Updating your RV’s Window Treatments

Renovating an RV is a challenging yet rewarding process that can significantly modernize your RV while also making it more homey and personalized. From painting to installing new flooring to updating light fixtures, and so much more, the list of potential projects is extensive, and many are left wondering where to begin. Updating your RV’s window treatments is a fairly simple task that has a lot of impact on the look and style of the space. 

Most RVs come with window valances installed around the windows, and these are often covered in tacky fabrics and may be a bit outdated. Recovering these valances in newer fabric is fairly simple, and new curtains, blinds, and shades can also be installed with minimal effort. Any of these options will change the overall look of your space without requiring a ton of effort. Follow along for detailed instructions for installing new window treatments in your RV.

Prepwork

No matter which route you choose when modernizing your window treatments, you must first begin with prepwork. If you are recovering your valances, you need little prepwork other than gathering your materials.

If you are installing curtains, blinds, or shades, you must first remove the current valances. Since these are typically nailed into the wall, you will want to use the back end of a hammer to gently pry them away from the wall. When you have removed your valances, you will be left with some nail holes. You can fill these in with putty, and sand them down once it has dried.

Next, you will need to measure your windows carefully. Most of them will be different sizes, so be sure to measure each individual window. Measure the height (from top to bottom), and the width (from side to side), and record your findings before you head out to purchase new materials. 

Lastly, you must purchase all materials needed for your project. If you are installing curtains, you will need curtain rods and hardware to hang them, as well as curtains themselves or fabric to make your own. If you are installing blinds or shades, you will simply need the blinds or shades and their hanging hardware. A drill, additional screws, and a level would also be helpful for this project. Once you have collected all your materials, you are ready to begin.

Recover window valances

Of the four options, this one tends to be the simplest. First, you will need to remove the valances from the wall. You may be able to wiggle them loose, but you will typically need to use a screwdriver to gently remove them from the wall. Once you have the valances removed, you are ready to begin.

Start by removing the old fabric from the valances and discarding it. Next, lay the valances in the middle of the new fabric. Cut the fabric to size around the valances, leaving an additional twelve inches around all sides. Then, simply wrap the fabric around the sides of each valance, like you are wrapping a present. Hold the wrapped fabric tightly, and secure it with staples. Be sure to use plenty of staples for a tight hold. Once the fabric is secured, you can hang your new valances back up and enjoy.

Hang Curtains

Curtains are another excellent choice for new window treatments. They add style and personality to a space while also serving the important function of covering your windows. Before installing your new curtains, you will first need to install the curtain rods. Be sure to center them over the windows, and use a level to make sure they go on straight. Once your curtain rods are installed, you can hang your curtains.

You can purchase curtains of the proper dimensions in some stores or online. These will look polished and professional, and purchasing them will save you time. However, for those who are more crafty, you may prefer to make your own curtains. This can be done by sewing them or using a no-sew method.

There are many more in-depth tutorials in circulation, but essentially, when making curtains, you will want to cut fabric that is eight inches longer than the height and two times the width of each window. Start by hemming an inch around each edge of the fabric. Then create a two-inch “pocket” at the top of the curtain by folding down two inches and sewing. This is where you will insert your curtain rod. Once your curtains are complete, you can hang them up and enjoy your new decor.

Install blinds or shades

If you have decided to install shades or blinds in place of the old valances, you will follow almost the same process for each. First, you need to install the hardware that will secure the shades or blinds in place. Start by installing anchors. Be sure to use the shortest ones you can find to avoid drilling through the thin walls. This will ensure that your new blinds or shades remain in place while your RV is moving down the road. Next, attach the mounting hardware for the shades or blinds to the anchors using screws. Once the hardware has been secured, you can connect the blinds to it. Then your new window treatments are all set!

If you are installing shades, simply affix the shades to the mounting hardware. Luckily, most shades are removable, so they can be removed and replaced later on for easy periodic cleaning. Once the blinds or shades are in place, you are ready to sit back and admire your hard work.

The more you love your space, the more you will love traveling in it, and adding personal touches and flair will make you love your space even more. Consider updating your RV’s window treatments for additional personalization and modernization. This simple task will add quite a bit to your space, while also making it more homey. Plus, looking outside at your campground or Harvest Host location will be even more rewarding when you are looking past your new windows. Be sure to follow along with our tips for all the inspiration you need to begin your next RV interior project.

Have you updated your RV’s window treatments? What method did you use? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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  1. Sandy
    7th June, 2021

    Which roller shades did you use. Thats how we are doing most of ours. We bought a 2007 fifth wheel to renovate. Pulled the valances and the shades. All the holes are filled and painted over on the bedroom. I’m wanting roller blinds/shades just like in the photo. Where did you get yours?

    1. Sam Leash
      15th June, 2021

      Hi Sandy! I actually just purchased the most simple roller shades at Lowe’s and had them cut to size for each window. They can cut them right in-store for you at no extra cost They were $7-12 each, depending on the size of each shade, so they are a minimal, awesome, and affordable choice!

  2. Linda
    18th January, 2021

    You’ve shown how to replace all other types of window treatments except the front windshield curtains in a motorhome. That’s what I’m facing.

  3. Melissa Blackwell
    10th August, 2020

    We have a 2007 trailer that we leave on a seasonal site. We wanted to replace it but the version we would need now, given growing children, is just too expensive, even used. So we decided to do some work on things we hate… Like the valances! They matched the couch fabric and were dark and not great. Everything was screwed in… Mini-blinds and heavy valances. Now we have a lot of holes! Even if I putty them, the wall covering is sort of a tan/light tan splotchy look. I think it’s supposed to look like sponge painting. Not sure how I can cover up those holes? I didn’t want to paint the walls. We are just putting up curtains, which I had to order online because I don’t sew. But I am looking forward to putting them up and lightening up our interior. I think we are also pulling out the dinette and Jack-knife sofa and replacing them with a sofabed and real table. Flooring is on the list too. Any hints & tricks? Thanks so much for the inspiration!!

    1. Sam Leash
      11th August, 2020

      Hey Melissa! Sounds like a fun list of projects. In my RV, the walls are flat, so when I removed the valances, I just puttied over the walls and painted. However, I believe if the puttied spots were still visible, you could consider hanging the new curtains/blinds over any unsightly areas. For flooring, I would recommend peel-and-stick or click-and-lock! Both are very easy to use, lightweight, and inexpensive. Best of luck to you!