One issue with most RVs, included DIY camper vans, is that the single pane windows can be quite cold in the winter and can allow a lot of heat to enter the living space in the summer. In previous motorhomes and trailers, we have custom cut Reflectix material and covered the inside of our windows. It can be attached with Velcro or command hooks.
For our DIY Promaster camper van, we wanted to improve our insulated window coverings for increased comfort in summer and winter. I still used Reflectix, but added netting, insulation (batting), and breathable fabric to create insulated RV window covers that would be more insulative than Reflectix alone. This will detail our process to create or make your own DIY RV insulated window covers. We have already insulated the van with Havelock wool, and this project will supplement our sheep wool insulation in the walls.
The first step was to cut a piece of reflectix the size of our window glass or frame. This example is for a 36″ x 17″ awning window, but we used the same method for cab door windows and the windshield.
Next, we cut a piece of high loft quilt batting about 1″ to 1.5″ larger on all sides. This overhang will help to seal the window cover to the wall or surfaces around the window. You could also use Climashield APEX synthetic insulation or a similar product.
Next, we cut a piece of tulle or netting the same size as the batting insulation. We chose white netting to allow the Reflectix to still reflect as much of the radiant heat as possible. The netting will be on the “glass” side of the cover and when sewn, it will keep the Reflectix in place in relation to the other fabrics.
Next, we cut a piece of breathable fabric about 1″ or so larger than the batting. We chose a light grey lightweight breathable nylon, but other options will work. The overhang will allow a rolled hem to be sewn around the entire perimeter, holding everything together.
Next, we stacked all of the layers together and pinned them in place. On the bottom, we placed the breathable fabric. On top of that, was the high loft quilt batting insulation. Next we placed the Reflectix material, and then finally the white tulle or netting. We did use a bit of 3M spray glue to hold the batting to one side of the Reflectix and the netting to the other. Once all layers are stacked, sew around the perimeter of the Reflectix. This will hold everything together and capture the Reflectix between the netting and the batting.
Then, we rolled the breathable fabric and sewed a rolled hem all the way around the RV insulated window cover. This left about 1″ or so of the batting extending beyond the Reflectix. For RV window covers next to metal, such as on the cab doors, we sewed small rare earth magnets into the fabric layers. For other locations, we sewed a small square of Velcro onto the RV window covers and then glued matching pieces onto the wall.
We have already used these new DIY window covers on a recent trim in hot summer weather, and they performed quite well. I also expect better results in the winter than my old Reflectix-only solution.
Products and tools used in this project:
|Brother Sewing Machine||A sewing machine is required for this project|
|Gutermann Thread||A quality polyester thread|
|Reflectix||Radiant heat barrier, many sizes available|
|Quilt Batting||Additional insulation on the interior side|
|Netting or Tulle||Holds the Reflectix in place, allows light to pass|
|Nylon Fabric||Fabric seen on the interior side|
|Rare Earth Magnets||Hold window covers in place next to metal surfaces|
|Velcro||Hold window covers in place on wooden surfaces|
|Spray Glue||Holds netting and batting to Reflectix layer|
We also have produced a YouTube video detailing the Promaster RV DIY insulating window shades or covers that provides more detail. Click the image below to view the video.