With our RV now 10 years and going on 11 we decided that this year would be the year we would upgrade our RV. We don’t see going off the road anytime soon and we see no reason to purchase a new motorhome so the only logical choice was to (as Sharon would say) Pimp our Ride!
Last spring we replaced the flooring and got rid of much of the carpet. We still have some carpet left and we will replace the areas remaining with new carpet. Earlier this month I replaced all of our slide toppers because after 10 years of wear and tear it was time for them to be trashed and replaced. Next up for us was replacing our horrid day/night shades.
After reading tons of reviews about replacement products I kept reading rave reviews for the MCD shades. After pricing them out however I decided I had better dig deeper to see what other options were out there. Spending over $2000 for window treatments was simply way over our budget! We did discover there is a small shop out of Red Bay Alabama who also does a roller day/night shade and at first we considered it because it was 1/3 less in cost. However, they explained the cornices would all have to be modified to add about 1” in depth. As a result it would be just as costly as MCD shades and we really did not want to add more width to our cornices so we rejected this option.. Was there no other alternative?
I came across a website called Selectblinds. After reading all the product information and reviews I found a couple of honeycomb shades that seemed perfect for us at over half the cost. I chatted with an agent online and finally decided to order them. Eight replacement shades at about $100 per shade on average made it affordable.
I ordered two types of shades. The first a classic day/night shade. Yes these still have strings in them but at no angles thus leaving less chance of breaking. They fit perfectly in our valances so there would be no additional modifications. The second shade I ordered was a top/down bottom/up blackout shade which had a special feature in that you could open the shades from either the bottom or from the top down. We have some extra tall windows so being able to open them from the top we could have some sky views from windows we otherwise rarely used – Sweet!!!
Installation was simple and straightforward (after I figured out how the attachment clips worked). The steps I performed are below:
- Remove cornices by removing screws from the side braces and then those in the top or sides of the cornices. This is where an extension Phillips will be a godsend.
- Remove old blinds by removing the screws from the string attachments and then pressing the attachment clip releases to free the old shades from the cornice. This is an excellent time to thoroughly clean the windows and the window screens, which we did.
- Next I needed to remove the old attachment clips and install the new ones. These ere type “C” attachment clips and the installation guide had very poor picture of how to install them. It took me the better part of an hour to solve the riddle of how to install them so I have included pictures of how they are installed.
- Now all I needed to do was align the new blinds equidistance from the sides of the cornice and snap them in place. Also I added the two plastic window lift tabs onto the new blinds and they were ready to reinstall.
- Before installing the blinds I had to replace the screws along the right and left side of the window to reduce the height of the screw head. Why? Because the blinds were hitting the larger screw head but not the smaller one when I replaced them.
- Lastly I had to re-install the cornices the opposite way I took them off. An extra hand here helps immensely with this step. One trick here I used was to tape the screw on the extension so it wouldn’t fall off before I could get it started back in!
I was easily able to install all eight blinds in an afternoon but I was a bit sore from having to contort myself in ways to be able to remove some of the screws from the valances. The only special tool needed here was a drill extension and long bit with a Philips head on it. The tool is pictured below for your convenience.
So now we are enjoying our new blinds and only time will tell if these blinds are the perfect blinds for us and our RV…
NOTE: We are now in our winter home until March 1st in Bonita Springs Florida at Imperial Bonita Estates RV park and Coop.