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Leaving electronics in car on hot days?

Leaving electronics in car on hot days?

Old Sep 27, 17, 4:51 pm
  #1  
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Leaving electronics in car on hot days?

Firstly - I'm going to be avoiding it as much as possible, but I am almost certain that on my upcoming trip, I will have at least a few days that I will need to leave things in my car for the day because I won't have anywhere else to store them.

- Outside temps as high as 30c/85f
- I'll park in shaded/covered areas if i know, but that won't always be an option
- Also due to security, I'd expect to be keeping these items in the trunk

Items that might be stored would include:
- Laptop
- DSLR Camera/lenses
- DJI drone + batteries

I imagine I should aim to open the windows a touch to let some of the hotter air out, but not enough that it would be easy to break in?

Would having those "dashboard shades" provide meaningful benefit being in the sun for SO long? Are there options for side windows?

Would putting it in a cooler bag or icebox or similar help? Would it create any kind of condensation/damage to electronics as the temperature does change?

Anything else I can do? On the flip side, temperatures could get colder but I do not think it will be dropping below 0c/freezing...
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Old Sep 27, 17, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
Firstly - I'm going to be avoiding it as much as possible, but I am almost certain that on my upcoming trip, I will have at least a few days that I will need to leave things in my car for the day because I won't have anywhere else to store them.

- Outside temps as high as 30c/85f
- I'll park in shaded/covered areas if i know, but that won't always be an option
- Also due to security, I'd expect to be keeping these items in the trunk

Items that might be stored would include:
- Laptop
- DSLR Camera/lenses
- DJI drone + batteries

I imagine I should aim to open the windows a touch to let some of the hotter air out, but not enough that it would be easy to break in?

Would having those "dashboard shades" provide meaningful benefit being in the sun for SO long? Are there options for side windows?

Would putting it in a cooler bag or icebox or similar help? Would it create any kind of condensation/damage to electronics as the temperature does change?

Anything else I can do? On the flip side, temperatures could get colder but I do not think it will be dropping below 0c/freezing...
I wouldn't worry about leaving those items in your truck for day in 85 degree weather.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 12:23 am
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Each device would have in its specifications the operating and storage temperature, this is where you have to look to see how sensitive your devices are.
Keep in mind, with 30c outside, if your car is parked in the sun, the temperature inside the trunk can easily reach 45-50c.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Each device would have in its specifications the operating and storage temperature, this is where you have to look to see how sensitive your devices are.
Keep in mind, with 30c outside, if your car is parked in the sun, the temperature inside the trunk can easily reach 45-50c.
Right I know the inside can get hotter... so what can I do to better handle the situation? As I said, there will be at least some days (maybe they'll be overcast! ) where I simply have to leave things in my car for most of the day, without cover of shade.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 9:31 am
  #5  
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The dashboard shades to help keep the car temperature a bit cooler than otherwise.

We have left a diabetes insulin pump (which can't get wet) in a cooler bag. But I'm not sure a DSLR camera would need that.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 12:06 pm
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
Right I know the inside can get hotter... so what can I do to better handle the situation? As I said, there will be at least some days (maybe they'll be overcast! ) where I simply have to leave things in my car for most of the day, without cover of shade.
Suppose you buy electronics in Phoenix, AZ. They got there in an unrefrigerated box truck where they could easily have been exposed to temperatures north of 140 F. You really have little to worry about.

If you want something to worry about, how about this? Bringing electronics inside from an extremely cold environment can cause problems because of condensation. The solution is to let them sit to dry out for a while before turning them on.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
Suppose you buy electronics in Phoenix, AZ. They got there in an unrefrigerated box truck where they could easily have been exposed to temperatures north of 140 F. You really have little to worry about.
Batteries generally don't like very low/high temperatures. DSLR generally don't like heat as it can (temporarily) decrease photo quality. The greatest danger will however be theft.

If you want to go the extra mile, cover the items in a thick blanket/coat/sweatshirt which offers some insulation. The glow box would be ideal too.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 3:18 pm
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How about, if it's your own car, putting them in a small plastic cooler, and if you're flying and using a rental car (don't want to travel with a cooler), pick up a cheap styrofoam cooler and drop it off somewhere for recycling, or give it to someone, when you return the car?
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Old Sep 28, 17, 4:23 pm
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A cooler will make it take longer for the electronics to reach the ambient temperature. Since it won't hurt them to get hot, you can achieve the same result by skipping the cooler.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
The greatest danger will however be theft.
I value my data (usually above the gear price) so would take the laptop and any hard drive/memory cards with me rather than leaving it in the car.

ETA: I see you've covered this line of thought http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ocean...elongings.html

YMMV depending on the price of your gear and how much data/passwords/backpacks (offline vs online) you keep. The only additional advice I'd give is to do frequent backups and keep at least 1 (offline) copy separate from the sd/laptop. If your gear is in the trunk, leave the backups in your room or take it with you. Sometimes the offline backup will have slightly different data than an online one or your backup habits lapse a bit. A local backup is usually quicker to restore from than an online one if your laptop is stolen or breaks.
https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/ba...gy-for-travel/
https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/t...security-tips/

If you rock really nice camera gear and drone, consider photo and video insurance https://toomanyadapters.com/best-tra...e-electronics/ or increasing coverage for high value items.

Last edited by freecia; Sep 28, 17 at 8:27 pm
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Old Sep 28, 17, 9:24 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
Firstly - I'm going to be avoiding it as much as possible, but I am almost certain that on my upcoming trip, I will have at least a few days that I will need to leave things in my car for the day because I won't have anywhere else to store them.

- Outside temps as high as 30C/85F
- I'll park in shaded/covered areas if I know, but that won't always be an option
- Also due to security, I'd expect to be keeping these items in the trunk

Items that might be stored would include:
- Laptop
- DSLR Camera/lenses
- DJI drone + batteries

I imagine I should aim to open the windows a touch to let some of the hotter air out, but not enough that it would be easy to break in?.
If this is for NZ its only going to be that hot a few times, if at all.
Make sure the rental has a trunk. Some rental hatch backs do not have the luggage area cover. I have rejected rental cars for this reason, and gone back to desk to request another. Rental cars are a target for thieves in all countries. If you have some thing valuable leave it at home.

Windscreen dashboard shades do work. I have 1 in all my cars, but do not use then much. Buy at any auto spares place and some department/big box type stores:- Warehouse - Target

An insulated cooler bag or icebox (esky or chilly bin in this part of the world) slows down heat transmission. So gets hotter slower and get cooler slower. Condensation is not a problem in a NZ summer.
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Old Sep 28, 17, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
If this is for NZ its only going to be that hot a few times, if at all.
Make sure the rental has a trunk. Some rental hatch backs do not have the luggage area cover. I have rejected rental cars for this reason, and gone back to desk to request another. Rental cars are a target for thieves in all countries. If you have some thing valuable leave it at home.

Windscreen dashboard shades do work. I have 1 in all my cars, but do not use then much. Buy at any auto spares place and some department/big box type stores:- Warehouse - Target

An insulated cooler bag or icebox (esky or chilly bin in this part of the world) slows down heat transmission. Condensation is not a problem in a NZ summer.
Yep, for NZ

I guess the temperature doesn't get that high, but with a clear sky the sun beaming down constantly wouldn't that raise the temperature significantly?

I will keep an eye out for a sunshade, at least consider it as an option...

And yes I'm a littler concerned about getting a hatch without any cover... but I'll try my best to make sure they give me the best option!
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Old Sep 29, 17, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post
I guess the temperature doesn't get that high, but with a clear sky the sun beaming down constantly wouldn't that raise the temperature significantly?
Yes:- http://heatkills.org/how-hot/
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Old Oct 3, 17, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by kaitlyn2004 View Post

- Outside temps as high as 30c/85f
- I'll park in shaded/covered areas if i know, but that won't always be an option
- Also due to security, I'd expect to be keeping these items in the trunk

Items that might be stored would include:
- Laptop
- DSLR Camera/lenses
- DJI drone + batteries
Coming from a native Floridian, don't even worry about it. Our LOW / NIGHT temperatures are often 30c in the summer. Your equipment will be fine.

There's always a laptop or two in my trunk, a DSLR, plenty of electronic gear, no issues, and I've been keeping my gear in my car for 20+ years. My current rental car is a Jag XJ black on black, still no worries about leaving equipment in it.

The only caution I'd give you is to let batteries cool down a bit before charging them, ie: don't charge your phone whilst it's sitting in the sun on the dashboard. As long as a battery's under 40c when charging, you're fine. Even if you ignore this, most built-in charging circuits watch battery temperature and won't charge an overheated battery.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Coming from a native Floridian, don't even worry about it. Our LOW / NIGHT temperatures are often 30c in the summer. Your equipment will be fine.

There's always a laptop or two in my trunk, a DSLR, plenty of electronic gear, no issues, and I've been keeping my gear in my car for 20+ years. My current rental car is a Jag XJ black on black, still no worries about leaving equipment in it.

The only caution I'd give you is to let batteries cool down a bit before charging them, ie: don't charge your phone whilst it's sitting in the sun on the dashboard. As long as a battery's under 40c when charging, you're fine. Even if you ignore this, most built-in charging circuits watch battery temperature and won't charge an overheated battery.
Okay thanks a lot. I have a good skill about sweating the small stuff
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