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How to Replace Your RV Valances

Here’s how you can easily update your RV’s interior by swapping out your window valances for a more modern, stylish look.

Personalizing your RV doesn’t have to take a full, time-consuming renovation. You can make changes to your rig to fit your style with a few simple changes, such as swapping out your window coverings. Getting rid of your old-school valances can change the entire feel of your RV with minimal effort and expense.

RV Valance Inspiration 

Before you get started, you should gather some inspiration—check Pinterest and Instagram. You’ll also need to decide if you want to keep your existing roller shades or replace them. Since custom window shades can be fairly expensive, try to keep them if possible. 

Here’s how to remove RV factory valances, reinstall existing roller shades, and put up custom curtain rods and curtains. 

the interior of an RV with a brown leather couch and wooden cabinets
Before renovation. | Renee Tilby
the interior of an RV with white curtains, a white chair, snake plant and side table
After renovation. | Renee Tilby

What You’ll Need

Step-by-Step Tutorial

1. Remove Roller Shades

The easiest way to remove RV window valances is to remove the shades that are attached inside the valance. The shades are typically attached with metal or plastic brackets that have a button or lever that you can press to release the roller shade. Feel the top front edge of the roller shade for the lever. You’ll know you’ve found it when you hear a click and the shade can be gently pulled down. Find the second lever or button, and release the other side. There will be two brackets on a smaller shade and three to four on a larger one. 

a close-up of an RV valance
RV valance. | Renee Tilby

2. Remove Valance

Now that the shades have been removed, it’s easier to access the screws holding up the valance. Valances are usually held up with “L” brackets that are screwed into the wall and into the valance. Take your drill with a square bit, or a square head screwdriver (most RV screws take a square bit), and remove all the screws. Sometimes the screws can be hidden, so take your time and find them all. Once removed, the valance will fall off; if it isn’t releasing from the wall then there are more screws that need to be removed. Don’t pull the valance off of the wall before all screws are removed or you will risk damaging your wall. 

3. Rehang the Roller Shades

Now that the roller shade and valance have both been removed, flip the valance upside down and remove the roller shade brackets from inside the valance. Now attach the roller shade brackets to the wall right above the window using the existing screws. Use a tape measure and a level to make sure the shade will be centered and level before hanging the brackets. You can stop at this step if you’re happy with the streamlined look of the roller shades without the valance, or you can continue to add curtains. 

4. Hang Curtain Rods

RV windows tend to be oddly-sized, so it can be hard to find suitable curtain rods. To solve this problem, make your own custom curtain rods using curtain brackets and dowel rods cut to length. Hang the curtain brackets just above and outside where you hung the roller shades. Measure the distance from the outside of one bracket to the outside of the other bracket and then cut your dowel to that length. Alternatively, you can use command hooks to hang the dowels if you don’t want to drill holes into your RV walls. 

5. Hang Curtains

Pick out the curtains you want. Most curtains are much longer than you’ll need for RV windows and one panel can be turned into multiple curtains if you’re handy with a sewing machine. If not, you can easily hem the curtains to your desired length using no-sew hem tape. After you’ve hemmed the curtains, hang them on the dowel, and hang the dowel on the curtain brackets. Tighten the bracket screws to secure the dowel.

a window shade made of a rolled up drop cloth
Drop cloth shades. | Renee Tilby

Other RV Window Treatment Upgrades

Keeping the existing roller shades and hanging curtains is one of the easiest ways to update your RVs window coverings, but it’s not the only way to update them. If you want a different look, here are other RV window covering options.

Just Curtains

You can skip the rehanging of the shades step altogether and just put up traditional curtains with traditional curtain rods. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go.

Recover Valances

You don’t have to get rid of the valances to update the look of your RV windows. You can instead reupholster them. Remove the valances, following steps one and two of this tutorial, and then use an upholstery stapler and upholstery fabric to recover them. Rehang the valances and roller shades the same way they were before, now updated.

Custom Shades

If your RV shades are old, worn, or unattractive, you can replace them altogether. Although custom RV shades can be expensive, they can greatly elevate the look and feel of your RV interior. You can also pick up cut-to-size roller shades at most home improvement stores for a more budget-friendly option.

Make Your Own Shades

Are custom shades not in your budget but you want something a little less generic? If you’re feeling handy, try making your own custom shades. Follow this tutorial to make beautiful, inexpensive RV window shades out of drop cloth and leather-look vinyl. If you don’t want to DIY from scratch, Mountain Modern published a useful tutorial about upcycling existing roller shades into beautiful custom ones. 

Whether your RV is your full-time home on wheels, or just your home away from home, it’s important to have a space that feels reflective of you. Swapping out factory RV coverings for something more personalized is a simple and inexpensive way to add your own style to your rig.

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