RV blinds suck. They will break - it’s just a question of when.
Most of our original shades were broken by year two of ownership.
The internet is littered with advice for how to fix RV blinds. There are:
But is fixing them worth it? I didn’t want to fix our blinds for three reasons:
- The design is inherently poor - they rely on thin strings and tension to work properly. Any fix is temporary.
- Having blinds that go up and down over windows that open side to side is silly.
- They are ugly. RV window treatments are the main cause of RV interiors looking like assisted living facility living rooms.
But how easy is it to replace them? Especially if you don’t have a sewing maching?
Some Googling around (and yes, searching on Pinterest) found us “no-sew” options that use fabric tape and clip-on curtain rings. All we needed to do was figure out fabric.
Most of our windows already have curtain rods. They are tucked behind the box cornices and hold the fakey curtains at the sides of the window.
I’ve never minded our cornices - they are covered in a not-too-ugly plaid material and trimmed dark gray vinyl (not brown!).
Our general plan of attack became:
- Remove the blinds
- Use the existing curtain rods
- Cut fabric to fit
- Use fabric tape on cut edges
- Clip on to curtain rings
- Reinstall cornices
With an installation approach roughed in, the question became where to find suitable fabric.
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- Drop cloth from Lowes
- Office furniture company upholstery fabric
In the end it came down to the most cliched suburban house decoration approach possible - a visit to Walmart.
For our living room we found these room darkening curtains in a color that looked like it would work with our cornices.
We did some quick window measurements and found that the width of one curtain would cover our smaller slide windows and kitchen window.
The bigger windows in the slide needed two pieces.
All in all we estimated two sets of curtains would cover all our living room windows with a bit leftover.
Once we had the actual curtains home we used our Reflectix panels to make a cutting plan.
To make our shorter curtains we cut off the tops and bottoms of the curtain sets, flipping them around so that the cut edge ended up on top. This gets hidden behind the cornice so everything that shows is a factory edge.
The fabric was a bit slippery to work with. All the factory edges weren’t straight - which was a bit freeing because our work wasn’t 100% straight either.
The fabric tape worked well on this thinner fabric. We’ll see how it holds up over time.
We used 5 clip-on curtain rings per curtain section. Any fewer and the curtain would sag too much when open.
For the bedrooms we went with these thicker blackout curtains. We often end up camping or boondocking where there are bright lights outside and we wanted to block that out.
We bought two sets of these curtains as well. These were wider than the living room curtains so we ended up with more left over fabric.
Our basic approach was the same - although with the wider fabric we did cut some down and ended up with non-factory-edges showing. No big deal though.
We had three puzzles in the bunkhouse:
- Tall kids in skinny bunks means any curtains hanging on curtain rods get knocked off while they sleep
- The original pleated blinds on the small bunkhouse windows still work
- There were no cornices back here to hide our work under