos. Our preferred material for anything that is exposed to the weather and is attached to the Jeep is HDPE. This is a plastic panel available in different thickness. We always keep the 1/8 inch panel available and used it for several other projects. HDPE, or puckboard, is food grade plastic and can be cut with a sharp knife. But it is indestructable and resists moderate bending, impact and tearing. However, it will shrink in cold weather and may warp in hot weather when attached to a rigid structure. Even this small piece will ever so slightly warp. Best of all, the 4 by 8 foot panel is about the same price as a wood panel.
Once we cut the frame to the grille, the width of the frame took some precision work. We place the frame into the open Jeep door frame all the way forward. Then we marked the other side of the door frame on the HDPE frame. Cut to width, mount the grille and it slides in. Then roll up the window and it stays in place.
On the bottom of the louver is an h-channel plastic molding the fits the 1/8 inch frame exactly.
When the window is up, the h-channel molding seals the louver and the window. Rain will not leak between the louver and window. The image to the right is from the inside out.
The mosquito screen is 'sandwiched' between the louver and the frame with a weather stripping tape. This supplies enough pressure to hold the screen in place. We had some wire mosquito screen left and the stiffness helps to keep it in place.