How to Buy Window Coverings for RVs & Boats
There’s nothing quite like being on the road again. The nomadic lifestyle offered by RVing is intoxicating. Cruising carefree from camp site to RV park. Singing along to Willie or your favorite jam. Wind in your hair. Sun on your face. And in your eyes. And reflecting off every shiny surface in your 40’ motorhome. Not to mention the onslaught of blinding headlights when you’re driving at night.
Glaring light is just one issue RVers must constantly deal with when on the road – and off. Privacy is another. While campfires are often a welcoming beacon for making new friends, some sites in RV parks may be a little too close for comfort, so you need something to keep neighboring eyes from seeing in (who needs a fifth wheel when you’re bunking down for the night?).
There are many essentials RVers need when equipping their home on wheels. Adding good RV blinds for light and privacy control is something you’ll want on your list of must-have necessities.
What Kind of Window Coverings Are Best for RVs?
No matter what kind of movable mode of transportation you need interior window covers for, here are some features and things to consider when looking for the right specialty window treatment to fit your RV, motorhome, tiny home, camper, or even boat.
Window Depth – Most windows in RVs and houseboats are very narrow, with minimal or no real depth. In most cases, you’ll need to look for a covering that can be installed as an outside mount. This doesn’t mean you have to live with a bunch of bare, unsightly headrails showing. A variety of treatments come with built-in valances to hide exposed headrails, or add a tailored cornice board for a nice designer touch. When shopping on SelectBlinds.com, be sure to check a product's minimum depth requirement listed under Specifications and Installation in the Product Info.
Window/Door Operation – Do the windows slide open and closed? Side to side or up and down? Do they tilt in and out or push and pull to open and close? Be sure to select shades or blinds that give you easy access to and don’t interfere with the operation of your windows or trailer doors. For ease of operation while you’re in the driver’s seat, remote control motorized coverings can come in very handy.
Temperature Control – If you travel in your rig year-round through different seasons and climates, choosing a covering that adds some extra insulation will help keep things cool or cozy and generator use down. (DIY tip: For cheap added insulation under coverings, tape a layer of bubble wrap directly on the window glass.)
Day Night Shades – As with anything you purchase for moveable homes and boats, always look for space-saving convenience and items that do double-duty, like Premium Light Filtering/Blackout Cordless Shades. RV window shades that shield and protect your eyes (and your vehicle’s interiors) from harmful UV rays during the day and blackout light at night to help you sleep are the perfect combo of convenience and privacy.
Hold-downs & Cord Cleats – To keep coverings from swaying and flapping around while you’re rumbling down the road – and for safety’s sake, especially with young children or pets aboard – check with our Customer Loyalty Team to see if the cordless shades you’re considering can accommodate hold-down brackets (HDB). Cord cleats come included with any corded product.
Happy Customer Bruce W. replaced all the blinds in his camper trailer with custom cord-free cellular coverings from Select Blinds. He likes how they give "my trailer a nice clean, modern look and feel." Hold-downs are included, which come in handy when he's on the road.
Popular Products for Mobile Homes
Think only rock stars and NASCAR drivers can afford custom RV window shades? Think again.
Whether you’re looking for new RV or houseboat window treatments, or replacement blinds to update the look of your travel trailer’s interior, here are several affordable styles you can easily install yourself.
Cellular >> SHOP NOWHoneycomb-style cellulars are the RV road warrior’s window covering of choice. Light filtering and blackout-style cell shades are energy efficient, lightweight, add insulation and, with single- and double-cell sizes from 3/8” to 2”, work on any size window opening. (Buyer beware: Prying eyes will still be able to see in through light filtering products at night when interior lights are on. For optimum privacy and security, blackout fabrics are your best best. Day/night coverings like these Premium Light Filtering/Blackout Cordless Shades provide both light filtering and blackout functionality with easy top down/bottom up operation.)
Faux Woods >> SHOP NOWFaux wood window treatments like these 2" Premium Faux Woods possess the durability needed to hold up to the rigors of the road. Budget-friendly and easy to clean, they resist moisture and can withstand changes in temperature without cracking, warping, or fading.
Minis/Aluminums >> SHOP NOWIndustrial strength aluminum mini blinds are inexpensive, durable and, in today’s popular colors, make a delightful style statement. Unlike cheap, flimsy PVC minis, they resist kinks, dents and cracks, too. With built-in valances, these slim, 1" Cordless Aluminum Minis will add a streamlined look to your Airstream or any motor coach.
Solars >> SHOP NOWEnergy efficient interior solar shades are the most effective for cutting down the amount of heat generated from direct sunlight coming through your windows while still allowing you to see out through them. (Note: Solars are not privacy products.) They come in varying percentages of “openness factors,” or transparency (for example, Classic Sheer Weave 5% Solars are shown here). The higher the percentage, the looser the weave of the fabric, so more light gets through. The lower the percentage, the less light gets through, along with a less clear view outside. Solars work well in RVs if you have the room to layer them with a covering that provides more privacy.
Roman Shades >> SHOP NOWClassic romans make a dramatic statement in today’s high-end RV interiors. Go for a flat fold to keep the look more minimalist and streamlined, or soft fold if you have the room for a more voluminous look, in bold stripes like these Modern Roman Shades, solid colors, or bright patterns. Roman fabrics come lined or unlined, so you may want to add a standard liner to filter out more light and reduce glare in the cabin of your trailer, or a blackout liner if you’ll be installing them in sleeping areas.
Pleateds >> SHOP NOWSimilar to cellulars except made from just one layer of pleated fabric, pleated window coverings still provide some added insulation but with less bulk. Motorized pleateds, like these Select 1" Light Filtering Pleated Shades can even work with Alexa! If you need a quick fix or temporary covering in this style, try Redi Shades Temporary Paper Shades, which come in both light filtering and blackout colors.
Roller Shades >> SHOP PRODUCTEasy-to-install roller shades fit great under existing RV cornice boards or with an optional cassette like Designer Elements Blackout Cordless Rollers, and come in a variety of light filtering, room darkening and blackout fabrics, colors and patterns. They’ll easily meet your needs for light and privacy control while making a stylish backdrop to any décor.
Have questions on how to measure for, or buying and installing the right custom RV window covering products? Just contact our Customer Loyalty Team to ask an expert.