Spring and Awnings!

Awnings-2

The last few weeks have seen a flurry of activity on Spartan Manor. Well, principally the end of flurries and the beginning of Spring, and all that the thaw entails. There was mud, and rain, and warmer temperatures. And spring peepers! So loud. With the new season comes new lessons.

The first of which is just how efficient the Spartan is at absorbing heat. With the curtains drawn, and everything buttoned up tight as it was for the winter months, the inside temperature reached over 100 degrees. It was only 50 degrees outside at the time! I began to worry for the summer months. I mean, I love Bridge Over the River Kwai, but I have no desire to spend the hot season in a metal box like that.

The next day I opened the vents, pulled the storm panes from the front parallelogram windows and opened them a bit, then pulled the curtains shut so the sun couldn’t get in. That helped. I might have to create a little button-up curtain for the small skylight…a little sunlight yields a lot of heat. I have a new respect for the greenhouse effect, and renewed fears about global warming.

(I think the ultimate explanation here is thermal mass. The trailer doesn’t have much, thus it tracks pretty closely to the outside temperature. It cools quickly at night, which is good in summer.)

Just in time, I received three boxes from Marti Domyancic, who runs a little shop called Marti’s Trailer Awnings in California. My custom rope and pole awnings arrived! I was counting on these to seriously limit the amount of sunlight hitting the trailer. (The solar panels will improve on this still, once they are installed on the roof.)

Marti did a wonderful job. And a special shout out to my dad, who paid for them! One is 16 feet long, the other 12. Marti did a custom stripe job for out of two different Sunbrella fabrics. She won’t ever do that again…apparently it was an enormous amount of extra work. Kudos and thanks to Marti for sticking with it, however.

They went up with relative ease. I learned a good method for splitting nylon rope, and taught myself a few new knots in the process, using some easy-to-follow animations. Maybe as an adult I wouldn’t fail out of Cub Scouts! Once my water bowlines and midshipman’s knots were tied, putting the awnings up was pretty straightforward. The hardest part is getting the rubber keder rope into the c-channel awning rail on the trailer roof.

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