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Old 03-06-2021, 08:47 AM   #1
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1968 28' Ambassador
Roswell , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 10
1968 Ambassador electric rollerblinds

Six months ago I purchased a 3/4 inch Rollerhouse brand rechargeable, wireless remote, rollerblind motor on Amazon with an eye toward getting rid of the curtains (which I personally despise) and using motorized blinds in my 1968 Ambassador.


The kit comes with the motor, mounting brackets, charger and remote. One thing that I really liked was that the mounting brackets were made of metal. Because my blinds were so short, I was able to modify the brackets to reduce their profile dramatically and was able to tuck them very neatly under the factory curtain valences.

I used 3/4 inch metal electrical conduit from Home Depot as the roller tube and purchased a very inexpensive (+/- $7) vinyl blind from Walmart from which I salvaged the actual blind material.

The installation of the first blind was very simple and took about 45 minutes to install. One thing peculiar to the Airsteam was that the walls fall away from the plane of the blind when it was installed so I cut down the top my window screens about a 1/4 inch which gave the blind a 1/8 inch slot to feed into between the screen and the window and follow the inside arc of the screen while maintaining the screens function.


Wow! I was blown away by how slick and seamless the blind worked and appeared when it was installed and adjusted.



One quick side note: the included remote setup instructions were beyond cryptic, but a quick search on youtube made everything clear and simple. The setup instructions were the one criticism that I had with this blind.

I contacted the company and arraigned to purchase six more of these to do all the windows in the Airstream. As the additional charging cables and remotes were redundant, the seller agreed substitute two multi blind remotes and free shipping in lieu of the unneeded items. Great communication and flexibility on the seller's part, by the way.


I was so happy with the Walmart blind material (I used the blackout level material to block out as much afternoon sun as possible) that I used it on all of the windows and can change them out later if I want with a minimum of effort and cost.

I set my blinds up as 3 separate groups that I can operate independently or together very simply (and impressively) depending on different conditions.



Six months on, I have charged the blinds once about 4 months in, using the +/- 6 ft charging cable, and am using the blinds on a near daily basis.



For the Airstream, at least, the Wow factor on a 53 year old trailer is through the roof and blows people away with how slick it looks and works.

I hate making modifications that disfigure the original condition of my rig and this one had an absolutely minimum effect and is easily reversible to its factory condition should a purist object to it at some point.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:54 AM   #2
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1976 Argosy 24
1961 28' Ambassador
1968 26' Overlander
Lakewood , Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 102
Very interested in your project as we work through the window covering issues in our '68 Overlander. We have drastically changed our interior so the original curtains/tracks or even the idea or curtains doesn't work. Also part of the process is insulating the windows for cold weather use. We currently have reflectix window panels with thinsulate 1 1/2 insulation spray glued on. Really helps to keep the trailer warmer and nice and dark but very low style/appearance factor. We have also tried some curtains as a designer friend gave us some gorgeous panels in a good color/fabric... not bad, but want to hang straight down. Most recent effort (after living in it the last month) on-line ordered cellular shades that fir inside the window housing and still work with the screen in place - good potential, we'll see how it goes. Kind of taking off on what a previous poster did with 1" mini blinds (Aluminuminum???) Here's few random pics, would like to see some pics of yours...
Mark D
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:39 AM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
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Excellent work. I have been working on "blinds" ideas for a couple of years, but I never thought about a weighted solution that runs inside the screen (like yours). Any thoughts of this interior method were always quashed by not being able to pull the shade down, but your motorized solution (along with a heavy enough screen bottom to let gravity do it's work) obviously takes care of that. Kudos!

Cellular style blinds are superior for insulation purposes, and I really like having a dual up/down option for opening, but this is definitely the best "low profile" solution I have seen. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-06-2021, 12:13 PM   #4
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Bugtussle , Oklahoma
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Thanks for sharing Flying_tiger. I would love to do this my 67 Overlander.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:54 PM   #5
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 903
Is there any chance you could post some pics? I'd love to see how you dealt with the top slot.

Also, any chance of you posting the Amazon link you used? In my searches, I am not seeing the cordless option, and it looks like the smaller (3/4") option is no longer available.

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:02 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
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Finally found something. Looks like it might be this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-...dp/B07CGHC2GB/

At $100 a pop, that might get a little pricey if I do all nine windows!
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrdes8 View Post
Most recent effort (after living in it the last month) on-line ordered cellular shades that fir inside the window housing and still work with the screen in place - good potential, we'll see how it goes.
Curious as to how these operate (how you make them go up/down). This is exactly what I've been trying to make happen, but I haven't found anything decent that will work between the screen and window glass. The cellular style blinds are definitely great for their insulation properties.

Also, the trick with this "inside the window" method is obviously dealing with the corner radius at the top and bottom, so the blind can go all the way from top to bottom while being wide enough to cover the entire window. Oh... you guys probably have square-corner windows on your 60's trailers.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:55 AM   #8
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1976 Argosy 24
1961 28' Ambassador
1968 26' Overlander
Lakewood , Colorado
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Posts: 102
So, yes, window frames are square, but you might still be able to do it. Operating cord goes through a little groove cut in the upper window frame. Trailer is 20 mins away at our daughters' house in Evergreen, I'll try to grab some pics soon. This window thing has been one of the toughest parts of the reno to finalize.
Mark D
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:18 PM   #9
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1968 28' Ambassador
Roswell , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
Finally found something. Looks like it might be this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Rechargeable-...dp/B07CGHC2GB/

At $100 a pop, that might get a little pricey if I do all nine windows!





That's the one I used, and yes, they're a little pricey. I was able to save a little by putting two neighboring blinds one one rod (an hence, one motor). You might be able to contact the seller and get a package deal. They were very responsive and seemed eager to work with me when I purchased mine.


Best of luck!
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:39 PM   #10
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1968 28' Ambassador
Roswell , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
Curious as to how these operate (how you make them go up/down). This is exactly what I've been trying to make happen, but I haven't found anything decent that will work between the screen and window glass. The cellular style blinds are definitely great for their insulation properties.

Also, the trick with this "inside the window" method is obviously dealing with the corner radius at the top and bottom, so the blind can go all the way from top to bottom while being wide enough to cover the entire window. Oh... you guys probably have square-corner windows on your 60's trailers.



So the ones I bought are remote controlled and can be assigned to operate in groups and can also be operated with all groups together.



Fortunately, on the 68, the windows are square so no issues with any radiused corners.


As a side note, the completed roller assemblies will easily fit entirely between the window and screen (on the 68 yr model at least) so that might be an option. Personally, I work nights as a pilot and wanted to be able to block out 100% of the daylight when I sleep during the day and achieved that with this installation. With the rollers installed in window frame itself, there is a very small amount of light that can get in at the top. Also, the rolled up blinds are visible (though not obvious) from the outside of the trailer and I preferred the overall low profile that they made the way I installed them.
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Old 03-09-2021, 12:59 PM   #11
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1968 28' Ambassador
Roswell , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
Curious as to how these operate (how you make them go up/down). This is exactly what I've been trying to make happen, but I haven't found anything decent that will work between the screen and window glass. The cellular style blinds are definitely great for their insulation properties.

Also, the trick with this "inside the window" method is obviously dealing with the corner radius at the top and bottom, so the blind can go all the way from top to bottom while being wide enough to cover the entire window. Oh... you guys probably have square-corner windows on your 60's trailers.

One more quick comment regarding cellular blinds... I really disliked the dated look of the accordion door originally installed between the living area and the sleeping area so I ordered a custom fit cellular blind to replace it from Amazon. I can pull it down when I want privacy between the two areas and it stows neatly away when I don't need it. It works and looks great! As an added and, unexpected, benefit, i can concentrate my heating and cooling in either area! Furthermore, its more often than not only necessary to pull it half way down to achieve an operable level of privacy. One of my most practical and satisfying upgrades, to be sure...
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:15 PM   #12
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1968 28' Ambassador
Roswell , New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
Excellent work. I have been working on "blinds" ideas for a couple of years, but I never thought about a weighted solution that runs inside the screen (like yours). Any thoughts of this interior method were always quashed by not being able to pull the shade down, but your motorized solution (along with a heavy enough screen bottom to let gravity do it's work) obviously takes care of that. Kudos!

Cellular style blinds are superior for insulation purposes, and I really like having a dual up/down option for opening, but this is definitely the best "low profile" solution I have seen. Thanks for sharing!

I failed to mention that reason that I got the blinds from Walmart in the first place was that they had pockets along their lower edges that held a plastic rod to keep the bottom straight. One issue that I had with them was that I needed a little more weight along the lower edge to get the blinds to operate correctly. I solved that issue by cutting down one of those galvanized rods that are made to hold the edge of a chin link fence taught. It fit perfectly within the plastic bottom rod in the blind and was cheap enough to tinker with until I hit on just the right amount of weight for each blind.
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:32 PM   #13
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_tiger View Post
One issue that I had with them was that I needed a little more weight along the lower edge to get the blinds to operate correctly. I solved that issue by cutting down one of those galvanized rods that are made to hold the edge of a chin link fence taught. It fit perfectly within the plastic bottom rod in the blind and was cheap enough to tinker with until I hit on just the right amount of weight for each blind.
Hilarious. I've got a bunch of "cheapo" roller blinds from Lowes laying around from all my experiments, and that's exactly what I did today (galvanized chain link fence edging in the pocket made for the plastic rod).
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:16 PM   #14
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1976 Argosy 24
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So, here's a couple pics of the new cellular shades in the '68... also a shot of one of the thinsulate window inserts laying on the counter.
Mark D
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