RV Blinds and Window Shades Buyer’s Guide

Derrek Sigler
by Derrek Sigler
(Photo by kostasgr/Shutterstock.com)

Upgrading your RV blinds and window shades is an easy thing to do that can add to the enjoyment factor of your camping adventures.

For many of us, our RV is our home away from home. It is a way to get out and explore and still have all the comforts and little things that we take for granted around the house. One thing in particular that we expect to have at home, that may not always be the case with the RV is privacy. While we can often find a secluded camp site, sometimes finding one that is open and that the RV will fit into is just not possible. If you do have to camp in a less secluded spot, having the right RV blinds and/or window shades can make your trip more enjoyable and relaxing.

We’ve all been there. You’ve found a good camp site and you get all settled in for the night, drifting off to sleep. Then at two-o’clock in the morning, some other camper pulls into the empty site across from yours, and their headlights blast through your windows while they get set up. Not exactly a nice way to wake up. A good set of RV window shades can take care of this and add a lot of enjoyment to your RV.

RV Pleated Blind Shades

Pleated window blind shades are a great way to add a level of privacy to your RV. They work just like the type you’d have in your home. If you don’t already have RV blinds installed, mounting these is simple and easy. You measure the window opening, order the appropriate size, and mount the brackets to hold the blinds in place. Then extend the blind to the bottom of the window opening and mount the bottom brackets accordingly. This allows you to have the blinds secure when in the extended position. The materials are UV-protected, so they won’t fade or break down when exposed to the sunlight.

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RV Door Window CloZures Shade

The door of your RV can be a tricky window to shade. This kit replaces the entire window assembly on popular door styles with a special window with a built in shade that is operable with a single finger. You can also buy the kit with just the shade, so you don’t have to replace the glass. When shut, the RV blinds completely black out the window for privacy and other benefits. Tested in marine environments, this shade is extremely durable.

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Door Blinds

Another option is to replace your window with a tinted version with a blind built into the window frame. This is a slick setup for non-standard sized doors, or for those looking to add a window to a door that doesn’t have one. There is a simple template to follow to cut the hole, or if the frame matches what you have, you can swap out the old window for the new one with the blinds with nothing more than a screwdriver.

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Blackout Roller Shades

Blackout roller shades can make a huge difference in your RV enjoyment. These mount into the window frame of your RV and can be used with other shades. They act as solar screens, blocking out all sunlight and other light, too. Remember that other camper that pulled in late to the campsite across from you? You’ll never have to deal with blinding headlights in your RV again. An added plus is that you can drive down the road in your motorhome and use these RV window shades to block out the light coming into the windows behind you, causing less glare and distraction while you drive. Four-ply linen construction is easy to care for and durable.

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Are RV blinds and shades different that home window blinds and shades?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. No, they are not really different construction-wise. Most replacement blinds for your RV are cellulose blinds that resist UV damage and give you a sense of privacy. You wouldn’t use the plastic-slat style blinds in your RV as there is too much movement for them to be durable enough to use.

The biggest difference between blinds for your home RV blinds is sizing. Most RVs don’t have a standard, home-sized window, so getting blinds that will fit makes it a bit tricky. You can, however, often have blinds custom fit for your RV, if you are in a pinch and can’t order them. Some home-improvement stores can cut cellulose blinds to find a specific window size.

Are there benefits to adding blinds or shades to my RV windows?

There are definite advantages to adding blinds to your RV. The first and foremost is privacy. You really don’t want the whole campsite watching you change your clothes, do you? It helps to cure that whole “someone’s watching me” vibe that you can get sometimes when camping. And with blackout blinds, there is the added advantage of not dealing with your neighbor’s headlights, as we mentioned earlier. We can attest to this from personal experience.

One major advantage to adding RV blinds if you don’t have them is temperature control. On hot days, shutting the blinds down can keep the interior of your RV quite a bit cooler. In the winter, or in cooler weather, blinds, like the cellulose blinds help trap the warmer air inside and will help keep your RV a little more comfortable when the weather outside is frightful.

How hard is it to clean RV window shades?

Pleated, cellulose RV window shades are pretty easy to clean. You simply wipe them down periodically. They can stain, as they are a form of fabric, so a tip from a local RV repair guru is to treat them with ScotchGuard before installing them in your RV. He suggests spaying them down with the treatment and leaving them in the sun for a few hours to dry thoroughly before hanging them up. This will help keep them from being stained and make cleaning easier.

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Pull-down blinds and blackout RV window shades are similar in that they can be wiped clean, too. These can also be treated with ScotchGuard products. The costs of getting blinds that exactly fit your RV windows makes adding this type of product a good investment.

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