What we did:
- Blind rivet snap fasteners (SnapRite) to attach the curtains to each window in the back.
- Roc Lon Denimtone blackout fabric for the curtains and the divider.
- No-see-um/Mosquito netting as the first layer under each curtain with sliding windows.
- Neodymium magnets sew in place to pull the curtains snuggly across the windows.
- Moveable blackout divider curtain installed to separate front seats and the rear of the van.
Why and how we did it:
Lucia designed the curtains and helped put them together with help from Emma at EmmsHems. We have one layer of high quality mosquito netting that is sewn into the top of the blackout curtain. This way the blackout curtain can be rolled up and the mosquito netting can still be in place.
Rare earth magnets are sewn into the hem of the mosquito netting to hold it in place. Both the netting and the blackout curtain can be rolled up and stored above each window with a binding loop and abalone shell toggle. The curtains are affixed to the van by stainless steel blind rivet snap fasteners. This way if we ever need to remove the curtains we can, but they are held in place securely for the long haul. The bottom of the blackout curtain has a stronger rare earth magnet sewn in place to keep the light out when they are down. We thought about doing snaps across the bottom, but magnets are much faster to secure.
We used the old curtain slider assembly for the divider between the front and the back. Lucia pulled all the old button sliders and installed them across the top of the divider so that we can pull it across whenever we want more privacy. We installed magnets down the sides so that they will pull the divider tightly to the odd shaped walls.
The rear window curtain was hard because of its shape and how the door frame sits against the van frame. The first draft was too short on the edges so we added 1.5” to each side. This allows us to pull the curtain over the frame from the inside for a snug light free closure. The snaps run across the bottom and are awesome for keeping the curtain in place when we open the hatch.
The blind rivet snap fasteners are definitely the way to go! They look really sharp and are easy to install and use.
Thoughts post installation:
We added reflectix to each window and it makes a huge difference in the sun, especially early morning sun. In our experience it keeps the van 10-15 degrees cooler when the sun is directly on the van. It also helps keep the ambient temperature lower in the van which helps the fridge run more efficiently as well.
The blackout material works incredibly well and also adds a bit of sound dampening. We love the privacy we have and it is amazing how much light is kept out of the van.
We have added a mosquito net across the back hatch that is held in place with Velcro to the carpeted beam across the back and it drapes to the floor. This has been a must for any place that has flies and mosquitos, which is quite literally every place. It’s also great because we can sleep with the back hatch open and tire swing closed. This allows awesome airflow and good views with safety from the bugs.