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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Replaced front pull-around curtain with pull-down shades.

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garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 01/22/18 06:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, after repurposing our front curtain as a front bunk privacy curtain, our MCD shades finally arrived. I was lucky our 2015 Winnebago had flat surfaces on the A-pillar covers so I was able to order a power shade 1/2" inch narrower than the distance between the pillar covers. MCD has several different ordering pages to cover the different ways coach builders make the A-pillars. I was lucky my application did not require any cutting of the pillar cover and all I had to do was add a piece of angle for a shade guide. I ordered a single shade that comes off the roll to the rear of the RV. The MCD shades just need a flat surface (ceiling) to screw the mounting clips to and the shade frame then snaps onto the clips (and can be easily removed from the clips if necessary). The angle on the front windshield means the side shades do not cover the lower front of the side windows. The window frame has a groove in it that you can fit cut angled pieces of coreboard into to assure privacy at night. The power windshield shade was easy to wire..it only requires 3 small wires pulled to it that I was able to conceal behind the passenger side A-pillar and thread down to the underside of the dash. You can choose which side the shade motor is on (it is inside the shade tube). I chose passenger side as it was easier to fish wires thru that side to the center "radio pod"(correct name???). The shade uses very little power so I tapped into the cigarette lighter feed (always hot and we never use it) in the radio pod and put an inline fuse right at the junction. I tucked the fuse holder up just under the pod so I can easily pull it back out if replacing the fuse is necessary. I chose to order two switches and wire them in parallel and mounted them on opposite sides of the pod. The location of the switches lets either the driver or passenger to access a switch by just reaching forward while sitting and still belted in. The driver does not have to take his eyes off the road as the switch on the driver's side stands out black on a light background. The downside to my 2 switch arrangement is that if one switch is pressed for down while the other is pressed for up, the fuse will blow. If this turns out to be a problem, I'll add a relay control that only allows one switch to operate the shade at a time. I used 1 1/2" aluminum angle bolted to the A-pillar cover to serve as a guide for the front shade and keep it from swinging in. Home Depot also had some nice trim wood that I used to make a valance to cover the shade rollers. For the valance I made brackets out of galvanized step flashing that is used on chimney flashing. Strong enough for the purpose (the trim wood is quite light) and thin enough that I was able to slip it between the shade frame and the padded RV ceiling. This made it SO EASY to get the trim lined up as it was held in place by the shade frames until I got the screws in. The flashing was attached to the trim with #6 3/8" screws. I've includes some pix to illustrate what I did. Be glad to answer any question about the install. It went much easier that I was expecting and the results are quite pleasing! I should add the 3 wires are 2 for the motor and 1 for 'ignition sensing' that inhibits downward motion of the shade beyond a programmable position so you can't completely close the windshield shade while driving. I used the radio feed for that circuit. I don't think it uses any appreciable current, just tells the controller the engine is running and not to lower the shade beyond the preset down stop.
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* This post was last edited 11/09/18 03:29am by garyemunson *   View edit history

garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 01/22/18 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The most nerve wracking part of the job was using a Dremel tool to carefully cut two rectangular holes for the switches to snap into. The cost of this job was about $750 for the shades and about $100 for the trim and assorted hardware. The new Winnebagos have A-pillar covers with a track molded in for the windshield shade to ride in BUT they wanted $175 each for them! I chose to go with Home Depot's $20 piece of aluminum angle and painted it to match. All that's left is finishing the trim. We are currently agonizing over whether to stain the wood to match the rest in the coach or paint it to match the rest of the cockpit area. You'll notice the trim sort of divides the cream color theme area from the stained wood cabinetry so we can really go either way. Probably try the stain first as if it doesn't come out that good, a paint job will hide my incompetence at staining! When installing the windshield power shade, it helps to have a lightweight piece of wood to mark the ceiling with a line all the way across so the shade mounting clips get positioned correctly. The curvature of the windshield makes it pretty much impossible to 'eyeball' the clip positions, especially with your head upside down looking up!

* This post was last edited 01/23/18 05:46am by garyemunson *   View edit history

Lwiddis

Los Angeles :(

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Posted: 01/22/18 06:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

“The downside to my 2 switch arrangement is that if one switch is pressed for down while the other is pressed for up, the fuse will blow. If this turns out to be a problem, I'll add a relay control that only allows one switch to operate at a time.”

Hmmm. Good plan. Keep us updated.


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


ThisNewOldRV

Texas

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Posted: 01/23/18 04:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice!


Smitty
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garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 01/23/18 05:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Expanding on the switch fuse-blowing issue. MCD assumes that all normal people will just install one switch to operate the shade. Since I do not fit that category, I decided 2 switches would be better. MCD's wiring scheme has the switch directly supplying power to the shade motor so adding a second switch can allow for a short circuit if the two switches are activated for opposite shade travel at the same time. Fixing this requires the 2 switches to each have their own up and down relay (total of 4) that have "back contacts" that when the relay is activated to run the shade, it also breaks the circuit to the other switch's opposite direction relay preventing it from operating and avoiding the short circuit scenario. Since it's just the two of us, the rule will be 'one shade operator at a time'. The worst that can happen is the fuse gets blown and the fuse holder is easy to access and I have spare fuses!

garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 10/22/18 04:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An update on our shade install. The shades have performed perfectly this last season. Hands down, this is the best upgrade we could have done on our coach. No more driving down the road with the side curtain deployed trying to stop sun from coming in the side window (and having it slide too far forward blocking the side mirror whenever we stepped on the brakes). No more driving holding a brochure with one hand to block the sun from our eyes. Would not consider having a motorhome without MCDs on the windshield and side windows now. I see Winnebago now includes the windshield shade but still uses the hated curtain for the side windows. If you get one like that, ditch the curtain and install the MCDs on the sides. You'll be glad you did. Have yet to blow a fuse with my switch arrangement so I doubt I'll bother with a relay lockout scheme for the switches. We ended up painting the trim wood a beige to match the ceiling vinyl. We're happy with that decision. I have since removed the useless visors you see in the pictures.

jplante4

Cape Cod

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Posted: 10/22/18 08:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the to-do list next spring. Thanx for the update.


Jerry & Jeanne
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two travelers

Smithtown, NY

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Posted: 10/27/18 07:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WOW what a great addition. Our previous coach had the motorized shade and it was a real plus when driving into the sun. We now have a 2015 Vista 26H and the sunvisors are useless. Where do you connect the "ignition" wire to? As we have the same year and model coach, can you point me to the MCD part #'s?

garyemunson

Reno, Nevada

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Posted: 11/09/18 03:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here we are a year later. The shades are still performing famously. We WILL NOT have another coach without this setup!

doc brown

Redondo Beach, CA,

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Posted: 11/09/18 04:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Did that about 8 years ago. Front is electric, sides are manual. Hated t)hose curtains.


Steve,Kathy and Josh
Morpheus(Basenji)at Rainbow Bridge
2004 40' TSDP Country Coach Inspire DaVinci
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 > Replaced front pull-around curtain with pull-down shades.
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