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Tinted the windows

March 17th, 2017 at 01:49 pm

Ok, so the first real step in my build phase is actually tinting the windows. I wanted to take it to the tinting guy without anything ripped out just yet, so I don't have to answer any awkward questions. So this became my step #1.

This is a really expensive decision to make, but at the end of the day, if I can't keep cool and maintain privacy, then this project is doomed to fail. Plain and simple.

Let me reiterate again that the summer heat is my #1 enemy. No matter how cold it gets here (in North Carolina), I can find a solution to fix that and stay warm. There is next to nothing I can do about the summer heat though, and stripping and having a fan on my face will only work for so long.

Heat is also the #1 reason why I chose a Prius to convert, because the Prius engine is so efficient that it is said to only need to idle maybe 5 to 10 minutes each hour to keep the vehicle's fans and AC running. Serendipitously, I just happen to be driving a Prius.

Window tinting, especially the one I selected, is suppose to passively but substantially reduce the amount of heat that comes in and gets trapped in the car. It also helps to improve privacy, which is another fairly important factor to consider.

A smaller benefit, but one that should not be ignored, is that it also provides superb UV protection, which can become a big deal if I am planning to spend a lot of time in this car.

Check out the result from the outside:



And here's the inside:



It's fairly subtle, but you can see it is indeed darker from the outside looking in, and yet, is almost undetectable from the inside looking out.

The final tidbit I'd like to say is that the tint can only be so dark to be street legal. This is the darkest that I am legally allowed to have.

Ok, on to the next step....

10 Responses to “Tinted the windows”

  1. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    very nice tinting you did it yourself? Is it safe to sleep in the car a single woman alone?

  2. Tabs Says:

    No, I didn't tint this myself. I've tinted regular windows once (in my bedroom), and I quickly learned that this is a messy process that is also easy to screw up and be hard to fix later on. No, I decided it was best to just go straight to a professional and have them do it right the first time. That's why it was so expensive.

    As for safety, it is definitely a consideration, and perhaps that's also why it is vital to be able to maintain privacy, as privacy also often times means safety. For what it's worth, I'm not a single woman, but there are single women who have vandwelled for years, and some can even be found on YouTube addressing this very issue. I guess the common takeaway from it is to stay alert, trust your gut instincts if something looks sketchy, and always have cellphone and peppery spray ready with you.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    I would agree with you that the tinting was important from a safety (and heat) perspective, even for a male. There are plenty of whackos out there willing to take advantage/steal/whatever if they think there's something in it for them. Pepper spray a good idea as well. I have been thinking of getting some for my frequent walks in fairly deserted places in town as I don't even carry a cell phone.

  4. Tabs Says:

    I always carry pepper spray. And yes, I am a guy, but it doesn't matter. I also have very specific opinions about what type of pepper spray and how to carry them. Mine is intuitive, and can be accessed and used within seconds.

    Pepper spray is also great because you can take it to places where guns and knives can't go. And if you do have to do it, most law enforcement are pretty forgiving and understanding about its usage (provided of course that it is indeed justifiable self defense).

    Anyways, now that I am traveling, I am having to consider weight, maintenance, and even firearm restrictions in a broader scale. Firearms is still available as an option, I am now relying more and more towards a pepper spray as my primary.

    (While I'm here, something else to consider is the use of firearms in enclosed space, and this especially includes vehicles. A famed YouTube firearms advocate that I follow has ruptured his ear drums, and eventually lost partial hearing in one ear due to a shooting incident inside his vehicle. So this is yet another of many other reasons why I should reconsider firearm carry....)

  5. Tabs Says:

    Oh but a modern smartphone is an absolute must these days. My (Android) smartphone has an app that, when I tap it, it immediately opens up and readies my video camera for recording, allows you to dial 911 and speak to the dispatcher, and if necessary, turn on my flash light an impromptu LED flashlight. All in a very easy, very simple 3 button interface. It's amazing really. This developer really thought it through.

    And if you think about it, makes perfect sense. I carry and use the flashlight feature all the time even for non-emergency use. In the even of an emergency, you definitely want fast access to dial out 911 and you want to stay on the line as long as possible until they tell you to hang up. Finally, you want to capture some kind of video proof so that, in the aftermath, it doesn't end up just your words against theirs. All this is potentially life-saving.

    Pepper sprays are optional, but if you are serious about your self-defense, a relatively affordable but reasonably capable smartphone these days are a must-have.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Which pepper spray would you recommend?

  7. Tabs Says:

    This is the one I carry and recommend.
    It's cheap for what it is, lightweight but substantial, and even includes a carrying pouch.

    However, I do carry mine on my belt, and it is covered up by a shirt. (I also bought an aftermarket duty pouch to speed up my draw.) So, depending on how you dress, this may or may not be ideal for you... so please don't take this as gospel.

    What is truly important though is the canister design. I am a huge advocate of thumb-button canisters. They do not require fine motor skills, are intuitive to point (people have sprayed themselves before), are harder for someone to disarm you while you're holding it, and they can be quick.

    I do not trust any other canister types... except ones that have handles and look like fire extinguishers. They also work, but are usually too heavy and bulky to carry everywhere. Worn correctly, thumb-button canisters will "disappear" on you and you won't even know it's there most of the time.

    The only other caveat about my link is that it is a gel spray. Some people hate it, some people love it; Me, I think everything has its pros and cons. I typically stick with streams, but I also think gels are better suited for people who do NOT intend to stick around and fight. I would if necessary, so I prefer streams. However, for everyone else, I think gels might be better. Streams or gels, it's up to you. No sprays though.

  8. Tabs Says:

    Elaboration on "spray" at the end: No cone mist sprays. They can easily be diverted by the wind, and even come back at your face.

  9. PatientSaver Says:

    Thanks, Tabs. I had been thinking of getting some for the past month or so because of the places I like to remote. My walks are very peaceful and relaxing becus they're in rather isolated areas, but altho it appears unlikely, it's these very areas that could attract undesirable types.

    I like the idea of just walking with one in hand, becus my biggest fear was that if someone surprised me from behind they could possibly turn the pepper spray on me

  10. Tabs Says:

    Well, this is one of the main reasons why I wear my shirt over my belt. That way, nobody can see what I am carrying, including the pepper spray. That way, they are less likely to turn it against you if they don't know you even have it on you....

    But once again, my setup might not work for you, and hopefully, you will figure out a method that works best for you.

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