Wednesday, February 23, 2011


We were up unusually early this morning, pulling (with great regret) out of our campsite at Catalina State Park before 8 am to make our 10:30 appointment at Blinds Co. Inc. in Tempe, AZ.  It was our last step in our renovations: the replacement of our dusty, stained, drooping day/night shades.  Eight years have taken their toll.

For those of you who don’t live in an RV, day/night shades have two layers.  The “day” portion is designed to diffuse bright light, to knock down the sunshine if it is too bright.  The “night”portion is designed to BLOCK bright light.  On our old shades, the night portion was known as “privacy” – its coverage provided privacy to the interior occupants, but did NOT completely block out bright nighttime lighting, an ongoing complaint of ours.

Our NEW shades have blackout lining on the “night” portion, which totally blocks all nighttime lighting.  What a great feature!

Men at Work Shade mounted on valance

We arrived at Blinds Co. Inc right on time, and Greg (owner) was there to begin the installation (for which he charged $115 for 8 blinds, WAY less than it was worth).  As it turned out, all eight valances had to be removed completely from the walls (five in the front room and three in the back).  Greg took the valances into his workshop and – while we ate our lunch -  installed the new blinds on the valances, rather than on the walls of our motorhome, as they had been before. 

Daytime shades closed Blackout shades closed

Here the daytime shade is pulled down; the blackout shade is partway down.


Greg brought the three bedroom shades out to the MH (parked in his lot) as soon as he had installed them on the padded valances.  While he worked on installing the remaining 5 shades, Odel and I re-hung the bedroom valances, then pulled down the “night” (blackout) shades, closed the door, and reveled in the almost complete darkness.  What a change, a very welcome change!

Even with Odel and I providing a lot of help (removing most of the valances and re-installing the three in the bedroom), the replacement took 3 hours.  As soon as we paid the remaining balance on our bill, we took off to the west.  Two and a half hours later we were parked at Scaddan Wash at Quartzsite, boondocking overnight. 

Plent of space in QWow, does it look different than it did one month ago when we camped here with the Boomers.  Now it is practically deserted.

I can’t believe it was just one month ago that we left the Boomer gathering in Q to head to Phoenix and begin our renovations - it felt like months!  Looking back, I am amazed by how smoothly everything went, and I give great credit to Odel for that.  He is a bulldog when it comes to staying on top of details and making sure everyone involved (me included) is aware of our expectations and our schedule.  He might not know his way around a tool box, but he can sure keep the troops in line!


  1. I think day/night shades get a bum rap. So many people are replacing them with MCD's, but I really like them. You did mean that they were $115 each, installed, not for all 8, right??? If they were for all 8, I need the next appointment! :)

  2. Good for you, Odel! Ride herd on those RV renovators. Glad your shades turned out so well, and you're happy with all your changes. You'll both go to bed smiling for a long time!

  3. Gail, sorry I wasn't clear. The $115 was for the installation ONLY. We had three large blinds, 3 medium sized blinds, and 2 small ones. The total cost for the 8 new blinds and ultrastatic cleaning of our huge windshield wrap (also pleated fabric) PLUS the $115 for installation was just shy of $1,200 (which included the outrageous AZ sales tax of a bit over 9%).

    We looked at the MCD shades, but I couldn't get past the plain, plain look of the night shade (and wasn't crazy about the black solar screen day shade, either). Choices are great; to each his/her own! :)

  4. Well done....know you will enjoy those night shades! Hugs, J&C

  5. Wow what a great difference the blinds make!! We still are yet to decide on curtains or blinds and we are a long way off from finishing...maybe we can have Odel come over here and lend a hand to get all the details down!! Great job, looks fantastic.

  6. The sales tax in Arizona must have just recently gone up. Before we came out here they were only at 6.7%, but we noticed our last time through that they are up there now with California, which has always been much higher.

    Hopefully, others states won't jump on and begin doing the same thing.

  7. Yea, it is all done! Making your brussel sprout/carrot/pear recipe tonight again--we love it!


  9. Laurie, I am sure you will love your shades, worth every penny. This type of shade was standard installation on the Dynamax, and we were laughing the other day about how grateful we are for the complete blockage of night light since we will be in 24 hour daylight in late June up in Alaska.

  10. What you guys hve done in a month is nothing short of awe inspiring. Way to go Odel keeping them all in line. Sure did pay off. Everything looks GREAT.


  11. The Bayfield Bunch has landed in Borrego the Oven:))

  12. Wonder what our used RV will have. Something to look at, but not a deal breaker.

  13. I like my Day/Night shades, too. I happened across some very nice lined drapes, which exactly matched the color scheme of the bedroom, at a thrift shop. If I need more darkness, then I can draw the drapes.

    In my house, I have the night cellular shades, and they weren't dark enough, so I installed pull-down blinds behind them. They help with insulation, too.

    I love your quinoa recipes. Thanks.

    Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  14. ..and the purpose of installing the day/night shades on the valances is? Sounds like we all love your recipe file! BTW, Bob wants to know if you are related to LeRoy King, noted union man and political activist in the Bay area? Bob worked with his niece, Janette Gabriel Roche.

  15. Lynda, every time we needed to restring a shade, we had to take down the valance, then remove the shade from the clips on the wall, usually in a rather contorted posture. Putting them back UP was the big PITA, though - the little clips aren't easy to access on the wall. Much easier to take down the valance and have the clips IN FRONT of you while working with them!

    Also, the little spools for tightening the blinds are mounted on the inside of the SIDE of the valance, instead of on the wall. You can easily reach them with a screwdriver (to loosen and tighten), as opposed to the wall mount, where the front part of the valance blocked direct access to the screws in the spools.

    And... as far I Odel know, no relation to LeRoy King. We're pro-collective bargaining, though! :)

  16. We're late in commenting, since we just joined up with you through Bayfield Al's blog. Howdy - we are Jerry and Suzy from Our Life on Wheels. Glad to meetcha, and maybe we'll see you somewhere out there.

  17. As a new reader of your blog , I really appreciate the details of the renovation.

    Odell will recover quicker than you think - you guys will be back on the road before May !

    Thanks and good luck !