Pop Up Camper Curtains - 2 Ways to Tackle This Project

Pop up camper curtains using a combination of 3 fabrics.
Last year, I made two different sets of curtains for two different pop-up campers.  I learned quite a bit from each of these projects.  Before tackling a large project like this, think carefully about the time you want to spend and the skill level you possess for sewing.  I've been making curtains for our home since we first married twenty years ago.  Camper curtains are both similar and very different.
Before I get into the types of curtains you can make, here are some tips for the best outcome for your hard work.
  1. Measure twice and cut once.  Carefully measure every place and space.  Get some help if you need it, but make sure you are accurate with your measurements or you will regret it!
  2. After you have measured for your curtains, allow for seams.  typically, you are going to want at least 1/2 inch on every side for seam allowances.  This could be more, but do not sew just based on the measurements.  The measurements are a base for the actual curtains. 
  3. To give yourself enough width for body and shape, you pieces should be cut to measure 2 times the width.  This gives the curtains the nice full look.  For example, if you measure a length for a valance to be ninety inches, you will want to have your fabric to measure 180 inches to provide enough gathering.
  4. Use RV hardware to hang your curtains.  RV hardware for hanging curtains can be expensive and worth it.  Just bite the bullet and trust me there.  
  5. Select fabric that can be washed!  Campers can get dirty.  You want to be able to wash things.  Fussy fabrics are bad in campers.
RV Hardware for hanging your curtains is a must.

Okay.  So now that we have gotten that out of the way.  What are your options?  First, you can make just traditional curtains that you can open and close with valances all the way around.  Or, you could make curtains that have vents on the bunk ends to promote air flow.

Traditional Curtains for Your Pop Up Camper

This is where your skill level is going to come in.  I see lots of campers that use shower curtains that have been cut and hemmed to make camper curtains.  This is a brilliant idea.  It is simple and requires little skill.  Add your RV hardware to hang curtains, and you are set.  If you want the easiest options, begin with something that is partially done.  Shower curtains or window panels are both excellent starting points.

By the same token, you can make curtains with whatever custom fabric you want to include.  I used a basic Waverly fabric from Walmart with muslin lining on the bunk ends.   This option is certainly going to be as complicated or as basic as you make it.  I combined two prints for my panels for a very custom look.  You could always use one fabric to make your panels with a coordinating fabric for your valances.

Pop up camper curtains before I hung them in the camper.

Both of these are options that give a nice finished look with privacy in the bunk ends.  However, you do lose the air flow from any vents that you could provide at the top of the curtain.

Curtains with Air Flow Vents

So what are these vented bunk end curtains that I keep talking about?  Basically, it is your traditional curtain with 9 to 12 inches of mesh sewn into the top of the curtain that promotes some amount of air flow into the bunk end while closed.

Vented bunk end curtains for a pop up camper.

The vented option is not really difficult.  However, it does take more time.  It requires additional materials to do the job.  

What do I recommend?  Option 2!  Vented bunk end curtains.  If I had to do it all over again, I would go with this option.  I'm not going to replacing my curtains any time soon.  But having vented bunk end curtains is very functional.  With a roof-mounted AC and heat strip, air can blow directly into the bunk end through the vented strip at the top of the curtains.  

Do consider that with functionality like the vented option, the curtains may not look at homey.  Some may even consider the vented ends to be unsightly.  I don't really think so.  And if you use cute fabric for the rest of the project, the vents fade in the background.  

Before you start tackling that big sewing project to glamp out your camper, think through your curtain options carefully.  I spent a lot of time sewing the curtains for my camper.  The results are well worth the effort.  I still love the results and am glad I did it.  New curtains can make the biggest impact.

This Hello Bear Fabric makes my valances.  Cut double the width so that you can have nice gathers for a full look.

Remodeling a camper can be overwhelming at first.  Just remember that rushing through the project takes all of the joy out of it.  Create a reasonable timeline and budget for your task, and your results will be positive all the way around.  You can find out more about my Pop Up Camper Remodel and the pop up camper gear I used for this project from my blog.

More important than the gear and projects that you do along the way, the reason that you are doing all of these things to get you to the campground.  Don't allow these projects to take over your life in a way that makes you hate the camper you are working on.  I truly love everything I have done to my camper.  And, it has been a work in progress.

I'd love to hear about your camper remodel if you are in the process of this.  Or, feel free to ask any questions that you may have.  Until next time...


  1. Love your fabric choices. Rather than creating brand new curtains for our camper, I used the old ones as the lining. Just sewed new fabric to the front of each panel. It worked great, except that I discovered that the individual panels weren't all square. Regardless, they look good hanging.

    1. I love this idea. Really creative! I would have never thought about this! Thanks for sharing.

  2. How many yards would I need to make bunk end curtains without the mesh?? Google is no help lol. Trying to buy the fabric before they run out. Thank gou!

  3. How many yards would I need to make bunk end curtains without the mesh?? Google is no help lol. Trying to buy the fabric before they run out. Thank gou!

    1. Hi! This is a great question. First, you need to consider the width of your fabric. Are you going to be using your fabric horizontally or vertically. This will affect how much fabric you are going to buy overall.
      Next, you need to measure your width for your curtains. For example, on the bunk ends, measure the bunk end space. And multiple the number times two for you to be able to gather the fabric and have it look and hang nice. You also need to know the height. Measure from the top to the bottom of the bunk end where the bed is and give yourself a couple of additional inches for hemming and shrinkage.
      Based on the horizontal or vertical use of fabric, this will tell you how many yards you will need. I know this sounds complicated. It kind of is, but every fabric is different in width and how you can use it.
      To add the mesh, you would just take 12 inches out of the equation for the overall fabric measurements on the vertical side. If you are needing a height of 45 inches on the bunk ends, then you are probably going to take out about 12 inches of the regular fabric and put in the mesh. Its just a trade off. I hope this makes sense.


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