New curtains for your RV are one of the easiest upgrades you can make and it gives your space a personal touch. With camper’s unique spaces, RV curtains can be hard to find.
That’s why you need to make your own DIY Camper Curtains. Ditch the old curtains and freshen up your look!
Skip the curtain rods!
When we first got our travel trailer, the first thing we did is set up some curtains to separate out the master bed and the rest of the camper. Those telescoping curtain rods that “twist to fit anywhere”.
We quickly found out didn’t stay tight. Soon we gave up on tightening it and started extending it all the way and had it rest over a valance and slide out frame.
If you looked at it wrong the whole thing came crashing down. Not to mention every time we relocated it had to come down. It was a pain!
After a few years of fighting, we finally upgraded our RV to tracked curtains. These curtains slide effortlessly around, fit anywhere, and were super easy to make.
The main reason we went the curtain rail route was primarily because of the odd curved spaces by the kid bunk. What I didn’t realize was how simple this upgrade was. We installed them everywhere and now the curtains roll with ease.
Why do you need curtains in your camper?
#1 Privacy – This can be privacy from the outside, or inside. Everyone needs their own personal space. When you have a family in the same camper, it’s nice to have a place to go behind and change clothes. Or for the kids to create their own caves in their bunks.
#2 Light – While most campers come with blinds and tinted windows, that doesn’t always prevent light from streaming in in the morning. You also might want more control over the lighting in the camper.
Clocks that won’t shut off, nightlights in communal areas, or other things that disturb your sleep.
We have a front window that never came with any type of indoor controls. The only way to open it is from the outside. We’d find ourselves forgetting to close and woken up at sunrise.
#3 Temperature Control – This is one of the ongoing fights in our camper, how cold should it be? When campers only have a single AC unit, some areas tend to get colder than others. To help manage the flow of air, a simple curtain can work wonders.
How To Make DIY Camper Curtains
A camper curtain is a simple way to add a little bit of privacy or just add some color and style to your camper. They are easy to make and very affordable DIY Camper Curtains.
There are many reasons why you might want to make your own camper curtains. Maybe you have a tight budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that will only be used for a few months.
Maybe you’re not a very skilled seamstress and don’t feel confident in your abilities to make them yourself.
Or maybe you just love the idea of being able to customize your curtains to fit your camper’s decor exactly as much as possible.
With this project, it is easy for beginners because there are no complicated patterns or sewing skills needed. All that is required is some basic sewing skills, fabric, and thread.
- Tape Measure
- Curtain Track
- Sewing Machine/Thread OR Fabric Glue and curtain clips
- Elastic string
- Command Hooks
How much fabric do I need for DIY Camper Curtains?
You will need an extra 25% of fabric width for your curtains. I am absolutely in love with these curtains. But after I got them up, I realized I didn’t include enough fabric for the natural ripple of the material—a total rookie mistake.
Make sure to account for that by multiplying the total inches by 1.25. Or you can use this calculator.
How to make a Tracked Curtain?
A tracked curtain is the nicest functioning design you can use. Depending on the area of your curtain, you’ll need to cut the approximate height and width you’ll need, taking into consideration you’ll need to multiply the width by 1.25, See the calculator above. Also, make sure to take into consideration seam allowance (hem).
For curtains for the master bed, assuming your RV is 8ft wide, you’d need two 62-inch panels of 60-inch wide fabric. (96 inches * 1.25 = 120 divided in half + 2 inches for a 1-inch hem on each side)
After cutting the fabric to size, create a one-inch hem allowance on all sides. This can be done with either a sewing machine or a light layer of fabric glue.
To get a consistent look, first, fold over each edge a half inch then again, and iron flat so the raw edges are no longer visible. This will prevent fraying from normal wear and tear.
If your fabric has a front and back, the rolled hem should be on the back of the fabric. Then come back and sew or glue them down. You’ll need to do this on the sides of the curtain, and the top and bottom edges.
Next, add your eye holes along the top edge. These are small holes in the piece of the fabric where the curtain will attach to the track. The average is 4 inches apart.
If you have a sewing machine the easiest way to do it is with buttonholes. Mark your spot with pins. If you do not have a sewing machine, you can use grommets or curtain clips.
Why not just use curtain clips?
Curtain clips work great! Make sure you get a good-quality clip with a ring. Curtain clips with hooks will not attach to the track. Clips will add an extra inch to the length. Depending on where the curtain is located, this may or may not be what you want.
Installing the curtain track
Start by letting your track sit flat for 24 hours. Since it comes coiled up, you’ll need to rest the objects on top. Due to the size of ours, we did this in the garage.
Once it’s flattened out, measure the distance you need and cut the amount of track to size. The track is made from PVC so you’ll need a saw for this.
Draw a straight line on the ceiling of where you want the track to sit. This will ensure you have everything straight. Attach the ceiling clips to the ceiling with the small screws provided, along your line.
The track snaps into the ceiling clips. Add any rollers to the track and put on the end clips for a clean look. Then hang the curtain up on the provided hooks.
Installation is super simple. The directions provided with your kit will give you all details on spacing out your track. The installation kit comes with everything you need. It probably took 2 minutes per track to compete.
Why do I use a track over a curtain rod for my DIY Camper Curtains?
It’s simple, the track is permanent, won’t fall down, fits anywhere, and can be curved for bunks.
Optional upgrade. Add a few ties to each curtain, allowing you to tie the curtain open during the day, or during travel. Because of how light the fabric we chose is, it doesn’t get in our way at all.
If you have a heavier fabric, ties might be a requirement. We use a small bungee cord to wrap up the large curtain during travel.
How to make angled Window Curtains
An angled window provides a different challenge because the curtain doesn’t hang normally. Instead, you’ll need to affix the curtain to the top and bottom of the window for privacy.
To do this, we took four eye hook screws and places them on the corners of the window.
On the curtain panel, you’ll need buttonholes or grommets on the top and bottom of the panel. Take an elastic string, and tie it to one of the eye hooks.
Thread the curtain through and tie the end of the string tightly against the other side. As long the cord is tight, you’ll be able to leave the RV window coverings open or closed.
Can you use a regular string?
Yes, but elastic will give you extra give while adjusting the curtain.
What I love is that this style works great in a camper van, RV, Travel Trailer, or any vehicle. You can do it with style for kitchen windows, side windows, or any difficult spot.
Can you buy premade curtains for your RV?
Yes, there are some great choices for traditional curtains online. For large spaces, like curtains that extend the full width of the RV, you can use premade curtains like these.
If you have areas that require custom curtains, you’ll need to either alter them or make your own. What I like about making my own is that now everything in the camper matches, including accent panels and valances above the windows.
Are curtains cheaper to make on your own?
It all depends on the curtain fabric you choose. We used an inexpensive ripstop found at local fabric stores that are super lightweight, but still blocks out a good portion of natural light.
We spend a total of $30 on fabric and were able to do curtains for the two bunks, master bed, and front RV windows. Flat sheets will also work as alternatives to a fabric store.
A good option for curtain fabrics is 100% linen or linen blended with rayon. The thicker or heavier the curtain, the more light they’ll let through. If you are looking for blackout curtains, you’ll need to add a blackout curtain lining. These hang with your original curtains.
What do I love about my DIY Camper Curtains?
It’s easy to make and a great beginner project. You can use this same technique to separate your camera living room, shower curtain, and more.
The best part is we ended up having extra fabric left over that we reupholstered everything in the camper to match. No more messing with bars that need to get taken down each time we move or worrying that the rod would fall on someone.
The curtains are a quick way to add a personal touch to your camper. They are also an inexpensive option that can be made out of materials you already have at home. Aside from painting the camper and adding a new bed, this was the best investment I made.
It was relatively inexpensive, and everyone’s quality of life went up. My kids now have a ‘door’ to their bunks. We have our own privacy curtain too. They are the perfect curtains.