Labor Day weekend project- add full length curtain to truck camper door

door curtain door curtain

Thing about remodel is finding that stopping point....Recently re carpeted camper, another item that needed to be re-addressed was the 'temporary' curtain over entrance door. Older picture but several years ago we replaced the opaque door window with clear glass. Getting ready for a trip we made the temporary curtain from an old flannel pillow case. That was 10 years ago..This corner of camper has been modified several times over the years. Usually because of another project.

After replacing carpet the front (pink) pass through curtain stood out like a sore thumb so replaced with some brown material. Margaret mentioned we could use extra material to finally replace the pillow case..ummm ok. Then I noticed the 2 curtains on either side of dinette window... there the same pink as the pass through window was.

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Well not really curtains just small strips, more foo-foo but the one at side window does block light coming in side of blind. Being beside the yet to be made new door curtain- decided to replace all. Haven't even started and project grows.

The temporary door curtain was added for privacy but it does add some thermal value, door is cold, window more so. It also blocks light. Issue with door curtain is keeping tied back. It has to be on left, due to screen hinge and stuff on the wall at right side. Bringing slide in has to be draped over dinette seat. Just a daily aggravation but functional, however if replacing be nice to address.

Looking at it, I noted that if curtain was full length it could cover the lower fish eye window. That would be awesome not having to mess with the little curtain between doors. One large curtain certainly add more 'thermal' value. But if full length it would HAVE to be tied over to right wall. While that would take care of having to constantly play with it -out of the way- Its doing it.

What we came up with will solve all functional issues-just not sure about what it might look like. Pulling the curtain over 'draped' across bath wall and tieing back to bath wall so it hangs down between bath door and items on wall.

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Went ahead and made curtain to 'see'. Used a pre made curtain, cut to make narrower, Has light blocking backing.

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And slid over, not seeing that green flannel curtain rather different and nice. Too bad there's not room to let curtain hang on left side. Would look better but cant.

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If I had thought about curtain at the time when I added the solar controller and reworked the light switch etc, I could have moved it all over couple of inches toward bath door. not happening now-

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And the plan. Add three small hooks to wall, make ties and tie curtain over so it hangs down in wall space between bath door and wall mounted stuff. I'm pretty sure this will look like dog poop....It will be very useable and practical, just not visually pleasing. I will revisit placement before screwing hooks into wall. But not having curtain in walk thru path, having to play with, accessing coat /key rack. Ideally there would be no curtain-well this is likely what it will be. Draped over to side wall. Probably need to scooch the smoke detector over a tad.

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Found some 'decorative' hooks and ordered, thinking might help since they will be mounted on wall. Ties will be strips of curtain with button holes-maybe. I'm really having a hard time doing this-just cant come up with alternative. geesh... I can hear me whining....

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Meantime went ahead and made the side curtain "posers" at dinette window. Liking the brown, ties more into wood than upholstery colors... Waiting on the postman...

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Hmm. Received hooks. they are as shown on right, bright shiny brass. What was ordered were the darker Green Bronze. Been round and round with the vendor-he's telling me its 'color aberration'? But its a completely different hook- I'm not sure how these importers/re sellers of Chinese products works. But I've run into this before-they don't even know what they are selling, call them on discrepancy and they refund price begging good review. Found a vendor who sells both, the bronze and green bronze, may I'll have better luck getting the color wanted...'aberration ''- jeesh.

Should have gone with more standard hardware- thought being on wall they'd be kind of nice visually. I'll order some more hoping to get darker color. As these are unique, extras on hand would be a good thing. Meantime Ill use what I received to hang curtain.

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Mounted. For tie backs sewed up simple 1"x 6" straps, add button holes to slip over hooks. Mounted hooks to wall. Top two hooks was able to hit backing behind paneling. Bottom though the 1x2 behind is another 1/2" over- never noted before but door frame/wall is narrower/ not square to door at the bottom. If bottom hook pulls the screw out as its only into 1/8" panel I'll glue in a dowel

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Just hooks, though only seen when curtain drawn why we went with decorative hooks. Jury still out. Well not really, I simply-hate it. Functional, the hooks just busy-the swagged curtain..lil too foo-foo just cant see this remaining.

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Does 'restrain' curtain, just looks a bit cluttered. However it is functional and very practical compared with before as far as day to day use. Maybe we will get used to it. But we have full thermo/black out curtain. Tied back out of the way. Won't have to mess with the fisheye window curtain between doors, curtain not draped over dinette seat when slide in or constantly re securing. Does add a bit of warmth. The old curtain was a simple pain, this is huge improvement, just looks like poo.

Correct colored hooks on order but its very likely I'll replace with much simpler hooks. Color wise I may try first, Margaret thinks hooks look fine and don't need to change, matches all the other cabinet hardware (which we will be changing). Except the replacement bath door latch-all store had when I broke old one-need to get another....
That and all the cabinet handles/hinges thru out camper, they are bright brass-handles have white inserts....Next on the list once I get past this mess.

Meantime...second order from an other vendor who sells both the bronze and the darker 'green bronze' hooks arrived-

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yup same bright shiny brass. Conclusion is these folks have no clue. I give up

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Taking matter into my own hands, used some copper sulfate to darken the brass, some old green paint to tinge the edge

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That works...should have used simpler tie back hooks, Margaret likes them so not changing.


However a plan did come to mind to 'fix' the new curtain.
Making a simple rod that turns corner. Bend a piece of steel rod, drill hole in slide cabinet end on the left, right side weld a foot to be screwed to wall to prevent rod from turning down in corner-YES. just having a possible work around makes this easier to live with. Would allow the curtain to hang straight down instead of swagged over. That would help, get rid of what really bugs me, plus hanging straight down wouldn't look so busy. Have to move the smoke detector-again. Round to it.


Few weeks later and curtain rod done!

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Made a 90 curtain rod so curtain hangs more or less straight instead of the 'swag' over. The curtain draped over before was just too much. I was close to cutting the curtain so it could hang back on left side like it had been. Still need to paint the end brackets but its off the roundtoit list.

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New rod attaches to bath wall and end of the box over door. Rod is a piece of 3/8" plated round bar, bent to 2 3/8" inside radius. Long leg ended up 23", short is 8 1/2" so curtain will hang straight beside loop hooks. Wall end bracket is short piece of 3/16"x 1 1/4" flat bent to 90 with leg back behind bar. Box end is 1/8"x 1 1/4" flat bar. Both ends were drilled to plug weld the rod.

Main thrust here was keeping the rod from trying to turn down due to the 90 bend between brackets, hence welding both ends. Works well, but does require removal to put curtain on. Also, though haven't needed to in 15+ years, rod & curtain would need to be removed to access slide out control board inside the over door box (see slideout fuse page. It has an auto rest breaker but there's a smaller fuse under sink feeding it, just FYI.

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Started by bending the 3/8"x36" rod with the 8 1/2" leg, Welded on the wall bracket, shown set in vise ready to weld. Then several trips back & forth to camper to 'adjust' rod so it was parallel to door. Finally got length for long end. Cut & drill box bracket.

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Attaching & jigging this for the box end proved to be a test. A slight degree of rotation threw the whole thing out of square by inches. Did a tack weld, assuming I'd need to adjust, then took to camper to verify. A LOT of luck but its perfect, wow. Finished welding out. Took back to camper, marked for attaching holes to box end Then back to shop, drilled and cleaned up.

Decided to mount ensuring fit before painting. That also proved a test, holding this thing up to mark camper for pilot holes, could have used a second pair of hands. Finally just drilled a hole on wall end where I thought it should go. Yup 1/4" shy, But at least I know where it should go. Drilled another hole, remounted wall end. Then ensuring it was square and parallel to door marked the box end bracket, drill a pilot and screw it on. What a pain. Drilled pilots for remaining holes. Removed, slid the curtain on rod and screwed brackets down. Had I an idea how much an effort this turned into for a what seemed would be easy, the 'draped' swag foo-foo might have looked ok :) Well not really.

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Hmm forgot to switch camera to florescent lighting. Relocated the smoke detector. Tomorrow Ill remove & paint bracket ends. Now that its done almost worthwhile. Does look better at least to my eye, well good enough maybe I'll stop noticing it. Is easier to pull as curtain was really close before because the spring loaded rod was close to box.

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Painted and reinstalled. Still, looks cluttered and busy, but best I could come up with. I need to remember what a royal constant pain the old curtain was, always getting caught in door, snagged when accessing keys and coat rack. Simply was in the way, not to mention minty green flannel pillow case. Amazing what you can get use to.

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Not having to reopen door to play with the lower shade will be nice. Would think the all but full length curtain might be warmer in the winter. Trying to convince myself this looks ok ,

Since I'm here do something with the silly slide control switch. Looked at that Happijac label for 15 years. Likely also peel off the only remaining safety sticker, its for the slide, maybe stick on the side. I had always thought Id move the switch to end of box, put an entrance light in it place. There is a 2" hole behind it. Light not needed now so just paint and relabel the switch and brass plaque. Dang..I just saw I could have put the smoke detector there...oh well, probably wouldn't want to be seeing the blinking red light from the bed.


Attempt 3

And plan changed- trying to simplify & get rid of the busyness this curtain ended up adding. Plus address the white around the door. Always bugged me, with the curtain and new rod it really stands out even more. I have some paneling, cover the white between top of door frame and existing paneling.

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First is the smoke detector. Other than it looked dumb moved so high, it's simply too close to ceiling for a wall mount, code is 4-12" from top of detector to ceiling. Excuse to remove, took down, put another white one on the ceiling where it belongs. This one has a 'hush' button. Never understood why it was on the wall in the first place. That helped clear up wall a lot. Then removed slide-out switch and safety sticker.

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The switch I'm putting back where it was but without the plastic box. More than enough depth for switch. Was going to paint plaque but just and wiped the Happijac brand and logo off plate. Sprayed with some matte clear to kill the brass reflection. Wow simple is good

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And stopped again...holding up piece of paneling to cut-filling above door, made the strip at side in the corner all by its lonesome look really bad. So ripped a strip to fill. Liking it. Liking it a lot. More than just filling the strip of white, it helps the appearance of the raw aluminum against the white. So I'm debating now just re trim the whole door.

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Door frame has some 1/8x 1" wall paper covered trim around it. If I have enough material I'm removing the existing trim and replace with the paneling. This door never looked finished to me. I also dislike raw aluminum, the tacked on strips didn't help. Had the manufacture made the box over door white probably would have looked more finished, or paneled this whole back wall, but the partial wood, partial white wall paper and raw aluminum just made door look like it was cut in, no continuity. I'm thinking that bringing the wood down left side will draw a line, door completely set in wood will give this an appearance of being planned. Wall paper or wood paneling instead of the mish-mash of both. Plus it will tie in to the rest of woodwork . Thaz my convoluted thinking.

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Fuzzy gif- playing with pictures, adding the strip on left will be some effort and limited scrap paneling, not sure...

Well, couldn't make up my mind but going thru left over scrap paneling, I don't have enough for another continuous vertical strip. Material for top though, I only have a 22" piece that I can get a 2" wide strip for over the door. Top of door frame is exactly 22" wide. Material for top would need to be 23" if I don't do the left side (24" if I hadn't run the side piece long all the way to top-luck)... So that pretty much determined that I'm doing the left side. Because I'll have to splice to make another one of the verticals I'll move the continuous piece to the left side where its more visible, splice strips on the right-only one seam and the small doors will hide most.

. Cut material to re-make the right side strip. Attaching paneling I used some small nails, had to clip to 1/4" long. Existing 1/8" paneling is glued directly to aluminum frame. Holding with needle nose set the brads 'bout every 12". I also used wood glue.

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And top done..getting ready to rain-no light so pictures are pretty bad. Installed my "non-branded" flush mount slide control switch so I could move the slide out a bit.

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Attached the left side after staining the raw edge. set all the brads and color putty holes.

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Where'd that big white plastic square on screen come from?
Glad material forced my hand. Area looks much cleaner-lot less cluttered. Liking the wood around door, just simplifies this corner. I think as much as anything it was moving the detector off wall, dumping the slide switch box. Bottom line now were happy-3 attempts to get it 'right' but finished. How hard could it be to hang a curtain?

Related "remodel" projects done at same time
De bling Da bling...changing out campers cabinet hardware
Bed side cabinet, replace fabric door insert with wood-
Add gas spring to shoe box lid new carpet stiffness made hard to open, also holds it open
Replace carpet new carpet throughout- what started this
A bit later Changed out the screens white slider to a clear one, added push bar.

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