I waited a bit to write this review to make sure there weren’t any unforeseen issues with the Magne Shade. After nearly five months, it’s proved itself positive-review-worthy!
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The Magne Shade is a window-mounted sun shade. It is most commonly used on large, class-A motorhome windshields, but is also available for windshields and side windows on all types of RV’s.
What does it do?
The Magne Shade has two main functions:
1. It keeps sun and heat out of the RV. Since it goes on the exterior of the window, some claim that it’s more effective at limiting heat versus an interior mounted shade. I agree that this makes logical sense, but I can’t confirm that to be true. It definitely does a great job of reducing the sun’s heat versus plain glass though!
2. It offers daytime privacy from those curious neighbors as they go past. Similar to most “day shades”, which are a very fine mesh, it is nearly impossible to see through them when looking from the brighter to darker side. So assuming that it’s brighter outside your RV than inside during the day, people can’t see in. At night, this is reversed and it makes it more difficult to see out when interior lights are on, but it is possible to see into the RV – hence the need for solid “night shades” to accompany a “day shade”. Looking into the RV at night through a Magne Shade is similar to looking through tinted glass.
How does it attach?
The unique aspect of the Magne Shade versus other windshield shades is that it attaches only using magnets. These aren’t your typical refrigerator magnets. Hunkler Fabrications (the producer of Magne Shade) describes the system as using “small but very powerful Rare Earth magnets that are mounted on the inside of the windshield with a hi temperature 3M peel and stick tape.”
How does it install?
EASILY and WITHOUT A LADDER! After the initial installation, the Magne Shade goes up in about 20 seconds – literally. Using the telescoping rod that comes with it, you put one upper corner in place and then the other top corner. The magnets really do all the work once you get them in the vicinity. Once all the magnets are attracted to their mate, it’s just a matter of pulling the corners taught. Any wrinkles left over from storing it will iron out with a good heating-up from the sun. Taking it down is even quicker and doesn’t require the installation rod. You simply grab it by a bottom corner and gently pull it down until all the magnets have dislodged from their partner. It will probably take longer to fold it up than it did to take it off the windshield.
The initial install is a bit more labor and time-intensive. If you’re near Mocksville, NC, then you can save the $39 in shipping by picking it up and then hand it right back over, plus $36, for the $75 install fee. If you’re thrifty or not in the area, it can be installed pretty easily with two people, a solid picnic table (to use as a scaffold), a little patience and the eleven minutes to watch the install video. Basically, after dry-fitting the shade (meaning to install without adhering the interior magnets to the windshield) to your satisfaction and allowing it to “relax” out the wrinkles, you simply hold the shade in place, expose the adhesive on the interior magnet, and allow the held exterior magnet to pull it to its proper place. After doing this with all ten magnets, you leave the shade installed for at least 24 hours to allow the adhesive to cure – the magnets do all the work of keeping it pulled tight to the glass during that process.
Does it get dirty?
Surprisingly, no! It will attract some dust, just like the rest of the RV’s exterior, which can easily be brushed off, but it’s never been noticeable from the inside. The thought of a dirty piece of fabric, as large as a queen size bed, that needs to be stored during travel was not attractive to me, but I can say without hesitation that it has been a non-factor.
Can it be blown off?
Can it? I’m sure the answer is “yes”, but we try to not park in the path of any tornadoes. In real-world use, we’ve never seen it budge. These magnets are very strong and I do not worry about it coming loose at all.
So what are the negatives?
One word: Price. We tried several alternatives before shelling out the dough for a Magne Shade. In hindsight, I obviously wish I would have bought it sooner and saved my money on those other products, but you live and learn. I’ve found a universal truth in RV’ing (and life): if it’s not easy to use, it won’t get used very often. This product is very easy to use – and functional – so to me it’s worth the price. At the time of this writing, the standard windshield Magne Shade is $549, plus $39 shipping. The production time when I purchased was 3-4 weeks, but it could be rushed to two weeks, or less, for an additional $50. They also produce shades with custom printed fabric. It’s the same material, but with an image printed on it. For this, it is an additional $395 – not cheap. I should add that with your purchase, you also receive your choice of windshield wiper covers or mirror covers made of the same shade material – now that’s a deal!
Ryan, what’s your experience been?
After I paid the bill, great! I do think the price is very high, but the product does deliver and I’m very happy with my purchase. When I ordered, I gave them my RV info and they sent me measurements to confirm on my own windshield. Since we have our website info printed on the top ~10″ of the glass, we asked for a custom size to keep that exposed and that was no problem for them. Apparently each and every one of these is made to order. Luckily the area where our website logo is printed is the portion of the glass that is extremely dark, so it doesn’t impact the performance of the shade.
I think this is one of those products that you hear very, very few negatives about. The limiting factor is the cost. Once you get past that, I think everyone loves their Magne Shade.
Did I leave anything out? Did you have a different experience? Have a question? Please, contact us or leave a comment below!
See you on the road!
Ryan, Kim and Jet