Installation Guide for Different Van Window Covers

Whether you’re a seasoned van lifer or just starting your journey into van modifications, installing window covers is an essential step for enhancing privacy, managing temperature, and ensuring a comfortable living space.Curtains, blinds, and magnetic covers all present distinct advantages, ranging from heightened privacy to better thermal management. Here’s how you can install each type to maximize comfort and style in your van.

Why install window covers for your van?

Window covers serve multiple purposes in a van. They provide privacy from prying eyes, insulation from extreme temperatures, and help create a dark, serene environment for sleeping. Additionally, window covers can add an aesthetic touch to your van’s interior.

Types of van window covers

1. Curtains:

Curtains are a classic choice for van window covers. They offer a timeless look and come in various fabrics and designs to match your van’s interior decor. Typically installed on curtain rods above the windows, curtains provide privacy and can be easily opened or closed as needed. They also offer insulation against sunlight and can help regulate the temperature inside the van.

2. Blinds:

Blinds are a popular option for van window covers due to their sleek and modern appearance. Available in materials like aluminum, vinyl, or fabric, blinds offer adjustable slats that allow you to control the amount of light entering the van. They are easy to operate and maintain, making them a practical choice for van dwellers looking for both style and functionality.

3. Magnetic Window Covers:

Magnetic window covers are a convenient solution for van owners who prioritize ease of installation and removal. These covers are typically made of reflective material with built-in magnets that adhere to the metal frame of the van’s windows. They provide excellent sun protection and privacy while also reducing heat buildup inside the van. Magnetic window covers are lightweight, compact, and can be easily stored when not in use.

Each type of van window cover has its own set of advantages, so it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing the right option for your van. Whether you prioritize style, convenience, or functionality, there’s a window cover installation solution to suit your van lifestyle.

Preparation ahead of installation

For an effective installation of van window covers, whether you’re working with curtains, blinds, or magnetic covers, it’s essential to start with some basic preparatory steps.

1. Clear and clean the installation area

Before anything else, clear the area around the windows. This means removing any existing window coverings, accessories, or obstructions that might hinder access to the window frame. Once cleared, thoroughly clean the window glass and the frame. A clean surface not only ensures better adherence for any fixtures or adhesives but also gives you a clearer view of what you’re working with. Use a glass cleaner for the window pane and a mild soap solution for the frame to remove any dirt, dust, or oily residues.

2. Gather your materials and tools

Nothing disrupts the workflow like having to search for tools and materials midway through an installation. Prepare all the materials you’ll need, such as the window cover itself (curtains, blinds, or magnetic covers), mounting hardware, and any decorative elements. Then, gather your tools—this might include a measuring tape, screwdriver, drill, level, pencil for marking, and possibly a ladder for higher installations. Having everything at hand will streamline the process and reduce installation time.

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3. Measure twice, cut once

Accuracy is key when installing window covers. Carefully measure the window area where the cover will be installed. Always double-check these measurements before cutting any materials or drilling into the wall or frame. This old carpenter’s advice, “Measure twice, cut once,” is vital to prevent material wastage and ensures that the window cover fits perfectly.

4. Review installation instructions

Before you start, review the installation instructions provided with your window covers. Different types of covers have specific requirements and steps. Familiarizing yourself with these steps ahead of time can prevent mistakes and make the installation process smoother.

5. Set up a workspace

If you’re cutting materials or assembling parts, set up a dedicated workspace. Use a clean, flat surface like a table or workbench. This space can serve as your base where you can make any adjustments to the covers or hardware before installing them on the window.

By following these preparatory steps, you’ll set yourself up for a successful installation of your van’s new window covers. Remember, good preparation leads to a smoother project and a more satisfying result.

Installation steps and tips for each type of van window cover

1. Curtains


Installation Steps:

  • Measure the Window: Determine the dimensions of your window to ensure your curtains will cover the entire area. Decide if you want the curtains to hang inside the recess or overlap the window frame.
  • Choose and Install a Curtain Rod or Track: Install a curtain rod or track above the window. Ensure it is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the curtains. Use a drill to secure the rod brackets to the van’s interior.
  • Prepare the Curtains: If making your own, cut the fabric to size, allowing extra for hemming. Sew or use hemming tape to create neat edges.
  • Hang the Curtains: Place the curtains on the rod or attach them to the track. Arrange them to hang evenly.

Installation tips:

  • Use durable and mold-resistant fabric to withstand the fluctuating temperatures and humidity in a van.
  • Consider thermal liners to help insulate your van during colder months.

2. Blinds


Installation Steps

  • Measure the Window: Accurately measure the window’s width and height. Decide if the blinds will be fitted inside the window recess or outside.
  • Choose Your Blinds:Select blinds that fit your measurements and aesthetic preferences—roller, Roman, and Venetian blinds are popular choices.
  • Mount the Brackets: Mark the positions for the brackets using a pencil. Drill holes and screw the brackets into place, ensuring they are level.
  • Install the Blinds: Clip the blinds into the brackets according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Test the mechanism to ensure it operates smoothly.

Installation tips:

  • Opt for cordless blinds for safety and ease of use, particularly important in a moving environment like a van.
  • Blinds made from moisture-resistant materials are ideal for withstanding the varied conditions in a van.

3. Magnetic Window Covers

Installation Steps

  • Measure the Window: Take measurements of the window, adding a few inches on all sides to ensure complete coverage.
  • Cut the Fabric and Attach Magnets: Cut your chosen fabric to size. Sew or glue magnets along the edges and corners of the fabric.(If you’ve purchased the sunshade designed for your specific vehicle model, proceed directly to the testing and placement)
  • Test the Placement: Hold the fabric up to the window to make sure the magnets align with the metal parts of the window frame.
  • Install the Cover: Simply place the cover against the window. The magnets will hold it in place, making it easy to remove and reattach as needed.

Installation Tips:

  • Use strong, rare-earth magnets for a secure and lasting hold.
  • For added thermal insulation, use a reflective or insulated material as the cover base.

General Tips for All Window Covers

  • Always ensure that the window covers do not obstruct your view while driving.
  • Regularly inspect and maintain the covers and their attachments to ensure they remain secure and functional.
  • Consider the aesthetic of your van’s interior when choosing materials and colors to create a harmonious look.

Installing window covers in your van not only enhances privacy and comfort but also adds a personal touch to your mobile home. With the right tools and a bit of planning, you can achieve a professional look that feels custom and thoughtfully designed.


Installing window covers in your van can greatly enhance your living experience by providing privacy, light control, and insulation. Whether you choose curtains, blinds, or magnetic covers, each option offers both functional and aesthetic benefits. Follow these steps to ensure a successful installation, and enjoy a more comfortable and personalized van life.