If you are going to travel in a minivan RV you’ll want something on the windows, for privacy.
Even better if they are stealthy for urban overnights. I prefer a blackout panel to a curtain because they give you more room to move around and you are unlikely to get caught on them. These privacy panels are easy to make, durable, and inexpensive.
These panels are a combination of Reflectix radiant barrier and black felt. I think I spent $30 to do the side and rear panels and they are very lightweight. In addition to felt and Reflectix, you’ll need some adhesive. I used this contact cement with good results:
Although Reflectix (think bubble wrap made from a mylar foil balloon) is not designed to be an insulator in itself, it does provide some insulation as evidenced in this photo.
At an outdoor temperature of 22F and an inside temperature of around 40F, frost formed between the Reflectix and the window. That shows that there is some insulating value to Reflectix, but its real value is as a radiant barrier to keep heat out. For that purpose, these panels do a GREAT job of keeping out the sun (as tested in the bright sun at RTR). If you really want a heavily insulated panel for sub-20F temps, try the DIY insulated panels we made as part of the Phase 1 Odyssey Camper project.
Thanks for reading!
You can find all of my technical and minivan camper conversion DIYs, linked here.