A sofa like set up with curtain windows inside a van

Blinds vs Curtains: What is better for an RV

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Are you planning to give your RV window coverings a makeover but don’t know whether you should choose blinds or curtains? I have replaced the window coverings in multiple RVs. In a couple instances I have hand-sewn or found the right size curtains. I have also replaced the cellular blinds with regular blinds.

So which is better in an RV, blinds vs curtains? Well, it depends.

Curtains are better for an RV than blinds if you want an easy-to-wash and budget-friendly solution that you can match with the décor. Blinds are better if you want a simple, minimal look. Blinds and curtains together insulate the best.

Moreover, curtains come in many colors and designs, giving you more freedom to decorate your RV to match your taste and personality. It simply makes it feel more like home. 

As we go along, we’ll tell you more about why curtains might be better than blinds. Plus, we’ll cover the other things you need to know about using them in your RV.

Blinds Or Curtains: Which is Better?

A curtain blown out through an RV window
RVs can come with blinds or curtains, or you can install them yourself.
Image source: Ramón senent – stock.adobe.com

When considering which window treatment is better for your RV, you may be torn between blinds and curtains. Perhaps you’ve been using the blinds that came with your rig when you bought it. 

Well, that’s understandable – but I’ve got some helpful information for you, based on my own experiences with both blinds and curtains. Keep reading for some comparisons between the two RV window treatments.

Are Blinds or Curtains More Cost-Effective

Although blinds are less expensive than curtains because of their materials, using curtains can be more cost-effective than using blinds in an RV.

Why? First, there are fabrics that are both affordable and high-quality. If you’re crafty and love DIY projects, you may decide to create your own curtains.

Plus, since RV windows are small, you don’t need long, wide curtains; a small amount of fabric is enough to cover your entire window.

I have used home kitchen curtains and just hemmed the bottom. In my first vintage trailer, the previous owner made curtains from Terry cloth hand towels.

Blinds can be quite cheap if you plan to buy ones at the local hardware store and have them cut to fit. Our current blinds are done this way. You can also find them on Amazon in many different sizes. Blinds are not as durable as the curtains, but are easy to clean if they get dirty in the dinette.

Curtains Insulate More and Save You More Energy

There are insulating curtains available in the market that help you reduce the transfer of heat. While some blinds also have insulating properties, they’re generally not as effective as curtains. 

With insulating curtains, your air conditioner won’t need to work as hard hard to keep your RV cool during hot days. Conversely, your furnace will be able to keep your rig warm more easily on cold days. Trust me – the draft from blinds can be chilly in the fall months.

Which Are Durable and Easy to Wash

Bright colored pins on clothes line in a forest with an RV trailer in background
You may need to wash your RV curtains regularly, as they can get pretty dusty.
Image source: Brett – stock.adobe.com

One bad thing about curtains is that they need to be washed at times. But, as mentioned earlier, RV windows are small so the curtains are pretty easy to work with.

Plus, you can always bring them to the dry cleaners if you don’t have time to do it yourself.

Plastic or metal blinds are easy to clean as well. You can simply wipe the blinds down, or remove and spray them off. Cellular blinds are difficult to clean and are not very durable. The kids easily destroy the cellular blinds that come stock in the trailer.

Which Effectively Control the Light

Blinds have a space between the window and the frame. The stock cellular blinds that come with the RV generally let a lot of light through. Traditional blinds with slats let light through each slat and around the sides.

With curtains, you can choose how much light you would like to let in. Using the right color of curtains plays a big role in controlling the light that’s coming into your rig. Special insulating curtains or blackout roller shades help to reflect the sunlight. 

Thus, it’s important to consider which curtain color and/or fabric you’ll use in your RV depending on how much light you’d like to get.

How to Install Curtains in Your RV Windows

A sofa like set up with curtain windows inside a van
You can install blinds or curtains in your RV to make it feel more like home.
Image source: brudertack69 – stock.adobe.com

If you want to install curtains into your RV or motorhome, the process is pretty straightforward. It’s essentially the same as installing them into your home, but on a smaller scale.

First off, you must gather and prepare the materials that you’re going to use:

Once everything is prepared, start by installing your curtain rods. Use the drill to slowly create a hole where you’ll attach the curtain rods. If you have space you could also use a tension curtain rod.

Now, using the installed curtain rods, you can hang your curtains. 

Easy right? Just be careful not to drill too deep into your RV walls.

Do Blinds and Curtains Go Together in an RV?

An RV window with blinds
Some RVs come with both blinds and curtains.

There may be instances when you’d prefer to have a combination of both blinds and curtains in your RV. This is absolutely okay, and may provide you more benefits than just using one window treatment.

Using blinds and curtains on your RV windows will help with insulation and keeping the interior dark and cool. It can also improve the aesthetics of your rig. However, it may require a keen eye to find sets that look good together.

Can I Use Regular Blinds in RV?

Using regular blinds (like the ones in your house) for your RV isn’t an issue. In fact, in our current travel trailer, I have traditional blinds. I had the hardware store cut them to fit the correct size of the RV window.

However, there are some drawbacks when using these. They can be quite noisy, and move a lot while you’re driving.

The strings on blinds can be dangerous to young children. However, the modern designs are much more safe.

We suggest using blinds with hold-downs. This helps keep the blinds from moving or making too much noise while you’re on the road.

Important Related Questions

Which Color of Curtains Will Keep a Room Cool, Black or White?

Technically, white curtains reflect thermal energy while black absorbs it. Therefore, white curtains can make your room cooler. However, there are exceptions to every rule.

If you’re going to use a white curtain, but in a sheer fabric, it can still allow some light energy into your room. Therefore, thick white curtains would be the best. 

In addition to that, you also have to consider the color of your room. White on white or black on black can be a bit boring, but there are creative ways to achieve your desired temperature and look.

Black out curtains are another option. These actually have two layers: light outside for reflecting and another layer inside to insulate the window.

Do I Need Both Blinds and Curtains in my RV?

No, you’re not required to use both blinds and curtains in your RV – you don’t have to have any window coverings at all if you don’t want. However, either blinds or curtains can work similarly as window covers.

Of course, you absolutely can use them both if you think it will be better. The only difference is how they’re going to do their role effectively as your window cover. 

How Do You Cover Valances?

Valances are probably one of the main reasons why you’re looking to redecorate your rig’s window. These often come in designs or colors that may not be desirable to the RV owner.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to change your window valance fabric to a more pleasing color or design. You can even have it completely removed if you prefer. 

Anyway, here are quick steps to cover your valances:

  • First, remove the valances from your RV’s wall using a screwdriver.
  • Once it’s been out from the wall, you can now start removing its fabric. 
  • Next, lay your valances on the new fabric you’d like to use and cut it. Make sure to leave a few extra inches on all sides. 
  • Lastly, wrap the fabric tightly around the valances and use a staple to hold and secure it.

What Can I Put on Windows to Keep the Cold Out?

There are many ways to cover your RV windows and keep the cold out. However, the most common that RVers are using is insulated curtains. You can either buy or create your own.

Another common window cover that RVers use to prevent heat loss is a product called Reflectix. This is made of polyethylene bubble wrap encased in reflective aluminum foil. It can be placed either on the inside or outside your window and it can be purchased online.

If you want an easy window cover with zero installation, you can also buy magnetic or Velcro window shades on Amazon. These come in various sizes to match just about any RV window. They simply stick to the outer edges of your window, along the frame, and block out the sunlight.

Do Window Blinds save Energy?

RVers are always look for ways to save energy as we usually don’t have much to spare. Using blinds in our camper is a pretty effective way to do this. However, blinds are not as effective as curtains when it comes to saving energy in an RV.

They are, however, better at reducing the summer heat gain rather than winter heat loss. 

Should I Put Curtains on Every Window?

If you’re simply trying to darken your bedroom in your RV, you don’t need curtains on every other window. However, if you’re hoping for a cooling and/or energy-saving result, then yes – you should put curtains on every window in your RV.

RV with curtains blowing out of the window, and commercial blinds.
Which is better for an RV? Curtains or Blinds?

Final Thoughts on Blinds Vs Curtains

To put it simply, curtains provide more advantages to RVers than blinds. Furthermore, if you want your RV to feel more like home, curtains will definitely give your space a more cozy ambiance.

However, every RVer is different and will have their own preferences. While we believe that curtains are better than blinds in an RV, the decision is ultimately yours to make.

The points we’ve shared here should hopefully help you can make a better decision for your camper’s window treatments. Your rig, your rules.

For more information about RVs, check these resources:

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    Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever
    Shauna Kocman founder of Family Travel Fever

    Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

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      1. Short insulted curtains should not be too heavy but longer ones may need a lightweight insulated version. There are several ways to hang these. If your RV does not have studs in the wall you can use pop rivets, Oscar rivets or a toggle bolt that expand inside the wall.

    1. I bought RecPro blinds to exchange the old blinds that came with my trailer. The valance allowed me to put in with only a few holes within the wall, and that is because these blinds have optional screw holes. the color matches my other blinds perfectly. You look great! it is a nice upgrade from the first blinds. they are going up and down with no problem.

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