I’ve been busy working on the LT so I’ll try to post some of what I’ve been doing and researching starting with some little bugaboo RV traveling issues, like how to keep bugs and bees and mosquitoes from getting inside.

It’s nice to have the doors and windows open for the delicious cool afternoon air and the appearance of the evening stars. So, in an effort to enjoy more and not resort to a tightly contained box, I thought of screens. For example there are these nifty Magic Mesh Instant Screen Doors,  but like many Seen On TV products these received poor reviews. This is moot point, as the size offered will not cover the LT’s side doors or the rear door. . .too long and nowhere near wide enough. There are other companies that make similar products with better ratings but the size is an issue; they are made for house doors, not van doors.

I found these interesting things: Skeenz.  it’s unclear from the photo and description if the doorway and hatchway are covered, but I assume they are, and if so, then how do people and dogs move through them? The front window screens can be applied over the windows if I first remove the rain vents. . . a bit labor intensive putting the screens on, taking the vents off and then reversing before driving. Too pricey both in time and money for my needs but looked interesting.

Another take on side window cooling, letting the air in while keeping the LT locked, I discovered BreezeGuard metal screens for car windows, These don’t offer solar protection or bug protection but I like the way they fit. Now if they just made them with a small mesh to keep bugs out in a solar reflective material they’d be perfect.

Custom decals would be fun for the rear window but it doesn’t look as if they offer any solar cooling … too bad.

Back to the side windows I spotted these: Solar Auto Vents  Reviews not promising, really would be nicer to find a Solar Fan that would fit in the van side window.

Another approach, sans screens, to repel bugs, mosquitos, yellowjackets (which I’m sensitive to) check this link!  Listerine in a spray bottle applied to the doorways and such! I will definitely try and report along with my results with stuffing sheets of Bounce into the LT’s crooks and crannies; hey, maybe I can color them and hang them like silkscreen flags around the doorways and windows!

Found a suggestion utilizing brown paper bags inflated with air (like a balloon,) tied off and hung to resemble bee’s nests. The idea being that bees won’t trespass another’s territory. I’ll be trying!

Humm. . . another tidbit touts zinc and coconut oil to keep bugs away. Or coconut soap and skin cream with citrus…  not sure about these, I think someone is vying for soft skin. I tired grapefruit peel rubbings last year, no effect, even the promising non-toxic keep away bug spray did nothing, ‘cebt the bees loved it.

Think I will rig a hanger over the door and drape mosquito netting as a curtain. . . . might help. Maybe there are certain colors of light that do not attract bugs?

These are nice slide blocker screens for outside . . . if I ever acquire an awning to attach it to, I’d try it.  I can toss my ripstop parachute sheet over it at night to block offending park lights and enjoy a bit of shade by day.

This stuff looks super useful: aluminized Mylar shade cloth.  Wonder how fast they ship?

Ah! the Burning Man crowd for nifty ideas!!!  Dig the bike rack and cargo shelf (am still weighing the pros and cons of a bicycle, electric or not, with carriage for the dogs….  Bulky to carry around if I don’t use it much.) Love the amino box for stowing messy hoses… of course the LT has a ladder in that location.

Some Completed Additions: now have a velour fitted dash cover, Love it! A Clover Electronics rear view camera and 7” monitor… love this too. It’s clear and bright and I can see to back up and park! I installed thermorelfective carpet padding under the carpet area where Mason sleeps, it keeps the floor cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I ordered too much so I installed pieces in the closet and under the driver’s seat where Olympia likes to curl up. . .then I cut the padding to create half-way-up from the bottom of the window, solar blockers for the rear side windows. I can easily slide them out and stow them in the overhead cabinets. They block heat, nighttime lights and obtrusive views from neighbors while allowing me to see the sky and the stars. I bought a Silver Weatherbuster  from Advantage Truck Accessories pre-cut to fit the windshield, of course it doesn’t fit but it’s close so I’ll make it work.

Stuff Still In Progress: Ordered two reflective collars for the dogs from Gun Dog Supplies. . .very inexpensive and they come with name tags. These are heavy duty so will save them for night walks. Lusted for two of these attractive glowing collars, but I balked at the price and having to change the batteries. The comfort halter I carefully measured for Mason arrived today . . . doesn’t fit.

Thought I’d finally found shoes for Mason. His little feet are a challenge. A few days later received a message, the perfect shoes were sold out…..bummer so I ordered some cute sandals from another company — they didn’t fit. If I return them I incur a 15% stocking fee plus the cost of sending them back. I’m not happy….. I can exchange them without the 15% and may do so, but the better shoes, Neo Paws, are sized differently and Mason is in-between two sizes on his front feet. . . and they cost three times as much. Okay, did someone say carrying Mason over rough patches and hot pavement is a good way to build nice strong arms?

Olympia’s gear includes a Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Vest which I found on-sale from Altrec. RuffWear will be coming out next year with an updated model. The vest will keep her cool and give me piece of mind as she rolls in weeds and prickles… hope the vest can endure the treatment she’ll be giving it. ….  sure enough the first one I received was too small….  had to send it back at my expense and reorder the one that fits (sigh. . and that was after talking to the nice guy at RuffWear.)  Would have loved Ruff Wear’s vibram hiking dog shoes but was told they can’t make them small, so they won’t fit either of my dogs. BTW, an important note here: shoes should be only on your dog as needed, then taken off; a dog regulates temperature through their pads, a good fit is necessary for ease of getting them on and for their ability to stay on. Take a look at the bottoms too, many are slippery or simply not intended for outdoor use.

I have more. . but as per usual using WordPress from my home COX connection is slow, difficult and tedious. . . so more news on the way. . .later

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