Gear Test: Solarscreen

By: Tim van Duyl, Photography by: Jack Murphy

Keeping cool isn’t just about pumping the AC, clever heat management can help too.

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We knew what was in front of us in Far North Queensland — long hot days and the need for cold beers. Even in Dan’s brand new Ranger the AC struggled to keep things cool. We couldn’t bear the idea of the fridge failing and the middies getting warm, so we went on the hunt for insulation.

Solarscreen duly came to the party. Ripping into the boxes that arrived a few weeks after our order, we realised quickly these were no cheap window sunshades won at a local pub raffle. There's a real feel of quality in the thickness of them, not to mention double stitching around the edges, which also impressed.

Quick sticks they were suckered onto the LandCruiser 200, Celso's Prado and Dan’s blue rocket and, across all three Race to the Cape tow tugs, they went on like a dainty hand into a kid glove.

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We didn't carry a thermometre (who does?) but doing the old leave-it-shut-a-while-and-open-it-quick science experiment, we found the inside of Dan’s ute tray cooler for sure — probably a few degrees, which is what Solarscreen said we should see, at a minimum.

Talking to the Queensland-based team we got some insight into what makes them work. It turns out they have triple aluminium layers with two of polyethylene and one of Dacron insulation between them. The net effect is effective sound deadening, as well as condensation and heat control.

The crew has patterns for almost every ute, fourbie and canopy on the market and can turn them 'round to order quickly.

If you’re hitting the road over the hot months, these are a cool option.


Where: Online

More info:

Check out the full review in issue #121 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.