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RV shades vs blinds vs curtains

RV Shades vs Blinds vs Curtains

RV shades, blinds, and curtains are popular window treatment options for your RV (recreational vehicle) or travel trailer.  However, they have different features and benefits. So, a suitable and futuristic choice for your RV’s window covering will depend on several factors, like purpose, material choice, style, durability, mounting option, lift mechanism, measurement, installation, and – of course- affordability.

A Brief Overview: RV Shades vs Blinds vs Curtains

RV shades

RV shades are made specifically for RVs (campers). They are usually more durable and energy-efficient than regular window shades used in brick-and-mortar houses. You can use them to block light and provide privacy.

RV blinds

RV blinds are another popular choice for your recreational vehicle’s window coverings. They also provide privacy and can block light, but they can also be adjusted to allow in more or less light depending on your needs.

RV curtains

RV curtains are a third option to treat your travel trailer’s windows. You can use them to add a decorative touch to the RV while providing privacy and curb appeal. They can also be used to block out light. However, RV curtains are generally not as effective at insulating or blocking out light as RV shades or blinds.

Nevertheless, the choice between these RV window coverings will depend on your personal need, taste, and preference.

Comparison Chart: RV Shades, Blinds, and Curtains

Window Treatment TypeRV ShadesRV BlindsRV Curtains
PurposeLight filtration, blackout, insulationPrivacy, light control, light blockagePrivacy, decorative touch
Material ChoicesLightweight fabric, polyester, cottonWood, plastic, metal, aluminum, vinylCotton, polyester, sheer fabrics
Mounting OptionsInside, outside, screw-mounted, screwless-mounting, adhesive-mounted, clamp-mounted, Velcro-mounted, and magnetic-mountedInside, outside, ceiling, wall, corner, and flush mount Rod pocket, grommet, tab top, eyelets, rings and clips, track system, and tab back mounting
StyleRoller, Roman, pleated, bamboo, cellular, solar, blackout, sheer, woven wood, and zebra shadesVenetian, vertical, horizontal, mini, honeycombGrommet, tab-top, pleated, tie-back, tie-up, rod-pocket, valance, panel, and sheer curtains
DurabilityMore durablethe sameLess durable
Energy EfficiencyHighIntermediateLow
Lift OptionsManual//wand/rod/cord lift, cordless, battery-operated, and smart liftthe samethe same
Cleaning and MaintenanceDusting (with a soft cloth), vacuuming, washingthe samethe same
MeasurementEasy DIY Measurementthe sameEasier DIY Measurement
InstallationConvenient DIY Installationthe sameMore convenient DIY Installation
AffordabilityLess to more expensive Affordable (depends on material)Inexpensive to luxury

Pros and Cons of RV Shades, Blinds, and Curtains

Pros of RV Shades

  • Privacy
  • Heat and light control
  • Soundproofing
  • Easy to install
  • Cost-effective
  • Multiple style options
  • Complete Customization

Cons of RV Shades

  • Reduced natural light
  • Difficult to clean

Pros of RV Blinds

  • Horizontal and vertical slat orientation options
  • High durability
  • Improved insulation
  • Light and privacy control
  • A wide range of custom options

Cons of RV Blinds

  • Higher maintenance cost
  • Limited styles

Pros of RV Curtains

  • Privacy
  • Light control
  • Aesthetic or curb appeal
  • Ease of installation

Cons of RV Curtains

  • Light leaks
  • Wear and tear
  • Limited ventilation 
  • Taking up more space

Material Choices for RV Shades, Blinds, & Curtains

RV shades, blinds, and curtains are available in several types of materials, so you can choose one that suits the needs and interior décor of your recreational vehicle (RV).

RV shades are usually made from a lightweight fabric material that is easy to roll up and down. Also, they are made from other types of materials like polyester or cotton, and you can find them in a variety of colors, styles, and patterns.

RV blinds are usually made from materials like aluminum or vinyl. Other types of materials used in RV blinds include wood, plastic, and metal.

Curtains are another popular choice for RV windows, and they are often made from materials like cotton, polyester, or sheer fabrics. They can be hung on a rod or track and provide a more traditional look.

Each type of material used in RV window treatments has its own pros and cons, and it depends on individual preference and budget.

Styles of RV Shades, Blinds, & Curtains

There are several styles of RV shades, blinds, and curtains on the online market that you can choose from.

Roller RV Shades: These are mobile homeowners’ favorite choice, as they are easy to operate (raise, lower, and adjust) and provide a clean, sleek, and modern look.

Pleated RV Shades: These RV shades have an accordion-like appearance and are a great option for RVs because they can be easily folded up and stored when not in use. Also, they come in different colors, sizes, and patterns, and can be made with different types of fabrics.

Roman Shades for Campers: These RV window shades have a classic look. They are made with a fabric material and have a fold-up design that adds a decorative touch to your recreational vehicle’s interior.

Solar shade: These shades are designed to block out the sun’s harsh UV rays and are a great choice for RVs that are parked in sunny locations. You can fully customize them for colors and patterns, and you can find them in different types of fabrics, such as mesh or vinyl.

Cellular Shades: Also called honeycomb RV shades, they are good at providing insulation and light control.

Blackout Shades: Blackout or nightfall RV shades can completely block out light to create a night-like environment for a  children’s cabin and a bedroom for day-sleepers in your RV.

Other types of RV Shade styles include:

  • Sheer Shades
  • Bamboo Shades
  • Woven Wood Shades
  • Zebra Shades

Styles of RV Blinds

Different styles of RV blinds include:

Venetian Blinds: They have adjustable slats that you can tilt to control the amount of light and privacy as per your requirements.

Vertical Blinds: These RV window treatments have vertical slats that can be adjusted for light control and privacy.

Mini Blinds: Mini blinds for RV have a more traditional style that features small aluminum slats.

Styles of RV Curtains

Some frequently occurring styles of RV curtains include:

  • Grommet Top Curtains: These RV curtains have metal open rings that are punched into the fabric of the curtain at the top of the panels. These rods allow them to slide along the rods easily.
  • Tab-Top Curtains for RVs: In these window treatments, the top of the curtain panel has tabs or loops that slide onto a rod or ring, rather than being hung from grommets or rings. You can use them for a casual, relaxed style and add interest to your travel trailer with their unique appearance.

Other styles of RV curtains include:

  • Pleated Curtains
  • Tie-Back Curtains
  • Rod Pocket Curtains
  • Valance Curtains
  • Sheer curtains
  • Panel curtains
  • Rod pocket curtains
  • Tie-up curtains

Mounting Options for RV Blinds, Shades, and Curtains

There are several options for mounting shades, blinds, and curtains, including:

  • Inside mount: In this case, an RV shade, blind, or curtain is mounted inside the window frame or casing, creating a clean and streamlined look.
  • Outside mount: An outside mount shade, blind, or curtain is mounted outside the window frame of your RV. This can be useful for windows that are not square or when you want to block more light or get better privacy.
  • Combination mount: In combination, two or more mount options can be used to create a customized appearance and provide maximum functionalities.
  • Screw-mounted: This is the most used method of mounting RV blinds, shades, and curtains. Screws are used to attach the mounting hardware to the window frame of the RV.
  • Adhesive-mounted: Adhesive mounting hardware can be applied directly to the window frame without fixing screws.
  • Magnetic-mounted: Some RV shades and blinds can be attached to metal surfaces using magnets. This makes them extremely easy to install and remove.
  • Velcro-mounted: You can mount some RV curtains using Velcro. This option allows them to be easily removed and reattached as and when needed.
  • Clamp-mounted: For the RV blinds mounted on the outside of the RV window, clamp-mounting is a suitable option.
  • Screwless mounting: Some RV Blinds, shades, and curtains have a screwless mounting option which makes them easy to install and remove.

Lift Options for RV Blinds, Shades, and Curtains

You can raise, lower, or adjust your RV shades, blinds, and curtains using various lift mechanisms. Different lift options for RV blinds, shades, and curtains include:

Corded/Manual lift: It uses a cord or a rod to raise, lower and adjust your camper’s blind, shade, or curtain. You can operate it by hand or with a wand.

Cordless lift: A spring-loaded mechanism is used to raise or lower the window treatment. The absence of cords makes it a safer option for children and pets.

Motorized lift: A motorized lift mechanism uses a small electric motor to raise and lower the blind, shade, or curtain. It can be controlled with a push-button, a remote, or a wall switch.

Smart lift: In the smart lift, the operation is controlled with voice commands or a smartphone app. Also, you can integrate your window treatments into a smart home system.

Battery-operated lift: This lift mechanism uses a battery-powered motor to raise and lower the RV shade, blind, or curtain. No electrical wiring is needed, which makes it a good option for RVs and other vehicles.

Comparative Durability of RV Blinds, Shades, and Curtains

RV shades and blinds are usually considered more durable than RV curtains. They are made of sturdier materials like wood, plastic, or metal. So, they can withstand more wear and tear. Also, they are easier to clean and maintain, as you can conveniently wipe or dust them. 

RV curtains, on the other hand, are made from fabric materials and may fade or become stained over time. They also need more frequent cleaning and maintenance activities, such as washing or dry cleaning. However, curtains for travel trailers can be more versatile in terms of design and can add a decorative touch to a room.

Relative Affordability of RV Window Treatments

RV shades and curtains tend to be more expensive than curtains, but the prices vary greatly depending on the choice of material, style, design, and brand or manufacturer. For example, basic vinyl blinds and shades for recreational vehicles can be relatively cheap, while high-end motorized or wooden products are quite costly. 

RV curtains, on the other hand, range from inexpensive to luxury products, depending on the fabric type, quality, and design.

Cleaning Options for RV Blinds, Shades, and Curtains

  • Remove dust with a soft cloth or a feather duster regularly.
  • Vacuum your RV window treatments with a brush attachment.
  • Do spot cleaning with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Remove and hand wash RV shades, blinds, and curtains in a bathtub.
  • Use a handheld steamer for stubborn dirt or wrinkles.

Bottom Line

While RV shades, blinds, and curtains have their own pros and cons, you can go for a suitable window treatment for your recreational vehicle depending on your needs and taste.