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We’ve tried more than a few things over the years to keep our RV windows covered. Track mounted curtains. Home-made draping curtains. Pleated shades. Roller shades. Suction cup-py reflect-y thingies. We’ve even been known to try the factory-supplied shades (gasp)! But with our new loaner van, Parky, we thought we’d check the market again and see if there was a better mousetrap around. I think we’ve found one. Have a look:
We had seen the Vanmade Shades on other people’s RVs at rallies and get-togethers, and we thought we’d give them a try on the back windows of Parky. Parky has cassette-style window coverings on most of his windows, but the back windows (where the toilet is!) needed something better. So far, we’ve been pretty pleased with the Vanmade Shades.
Full disclosure: Simon did send us these shades free of charge, but we’d be just as happy with them had we paid full retail!
These shades are only one sample of the products made by Vanmade Gear. They make shades for any ProMaster, but also Sprinter and Transit vans. You’ll need to check out their website for the full range of products. But briefly, here are some of the things we like about these shades:
- They install with magnets. This means there’s really nothing to do to install them. Literally just slap them up and there you are.
- They block out all the light. No light leaks past these. Nice.
- They’re pretty well insulated. Not bulky, but enough insulation to keep you from feeling the worst of the heat or cold on the other side.
- They’re super-customizable! Want a different color? No problem! Want the pleats running horizontally instead? Can do.
- They fit most of the windows on most of the vans out there today. So if you don’t have a Travato, or even a ProMaster, don’t worry.
About the only negative I can come up with is that these shades have become just too darn popular! If you check out the website now, you’ll see there’s a 6 week wait for your next set of shades.
We installed one of these covers for the MaxxAir fan in our ERA. Very please with quality and the amount of noise reduction we’ve gotten driving down the road. 5 stars
Great to hear!
I had a vent cover that we were using previously that I installed in Parky. But the Vanmade option looks nice!
It is superb. As cool as that retracting cover is, Vanmade’s is far more practically useful.
Simon’s stuff is top notch.
There’s a trick you can do with the magnets that allows you to simply roll them back (all the way if you want) without having to do that tuck-under manuever you showed on the video. If you for some reason would want to fold the blinds back from the OTHER side (or if you’re a G owner that just wants to drop the blinds two panels’ worth) the magnets can handle that, too.
Simon normally does Black or Dark Olive on the outside for a stealthy look and no unsightly light bleeding through the fold lines (that’s how fastidious he is about his designs).We specified Khaki on the inside and outside fabric to match our silver paint better and to cut down solar gain. Simon figured out a way to keep the light from bleeding through the light color fabric. Ask him nicely before you consider this option, though.
Vanmade also makes some cab window blinds for the Promaster that I think are a lot better than the springform-and-frame-hook shades that come with the Remi pleated windscreen blind option on the Travato. They attach to the frame with magnets (NO hooks!), are insulated, and can fold down from the top a notch or two to allow the front windows to be opened for ventilation (you might need front window screens), and fold down compactly.
A class act.