Monday, June 24,2024 4:43 pm EDT

The Complete Guide to Upgrading Your RV Window Shades

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Introduction

Welcome to the ultimate guide for revamping your RV with the latest window shades! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about RV window shades. From the basics of what these shades are to the importance of upgrading for both comfort and style, we’ll cover it all. So, sit back and get ready to transform your RV into a cozy haven on wheels.

What are RV window shades

RV window shades are more than just decorative; they’re functional pieces that enhance privacy, regulate temperature, and protect against UV rays. They come in various materials like polyester, nylon, and vinyl, combining both aesthetic appeal and practicality. With options ranging from sleek roller shades to insulating cellular shades, there’s a type for every style and necessity.

Importance of upgrading RV window shades for comfort and style

Upgrading your RV’s window shades isn’t just about changing up the look—it’s about creating an environment that’s comfortable and personalized. New window treatments can significantly improve insulation, leading to better temperature control and energy efficiency. Plus, with the right choice, you can make a statement that truly reflects your personal style.

Types of RV Window Shades & Product Recommendations

Roller shades

Roller shades are a sleek and straightforward option that can easily roll up or down. Their simplicity and variety of materials make them a popular choice for RVers looking for ease and versatility.  They are simple to operate, durable, and can be retracted when not in use, offering an unobstructed view outside.

They are typically made from fabrics that can block out light and UV rays, protecting the interior from sun damage and keeping it cool. Some shades are also made with reflective materials for added UV protection.

Products come in various colors and patterns, allowing owners to match them with the interior design of their RV.

There are also different types of roller shades, including blackout shades for complete darkness, light-filtering shades that allow some light while providing privacy, and day/night shades that offer both functions in one unit.

Additionally, many companies offer custom-sized roller shades to fit the unique window sizes of different RV models.

rv window shades

Brands like MCD Innovations are well-known for their high-quality RV roller shades. They offer the American Duo® Day/Night Roller Shades, which are very popular among RV owners for their versatility and ease of use. Another option is the Slow-Rise Roller Shades from RecPro, which are appreciated for their smooth operation and ability to stay in any position without a cord.

For a more custom solution, companies like ShadePro and Blinds.com offer made-to-measure RV roller shades that can be tailored to fit the specific dimensions of your RV windows.

Pleated shades

Pleated shades, known for their accordion-like folds, offer a textured look while being lightweight and easy to operate. They can add an elegant touch to your RV’s interior.

One of the key features of RV pleated shades is their ability to provide privacy while still allowing light to filter through during the day. At night, some shades can be adjusted to block out light completely, ensuring a restful sleep environment.

For ease of use, especially in a moving vehicle, RV pleated shades often incorporate a special tension-based system, which simplifies the process of raising and lowering the shades. This system typically involves cords that anchor below the bottom rail, adding stability and preventing the shades from swaying during travel.

In terms of maintenance, pleated shades are known for being easy to clean, often requiring just a simple vacuuming to remove dust and debris. They also contribute to the insulation of the RV, trapping pockets of air within their structure, which can enhance both the acoustics and temperature control inside the vehicle.

The Symple Stuff Cordless Blackout Blinds stand out for their insulated pleated shades with a honeycomb design, offering both privacy and insulation. These blinds are versatile, suitable for different window types, and come with a cordless function for ease of use, making them a top choice for RV owners.

Cellular shades

Cellular shades stand out for their energy efficiency. The unique honeycomb design traps air and provides excellent insulation, helping to keep your RV cool in summer and warm in winter, which can lead to energy savings by reducing the need for heating or air conditioning.

Cellular shades come in various opacities, from sheer to blackout, allowing RV owners to control the amount of light and privacy they desirelular shades fold up neatly, taking up minimal space and not obstructing the view outside.

They are available in a range of colors and styles to match the interior design of the RV.

Many cellular shades come with cordless options, making them easy to raise and lower without the hassle of cords, which is also a safety feature for families with children or pets.

They are generally made of durable fabric that can withstand the vibrations and movements that occur while driving an RV.

Cellular shades can often be custom-fitted to the unique window sizes found in RVs.

For those seeking a balance between light filtering and privacy, Symple Stuff Cellular Shades are a great choice, offering cordless operation and a top-down bottom-up design. These shades come with a measurement guide to ensure a perfect fit, whether for inside or outside mount, and are available in a light gray color that suits various decors.

Day/night shades

For those who want the best of both worlds, day/night shades offer a combination of sheer and opaque fabrics. This allows you to control light and privacy at any time of day.

The night shade is typically made from a thicker, opaque material that is effective at darkening the interior of the RV for sleeping or to prevent glare on television screens. The day shade, on the other hand, is usually made from a lighter, see-through fabric that diffuses sunlight and reduces the intensity of the light entering the RV during the day.

These shades can be operated separately or together, depending on the desired level of privacy and light control. They are often mounted on a roller system that allows them to be easily pulled down or retracted as needed. Day/night shades are popular among RV owners because they offer a versatile solution for managing light and privacy in a compact living space.

A popular option are the Blindsgalore Pleated RV Day/Night Shades ,which are designed to be wrinkle-free and come with color-coordinated hardware, making them both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Factors to Consider When Upgrading RV Window Shades

Size and fit

Accurate measurements are crucial for a perfect fit. Ensuring your new shades match the size of your windows will prevent gaps that can let in light and reduce their effectiveness.

Material and insulation

The material of your shades affects both their look and their insulating properties. Fabrics treated to block UV rays can protect your interior and save on energy costs, while durable materials ensure longevity.

Light control and privacy

Consider how much light you want to filter through your shades. While some prefer complete darkness, others might opt for semi-sheer materials that provide privacy without sacrificing natural light.

Ease of installation and maintenance

Look for shades that are easy to install and maintain. Removable shades or those with cordless designs not only offer convenience but also provide safety for pets and children.

How-to Guide for Upgrading RV Window Shades

Removing old shades

Start by carefully taking down your existing shades. This might involve unscrewing brackets or releasing tension mounts. Be gentle to avoid damaging the window frame.

Measuring for new shades

Measure the width and height of your window frames accurately. Remember to check if your new shades require inside or outside mounting, as this will affect the measurements.

Installing new shades

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, but generally the steps for installing new shades for your RV are as follows:

1. Measure the window:

Start by measuring the dimensions of your RV window where you want to install the shade. This will help you determine the correct size of shade to purchase.


2. Remove old shade (if applicable):

If there is an existing shade in place, remove it by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This may involve unscrewing brackets or other fasteners.


3. Prepare the new shade:

Unbox the new shade and familiarize yourself with the components. Some shades may require assembly before installation.


4. Mount the brackets:

Attach the mounting brackets to the top of the window frame or wall, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Use a level to ensure they are straight.


5. Install the shade:

Depending on the type of shade you purchased, this step may vary. Generally, it involves sliding the shade into the brackets or attaching it using screws or clips. Make sure the shade is secure and properly aligned.


6. Test the operation:

Once the shade is installed, test its operation to ensure it opens and closes smoothly. Adjust any tension settings as needed.


7. Secure any loose cords:

If your shade has cords or pull strings, make sure to secure them properly to prevent accidents. Manufacturers often provide cord safety devices for this purpose.


8. Clean up and enjoy:

Finally, clean up any packaging materials or debris from the installation process and enjoy your new shades!

Motorizing Existing Shades

If you have existing shades that you want to upgrade to motorized ones, you can follow these steps:

1. Choose the right motor: Research and select a motor that is compatible with your existing shades. Make sure it has the necessary features and functions you desire, such as remote control or smartphone connectivity.

Brands like Soma Smart Shades and AXIS Gear are known for offering retrofit motorization solutions that can suit an RV setup. 

2. Remove the old manual mechanism: Depending on the type of shades you have, you may need to remove the old manual mechanism. This could involve unscrewing brackets or releasing tension mounts. Be careful not to damage the window frame or the shades themselves.

3. Install the motor: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the motor. This may involve attaching brackets or clips to the shade and mounting the motor onto them. Make sure the motor is securely attached and properly aligned.

4. Connect the motor to power: Depending on the type of motor you have, you may need to connect it to a power source. This could involve plugging it into an outlet or wiring it into your RV’s electrical system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

5. Test the motor: Once the motor is installed and connected, test its operation to make sure it opens and closes smoothly. Use the provided remote control or any other control method that comes with the motor to operate it. Adjust any settings or programming as needed.

6. Secure any loose cords or wires: If your motorized RV window shades have cords or wires, make sure to secure them properly to prevent accidents. Manufacturers often provide cord safety devices for this purpose. Follow the instructions provided to ensure proper installation.

7. Enjoy your motorized shades: Once everything is installed and tested, you can now enjoy the convenience and functionality of your motorized RV windowshades. Use the provided controls to adjust them to your desired position and enjoy the added ease of use.

Conclusion

Upgrading your RV window shades can greatly enhance the comfort and aesthetics of your vehicle. By considering factors such as privacy, natural light, ease of installation, and maintenance, you can find the perfect shades for your needs.

Remember to always refer to the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for your RV windowshades, as installation steps may vary. With the right shades, you can create a more comfortable and stylish environment in your RV.

FAQ

Can I install new RV window shades over existing ones?

It is generally recommended to remove old shades before installing new ones. This ensures a proper fit and prevents any interference between the old and new shades.

How do I know if I need inside or outside mount shades?

Inside mount shades are installed within the window frame, while outside mount shades are installed on the wall or window frame surrounding the window. Check the instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a professional to determine which type of mounting is suitable for your RV and window design.

Can I install the RV window shades myself or should I hire a professional?

Installing shades in an RV can typically be done as a DIY project. However, if you are unsure about the installation process or have complex window configurations, it may be beneficial to seek the assistance of a professional.

Are RV window shades easy to clean and maintain?

RV window shades are generally designed to be low maintenance. Regular dusting and occasional spot cleaning can help keep them clean. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning recommendations for your RV window shades.

Are there any safety considerations for RV shades?

To prevent accidents, it is important to secure any loose cords or pull strings properly. Manufacturers often provide cord safety devices to ensure the cords are out of reach of children or pets. Make sure to follow the provided instructions for cord management and safety.

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Nil Nada
Nil Nada
I'm highly interested in emerging technologies, and how they can transform the world around us for the better when used with compassion and ingenuity. Additionally, I'm a passionate outdoorsman and enjoy getting out to camp as much as I enjoy testing new gear.
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