Window Cover Recommendations?

Hi everybody!

After a few years living in my van full-time, it’s time for my current window covers to be replaced. Seems like a small thing but I move them around 2 times per day so I’d love them to be more efficient. They are put up every night and taken down most days, then usually shoved behind my drivers seat. Originally, I hand-sewed insulated window covers. Their exterior material is canvas and they are filled with two layers of reflectix. You can see a few photos below from when I first made them back in 2016…

Because they are just stuffed tightly into the window frame/as they have worn over time, they no longer stay up on their own and usually require having something leaned against them. Not the end of the world but I have a lot of windows (4) so this can get annoying very fast…

Wondering what is most recommended. Magnets? Velcro? Snaps? Curtains? I’d like something that will last longer this time around. I have 3 slider windows and 1 t-vent window (pictured below), and I just want to make sure that light isn’t leaking through the sides. I stealth fairly regularly and am a solo female traveler so maintaining privacy is an absolute must for me.

Recommendations on your most preferred form of window covers would be very appreciated! Thank you all!

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This will show you exactly what we did :hugs:
Week 8 of our Sprinter Van Conversion series:

Hope that helps!!
Xx,
B

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Thank you so much! This is beyond helpful. I’ve been considering magnets (multiple people have recommended via Instagram) but wasn’t sure how to sew them onto the current window covers I have.

Super helpful video! Thanks guys!

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I would just take the reflection curtains/shades you already have and embed them in fabric and see rate earth magnets on in “tabs”.

The video from Mr and Mrs Adventure above is awesome… but depending on where you plan to travel we actually had hot glue fail in hot temps inside the van. If you can see the tabs on (as well as the seam around the outside of the shades) all the better too make sure you aren’t having to redo it in the future!

For the record… in early van trials we tested/tried Velcro, snaps, etc and all failed. Magnets are the winner for sure (with a few suction cups in the middle of the front windshield because those panels end up sagging simply due to size/weight.

Good luck!!

I appreciate this. I was definitely hoping to hear from some people who have tried various techniques so I could hear about the comparison. I didn’t even consider the hot glue melting in the sun…

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

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Now you can see little “cat paws” :heart_eyes_cat:

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Greetings!

I’m not real big on sewing stuff, so I use a combination of regular and magnetic binder clips.

In the picture below, on right you can see how I tuck a binder clip in above my windows, then I string twine through them for my curtain rods. Then I use the magnetic binder clips on the left, to secure my curtains on the sides and bottoms.

My current curtains are black fleece, but previously I got some quilted oven mitt type material from a fabric store. One side was a silver metallic type material, and the other side was patterned, with some sort of insulation in between. I spray dyed the patterned side black, and then if I was trying to keep heat out, I would use the metallic side out, and if I was trying to keep in, I’d use the metallic side facing in. Both types seem to work really well at keeping the heat out or in, although I rarely use them at all.

Another trick that I have discovered is that the cheap mylar emergency blankets are actually see through. You can spritz some water on the inside of a window, and apply one of them using a small squeegee to remove the air bubbles, and you will have mirror tint on the outside, and see through tint on the inside. It’s not light proof at night, but it’s great for privacy during the day, and really keeps the heat out. We bought the emergency blankets we used at a dollar store, and I’m not totally sure whether they’re all the same or not, but they’re really cheap and easy to apply. Just cut them slightly larger than your window, apply them, then trim them with a razor blade for an exact fit.

Cheers!


"Smiles are contagious, pass them on!" ~ Van_Dweller



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I don’t know how difficult these are to build, but this sliding shade is my ideal style of window covering.

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These are a great idea for someone starting from the beginning but my walls and general build frame have been setup for a few years. Redoing the windows would be much harder for me.

Hopefully this passes inspiration to somebody else though - thank you for the recommendation!