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How to Restring Pleated Shades In Your RV With A Pleated Shade First Aid Kit

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Pleated shades provide privacy and block out annoying direct sunlight if you have to park in a less than perfect camping spot.

Over time, the mechanical guts of your pleated shades may wear out. That’s where a pleated shade repair kit comes in.

You can buy the kit directly from United Shade, but it’s a few dollars cheaper through an online store like Amazon.

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In this video, Mark Polk of RV Education 101 will show you how to use a pleated shade repair kit to fix a broken shade.

United Shade Repair Kit Image

How to Repair Shades In An RV

To be honest, the process sounds a lot more confusing than it really is. You might get bogged down in the ‘this goes left, this goes right’ instructions, but once you have your shade sitting in front of you, it isn’t all that difficult to keep things straight.


Hi I’m Mark Polk with RV Education 101.

If you own an RV and have pleated shades in your RV you won’t want to miss this video.

Day / night shades are a great feature in an RV, and to keep them in tip top shape, or to restring a broken shade, you won’t want to leave home without this pleated shade first aid kit by United Shade.

The kit includes all the hardware you need to repair or restring a pleated shade with easy to follow instructions. Let me show you how easy it is to restring a pleated shade using the first aid kit.

The first step is to determine the type of pleated shade you are restringing. The illustrated instructions walk you through the process for day / night, night only, or day only, and the number of cords in the shade, 2 or 4.

The only tools you need for the job are a flathead screwdriver, philips head screwdriver, and a pair of scissors.

The shade we are stringing in today’s demonstration is a day / night shade with two cords.

The first step is to remove the shade from the window.

Start by removing the screws from the cord retainers at the bottom of the window.

Next, remove the shade from the window.

Some shades use a quick install option meaning the shade’s top rail has holes in it and is screwed in.

If this is the case, remove the screws. Other shades have brackets like these. To unclip the brackets place a flathead screwdriver between the bracket and the head rail, and apply some pressure to separate the bracket from the headrail.

Place the shade on a dry, clean, flat surface. Carefully pry loose the end caps using a flathead screwdriver, avoiding damage to the plastic cap.

Set these parts aside for reassembly later.

Next, we want to remove the rails. The rails slide off horizontally. The bottom rail might get hung up on a knob rivet, so be firm and it will eventually slide off.

Remove the fabric from the center rail. Cut off or remove the cord retainers. Now, you can pull out the old cord from the top rail. Cut off the old cords from the spring. Inspect the spring for any damage.

If the spring is damaged, you can replace it with the supplied spring from the first aid kit. Remove two new cords from the first aid kit.

Attach one cord to each side of the spring by tying a double knot. Inspect the cord bushings in the fabric and if any are broken or worn, replace them with a supplied bushing from the kit.

Carefully thread the cord through the bushing, noting that the cord coming from the left will run down through the left side of the material, and the cord coming from the right will run down through the right side of the fabric.

The cords will cross at the bottom of the center rail, so that the cord that runs down the left hand side of the shade crosses over and now comes out through the right hand side of the bottom rail.

Repeat this same procedure for the right hand side of the shade.

Now thread the cord through the day portion of the shade. You will cross the cords again in the bottom rail and the cords will come out each side of the bottom rail.

With the new cords installed, slide the top rail back onto the shade. Position the top rail so that the bracket groove is facing toward the front of the shade.

Reinstall the top rail end caps.

Slide the day fabric onto the center rail, making sure the cords remain crossed. Slide the bottom rail back onto the shade, making sure the cords remain crossed. Thread the cord through the bottom rail end caps, and reinstall the end caps.

For a single cord, tie knots at the end of the cord based on the required length measurement. And loop the cord around the center post of the cord retainer base. Snap on the cord retainer cap.

For double cords, tie a knot at the end of the cord based on the required length measurement, and loop one cord around one side of the cord retainer post, and the other cord around the opposite side of the post.

Snap on the cord retainer lid.

The only thing left to do is reinstall the shade in the window. If the shade does not stay in the upright position, you can increase tension in the cords by retying knots into a shorter position. That’s all there is to restringing a pleated shade in your RV.

Just follow the instructions for the type of shade you have and your shade will be like new before you know it.

One pleated shade first aid kit can repair up to five shades.

For more information on every type of shade imaginable for  your RV or to purchase a pleated shade first aid kit, visit

Happy camping.

There may be small errors in this transcript.


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