35 Ideas for an RV Window Makeover
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Ashley Mann spent three years living full time in a 38-foot, 5th-wheel RV with her husband Josiah and their cat, Kitty. Her favorite thing about RV life is the challenge of finding the perfect way to organize a space, and she loves seeing all the creative and clever ways people come up with to customize their RVs.
If you're not loving the factory window treatment in your camper or motorhome, it's time to give your RV windows a new look!
This RV window makeover guide will show how RV owners have replaced or recovered their RV window treatments. Ideas include no-sew curtains, traditional curtains, and ideas for covering or even painting the installed valances.
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Watch this video for a taste of what you'll find here:
Before you close this browser, we hope to inspire you in your RV makeover. Let's dive in.
How to Remove Your Existing Window Treatments
Factory-installed valances are often bulky and can even block parts of your windows. For most window makeovers, RV owners remove the window treatments altogether. (Skip down to #15 to see examples of valance makeovers that don't require breaking out the power tools!)
Valances are easily removed and this video from Mountain Modern Life demonstrates how to tackle this project on your own:
Once you've removed the existing factory window treatments, they can be replaced with whatever you want.
Just remember to only use screws the same length (or shorter) than the screws that were in the valances you removed. I recommend holding onto the screws from the valances so you can reuse them or measure bracket screws against them.
Curtains are an easy and inexpensive way to personalize your RV. (And by far the most popular RV window makeover!)
1. Mount Curtain Rods at the Top of Your Walls
One common trick that can help make your windows look bigger is to mount the curtain rods along the tops of your walls instead of just at the top of the window.
2. Add Patterned Curtains
Combining patterned curtains with white curtains or sheers allows you to introduce a pop of color without making your decor look too busy.
3. Mimic Draperies
The owner of this RV chose a Victorian-style decor for his RV makeover. He created a luxurious feel by covering the walls of his dining slideout with full-length curtains.
4. Sheer White Curtains
Sheer white curtains can help a brown RV feel lighter and brighter (without cracking open a can of paint!).
5. Curtains Made from Sheets
This RV owner made her own curtains out of white sheets to save money. White curtains create a look similar to sheer curtains, but will give you more privacy when they're pulled closed.
The white curtains in the photo above inspired me so much that I decided to make white curtains for my RV, too! I made mine out of white twin-sized bed sheets from Walmart.
6. Use Command Hooks to Hang Curtains
When I made my curtains, I realized very quickly how time-consuming installing curtain brackets on so many windows is.
I came across an idea from an RV owner named Vanessa of using Command hooks to hang lightweight curtains as a way to avoid drilling more holes in the wall.
These look almost indistinguishable from curtain brackets but save a ton of installation time.
I borrowed Vanessa's idea and used adhesive hooks to hang my curtains too.
7. Adhesive Hooks with Floor Length Curtains
RV owner Tiffany Mass also used Command strips and hooks to hang curtains successfully, making Command brand what I would recommend for hanging your curtains.
Create Your Own No-Sew RV Curtains
If you can't sew but don't mind a DIY project, here are some curtain ideas that don't require sewing.
8. No-sew Curtains from Bed Sheets
RV owner Danielle cut up inexpensive bedsheets from Walmart to make curtains for her whole RV. By cutting the open ends of the top of the sheet, a pocket was created for hanging the curtains, and to hem the raw edges, Danielle first folded and ironed them flat, then used No-Sew fabric glue to keep them folded in place.
The thin sheets let in a lot of light during the day while still giving a little privacy.
9. Pillowcases with Drapery Clips
RV owner Tara Medlin used pillowcases folded to the right length to make these pretty curtains for her RV. The drapery clips hang from the rod and keep the pillowcases clipped closed at the right spot—no cutting or sewing required.
You can see more pictures including some close-ups of how she made them on her Instagram page.
10. Kitchen Dish Towels with Drapery Clips
RV owner Susie Crabtree used dishtowels and drapery clips in the same way in her RV kitchen.
11. Burlap Curtains Hung with Clothespins
These curtains were made by RV owner Brooke Seaman by using clothespins to clip burlap sack material to a piece of wire hung across her windows. If you're worried about burlap potentially unraveling, you can glue bias tape around the raw edges.
Frame RV Windows with Wood
Several RV owners have covered their RV windows with real or faux wood to make them look more like windows in a house.
12. Wood Framing with a Windowsill
The first RV owners I saw do this were John and Robyn Crowhurst. John used real oak to frame two of the windows their 1990 toy hauler, and Robyn's dream of cooling a pie on her windowsill finally came true.
13. Wood Framing
RV owner Brooke Seaman framed the window of her travel trailer with real wood as well.
Believe it or not, that is the same RV as the one with the burlap curtains pictured earlier! She often gets tired of how she's decorated and enjoys redoing everything. Her remodel is proof of what a big difference window treatments can make in a space.
14. Wood Framing with Burlap Roller Shades
Eric and Katie of ModernMountainLife.com wrote an excellent blog post about how they framed their RV windows (and another one about how they made the burlap roller shades above).
14. Rustic Wood Framing with Copper Pipe Curtain Rods
The owner of this RV, Melissa Escobar, used Timberwall brand peel-and-stick shiplap lumber to frame her windows. She combined many window makeover ideas using drapery clips, curtains, and DIY copper pipe curtain rods.
Non-permanent RV Window Makeovers
If you want to personalize and brighten your RV but are worried about making any changes that can't be undone, you might consider one of these ideas.
15. Pinning Fabric over RV Valances
RV owners Kristin and Erica pinned new fabric onto their cornices. This can be one of the least costly ways to makeover your RV windows.
16. Recovering Valances + Blinds + Curtains
In addition to pinning fabric over her existing valances, Kristin also added residential blinds and curtains to complete her windows' new look.
17. Using Thumbtacks to Create a Valance
RV owner Yvette did something similar by using thumbtacks to attach fabric atop the factory valances. Upholstery tacks could be used the same way. They are spiral-shaped so they won't come out as easily as thumbtacks might.
Then she hung matching curtains inside the window boxes using easily removable tension rods.
18. Bunching and Pinning Fabric
RV blogger Heather did this as well, bunching the fabric as she pinned. You can read how to copy her no-sew method in this blog post.
19. Lace Table Runners
RV owner Cathy pinned lace table runners to her valances, using a butter knife to tuck the ends in at the edges. She also used tension rods to hang the lace curtains from under the cornices.
19. Ruffle Valance
This RV came with wood cornices framing the windows, so RV owner Debbie added a ruffle hung with tension rods to give her RV a homier feel.
Cornice / Valance Makeover Ideas
20. Hanging Curtains Behind the Valance (+ adding lanterns)
RV owners Jenn and Penny worked with their RV's original decor by hanging curtains from a tension rod under the original cornice. Penny also added battery-operated lanterns on hooks, which she says she takes down while the RV is moving.
21. Hanging Curtains Behind the Valance
Owner Jenn Hogan used a simple tension rod to hang curtains behind her RV's valances.
22. Recovering the Cornice/Valance with New Fabric
RV owner Juanita removed and then stapled new fabric over her cornices and tucked it in along the curved edge using a butter knife.
She started by covering each cornice with fabric cut from a cheap white bed sheet to make sure the original pattern didn't show through, then added a second layer made from a pretty tablecloth.
23. Recovering the Valances (sometimes keeping the RV blinds, sometimes adding curtains)
Angela Kevin recovered her valances, but mixed up her window treatments, keeping the RV blinds in the bedroom, but adding curtains in the living room and blinds in the bathroom.
24. Painting the Fabric Window Cornices/Valances
RV owner Lisa painted the fabric of her cornices using flat latex paint before adding curtains underneath.
She used the same red paint on the upholstered chair as well.
If you're new to painting fabric furniture, this article can teach you how.
Build Your Own Cornices (Five Tutorials)
If you like the look of valances and cornices around your windows and love a good project, you can build your own.
Here is a tutorial for building a cornice out of wood. (I'll show you a similar example next that uses luan as a lighter-weight option for RVs.)
If you don't plan on using tension rods to hang anything under your cornices, you can make a lightweight fabric-covered cornice out of foam using this tutorial, or even using recycled cardboard by following these instructions.
You can also build a cornice box with this tutorial. You could even use polystyrene foam molding to reduce weight.
Or, if you prefer a more rustic look, these DIY-aged wood cornices might be a good option.
25. Remaking the Cornices/Valances
RV owner Donna removed the puffy valances that came with her RV (which she described as “80's prom dress”) and made her own cornices. She used 1″ x 4″ lumber for the ends of the cornice boxes and attached lightweight luan with a pin nailer for the top and front.
She then stapled fabric over the entire cornice and glued lace to the front. Finally, she hung them using “L” brackets and hung curtains from tension rods inside.
26. Build a Cornice Box
This RV owner built and installed a cornice box and hung curtains behind it.
DIY Shades and Blinds
27. DIY Roman Shades
RV owner Debbie Watt covered her park model RV's cornices with fabric and turned cheap mini blinds into pretty Roman shades using this DIY method.
Here is what it looks like on the back to give you an idea of how it works:
28. DIY Stagecoach Valances
Another RV owner, Christina, gave the shades that came with her RV a makeover in stagecoach style. These valances stay up and give the RV a more country style.
29. DIY Burlap Window Shades
I already mentioned this renovation for their gorgeous wood frames, but I love these DIY burlap window shades Katie and Eric of Mountain Modern Life made for their motorhome.
You can read their tutorial on how to make them here.
Wood Blinds and Curtains
30. Wide-Slat Residential Blinds
The wide-slat residential blinds and curtains used in this RV give the room the look and feel of a real house.
You don't often see wood blinds in RVs because they will swing and move as an RV moves down the road and can be heavy.
If you're stationary in your RV, this isn't a concern. But if you're a traveler, you can opt for faux wood blinds which are much lighter, and use L brackets to secure the base of the blinds.
31. Wood Valances
RV owners Kim and Jason built this wood valance for their RV by attaching old barn wood to their RV's factory-installed cornices. The barn wood was screwed in from the back so the screws wouldn't show. They then hung curtains made from canvas painter's drop cloths from their RV's original curtain rods using drapery clips.
More Unique Ideas
32. DIY Fabric Accent
RV owner Brooke hung a garland made out of strips of torn fabric across this window to complement her bedroom's decor.
33. A Patriotic Makeover
After painting her cornices blue and adding new curtains underneath, RV owner Yvette embellished her windows with a patriotic berry garland, star string lights, and other Americana-themed decor.
33. Lace Screens
RV owner Madeleine replaced the screens of her camper with lace, gluing the fabric to the inside of her window frames. A similar (but easily removable) idea is to use a homemade starch mixture to paste lace to windows, resulting in a frosted privacy window effect. Learn how here.
34. Privacy Window Film
You could also do away with window coverings altogether and apply removable privacy window film that lets light in but can't be seen through.
35. Upgrade Your Blinds with RV Day/Night Window Shades
If you want to keep the factory-original look of your RV but simply need to replace your existing blinds, quality day/night shades can easily replace worn-out shades.
These are a great option for keeping your privacy while letting light in during the day, and they do a great job of keeping the RV dark at night.
Shop RV Day/night roller shades here.
Bonus: Insulate Your Windows
If you're RVing in the winter, one of the best things you can do is insulate your windows. This quick makeover prevents condensation and can keep your RV several degrees warmer. Here's how:
I hope these 35 RV window makeover ideas have you eager to tackle your own RV renovation project.
Need more RV decor inspiration? Check out these articles:
This will be such a good reference for anyone wanting to do any redecorating in their RV. It is done so well….. good job !!
I removed the window treatments and bought bedsheets from Walmart. I measured each window cut the sheets and used double sided fabric tape instead of sewing. I used command hooks and small round rods to hang them. The transformation is fantastic. My next project is to recover the table using vinyl placemats. My color scheme is teal with burnt orange accent. This camper is our home I want it to look like a home. Great ideas!
Wow Ashley, what a wonderful job you did pulling all this together. Thanks for such a handy reference!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m glad to know you found it helpful!
Looking to replace our current balances in our motorhome in a cherrywood fabric. Not like traditional valances you’de put in a house, but the motorhome type balance that is stiff and comes across and down the sides.
Have you considered just recovering the ones you have with different fabric? Or is that what you plan on doing?