The window shades work! Well, they work for now. They’re held up with somewhat shoddy construction, but it was all I could come up with at the time. I forsee having to make some fixes in the future.
In any case, here’s the lowdown on the window shades. They slide up and down on curtain tracks for convenience, and the backs are lined with EZ Cool insulation. Eventually I’ll put up a hooks on which to hang the shades from the top.
I used Recmar 3108 curtain track from Curtain-Tracks.com with Recmar 3050 slides. However, it only works well for me because the shade is stiff enough to overcome any binding in the track. For others I would recommend using Recmar 4108 aluminum track with Recmar 4201 slides. They slide much better.
The fabric is silver polka-dotted burlap from Joann’s. I trimmed the edges very precisely to ensure straight edges and perfect right angles. Instead of hemming, I used Fray Check along the raw edges, and then folded the edges over and secured them with Fusible Bonding Web. Duct tape on the backs of the short sides provides reinforcement for the grommets.
The slides are fastened to the shade with elastic, and they slide in to the track at the very top.
EZ Cool insulation is secured to the back of the fabric with Super 77 spray adhesive. In addition to insulating, it provides a nice substrate that is stiff enough to hold the shape of the window shade. I taped the edges of the insulation just so if they catch on anything they won’t rip too easily.
The curtain track is fastened to the wood supports with VHB tape, and the wood supports are fastened to the van with VHB tape, corner brackets, plumber’s tape, and random screws I found in the garage.
So there you have it. It’s not the most exciting stuff unless you’re building your own van and planning to do something similar. Was all the sliding stuff and insulation really necessary? No. But that was my vision, and by golly I was determined to stick to it. Really, I just enjoy things that function nicely. I enjoy convenience. And I really wanted insulation over the windows that didn’t look horrible from the inside. I’m a little afraid that it’ll all come crashing down like a house of cards, but only time will tell.