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Old 09-24-2020, 10:09 AM   #1
RFP
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Panorama Window Curtains - An Improvement

We love the front panorama windows in our little 23D, but the curtains not so much. From day one, we found the flimsy, floppy edges of the curtains unsatisfactory and closing the curtains was frequently too fiddly.

My first improvement was to put 1/4" fiberglass 'rods' into the sewn-in pockets on each of the meeting edges of the curtains. I bought six of the 'driveway markers' at Home Depot and cut off the red reflector. These rods slid fairly easily into the edge of each of the curtain panels.

So far, so good!

Now, about those Velcro closures: I despised those things. There are a lot of great uses for Velcro, but holding my curtains closed isn't one of them... well at least that's my opinion.

Magnets! It seemed to me that magnets just might do the trick. I did some research at K & G Magnetics and selected these: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/proddetail.asp?prod=D48DIA I thought these would be perfect since they are the same diameter (1/4") as my rods, and they are diametrically magnetized (best for side-to-side attraction).

My plan was to affix a magnet to each end of each rod (total of 12) using white heat-shrink. The magnets would just become an extension of the rods.

When the magnets arrived, I put the rods and magnets together and re-inserted the rods into the curtains. I was delighted at how well the magnets worked... quick and easy closure, easy to open, and NO Velcro.

My idea's success meant that I could remove the Velcro from each of the curtain panels. That took some time! I used my stitch cutter that I had bought from Joann's Fabrics and stitch-by-stitch removed the Velcro. Now, it'd as if they were never on the curtains at all. Yay!

A couple of 'tips' for anyone who might be interested in doing this to their curtains: I shortened the rods so that the magnets do not have to "pull" through the several folds of curtain fabric. Also, the rod/magnets should be assembled in pairs to ensure twist-free closure.

If anybody is interested in dong this, just PM me and I'll send you my contact info and we can chat about it.

Happy camping, ya'll...

PS: The photos really don't do justice the the improvement in appearance.
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Old 09-26-2020, 04:15 PM   #2
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Well, this little project just keeps getting better.

With magnets in the curtains, it's easy to add some metal (plated steel) to the pano window dividers - both sides, top and bottom, thereby giving a place for the magnets to 'grab' what opening the curtains. I'm super-pleased with how neatly the curtains gather up fairly tightly... looks so much better.
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2014 23D International Serenity - "Fortune Cookie"
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And some stuff

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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 09-30-2020, 12:29 PM   #3
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So, I've swallowed my pride and made a video. It's awful... I look - and talk - like an old geezer (which I am), but it was fun and maybe some of you may get a kick out of my feeble effort... well, at least the camera is good, and the video is short... mercifully short!

Check it out here:

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And some stuff

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Old 09-30-2020, 02:49 PM   #4
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Curtain Fix

We had a 2017 23D. We eliminated the 2 center curtain panels replacing it with an Ocean Air pull down shade matching the other window shades. We also inserted 1/4" dowel rods into the edges of the remaining curtains. Makes a nice improvement.

Fast forward 2 years. Sold the 2017 23D and moved up to a 2019 FC 25 RBT. Made the same mod to front and back (wraparounds at both ends with the twin bed layout) windows. Major improvement.

You can call Ocean Air and give them size of shade you need. They have a nice website that gives you instruction on how to measure window opening. The 2019 FC 25 RBT took an existing stock shade. The 23D required a custom size.
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Old 02-08-2021, 06:27 AM   #5
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Excellent! Thanks so much for sharing the detailed information on this. Definitely an "improvement".
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:33 AM   #6
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Thanks for posting this idea — it looks so good the parts are order!

Question: not clear to me what the issue is with “the rod/magnets should be assembled in pairs to ensure twist-free closure” and what care needs to be taken.

Thanks.......
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Old 02-08-2021, 07:57 AM   #7
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Love it

This is terrific! I will be doing this for the coming camping season. I loathe dealing with the velcro as well. Everything about dealing with the curtains is usually irritating.

And thank you for making a video, I really appreciate it. Time well spent!

Adam
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
Thanks for posting this idea — it looks so good the parts are order!

Question: not clear to me what the issue is with “the rod/magnets should be assembled in pairs to ensure twist-free closure” and what care needs to be taken.

Thanks.......
Sure, just remember the magnets are polarized diametrically, NOT end-to-end. So, the magnets need to be oriented correctly so they match up 'N to S' without twisting. If you do this little 'mod,' it will be clear to you when you are working on it.
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:56 AM   #9
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Got it, and thanks again. By the way, our first trailer was a 23’ corner bed with the L-lounge up front. We broke the “law” and down sized.
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFP View Post
Well, this little project just keeps getting better.

With magnets in the curtains, it's easy to add some metal (plated steel) to the pano window dividers - both sides, top and bottom, thereby giving a place for the magnets to 'grab' what opening the curtains.........
RFP: hello again and another question. The washers (or shims) that you added to the window dividers look much cleaner and better than what I have been able to find. Can you recommend a source?

This will be my final task as all the other steps have been completed and the curtains have been re-installed on both panoramic windows. We love them!

Thanks again, it’s a great idea and you have been a great help.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by field & stream View Post
RFP: hello again and another question. The washers (or shims) that you added to the window dividers look much cleaner and better than what I have been able to find. Can you recommend a source?

This will be my final task as all the other steps have been completed and the curtains have been re-installed on both panoramic windows. We love them!

Thanks again, it’s a great idea and you have been a great help.

Sure! Mine came from the same place I got the magnets. You can probably find just what you need here: https://www.kjmagnetics.com/products.asp?cat=161

I'm delighted you like this little project. I hope you enjoy it in actual use!
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Old 02-17-2021, 06:35 AM   #12
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Thanks again, these are so much more finished looking. Now all we need is some camping weather.......
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:31 AM   #13
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Thumbs up

Nice improvement, Bob. My only thought was that the zinc-plated steel washers might be subject to rusting in wet/humid locations like ours near the ocean. Maybe shim them up on some inert layer, and coat with clear nail polish first?

PS . . . and use SS screws to install the steel washers IMO.
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Old 02-17-2021, 07:38 AM   #14
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I want to report that I love this mod that RFP came up with. He has others, too. I found driveway markers at Lowes long enough to get 2 curtain ends out of one marker. My AS is a 23FB... a 2013 IS... so not sure if my curtain detail is anything like other models, but the cloth "tab" (with sewn on traveler) attached to the curtain at left and right edges (the ones that move) are located too far from the edges; so, by moving closer to the edges the curtain doesn't droop at the edges. Thanks FRP for your fine work and sharing your ideas. Fair_Enough
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Old 02-19-2021, 07:00 AM   #15
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Love it!

We will be doing this all over our new 25 when we get it!
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Old 02-19-2021, 08:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Nice improvement, Bob. My only thought was that the zinc-plated steel washers might be subject to rusting in wet/humid locations like ours near the ocean. Maybe shim them up on some inert layer, and coat with clear nail polish first?

PS . . . and use SS screws to install the steel washers IMO.
Peter, these are nickel plated... Should be as good as chrome.

C'mon, you didn't think I would use something so common as zinc, did you? :
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And some stuff

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Old 02-19-2021, 08:32 AM   #17
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Oops I owe you a "nickel" I guess . . . at least I zinc I might!

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Old 02-19-2021, 08:49 AM   #18
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Oops I owe you a "nickel" I guess . . . at least I zinc I might!

Aw... Your credit is always good with me, my friend.
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And some stuff

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Old 02-26-2021, 09:18 PM   #19
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Couple of quick questions

Bob,

I have a couple of quick questions:
  1. What size washers did you get? Would you pick the same size again?
  2. Can you say a few more words about the length of the rod/magnet assembly? It seems like maybe your rods are a little shorter in order to not deal with bunched up fabric?
  3. Does the screw material matter? I know aluminum and steel don't mix (thus the nickel plated washers) but what about the screws?

Thanks!
Adam
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:59 AM   #20
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Bob,

I have a couple of quick questions:
  1. What size washers did you get? Would you pick the same size again?
  2. Can you say a few more words about the length of the rod/magnet assembly? It seems like maybe your rods are a little shorter in order to not deal with bunched up fabric?
  3. Does the screw material matter? I know aluminum and steel don't mix (thus the nickel plated washers) but what about the screws?

Thanks!
Adam
Good morning, Adam.

Excellent questions! I used 5/8" disks (or washers). 3/4" would work just fine, room

You're right, the rods need to be short so the magnets are not in the "bunched up" area top and bottom. I added a few stitches with matching thread across the upper part of the "bunched up" area so my rods wouldn't fall down. I tried to say this in my original post. I see I wasn't very clear.

I used stainless screws. If you are concerned about long term corrosion, you could easily use aluminum pop rivets.

Here's to your sucess!

Robert
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And some stuff

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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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