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Old 06-27-2013, 09:19 AM   #1
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Solution for Securing Bottom of Mini-Blinds

I have been frustrated since almost day 1 with the white plastic clips Airstream uses to secure the bottom of the mini blinds in my Safari SE (now Flying Cloud). I recently fabricated a magnetic catch once I realized the bottom rail of the blind was steel.

I used 1/2" x 1/2" aluminum angle stock (got mine at Lowes - $6 for 8 ft), some 1/4" dia nickel plated neodymium magnets from Amazon, 3M Clear Mounting tape (Walmart) and cyanoacrylate glue to bond the magnets to the aluminum rail (aka super glue). I built these using the basic tools I carry with me while traveling and installed them while staying here at Highland Haven in SW VA (hacksaw, emory cloth, wet/dry sandpaper & Dremel tool) so duplicating these shouldn't be too challenging for most folks.

The rail is attached to the bottom window frame (the mill finish piece that is screwed or riveted to the interior wall using the mounting tape to minimize any more holes in the trailer. If the tape fails to hold up over time, I will use a couple small sheet metal screws per window. The result is a 10" long aluminum rail with 3 small nickel plated magnets on top. The blind height is adjusted so the bottom rail of the blind is held by the magnets. The assemblies blend in with the aluminum window frames and only stick out 1/2" (far less than the window levers).

I will post some photos once I get them uploaded to my Zenfolio site so I can attach them.

The blinds now snap into place and stay put - far less frustration than the stretched-out plastic pieces that were OEM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Looking forward to more info, they are a PITA.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:06 AM   #3
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Can't wait to see the pictures - I have the same frustration with my blinds. Sounds like a great idea that you devised.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #4
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Not only a good idea with the blinds, but could work with drapes in older models where the lower rail has disappeared. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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Photos Added





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Old 06-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #6
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A simpler way

I bought rare-earth magnets and matching cups over the net from Rockler. The cup screws into the window frame and the magnet is inserted into the cup. Make darn sure all is right before inserting a magnet, because getting a magnet back out of a cup is tough. The magnets and cups come 10 to a package. The cup I use is on the right on the Rockler page.

I posted a picture of my magnets on this site, but I don't have time to hunt for it right now.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:59 PM   #7
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Looks great!
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:30 AM   #8
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Great solution khollister. I am going to order some magnets from Amazon to secure the bottom of the cellular blinds I just installed. Thanks for the great design.

Dan
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:58 AM   #9
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... I am going to order some magnets from Amazon to secure the bottom of the cellular blinds I just installed. Thanks for the great design ...
I just picked up a 10 pack of these magnets at Harbor Freight for $3. They are about 8mm in diameter, look like hearing aid batteries and are incredibly strong.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:46 AM   #10
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I just used a piece of angle steel rather than aluminum. Mine is only about 3" long, centered in the window, and the magnets stick to the steel as well as the bottom of the blind. No glue required. I used the original screws that hold the trim in place for the angle metal, so not even new holes were required. I also used the Harbor Freight magnets, which work fine. I put 3 on each piece of steel.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:26 PM   #11
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Brilliant!
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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I just did the same thing. I tried using the magnetic tape; it is not strong enough. There is a HF here, headed out to get the magnets.
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Old 07-31-2014, 08:53 AM   #13
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I just used a piece of angle steel rather than aluminum. Mine is only about 3" long, centered in the window, and the magnets stick to the steel as well as the bottom of the blind. No glue required. I used the original screws that hold the trim in place for the angle metal, so not even new holes were required. I also used the Harbor Freight magnets, which work fine. I put 3 on each piece of steel.
Interesting that they stick without glue. I was concerned about the L bracket since we lean against our windows in the dinette. This seems to imply I could put the magnets without glue on my window frame and then press the blind against it without the L bracket. Do y'all think this would work?

If so, simple and elegant solution that requires no drilling or glue.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:38 PM   #14
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When we bought our 2007 Safari last Christmas we were to have had new metal hold down clips for the blinds installed from the dealer to replace the already broken one or two we spotted. Needless to say they didn't install anything. (Can I simply suggest to stay away from Southwest Coaches in Riverside, CA---or is this notation not allowed?)

I found at "http://blindsusainc.com/blindsusa-hold.htm#holddowns",
the metal Hold Down Brackets Item# HD-1NZP , (pair): $2.45.

These are shiny metal, the vendor states Zinc but it looks chromed or polished stainless. And they could not fit any more perfect than they do.

If you want magnets, go for it, but we are thrilled to have these metal hold down clips.
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