You love your home on wheels and you wouldn’t trade the view, but sometimes it is less than comfortable inside. It can feel like a greenhouse during a sunny, summer day and the arctic during a long winter night. This is why—in my opinion—insulating window blinds are essential.Designed to provide shade and privacy, as well as insulation, blinds are available in a variety of colors, materials, and degree of light they let in. This makes it easy to find a style you like. With a bit of effort, patience, and an extra pair of hands (it really is a good idea to have a little help for stability on some of these steps), installing new insulating blinds is a simple DIY project when you follow the instructions provided and these steps.
1. Remove Window Treatment
Use a cordless drill or a screwdriver to remove any stabilizing brackets for the window treatment. They’re usually located at the bottom of the window treatments and attached with two screws on each side of any bracket mounted vertically.
Then remove the “L”-shaped brackets that’re located at the top outer corners of the window treatments. Be patient removing these screws, as they can often be difficult to reach and the brackets can easily get stripped out, which complicates things when you’re replacing them. Only remove the wall portion of the bracket, rather than the portion connected to the window treatment itself.
Put all of the screws in a safe place so they don’t get lost, since you’ll need them to reattach your window treatments later.
While they’re removed, take the opportunity to clean the walls around the windows. Since the areas behind the window treatments are really hard to reach, those areas don’t get thoroughly cleaned very often.
Avoid using solvents to clean the interior of your RV because they can cause the bonding agents of the wallpaper and window seals to separate. Just use warm soapy water to remove any accumulated grime, then rinse with a damp towel, and thoroughly dry the walls. A pipe cleaner or old toothbrush can help you get dust out of the window grooves.
4. Mount the First Bracket
Measure your blinds and use a power drill with extensions to drill pilot holes about an inch below where the window covers go. This ensures that you won’t block the reinstallation of the window treatments with the bracket for your new blinds.
There are at least two screws per bracket and there are only two brackets provided for each blind. They are often a bit fragile, so try not to break them. Use a screwdriver to carefully tighten the screws into the pilot holes for the first bracket.
5. Mount the Second Bracket
This is where a second pair of hands is helpful. Temporarily slide the blind into the first installed bracket. Have your assistant hold the window blind steady while you use a bubble level and determine where the opposing bracket should be mounted. Then, follow the directions for step 4.
6. Place the Blind
After you have the brackets installed, slide the window blind into them. Many plastic brackets have a cover that clicks when it’s locked in place. Metal ones have a groove that the blind locks into. In our experience, these aren’t as reliable. They can be reinforced by placing long screws into the substrate above the blind on both sides and in the middle of the blind’s housing to support its weight.
7. Replace the Window Treatments
Ensure that the blinds are totally secure in the brackets before you reinstall the window covers. If one of the brackets got stripped out during removal, you’ll have to reattach it at a different location on the window treatment. Avoid over tightening the screws in case you need to move them so they match your new blinds better. Plus, if you’ve considered updating your window treatments, now would be the perfect time.
As you can see, the most time-consuming part is removing and replacing the window coverings. Blinds are a relatively inexpensive and easy way to greatly update the interior look of your space while increasing privacy, and improving temperature control. In fact, when done properly, they can adjust the interior temperature of your RV by as much as ten degrees, add value to your investment, and improve your overall quality of life on the road.