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Curtains Behind Front Seats
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Sam Bateman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:01 pm    Post subject: Curtains Behind Front Seats Reply with quote

A question for all of those who have installed curtains behind the front seats to add privacy to the rear area - How did you attach them to the headliner or overhead?
I have seen pictures of what appear to be tracks attached to the headliner with the rear mounting screws and it appears that some have simply rigidly attached said curtains and use tie-backs to keep them open for driving.
What are your experiences? Pros and cons?

I have a set of light-blocking drapes all ready to go into my '86 Westy but am undecided on their mounting.

Thanks,

Sam Bateman
Arvonia, VA
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Steelhead
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my bay window I used big magnets and a blanket. Mostly to contain heat in the front. probably less elegant than what you are going for but it worked well.
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kurt vonnagon
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snap's at coat hanger and below them.
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GreenMachineVW
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I initially installed a track, and made a curtain with a contour to match the roof line. It was one piece, and I would slide it behind the drivers seat and tie it back when not in use. Really easy to use, and readily available (thus used). I got the track from a newer model Westfalia, and carefully bent it to match the roof line just forward of the pop top opening, and screwed through it with some really small screws.

I now have a snap in curtain that goes there, but is stored when driving, making it less handy. However, the same curtain has additional snaps that match the snaps that I screwed in around the windshield, and it is a nice tight fit against the glass, with the excess rolled up in the angle of the windshield and dash. That combined with snap in curtains on the side windows replace the bulky factory front curtain that was useless at keeping out the light, and at night with the lights on served more like a one way mirror to look INTO the van. It also make the cab feel much more roomy with the curtains drawn.

In the cold weather, with aircooled heat being precious, I have the curtain in the middle when driving, until I have plenty of heat, and then I can just unsnap it with a little tug.

I don't have a photo with the curtain in the between cockpit/cabin position, but here it is mounted in the front:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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gflater
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use one of those shower curtain rods, and curtains from wall mart with the big holes in them, thread them over the rod, and use some safety pins to fold the curtains in half (too long otherwise) and hold the bottom to the top.
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davideric9
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I removed the screws at the rear of the headliner and replace the screws with screw in snaps, and made the curtain to match the snaps, and added some small bungie cord (actually tent pole elastic) in the hem above the snaps so the curtain would suck up to the ceiling. Also with the elastic, the position of the snaps on the curtain did not have to be a perfect match to the screw in snaps.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my Westy I put in studs for the female snaps that I put in my Stealth Curtain, all along the front
headliner. I also put in a few extra studs for the snaps down the "B" collumn. The curtain
blocks most of the cabin light and retains the heat better for the back of the van.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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scottf3334
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mines a westy so a little different than headliner, but I got curtain track
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rv-Slide-Curtain-Tracks-A2...bc403[url]
and
curtain carriers http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sew-Curtain-Carriers-/2300...702cb[url]
and a big sun blocking curtain from Target.

Got a friend to sew the curtain hangers to the curtains

Used the original screw holes thru the wood ceiling and a heat gun. It looks and works really well.

No one knows whats going on behind the curtain Laughing

Which I wish was a lot more than normally is Rolling Eyes
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a westy, but, the front curtain can simply be snapped in back with the ears covering the windows up front, in essence, reverse mounted with the windshield not covered. Not recommended on warm days. If you have a westy curtain and just want the back covered, just snap the middle two snaps above the passenger and drivers shoulder, then mount then snap the front window covers in front instead of back. Check it out Wink
then thank me later Laughing
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a while back a thread and it took me 25mins to track it down.

Rubber Tramp made a stealth curtain setup
he then went on to install a SVX engine in a great build thread, had engine troubles and I believe has sold the van.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3776673

Rubber Tramp wrote:
-----
new drapes and cargo nets:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The curtains are "3-ply". The outer layer(what you see outside) is green plaid, the middle layer is a sheet of "bubble-wrap" insulation, the inner layer is this red/gold pattern you see here. These are thick curtains and cannot slide horizontal like the factory curtains, so I roll them up vertically and use tie straps to secure them. With all the curtains down and the drapes drawn closed, the interior is complete darkness even in midday sun, greatly reduces solar gain and keeps it a good 10 to 20 degrees warmer inside when cold outside. To keep the curtains from moving when down, I put several magnets lining the bottom and sides.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's a picture of the tie-backs used to hold the curtains up when not in use:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


outside view of curtains, green plaid material:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vote for Green Machine's setup. It opens the van up greatly, and someone sitting in the reversed front seats can be reading a book or conversing with those in the rear while all are sheltered from outside view together. I also like this because when the van is parked, any electronics or the like sitting around the front area are also hidden from view.

Having said that, I just got done using cardboard to trace the curve of the headliner behind the front seats as I am making a strong arch to hold up rear bunk beds. I will also be installing a divider curtain on this arch for quick privacy such as using the bathroom or getting dressed for a bike race. I have a tintop.

DougM
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
I vote for Green Machine's setup. It opens the van up greatly, and someone sitting in the reversed front seats can be reading a book or conversing with those in the rear while all are sheltered from outside view together. I also like this because when the van is parked, any electronics or the like sitting around the front area are also hidden from view.

Having said that, I just got done using cardboard to trace the curve of the headliner behind the front seats as I am making a strong arch to hold up rear bunk beds. I will also be installing a divider curtain on this arch for quick privacy such as using the bathroom or getting dressed for a bike race. I have a tintop.

DougM


You say that you are using cardboard to trace the front cabins' arch? I have wondered but never
tried to see if the rear hatch screen could possible be the same arch? I don't know but will see if it
is when I get the time. If so it could save a lot of hastle for some folks.
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Sam Bateman
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the ideas folks.
I think I am nowleaning towards a track mounted to the ceiling at the front edge of the pop-top.
Two piece curtain will slide to each side and be retained by tie-backs for travel and slide together and fasten with velcro for privacy.

Sam Bateman
Arvonia, VA
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GreenMachineVW
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a bad solution. I would suggest you try a one piece curtain, perhaps with a closable slit down the middle. Storing it all behind the drivers side when not in use seemed to make it much less in the way for me.
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ricebowl
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my first Westy I used the 'two piece curtain rod method'.

I used a smaller diameter wooden dowl with some flex in it as the curtain rod that I cut longer than the width of the cabin so that when I mounted it to the walls near the roof it bowed up to almost perfectly match the roof line. I used a small nylon clamp screwed into the original small center headliner screw to hold it in place in the middle. The curtains slid open and were held back with tie downs on the B-post. The fabric was 2-ply and I sewed in a long zipper (from an upholsetery supply store) to seal the two halves when it was closed. It worked great! The only issue I had, and it really wasnt a big deal, was that I couldnt drive with the curtains closed and the driver/passenger windows open (think big sail).

Now that I'm thinking about it, I plan on doing the same thing to the new Westy. Except this time using a not-so-hippy-dippy fabric. Stealth is best.

Let us know what you end up with, Would love some fresh ideas on this.
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelhead wrote:
In my bay window I used big magnets and a blanket. Mostly to contain heat in the front. probably less elegant than what you are going for but it worked well.


Actually, this is a great idea! Craft a curtain to fit the opening, add loops (w/ velcro if you like), then string a dough-nut type of magnet through each loop. When not in use, just fold up and store behind driver's seat - easy up, easy fold and away.
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debbiej
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

when I made the first set of curtains for our westy, I sewed elastic in the part that goes across the windshield. the tension the elastic provided allowed me to put the curtain behind the mirror and flip the visors down to hold the curtain in place. for the part that went over the side windows, I started with velcro but soon found that strong magnets held the corners in place better than velcro.

for the second set of curtains I didn't make any for the front because I've gotten the outside window cover with the roll up flaps and screen.
I really like this.

I too would hate to lose the space offered by the front cab area: the seats, table, even the dash provide usable space.
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GreenMachineVW wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Wow, I really like these curtains!
Did you make them yourself, or buy them somewhere?

The windshield cover/sunshades from GoWesty and Fanchers are nice, but I don't like that anyone who wants can walk by and peel up the sunshade and look inside the van.

I want something that attaches from the inside so that I can keep prying eyes out while I'm away on a day hike.

http://www.gowesty.com/ec_view_details.php?id=4239&category_id=&category_parent_id=

http://fanchers.com/250/Vanagon%20Sun%20Block%20Basic.htm
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minsk
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

im designng a whole curtain rail system ....stay tuned
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GreenMachineVW
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made them myself. The front curtain doubles as the middle curtain: that is what the extra snaps you see are for. The excess is just tucked away at the bottom. I, too, did not like the idea of privacy curtains being only adjustable to everyone but myself. I also did not like the way the stock curtain hung inside the cab away from the doors and windshield. These are right up tight to the windows and windshield, making it feel more roomy. Here are some other pictures of the set up, as well as the track that I took off another westy and used for my first curtain just behind the front seats.
Exterior view:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Interior view:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Curtain in middle position:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Curtain rail (no longer used, but in regard to the OP's post)
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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