How To Repair Broken RV Blinds
The view out an RV window tends to be pretty fantastic. Whether you’re parked on the beach, in the mountains, or in the woods, you’re going to have some gorgeous scenery to admire. That said, there are times when you want to use your RV blinds to cover up those views in order to get some privacy.
If your RV blinds aren’t working for some reason, you will need to learn how to fix them. Fortunately, there are ways to fix broken RV blinds in many cases. In this article, we will address the most common issues and how to fix them. Additionally, we will provide information on how to replace your RV blinds, and what you should do when it’s time to put the RV into storage in order to ensure the blinds are in tip-top shape when they come out again.
Let’s dive in.
How to fix RV blinds: Restringing blinds
The most common issues people have with their RV blinds involve the strings. The strings in these blinds tend to break or become frayed, leading to issues such as:
- Shades that don’t want to go up or down.
- Blinds that lift or lower unevenly.
- Problems with window coverings that catch as they are being raised or lowered.
Fortunately, restringing RV blinds is actually a relatively simple process that will have your RV blinds looking and working as good as new. Here’s how to fix RV blinds when this is the problem.
1. Purchase a new cord
First, you will need to purchase some new string. This can be found at most fabric stores but can also be bought from RV blind manufacturers and on Amazon. Even small blinds require a good 12 feet of cord, so be sure to buy plenty of it. Color doesn’t matter too much, but if you can match your shades, go for it.
2. Remove the valance
You’ll want to remove any valances or other window treatments before beginning this task.
3. Detach cord anchors
Unscrew the cord anchors from the wall.
4. Remove the shade from the wall
Remove the shade from the wall by gently twisting the header bar up and away from the wall to pop it loose from the brackets.
5. Unscrew knobs
Using a screwdriver, remove any knobs on the shade.
6. Pry open cord anchors
Pry open the cord anchors using a flathead screwdriver, and remove them from the cords.
7. Remove end caps
Pop the end caps off the ends of the shade tracks using a flathead screwdriver.
8. Slide all tracks to disassemble the shade, and note how the shade is strung
Slide the top aluminum track piece off to one side. Carefully observe the cord and make a note of how it is strung through the top part of the shade. Slide the middle track pieces apart and note where the strings go from there (most cross in the middle). Finally, remove the bottom track piece, and make a note of what the strings do beneath it.
9. Remove the cord
Once you have drawn a diagram of how the shade is strung, remove the cord by pulling it up through the top of the shade.
10. Measure and cut the new cord
Lay the old cord out flat and measure two new pieces of string by laying the new cord alongside the old. Your new pieces should be six inches longer than the old pieces to leave room for knots and for error.
11. Prepare the spring
Prepare the spring by cutting the old cord off of it and tying the new cord on either side.
12. Restring the shade and replace tracks
Using your diagram, restring the shade, sliding the tracks back into place as you go.
13. Reinstall end caps
Pop the end caps back into place, making sure to pull the strings through the bottom end caps.
14. Screw in knobs
Replace the knobs on the front of the shade.
15. Check that the cord is centered
Ensure the cords coming out of each side are the same length. If they aren’t, adjust the cord so that it is centered and the cords on each side are even with one another.
16. Reattach cord anchors to strings
Place the string on one side of the shade into the track on one side of the large piece of one cord anchor. Pop the smaller piece of that anchor into the larger piece. Repeat with the other cord anchor on the other side.
17. Clip the shade to the wall
Clip the shade back onto the wall.
18. Screw cord anchors into the wall
Pull the cord anchors down the strings to where they screw into the wall, then screw them back into place.
19. Adjust tension
Adjust the tension of the strings by tightening or loosening the screw on each cord anchor. The blinds should stay in place but should not be hard to move. They should move up and down evenly.
20. Cut off any excess cord
Once the tension is adjusted, cut off excess cord.
21. Reinstall valance
Finally, rehang any valances or other window treatments.
Need more help? Try watching the instructional video below:
Other issues with RV blinds
Of course, broken strings aren’t the only problem that can come up. Below are a few other tips on how to fix RV blinds.
Grooves or jagged edges
If your shade keeps catching but the strings are in good condition, you might have an issue with worn parts. Sometimes, a cord guide, filler strip, or end cap can become worn out by the string passing over it. This results in grooves, gouges, or jagged edges in the plastic. Any of these things will cause the shade to stop moving smoothly and can be fixed simply by replacing the worn part.
If you have a string hanging freely from one of your RV blinds, it has come loose from a cord anchor. If the anchor is still in good shape, you can fix the issue by unscrewing the anchor from the wall, replacing the sting, and screwing the anchor back into place. Of course, broken cord anchors will need to be replaced.
Poor or uneven tension
Too little tension can cause shades to fall. Meanwhile, too much tension will result in shades that don’t want to move at all. If you have uneven tension, the shades might go up and down unevenly. In all cases, you should be able to fix the problem by using a screwdriver to adjust the tension provided by the cord anchors.
If you’re having issues with a shade that won’t lift or lower, and neither tension nor a broken string are the issue, it could be that you’re dealing with a stretched spring. Remove the shade from the wall, remove the top aluminum track piece, and take a look at the spring. If it looks stretched, it will need to be replaced.
Replacing your RV blinds
Sometimes RV blinds cannot be fixed. In other cases, they just aren’t worth fixing. Fortunately, RV blinds can be replaced. You might choose to purchase RV replacement blinds like these, but we find that any pleated shade in the correct size will do the trick as long as you find a way to anchor the bottoms of the shades while driving, or drive the rig with the blinds in the lifted position.
How to store RV blinds
When it comes time to put your RV in storage, be sure the blinds are lifted all the way up. This helps the pleats keep their shape, often removing the need to know how to fix RV blinds. It also prevents dust and dirt from accumulating on the shades and can help prevent fading from sunlight.
Track your RV maintenance
Now you know how to fix RV blinds, make sure you keep them in good shape. Keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.