Sunday, August 23, 2015

New Blinds!!


So, in my last post, I mentioned that the reason for our trip to Woodland was to get a quote for new blinds for the RV.  I thought I would tell you a bit more about our blind situation.

In our RV, we have the accordion style day/night shades that pull down or push up.  They are original to our coach, which is a 2006 Newmar Ventana.  They are extremely hard to pull down and push up and it takes me both hands to move them.  I literally have to climb up on the sofa or on the dinette in order to get under the blinds so I have enough strength to maneuver them. 

In addition, the string that holds them together and allows them to move up and down break on a regular basis.  If we adjust the tension so they are easier to move, then the string breaks as well.  We have restrung one set a few times.

These blinds, while they say are “day/night” shades, really do not block the light at all during the day.  When the sun comes up every morning, it shines in like there is not even a shade in place.  This, in turns, means the dogs think it is time to rise and shine at 6 am! 

Day/Night shades.
You can see how the night portion still lets in a lot of light

Also, since they really don’t block the light, the sun heats up the RV when it is hot outside.  We bought an aftermarket RV screen that is made to block the sun and still see out and used suction cups to attach to the inside of the cockpit window.  While this does work, it is an extra step each time we change locations and it does not help the situation in the other windows.

In the cockpit, driver and passenger windows, we have the accordion shades that are on a track and it pulls around and covers all 3 areas.  There is no day/night shade, just one shade.  You cannot see through it and it does not block the light or sun and it is quite useless.  They are extremely hard to fold back into place as you pull the rope to close them each morning.  I fight with these blinds every morning and every evening.


Dealing with these blinds wasn’t a big deal when we only took short trips in the RV but now that we live in it, these blinds have slowly become a very real issue for me. 

We have been talking about buying new shades for a year.  We have been researching MCD Innovation Shades, which are a very popular choice for lots of RVers.  They are probably the most well known company for RV shades.  They make aftermarket shades as well as shades for new RVs.

However, the more we researched the company and talked to customers and dealers, we kept hearing the same theme.  Everyone stated that the blind quality and their customer service were going downhill.   People were having issues with the blinds breaking after installation and dealers were having trouble dealing with the company on warranty work. 

This lack of quality and customer service made us start looking at other options.  We found a company called AutoMotion Shade.  They look exactly like MCD Shades and the cost is almost exactly the same.  Newmar has even started using this company on some of their new motorhomes.

About the same time that we started researching AutoMotion Shade, we started hearing from other guests in our RV Park about a company near Portland that rehabs RV interiors.  In fact, several different guests in our RV Park in Issaquah were headed to Woodland to go to this place to get new furniture, carpet and blinds installed.

This piqued our interest so we did a little more research.  Wouldn’t you know it!  Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design is a dealer and installer of AutoMotion Shades!!

This was a sign!  We had planned to wait until next year to get new blinds since we just spent several thousand dollars on a new refrigerator and inverter, but I called Dave and LJ’s anyway and they said to come in at anytime.  No appointment was necessary to get the blinds measured and to get a quote. So, long story, but that is why we decided on a whim to go to Woodland!

And, once you get a quote and you get to see how amazing the blinds are and how they block the light, it is impossible to say no. So, even though we had not planned to buy them so soon, we went ahead and ordered the blinds. 

The company custom makes them to fit each of our windows and they will be shipped to the dealer in about 4 weeks.  We will then go back down to Woodland for them to install them, which they say will only take one day.  They do have to take down the box that holds the TV in place in the cockpit so they can cut about an inch off so the blinds can be pulled down unobstructed but even with that mod, they said they could be done in one day.

Can’t tell you how excited I am!  Tex was less than thrilled with the expense but he loves the blinds!

After we ordered the blinds, we had another crazy thing happen to the RV so I will post about that in my next post!  You really won’t believe it!

Until next time!

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