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Fabric RV curtain

RV Makeover Magic: Camper Curtain Ideas to Personalize Your Space

Updated on February 11th, 2024

If you want to customize or update the look of your camper, adding or changing the curtains is a great option.

Removing the standard valance and adding in a rod is a simple DIY project, and there are even ways to make curtains in custom sizes for your RV if you don’t know how to sew.

This guide explains why you should consider these RV curtain ideas and how to measure and make new window treatments if you want to learn more. We hope our camper curtain ideas inspire you to make your RV feel more like home and show off your personality!

5 Reasons to Add Curtains to Your Camper

Here are the top reasons for adding curtains to a recreational vehicle:

1. Curtains Add a Cozy Residential Feel and Personal Charm

Curtains in the RV

Most RVs have a generic, somewhat boring interior design, which appeals to a broader group of potential buyers. However, once you get that camper home and start taking it on road trips, it feels sterile without adding color or personal touches that warm up the space.

Curtain panels are a quick way to bring color and pattern into your camper without breaking the budget, as well as provide textural interest and evoke a homey vibe.

Adding curtain panels in a theme that highlights your personality or interests further personalizes the recreational vehicle and makes it a true one-of-a-kind camper.

2. Curtains Allow Full Use of the Window

The advantage of camper curtains versus the standard valance and shade combo in most RVs is the ability and ideas to push the curtains past the edges of the window frame, allowing you to gain full access to bring in the view or to open the window for ventilation.

A valance covers the tops of windows, and the shade hangs inside the frame, so often, you lose several inches of window access with this setup.

3. Curtains Open the Space

Visually, the standard valance/shade over camper windows looks very “heavy” and protrudes into the interior space around four inches.

Anyone who RVs knows that every inch counts when it comes to feeling less cramped, and switching to curtains allows you to hang the rod a mere inch or two from the wall, opening up the appearance of your camper.

4. Curtains Have Insulating Value

Curtains for pop-up campers or any other recreational vehicle can add a layer of insulation over thin windows with the idea the interior stays cooler or warmer depending on the season.

You can purchase insulating curtains and cut them to fit your camper windows or buy an insulating fabric liner to add behind a decorative fabric. We think adding popup camper curtains with insulation is extra beneficial since there is less solid wall area to keep guests comfortable.

5. Lined Curtains Block More Light

RV blackout or day and night shades are good, but many brands leave a gap along the edges that lets light stream in.

Blackout curtains for RV windows can cover the edges so light can’t seep in.

You can install RV blackout curtains with a liner that completely eliminates light when you don’t want the sun interfering with sleeping or watching movies.

It would be best if you consider blackout curtains for pop-up camper windows instead of sheers or a plain fabric because the thick light-blocking liner also controls heat or cold penetration through the canvas topper.

The Best RV Curtain Ideas

Best RV curtain

The key to transforming your camper from the boring and neutral interior design straight from the manufacturer is to jazz it up with customized window treatments.

However, whatever curtain style, color, and pattern you choose should fit your overall decorating design plan for the entire interior of your RV.

Go Bold

Don’t be afraid to set the decorating tone in your RV by choosing a bold curtain pattern.

For instance, you may love the mid-century modern design and own a vintage camper or a modern RV with a vintage look. Adding in curtains in a bold design and decor pieces from that era will tie the whole package together and give camping guests a fun and cool atmosphere to enjoy.

Bold stripes can impart a nautical feel, while a bright, bold, solid color can work as an accent to tie the rest of your camper’s interior design choices together.

Without a lot of places inside a small RV to add statement pieces, a bold curtain choice provides functionality and an impressive decorative punch.

Fabric Choices Outside the Box

Camper Curtain Ideas

Depending on your camper window size, you can either select a by-the-yard material from a fabric store or repurpose common items such as:

  • Pillowcases or flat sheets
  • Bath or tea towels
  • Thin woven rugs
  • Bandanas
  • Raffia table skirting or grass skirts
  • Shower curtains
  • Ready-made window curtains cut to size
  • Bead or shell garland strings

The sky’s the limit when finding creative ways to make a camper curtain set uniquely your own.

If you prefer not to sew, buy standard or king-size pillowcases and clip them onto a rod if the length will cover the window. You may also find that linen tea towels are the ideal size for small RV window covers.

Beach or textural bath towels or dish towels are another way to bring a beachy or spa-like vibe to an RV interior.

You may not need your curtains to provide complete privacy and only want to add flair to your RV interior, so hanging various objects in front of a window can do dual duty.

One great example is tying bandanas by one corner across a thin rod, leaving the rest dangling over the window. A red and white pattern would be an excellent fit with a country camper theme, while a mix of colors would be ideal for a boho look.

The finished curtain is a super-cute, no-sew curtain option. Light will filter through the gaps, but there is enough fabric to distort what’s happening inside the RV, so occupants aren’t on display at night.

And while these bandanas are on a rod, you can also clip the tops to curtain rod rings for a quick window-covering solution.

Fabric shower curtains offer a swift and convenient solution for covering expansive areas in your camper. They are perfect for enclosing the cab area in a motorhome, creating privacy for beds in a pop-up camper, or adding a decorative touch to the sizable windows of a fifth-wheel trailer.

Shower curtain materials are often water and mold-resistant, making them extra beneficial for use as camper curtains where mildew can be an issue.

The pre-cut holes in the shower curtain make them super easy to hang from curtain track hooks or a rod.

White Fits Many Themes

Light windows in an RV

All white curtains may seem drab initially, but mixing white sheer curtains with solid white panels works wonderfully for shabby-chic, minimalistic, modern farmhouse, spa, and even coastal camper theming.

Another perk of choosing to go all white with your camper curtain ideas is that it allows you to change up your RV decor anytime, and they will always blend in.

Crisp white fabric in a smooth or textured finish or plain or patterned sheers is easy to combine into window treatments that are soothing to the eye, making your RV feel inviting.

Natural linen curtains in white allow sunlight to pass through but are opaque enough to provide privacy.

The Valance Box Can Be Your Friend

Don’t assume that switching to curtains for your camper requires you to remove the valances over the windows.

You can leave them intact and install a tension rod underneath where the blind or shade was attached so the final look is streamlined.

You can go a step further and recover the valance box in a coordinating fabric to transform the look of the window. Most valances are attached with a couple of brackets and come down quickly, so you can staple-gun on new material.

Curtain Rod Options

Hanging curtains in a recreational vehicle can sometimes pose a problem, especially when trying to hang pop-up camper curtain sets where there isn’t a solid wall to secure a rod.

In this instance, and for other RV windows where there isn’t a lot of wall clearance for a rod, the solution is to hang curtains from the ceiling.

For ideas and areas in your camper where you need to hang a straight line of curtains, the Room Dividers Now Ceiling Curtain Track Set is ideal above a window or door. The metal track and hooks will hold up better under constant use, and you can cut it to the exact length you need for a custom fit.

KXLife Flexible Ceiling Curtain Track is an affordable option that lets you hang curtains in any configuration because the track bends.

The best part about running a track on the ceiling is you can have the curtains hang nearly flush with the wall and window versus a standard wall-mount rod-hanging kit that makes the curtains hang further out.

Best Wall-Mount RV Curtain Rod Options

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The key to having RV curtains function well is to ensure the rod doesn’t protrude into the living area like residential versions and is long enough to push the curtains clear of the window edges so they aren’t blocking the view.

While you can choose a residential curtain rod in any size, color, or design, select a shorter bracket so the rod is only one to three from the wall.

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Great options for camper curtain rods include:

The Amazon Basics Room Darkening Blackout Curtain Rod is best for blackout or insulated curtains because they close off the window sides.

KXLife Adjustable Sticky Self-Adhesive Sash Curtain Rod hugs the wall and is an excellent choice for lightweight curtains like sheers.

Bali Blinds 7/16″ Cafe Rods are affordable, quick to install, and will not encroach on camper living space. Slip on some rod rings with clips for a great combination to hang new camper curtains quickly.

How to Measure Camper Windows for Curtains

If you’re making curtains from scratch, you must first install your rod on the wall or ceiling, as the location will determine how much fabric you’ll need.

You need to know if you plan to hang your curtain off clip rings or if you want to put the rod through a fabric pocket at the top of the curtain panel. You’ll also want to know if you need the curtains to clear the window edges when open so you can easily access the window mechanisms and for airflow.

For curtain rings, install a wall-mount rod two or three inches above the window frame for better coverage.

Mount the rod’s brackets four or five inches outside the window frame’s outer edge if you want to push the curtains clear of the window panes or about one inch outside the frame if you want the curtains to hide the frame edges.

After the rods are in place, measure the length from the bottom edge of the curtain rod or track hooks to two inches past the bottom of the window. Then, measure the width of the window from frame edge to frame edge.

Now, you’ll need to add four inches to the width dimensions if you’re making the curtains from scratch, so you have extra fabric to fold over for the seams. If you want your curtains to look fuller when shut, you can increase the fabric width by up to double your original window width.

If your curtains have two separate panels, you’ll need to add four inches to both panels.

If you plan to use rod ring clips to hang the curtains, you can add four inches to create the upper and lower seams. However, if you plan to make a pocket for the rod to slip through, you’ll need to add ten extra inches to the length measurement.

For ready-made curtain panels, you’ll only need to hang them up, trim them off, and hem the length at the bottom edge of the window.

No Sew Camper Curtain Tips

Mid-century modern decorating ideas

If you want to refresh your camper’s interior but don’t have a sewing machine, you can make curtains using iron-on hem tape.

You can purchase hem tape in several widths and strengths to match your DIY RV curtain project. Use a lightweight hem tape for sheers or other very thin materials, or go heavy-duty for thick fabrics.

Because curtain seams don’t get much stress, iron-on hem tape will last for years, and it’s super quick and gives curtain edges a crisp appearance.

We highly suggest you attach your curtains using fast and convenient small curtain rod rings with clips. These rings slide over the rod and clasp onto the top of your new curtain panel.

Sticking to rings over the rod allows the fabric to fold up as you open the curtains, so they fit easily at the window edges and hang straight.

Camper Curtain Wrap Up

New curtains will transform the look of any camper, so don’t be afraid to remove factory-installed valance boxes, shades, or curtains and replace them with curtain rods and panels that suit your personality and improve functionality.

Additionally, if you wish to enhance your windows’ makeover further and maintain a comfortable interior climate year-round, check out our article – 8 RV Window MAKEOVER Ideas.

We hope this article inspires you to replace your RV window treatments with curtains so you can enjoy cozier camping trips every year!

How To Hang Pop-Up Camper Curtains (Video)

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