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nickcrowhurst 11-30-2008 09:23 AM

Front curved window insulators and protectors.
1 Attachment(s)
I had a sailmaker produce some curved window insulators and protectors. They are made of two layers of heavy duty canvas as used in boat canopies, with half inch thick heavy foam between the layers. They are fitted when required with stainless steel "lift-a-dot" fasteners. They make a great difference to comfort on cold evenings, and protect the windows when travelling. We are very pleased with them. The tricky part was producing a 3-dimensional paper template to give to the sailmaker.

willyd 11-30-2008 09:26 AM

Thanks for your post. Sure makes a lot os sense.

76sovereign 11-30-2008 10:17 AM

I really like this idea. Looks nice.
If you don't mind my asking, how much the set cost you?


Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst (Post 643369)
I had a sailmaker produce some curved window insulators and protectors. They are made of two layers of heavy duty canvas as used in boat canopies, with half inch thick heavy foam between the layers. They are fitted when required with stainless steel "lift-a-dot" fasteners. They make a great difference to comfort on cold evenings, and protect the windows when travelling. We are very pleased with them. The tricky part was producing a 3-dimensional paper template to give to the sailmaker.

nickcrowhurst 11-30-2008 07:48 PM


Originally Posted by 76sovereign (Post 643388)
how much the set cost you?

It was about six years ago at home in the UK, and I can only guess at about $50. I made the paper pattern and had the covers made as envelopes with the inner vertical edge left open with Velcro (Hook & loop) tape as a closure so that I could fit the foam in the envelopes in the USA after bringing the covers across in the aircraft. We didn't attempt to sew the covers ourselves as our sewing machines can't handle the thickness of layers of that heavy material.

76sovereign 12-01-2008 08:00 AM

Instead of foam on the inside of the panels I guess a guy or gal could use that silver 1/4" or 3/8 " insulation.

I don't know....they might hold to much heat that way. I guess that would be OK for winter but I'm not sure about summer.

Any answers about the silver insulation verses foam scenario?

nickcrowhurst 12-01-2008 09:11 AM

I'm not sure the silver material would offer enough protection against stones when travelling. For that reason I used similar dense foam to that used in camping sleeping mats. We use the folding silver material for car windscreens on all the other windows at night in cold weather. They are cut and shaped to be a press fit into the window insets. This all makes a huge difference to comfort. In hot weather we would not fit the grey protectors for the curved windows.

SmokelessJoe 12-01-2008 10:32 AM


This is an interesting idea.

Instead of the tricky work of trying to make an accurate paper pattern, could we not just cover the windows with a lightweight canvas and trace the outline as a pattern for the heavier canvas final product?


nickcrowhurst 12-01-2008 11:06 AM

Sergei, I used newspaper as it's free. Thin canvas might be harder to use as folding the pleats and copying the perimeter of the window might be less accurate. You can use masking tape to hold the paper to the bottom and both sides, after cutting to shape. Rub a dirty finger on the paper round the perimeter to transfer the outline of the window to the paper to get the outline, cut to shape, tape to the perimeter and then carefully cut two vertical lines down from the top in two places. The cuts will need to go about a third of the way down. Then slide the paper on one side of each cut across the other side until the slack disappears, and then tape the overlaps in position. If you enlarge the photo by clicking on it you can see one of the pleats that the sailmaker used to copy the pattern.

COArgosy78 06-27-2009 06:50 PM

Nick - Hi there. You have done exactly what I want to do w/our Argosy Minuet. I am looking to use a vinyl coated polyester or possibly a material called Kartex which was listed on a website as being used on airplane windshields. I'm also looking at using something called a surface Twistlock which I think might be good here during windy conditions. I was wondering if you might still have your template? Or if there is a way to copy it. I would be happy to pay you something for a copy/postage? I have decided that we don't really like the rock guards because they inhibit being able to see thru the trailer. The idea of leaving out the middle to me looks awkward. I started thinking about using a padded material on just the curved windows after looking at some custom made window covers for motor homes. I think yours look great;). I'll keep my fingers crossed about your template. Thanks.

Ps I don't see your pleats/darts that smooth the curves in your pic? Also, how many snaps did it take for each window - 4,6,8? Thanks.

nickcrowhurst 06-28-2009 01:40 AM

Sorry, but I didn't keep the paper template. You will see some directions in the thread at post 8 above for making your own out of paper. The simplest way is to tape thin newspaper tightly over the window along the base and both sides, leaving the top loose and ill-fitting. Then fold the pleats along the top edge to take out the slack, and then tape the pleats to preserve them. We found that two pleats, as described, did the trick.We use four press studs, one at each corner. If you click on the photo in the first post you will see the studs at the front corners. One of the darts (pleats in the template) is visible in the photo if you click on it to enlarge it. The dart is at the top, about half way along the visible part, and it comes down about 6 inches. We used two pleats on each template, both on the top edge, coming vertically down, about a third of the way in from each end. We used the boat spray-hood canvas rather than a plastic material, as it is suitable for sewing, it doesn't sweat, it doesn't crack, stands up to extremes of weather, and maintains its appearance over many years. A neat hem was added all round. to prevent fraying and for good appearance. Good luck with the project. Nick.

COArgosy78 06-28-2009 10:04 AM

Nick - thanks for the reply. I did enlarge the pic & that helped to see! I think you mentioned that you keep these on during travel for protection? Do you feel the 4 snaps do the job w/high wind? Would you have added more now if you could? Also, we don't have a nice shelter for ours - I'm wondering if the canvas would mildew if left out in the elements much? We had a canvas tent a long time ago which mildewed & I could not sleep in it:sad: Several of the materials that I am looking at are mildew/water resistant (like Sunbrella is, but not as expensive). The one used in the manufacture of the window protectors for those motorhomes is woven. I did talk to an upholsterer while waiting for your reply. They do boat,car,rv covers so should have the machine to do the job. Anxious to get cost. One last thing, do you ever take the foam out or is it lodged inside pretty tight?
Thanks for your help on this.

nickcrowhurst 06-28-2009 11:58 AM

You won't need more than four of the lift-a-dots: Handi-Man Lift A Dot Canvas Fastener Kit HP811 - HP811 -
We never remove the foam from inside the covers, although the opening at the inner end is stitch & loop to enable their removal. I would not leave any external fabric window cover on when the trailer is stored for long periods, because of degredation, and dampness under the covers. They are for protection from stones when travelling, and for warmth in cold weather when camping. Nick.

COArgosy78 07-02-2009 05:14 PM

Update on my Argosy Window Coverings
I am getting pretty jazzed about this project. I have found a material called Phifextex that is mildew resistant and is being used to make Motorhome window coverings that stay on and can be seen thru - but have a sunscreen of 85%. Next, I think I will use the twist-lock fasteners (but will ck out the lift a dot). Main thing is that they stay on during high wind conditions. Lastly, I have discovered a foam called reticulated foam to put between layers. Water runs right thru it, so I feel strongly that I can leave it in even if the trailer is out in elements like ours must be at this time. I really want to feel those windows will be protected more during something like a hailstorm. (I wish the whole trailer was covered). Going to try to put some pics on to give idea of material. I really like this plan as we will be getting sunblock for interior, protection from hazards on the outside, we will still be able to see thru trailer and, I hope, it won't be nearly as costly as the rockguards:rolleyes:. Everything I could ask for, I think. What do you guys think....

Looking Through Sunguard Windshield Covers
Without Sunguard protection, you are open to UV damage to your RV's interior. There is glare and you lack privacy.
Hi-Density 94% Sunscreen.
16 oz. per square yard 100% vinyl-coated polyester 42 x 12 weaves per square inch mildew resistant.*
Standard 85% Sunscreen.
11 oz. per square yard 100% vinyl-coated polyester 17 x 11 weaves per square inch mildew resistant.*

76sovereign 07-19-2009 06:49 PM

I love it!
I love this idea...let us know how it works out....:clap:

COArgosy78 07-19-2009 08:55 PM

Thanks!! I have an appointment w/upholsterer this Thur. All the samples of material/colors, reticulated foam, and fasteners will be there. Once we have picked out our needs, I will be leaving the "Moonunit" at his shop so he can measure and produce. My coverings won't be as inexpensive as Nicks were, but still much, much, MUCH less than the Rock Guards and I think I will be most happy with results. To be continued....:rolleyes:

COArgosy78 09-22-2009 04:27 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Several of you asked me to post when we had our covers done. We are not quite finished as I have not gotten the reticulated foam to place under these, but as you can see, we now have the see thru covers on the trailer - hoorah:D:D:D

I took some pics from inside, but today is Quite Cold and Cloudy!! so thought I might wait for a sunnier day to see how they look. It does make the inside a bit darker (they are sun screening, after all) and not super clear to see out like a regular window would be, but like I said, I want to check with a clear sunny day. We are heading out for a short trip soon to test the strength of the twist locks (hope to not have to add any snaps above). The foam insert will take out the wrinkles-we had to leave a bit of room for it. We like them and the type of material should hold up for some time in sun - guaranteed for 10 yrs they say. It is used as awning material. Here are a few pics...

Kevin245 09-22-2009 04:32 PM

Hi Leigh,

They look nice. Be sure to post some more pictures when you get the foam, in place.



COArgosy78 09-22-2009 10:34 PM

Thanks Kevin - I think the foam will smooth them right out. I had a friend who said she would "loan" me some bubble wrap if I wanted -ha! The "young" guy who made them was very nice and did a great job If anyone is ever looking to have some made, I think he kept the pattern (I better ck). They didn't even end up w/a pleat/dart up top which was great as it would have hampered the view to the outside. My husband is calling them her eyelids!!

COArgosy78 09-26-2009 07:29 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Just returned from our trial camping trip to try the covers out. They did great on the road with just the twist locks at each corner. We attached the covers to "Moonunit" ourselves. It was very cold and rainy/snowing when we left Weds. and stayed pretty clouded over up where we were camped so I just now took a picture back here at home when we returned. Hope it shows the difference pretty well on the middle window w/its "regular" screen and the curved window w/the sunscreen material we used for the cover/protector. Here it is...

COArgosy78 10-03-2009 06:33 PM

I have had 1 PM about these since we got them done. I will mention here that David (the upholsterer) kept the pattern on our windows and I think is willing to duplicate and mail them to anyone interested for a small fee. He actually does very large commercial awning applications for his business, so not sure if he would take on a lot of these as they are a very small job. But, he is very nice, and I think he would be willing to copy and mail. If interested, PM me and I will check w/him.

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