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 Post subject: Re: Window blinds sizes?
PostPosted: May 26th, 2017, 3:15 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1914
Location: 1999 Concourse
I'm with Scott. Only difference is that I actually like the cleanish look of blinds. But in our Chinooks with the sliding windows, that's about the only thing I like about them.

What I didn't like about the day/night shades (and this is even though mine were in great shape and I never broke a string).

1) They aren't actually totally private at night (which matters sometimes). The night fabric is still a little bit see-through and so are the holes where the strings are if anyone tries.
2) I found it a pain to lean over furniture and raise them.
3) They sometimes rattled when driving.
4) No way to just easily peek out at night if I hear a noise and want to have a quick (and maybe surreptitious) look-see.
5) No way to open the window a few inches and also open the blind a few inches (they open in opposite planes).
6) Not easy to open or close at night when in bed.

I have future ideas about a nice track (from curtain tracks.com), but of course I had to try a mockup :D This was mid-trip so it was a midnight Wal-Mart run. What I did was buy a few yards of fleece in a pattern I liked (you can just cut fleece and it won't ravel). Then some relatively cheap curtain rods, those "pinch rings" you can just clamp on the fabric, and a couple packages of the pre-folded binding.

I cut the fleece in half lengthwise, and that was just right for the height of the windows. Put the pre-folded binding over the top edge, then the pinch rings over that, then it all went on the rod. Instead of using the rod holders that came with, I used some cup hooks that go up into the upper cabinets. Drove from Walmart to a nice parking area in the mountains to spend the night, and in an hour I had mockup curtains.

Verdict: For me, even the quick and dirty Walmart fleece jobbies are so much better than the day/night shades were. I can zing them open with the flick of a wrist, they open in the same direction as the window so it's easy to just have a few inches of both window and curtain open at night (or like now, when the sun is shining on the side of the Chinook and it's 85º). And I can easily "peek" out at night if I want to. Also it can be nice to have the curtains drawn in the evening, but then after going to bed just "zing!" the one over the couch open to view the stars. Could never do that with the shades.

The mockups are only slightly more private than the shades (but they are better). Ultimately I think a layer of blackout fabric plus a layer of interior fabric and nicer tracks. That would also help with insulation. One downside of the cheap rods is that I have a extra "holder upper" in the middle of the couch window (Concourse with one loooong window, otherwise the cheesy rods sag). So I cut the curtain there too. With a track there could just be the one joint at the couch/kitchen break, just like the blinds.

Sounds like you have a skilled fabric artist in residence, but if you just want to see if curtains are for you, the Wal-mart route is crazily quick and pretty cheap too.

The curtain does slightly flop around over the kitchen counter area, but it's not too bad (and if sewing custom ones, that could be tailored better than my "cut fleece in half and go" method).

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 Post subject: Re: Window blinds sizes?
PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 1:40 pm 
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Joined: December 31st, 2016, 5:57 am
Posts: 131
Thanks to the sage suggestions dispensed here by site elders we threw up our budget kitchen curtain in no time. Indeed, Walmart had just the right sized terrycloth towel in a pattern we liked and here is the result, sliding on a 1/2” dowel where the day/nite shade brackets used to be. We think of our “Blue Chook” more as a Bisbee Hippiemobile than Sedona Phaeton. My wife may add backing later if we find the towel too transparent, as it is easily removed. As for the coffee maker nook, scrutineers may note the new fire extinguisher I just mounted there. Never liked the old one cluttering up the narrow entrance.


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"The Blue Chook" 2002 Concourse Dinette on 2001 E-350 chassis w V10
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 Post subject: Re: Window blinds sizes?
PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 2:03 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
Posts: 245
Location: Santa Cruz
Awesome, Ted! Thing about custom curtains, you can very quickly and easily make a drastic change in appearance.

A thought on the extinguisher... I believe they're often placed at the entry door in RVs so you can grab it quickly in an emergency whether it's happening inside the coach or outside. And if you're outside the coach, and there's a fire, you can arm yourself on the way in.

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 Post subject: Re: Window blinds sizes?
PostPosted: May 27th, 2017, 3:39 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Groovy! I like :mrgreen:

One note that may or may not matter to you (or maybe you already did it this way): The reason I used the rings (on a rod) is because with rings, I can easily get the entire curtain off the window glass. I personally don't like it when the curtain always blocks part of the window, and with just fabric on a rod, sometimes the "stack" is too wide and so that happens. OTOH, there is a fair amount of room on the ends of most of the windows, so if the rod is long enough maybe rings aren't needed (they do add zingability though!) Zzzzing!.

While we're on the topic, when I made my mockup upper cabinets (but of course :lol: ) I decided to try a couple of different things with the upper wooden valance. I'm not all that tall, but still the stock upper valance blocked part of the window pane. I suppose that was needed to cover the stack of the blinds when they were pulled up. With curtains, there isn't that big stack up top to hide, and when they are open there is not much there at all (just the empty rod or track). I still wanted something to cover the clutter of rods/rings (and later tracks), and no need to look at the window's metal frame, but I did want all the glass visible.

So on the couch side, I tried a (maple) 1 x 2 (so it's 1-1/2" tall. I left a 3-3/4" space between the back of it and the wall, in case I wanted to have two curtain tracks. Verdict: I could see out all the glass, but maybe it could have been taller and still see out, but hide more of the curtain stuff. So on the table side I made a valance 2-14" tall. I think that one looks better and I can still see all the glass. That one is about 3" from the wall which is just fine with only one "row" of curtains; might be a bit tight if one wanted two.

I can now tell that 2-3/4" would probably be ideal Maybe even 3". (I forget how tall the stock one was.... maybe 4-4-1/2" tall?).

If you're tall maybe nothing will help, and obviously the measurements will change depending on your height, but it's something to think about, anyway.

BG

PS: I didn't incorporate the parallelogram plastic inserts in the new valances, and I made the ends just a regular rounded corner. I dig the parallelogram windows, but that's enough parallelogramery for me :D

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