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Old 04-27-2014, 05:35 PM   #1
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In which we remove the miniblinds, and install magnetic curtains...

We were not really thrilled with the miniblinds in our 30' bunk, and decided to replace them with curtains. We did not want black outs, and we're pretty utilitarian in our decorating preferences, so I just used a $20 set of white cotton curtains from Ikea. I was able to make all the curtains out of one set (I did not replace the curtains in the bunkbed area, however). I reused the predone grommets for the curtains in the large (hitch-side) bedroom window, but somehow I missed getting a photo of that one.

For the side windows throughout the trailer, we faced usual problems with the curved trailers - the gap:



So I decided to magnetize them:


I ordered these rare earth magnets from amazon. I sewed them into the side-hems of the curtains, and then with the curtains hung, placed matching magnets on the walls of the trailer with some extra 3M Command hook sticky stuff. They are pretty discreet:


The curtains fall into place almost effortlessly. Here is a bedroom window


I also sewed on small tie-backs with another magnet in the ends, so they are easy to secure out of the way.


The magnets are very unfussy to use - no worries about the velcro coming unstitched or being noisy, or buttons and snaps to deal with. Two magnets on each side of each curtain - one in the middle, one at the bottom, were sufficient for a pretty good seal. On the windows where I made two curtains, rather than just one large one (the bedroom hitch-side window and the over-sink window), I put a series of magnets along the center hems, so they pair up and create a nice seal there, as well.

The rods are Ikea Racka in "silver color", and the hardware is Syrlig. We simply inserted the curtain rods into the miniblind holders, and it worked perfectly. The entire project cost less than $100 in materials (though it was slightly time consuming, of course...)

We camped with them this past week and are happy with them so far! Hope this is helpful to anyone else looking to ditch the mini-blinds.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:46 PM   #2
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Ha - cool!

I'll stick with the mini blinds for now - but when they get thrashed I may have to do this!!

It's a miracle - but so far the kids have not thrashed the bendy type metal mini blinds - I pretty much keep them up during the day to thwart would be assassins
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Old 04-27-2014, 11:14 PM   #3
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Ingenious - what a great idea. I think I may use your idea to help hold my curtains wide-open. So far they stay closed just fine.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:29 AM   #4
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We really like the light and visibility control of our aluminum mini blinds, and think they look fantastic in the Flying Cloud. There is some peek-a-boo sides with them but we get along after five years in two Airstreams.

I'm pretty weak in these curtains; what didn't you like about the mini blinds?
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
We really like the light and visibility control of our aluminum mini blinds, and think they look fantastic in the Flying Cloud. There is some peek-a-boo sides with them but we get along after five years in two Airstreams.

I'm pretty weak in these curtains; what didn't you like about the mini blinds?
Well, that was blunt.

I thought the magnets were a technique worth sharing with people who were looking for window covering alternatives.

We didn't like the "peek-a-boo sides," the rattling when the wind blows, the fiddliness of tucking them back into their little plastic clips each time they are closed, and the darkness when they are shut for privacy.

Glad you're so happy with your miniblinds!
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:28 AM   #6
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The magnets are a great idea and are used by some to hold the mini blinds if the plastic clips fail. No offense intended, we have liked the look and function of the mini blinds.
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:22 PM   #7
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We have been satisfied by miniblinds so far but we all are different

I like making the can a cave at night into the am - but I can see the allure and benefits of the curtains
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
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We have Airstream blackout curtains, and the rare earth idea is a great one. Thank you for the tip!
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:54 PM   #9
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We also have the aluminum mini blinds, we like them......I do think they could have purchased some that were of a better quality.
We have levelor cellular blinds in part of our home and I think we'll use them in the A/S sometime in the future.....Levolor Accordia Cellular Shades | www.levolor.com

I think it's great to accessorize to one's taste, we changed out the white plastic switch plate covers in our coach with some aluminum one's.

Cheers.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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We just chose a Flying Cloud over an International because we wanted the mini blinds instead of shades. We like the brightness control of the blinds and avoid the peek a boo edges. I like the magnet idea for securing the bottoms though. I may try that. Thanks.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver27 View Post
We were not really thrilled with the miniblinds in our 30' bunk, and decided to replace them with curtains. ... Hope this is helpful to anyone else looking to ditch the mini-blinds.
Well, I don't know about anyone else, but it was certainly helpful to me. I love the idea of the magnets. I've been using magnets more and more in the shop--they're amazing little suckers.

I did notice that magnets don't stick to the aluminum skin, which is a bit of a surprise. I wonder what's up widdat.

Thank you Silver for your response. You've inspired me. Thanks everyone else, too. If anyone has replaced your miniblind hardware with curtain or cellular shade hardware, please provide pix!
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #12
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I never knew either

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...ck-to-aluminum
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:33 PM   #13
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I thought it was a fine post and a good idea. :-/
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:11 PM   #14
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What a great idea!
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