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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.
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—or in the case, the ceiling of the slide-out!—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 an RV feel lighter and brighter (without cracking open a can of paint!).
5. Bamboo Shades
The RV above mixed in two styles of window coverings—sheer curtains and bamboo Roman shades.
- Roman Shade , Window treatments - Bamboo shades indoor
6. More Bamboo Shades!
Bamboo shades are popular for many different styles right now, including this boho RV. We're seeing this style again…
7. And Again!
Paired with curtains this time.
8. And Again!
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Kitchen Dish Towels with Drapery Clips
RV owner Susie Crabtree used dishtowels and drapery clips in the same way in her RV kitchen.
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.
16. Cedar Valances
This RVer kept the brackets from her old valances to reattach her new, DIY cedar valances. The valances steal the show, but she added white accordion blinds as well as decorative curtains to some of the windows.
17. Wood Framing with a Windowsill
John and Robyn Crowhurst used real oak to frame two of the windows of their 1990 toy hauler, and Robyn's dream of cooling a pie on her windowsill finally came true.
18. 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.
19. Wood Framing with Burlap Roller Shades
20. 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.
21. 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. You could even use thumbtacks!
22. DIY Curtains
RVer Chantal used this tutorial she found on Pinterest to add roll-up shades to her bedroom. The fabric is actually a shower curtain she found at Target!
23. 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.
24. Add some macrame!
Why not add a little decor in front of your existing shades to brighten up your RV? This macrame perfectly complements the boho vibe of this RV!
25. 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.
26. 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.
27. 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
28. 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.
29. Hanging Curtains Behind the Valance
Owner Jenn Hogan used a simple tension rod to hang curtains behind her RV's valances.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
Or, if you prefer a more rustic look, these DIY-aged wood cornices might be a good option.
33. 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.
34. Build a Cornice Box
This RV owner built and installed a cornice box and hung curtains behind it.
DIY Shades and Blinds
35. Roll up Fabric Shades
DIY fabric shades are a great way to personalize your RV. Just choose a fabric you love that fits your design style!
36. Again, but with leather clasps!
This look is everywhere! This couple opted for black fabric to match their bedroom, but we love the metal clasps they chose to hold the shades open.
37. Dowel Rods and Ikea Curtains
This RVer took the curtains from her home—purchased from Ikea—and cut them to size for her RV windows. She bought inexpensive dowel rods from Home Depot and cut them to size for simple curtain rods.
38. 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:
39. 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.
40. 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
41. 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.
42. 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
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. Day Shades
Skip the blackout shades and opt for just day shades!
47. Wait, is that leather?
Like we said: Roll-up shades are everywhere and you can make them in any fabric you like!
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 47 RV window makeover ideas have you eager to tackle your own RV renovation project.
Need more RV decor inspiration? Check out these articles: