As many RV’ers can attest; if you own day/night shades they will eventually fail. And when one or more of the strings break they don’t work very well. Well as fate would have it two of our window shades finally broke, one in the living room behind our couch, and the other was the largest window in our bedroom.
As another annoyance the venetian blind that covers our front door window’s string catch also broke. This small piece of specialized plastic that holds the string that keeps the blind pulled up and secure had broken before and all we did was super-glue it. We did this three times and when it broke the fourth time I finally decided it was time to get a new one.
A trip to the nearby Camper’s World was in our future. As luck would have it they didn’t have the plastic piece I needed and suggested we try to order it from Tiffin Motorhomes. They did however have a restringing repair kit I purchased to repair our day/night shades.
Without the plastic piece I decided it best just to improvise and found a old picture frame hanger that looked like it could work. Along with the use of a half of a replacement snap from our snap kit I was able to improvise and make a better mouse trap. The string that holds the mini blinds is now not as tight and thus easier to secure. The picture to the right shows the repair before it got some touchup paint.
Once I screwed in the new picture frame holder into the snap piece I had a string support for the blind that worked exquisitely better than our old one. Thought this tip might help others so here it is…
Feeling pretty smug about this repair I was finally ready to tackle the restringing of the day/night shades… Reading tons of web pages on how to perform such repairs I was pretty sure I could tackle this job as well… wrong!!! After several hours of simply trying to remove the blind from the valance or simply just removing the valance it was obvious I didn’t have the right tools.
A trip down to various hardware stores was made to purchase a 12” long Phillips screw bit for my power drill. This also turned out to be difficult and I finally had to settle for a six inch bit and a six inch extender. With these tools in hand removal of the valances was a whole lot easier even though I had to get a bit contorted to get to several of the screws inside the valance.
I removed the three screws on the top and the two on the sides of the valances. With the valances removed I had to remove several screws that were screwed in at an angle to hold the shade to the valance (which is why I was unable to simply remove the shades from the valance supports). With shades in hand and all the knowledge I gained from the web I was ready to restring the shades… Easy, right? Wrong!!!
After several failed attempts I got wise and contacted Don Boyd at Tiffin to see if they had a diagram for a shade with four springs and four strings. He sent me the one above (click to enlarge it) and when properly deciphered it actually worked. The picture of the diagram was confusing in that it appears to show the strings going diagonal in the top half of the night portion of the shade but they don’t. This is just a depiction showing that the strings on the outside go to the opposite inside part of the day portion of the shade. Once deciphered the restringing was a snap. I used a large needle after compressing the shades together and simply pushed the needle with the new string through and Shazam!!! The shades were repaired.
With the total cost of the stringing kit and the new bits at about $25.00 I was able to repair both blinds for $12.50 each. I still have enough string to repair a couple more when they break. The learning curve to repair these is pretty steep but once you figure it out, the repair of the next one can be done rather quickly. Hope this helps some other Tiffin owners out there in repairing their day/night shades.