to appease a primal fear of the dark, all good reasons to "light up" the world. But me, I like it dark. I mean one of the big pleasures of camping is to get out "there" where the city lights no longer block out stars.
Not only do I like dark spots in the boonies to camp, but I like to sleep in the dark. I mean really dark. So upon taking possession of our little egg it quickly became a priority to control the amount of light spilling in from our light addicted culture.
Curtains!! The real story behind this little bit of sharing.
I know that there are many good ways to block incoming light. I've seen them actually in hindsight via the forums--after I made our Casita curtains. My curtains have worked smoothly and effectively for two years now so I felt someone out there might benefit and like the way I did them.
My problem was twofold. First of all there's that dark thing we were trying to achieve, but secondly, we adopted a once scared little dog from a local animal rescue who had severe separation anxiety. So I had to devise a way to keep the screens from ruin whenever we walked outside and left her inside.
We purchased our 2013 fiberglass abode on wheels new from the Casita factory in Rice, Texas at the end of 2012. The trailer comes with mini-blinds. Some people hate these and have taken them out completely. I understand this, but we have come to like the ability to let a little light in, direct the light in a particular direction, or just being able to peek out. But, when closed, they don't cut out enough light to my satisfaction and don't give me a complete privacy feeling. So the idea of curtains-blind combination is great.
We wanted to add curtains. I had made curtains for our previous pop-up trailer and our short 15' stick-built trailer. They had a rod, so to speak, so I sewed permanent pleats that would fold when open. But these were going to be different. There would be no slide rod if I were going to leave the blinds in place and wanted the option of dropping curtains when desired.
Plus, our little dog, who is actually now much more calm, but still gets quite anxious and will claw at the window trying to tell us that she doesn't want to be left alone, when we're doing just that--leaving her alone. So, in my design, I needed curtains that were split, so I could drop the side covering the screen part of the window (thus saving the screen) and leaving the glass side exposed so she can see out.
|L-shaped aluminum support with 'our' extension|
I measured windows and sewed the hems. The top hem was large enough to run a wood rod through. The bottom hem would accommodate a light PVC pipe. The PVC pipe would add enough weight to unroll the curtains as later shown.
At first, it was apparent that too much light would shine through, so I purchased a used dark blue sheet from Savers (my hubby previously stated we're cheap, but a sheet is a lot of material) then sewed the darker material on what would be street side. We then ran the wood pole through the top hem of curtains. The pole is then connected to the metal extension. We also attached a nylon cord to the attachment (again this is street side).
Once attached to the extension, we screwed in two eye screws in the front of the rod to run the cord through. The following pictures show the results.
I added loops on the cord that hook on the 'famous' drapery slip-on hooks (we Casita-ians use to hang things on the carpet lining our fiberglass walls) to keep the curtain from flopping when let down. I can also pull it taut after hooked.
|Cassie looking out. Notice curtain down on screen side.|
I've included a video so that you can see how nice they roll up or down.