Black out curtains for trailer - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
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Has anyone ever made black out cloth curtains for their trailer? I'd love to hear different ideas for covering windows.

The Escape has blinds that prevent hanging curtains, unless I take the blinds down. The blinds DO NOT make it very dark in the trailer even though they do give privacy. The wall covering is not something I want to go sticking things on. I tried magnets to hold up the fabric on the metal frame of the blinds (window frame is plastic) but that didn't work. I'm thinking of velcro but dubious, though it may be my only option besides just hanging it and trying to tuck it in. I am a poor sleeper and really need to make it darker in the trailer as it is light by 4:30, and it soon it will be even earlier.

Thought I'd see what other folks have done to resolve this......

Thanks
Penney
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #2
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Name: Jake
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Quote:
Has anyone ever made black out cloth curtains for their trailer? I'd love to hear different ideas for covering windows.

The Escape has blinds that prevent hanging curtains, unless I take the blinds down. The blinds DO NOT make it very dark in the trailer even though they do give privacy. The wall covering is not something I want to go sticking things on. I tried magnets to hold up the fabric on the metal frame of the blinds (window frame is plastic) but that didn't work. I'm thinking of velcro but dubious, though it may be my only option besides just hanging it and trying to tuck it in. I am a poor sleeper and really need to make it darker in the trailer as it is light by 4:30, and it soon it will be even earlier.

Thought I'd see what other folks have done to resolve this......

Thanks
Penney
Hello Penny:
I am in the midst of redoing my Burro, and thought of the same issue from past trailer experiences with the early dawn.
1st, I replaced the vent cover with a smoked one, as I found that allowed a great deal of light in.
As my Burro previously had plain hanging curtains from a single top rod, I have replaced them with newly made darker curtains, and other than having to drill 4 tiny holes around each window (not sure if that is the route you want to take but it looks great and very custom).
I found a product called Spring Sash Rod, by Levelor, that is a white (blends in well with the fiber interior).
You simply cut the wire rod to the exact size, and I have mounted them top and bottom, and when making the curtains, I have allowed an extra 1 1/2" - 2" inches of extra material all around the curtains, which works as sort of a valance all around the windows, and as these rods only attach with little eye screws, they mount very flat to the body, thereby not allowing much, if any light in when closed.
They are also less bulky looking than the blinds, with a nice finish.

I will have a few pictures in a day or so, just doing the carpet and have taken them down for the moment.
Just my 2 cents worth.
All the best, Jake.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:42 AM   #3
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Name: Darnelle
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Hi Penney,
We bought those windshield sun blockers designed for inside cars. (Padded, folded, shiny, foil-type reflective.) Cut them to same shape as window (plus trim area). Sewed fabric on the side facing in (for looks only). Used velcro tabs to attach to rubber frame of window (inside). They work really well! The stick-on velcro sometimes comes off the window frames, but that seems to take a year or two. I wonder if they might glue better to a metal frame. We just replace whatever velcro piece that has lost it's hold on the window frame and we're good to go again! (We sewed the velcro to the blockers.) We have fabric valances on the curtain rods and really love the amount of daylight they allow. If we use a blocker or two during the day they stick smooth and flat so, like the valances, are completely out of the way over tables and beds.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:16 AM   #4
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Good ideas. Jake our old Burro was easier to darken because of the curtain rods and smoother sides that are easier to attach to. Your idea sounds good and good looking. Unfortunately it's hard to work around the blinds and we do not have the hard walls in the Escape (it's a soft shelled egg inside!), making putting holes or attaching in some other way to the walls difficult.

Darnelle thanks for the reminder about the window covers, I'd forgotten about that as a possible solution, will get out the one we have and mess around with it to see how it might work. Maybe in our trailer they would go under the blinds if I get them to fit well. Do you have a picture of yours?

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Old 04-30-2010, 11:28 AM   #5
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A simple solution

http://www.antilightmask.com/

You could even make your own
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:07 PM   #6
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Another quick and easy solution we use in our 5er's loft is Reflectix bubble-wrap insulation that's been cut to the shape of the window. They just press into place or slide behind our window screens. We have them for our loft and door windows, big roof vents, and Fantastic Fan. The door window cover has a peep-hole cut-out at the top so we can see out if someone knocks, one window cover on each side is cut about an inch short so we can slide the cover back toward the center and see out a thin strip of glass in the morning, and I modified our Fantastic fan so it has four little magnets tucked behind the screen mesh ring that match up to four little magnets taped to its bubble-wrap cover. Everything manages to stay in place when we tow.

Using the Reflectix covers in our 5er keeps the loft nice and dark, but I've decided against using them on all the windows:it's too dark! On cold nights I notice a big reduction in the amount of cold air flowing down from the windows at night. To make them a little more attractive just cover the inside of the inserts with contact paper. Their biggest downside is it takes a minute or two to thread them behind the screen for the window.

You can buy Reflectix at Lowes; it's in the heating/cooling section.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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Darnelle ... Do you have a picture of yours?

No photo, but I can take one for you later if you'd like.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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The Reflextix sounds like a good possibility, the local hardware store has some (nearest Lowes is an hour-plus away, but thanks for the tip!). We do get condensation on windows (even with venting) and Escapes have a little drain hole that could get blocked by putting something right up flush with the window. Do you notice less condensation with it, since it insulates? That would be a plus. Or does the Relfextix get wet from the condensation?

Darnelle our sunblocker is thick cardboard, but since you sewed on it you must be talking about something more fabric like, you said it was padded. I better go to an auto place and see what's available. There is a small track around the window, not the track where the drain hole is, and I'm thinking the right thing - thin enough, with some flexibility to get it in the track, but stiff enough to stay there might work and the sun blocker might do it. Or could try the velcro like you did.

So glad I didn't start cutting away at the piece of black-out fabric I have! These are good ideas (and I have other uses for the black out fabric!) and one of them is bound to work for us.

thanks!

Penney
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:05 PM   #9
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Yes, it is more fabric-like.

An auto store, or large chain store will have them -- they're inexpensive.

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Old 04-30-2010, 06:39 PM   #10
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The Reflectix is what some Element owners use to put in their windows when they are "car" camping. Good idea! Since I've only slept in our camper a couple nights, I didn't think of the light issue--guess I'll be working on darkening mine, too!

Roy: good idea, but I'd need the sleep glasses for my dogs, too! As soon as Skippy sees the light--he wants to eat breakfast!
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Well I bought some Reflectix, couldn't find a car window sunblocker locally (rural areas have limited resources - but not when it comes to building supplies!). Hopefully I can get this cut to fit in the track around the window and it will work out fine, if not - back to the drawing board. Mike uses this stuff all the time but did he think of it for darkening the windows? Nooooo, because he sleeps anywhere, any time and snores right through morning light and moon light! (They say opposites attract!)

Thank you all for your ideas!

Penney
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:47 PM   #12
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For the curtains in a previous RV we had, I sandwiched quilt batting in between two layers of the fabric for the curtains. That way the design on the curtains looked good from both side and the quilt batting made the curtain much thicker to block out the light. They worked great to darken the sleeping area. I plan to do the same with the curtains I make for the Boler. The quilt batting is quite easy to work with and can be bought by the yard at any store that sells fabric. As a bonus it insulated the windows well to keep the heat out on 100+ degree summer days.
Jaci
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
For the curtains in a previous RV we had, I sandwiched quilt batting in between two layers of the fabric for the curtains. That way the design on the curtains looked good from both side and the quilt batting made the curtain much thicker to block out the light. They worked great to darken the sleeping area. I plan to do the same with the curtains I make for the Boler. The quilt batting is quite easy to work with and can be bought by the yard at any store that sells fabric. As a bonus it insulated the windows well to keep the heat out on 100+ degree summer days.
Jaci
Jaci I have used quilted fabric for curtains even in our house, it use to be easy to find quilted fabric with attractive fabric on both sides and batting inbetween. As a sewer that would have been my first choice, but with the blinds in our windows I can't hang curtains. A good idea for those who can hang curtains however.

I love your dogs! They look like quite a compatible pair sitting in your picture!
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:53 AM   #14
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Didn't really think about the problem with the blinds already in place. Our previous RV had blinds but was also a stick built RV so in that case we a little more flexibility on mounting certain things.
Our dogs are quite the pair. The big one, Chief, is an airedale terrier which we have had for 8 years since he was a puppy. The little one, Scampy, is a terrier mix. She is a rescue that we have had for about 2 years and suspect her to be about 5 yrs old. They are inseparable and a source of much entertainment for John and I. They are quite the characters with attitudes much bigger than they are!
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