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It seems that everyone building an RV on the Ram ProMaster has come up with a different idea on how to close off the rear (automotive) windows for privacy. Fabric panels, side-pull curtains, roman shades, what have you. We typically have bikes in the back of Lance, so anything that requires a lot of fuss to open/close/snap/slide is a hassle. Here’s what we’re trying now:
I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I can’t. A reader emailed me and suggested this window shade option. It uses the popular MCD shades that we have elsewhere in our RV. It’s a style that’s always in tension, so there’s no flopping and no rattling. And they go up and down very quickly and with minimal effort. Exactly what we needed. And if you were planning a DIY ProMaster conversion, there’s nothing extra to make or order. Doesn’t get much easier!
To pull this off, you’ll need to order a very specific type of shade from MCD Innovations. It’s their bottom-up screen shade (which we’re obviously mounting upside-down). I’ll attach the order form I filled out here:
MCD ProMaster Rear Window Order Form
In addition to this order form, which you email in to MCD, you’ll need to give them two other pieces of information.
- The width, 25” represents the size of the FABRIC for the shade – not the metal shade box.
- Tell them the fabric you want to use. As far as I know, you can select any of the MCD fabrics. I chose material “B50” to match the other shades in our Travato.
Once they have your order form, MCD will call you to confirm your order and take payment. When your shades arrive, the process to put them up is just as simple as what I show in this “How-To” video.
If you’re interested in the center punch I have in the video, you can find it on Amazon. The rest of the supplies you can get easily from a home center.
And that’s about it! I may experiment at some point in the future with adding a reflective film to the back of the shade to repel more heat, but we’re going to roll like this for now.
Let me know what you think.
(And if you’re the reader who suggested this modification, email me back so I can give you credit! I lost your earlier email.)
Does this product available for the smaller Ram Promaster City?
Well, they make custom sizes, so if you want to measure your windows, I’m sure they could make whatever you want.
I didn’t see how long the shade pulled out. I would like to use them on my Transit Van
You can order them in different lengths. Just get the length you need and all should be well.
Hi James. I enjoyed your presentation of the MCD blind installation.
Thought you should know that I installed three of these, the two rear doors, and one over the passenger sliding door.
All three failed. The blind spring would violently fail randomly making a frightening noise.
MCD sent another 3 replacements and the passenger door and one of the rears have failed again.
This has been over a Period of just 3 months.
MCD cannot explain it, they suggest it might be due to the units originally being designed to operate from bottom to up, and that we are using fhem from top to bottom operation. They have sent me one solo roller shade for the passenger door which i like and is working fine so far.
They are sending me two solo roller blinds for the rears as well.
MCD has been very patient and helpful and willing to do the right thing.
Any thoughts. Have you or others had the same or other issues.
I can tell you that we did not have a similar issue with the MCD shades that we had installed. I don’t know if others did, but if they did… they didn’t report it to me.
Sorry to hear you’re having problems, but I’m glad to hear MCD is willing to do the right thing.
Thanks James. Had the blinds for a while now but just getting around to installing them. They will be another welcome addition 🙂
James, great idea for the rear windows on the Travato! I plan to order a set for my 2014 Travato G and have a question regarding window size. My inside measurements are 25″ x 25″. I noticed your order has 27″ height. Did you add 2″ to the window size to allow some extra pull down shade material?
I found I needed the extra 2 inches to go from the outside of the window opening to the inside of it. The shade pulls down at somewhat of an angle.
I wonder if they are still in business. I faxed my order, never heard back, then I emailed them and still no response. Today I left a message. Odd
I’m pretty sure they’re still operating.
Phone call is probably your best bet.
I’ve tried 3 different coverings for the back windows on my DIY promaster RV. So far, just not satisfied wit the look. My 2014 has a lighter window tint on the rear doors than the newer ones, for me darker would have been better!
Any thoughts as to how the MCD solution would work if I wanted the shade to be “over the window” instead of inside it? Other than a bit wider, and no radius, any thoughts as to why NOT to do it?
Thanks for any insights…
ps, Watching you guys for a few years now on Youtube… never visited the site! Glad I found it!
Well I’m glad you finally found the website! Welcome!
As far as the MCD shades on the back door – it would certainly work as you describe. The one thing you would want to check is the “gap” that might form between the curved back door and the straight window covering. By going over the window from the top to the bottom, you’ll probably be an inch or so away from the door frame in the middle. Check and see if that gap is acceptable to you before ordering. I didn’t like it, so that’s why I went inside the frame.
Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll check to see about the gap. It would be important because that’s the portapotti area on my DIY RV!
Caught the JBL front speakers on your door panel removal thread. Do you recall what model JBLs they are for the front? I’ve been a JBL guy since my first set of L100’s for my home stereo!
Our TRAVATO 59K has arrived @ dealer and after-delivery pjcts. begin next wk. This DIYer pjct. comes right after I fashion a table for a spare OE wheel & tire on open roof space above LR door. Before that having a spring shop add a leaf to each rear spring.
Thank you James & Stef.
You’ll have to let us know how it handles with the extra leaf in the springs.
I thought about doing that, but then just decided to go with the Sumo Springs. They seemed cheaper and easier, and they accomplished more or less the same thing. But I’m very curious on the extra leaf route, so please do let us know after you’ve driven it a while.
We like our silver Reflectix window coverings we made from a roll and used extra strength Velcro brand to attach and detach.
Update on gas mileage: Michigan Upper Peninsula down to Lake Michigan, Wisconsin side – round trip 500+ miles – averaged 17.3 mpg to 17.9 mpg. Not windy, not mountainous.
2nd Update – after long reflection we have decided to trade in the 2015 Travato 59G on a 2016 Era 70X. The Travato was our first RV and we mis-calculated the space. Travato bed is quite small, not as wide as a true full size. Not as much storage as we wanted inside. And although the bath size and open aisle in back seemed like a great idea, we found that we do not haul bicycles, canoes, etc. and really needed more “lounge space” and a larger sleeping area. Looked at the Roadtrek Zion which had more storage, but really LOVED the Era with it’s extra 3 feet length. The Travato also needs a step or running board to get into the cab area, that is quite a reach.
Getting the ERA soon, I think it will work better for us.
Wow! Another new RV! I’m excited for you.
The 170X will definitely give you more “lounge space”.
Best of luck with the new rig!
Very slick. So far in our ProMaster we’ve been using a trimmed-to-fit sheet of EZ-Cool insulation. Put a couple magnets around the edge and it pops itself right in place.
Pros: seals quite tight, blocks light very well; noticeable difference with the insulation over the bare glass
Cons: as you allude to, something else to store and deal with when not being used
We’ll be taking a look at the MCD stuff now, good chance it’ll go in eventually. And I could see keeping the reflective/radiant insulation to use behind the MCD when the travelling at the temperature extremes.
(our PM is now named BoB, which is fun when we’re looking for the key, “have you seen the BoB key?” (Bobke) Figured you might appreciate that one, or at least Lance would.)
I’ve thought about prepping some insulation to put behind the MCD shades when we’re headed out in the cold. We won’t typically bring the bikes in the snow, so storing the extra bits won’t be as big of a hassle.
That’s not the way I dealt with those windows but it just goes to show, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Thanks for posting all these Travato/ProMaster videos. They’re appreciated.
Sweet option !!
Thanks for sharing
We’re digging them so far!