Vehicle Sliding Black-out Curtains for your SUV

We did these curtains pictured here for our Nissan Xterra, but the method would probably work for most vehicles, provided they have Overhead Handles & Cargo Hooks.

 

 

 

Its completely Non-destructive, meaning you can take it out and make it just like factory new if you wanted to. So here is how we did it:

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Step 1, Curtains:

We started off by making our curtains. We sewed them out of soft 0-lux black-out fabric. You can find these curtains ready-made at Walmart etc, but be sure to get the 0-Lux ones, that are soft to the touch. They are quite thick and heavy, and add tremendous insulation to the sleeping area. We frequently sleep in temperatures well below freezing using less blanketing, no sleeping bags and wearing far less clothing than if we were in a tent.

We sewed them with an over-hang on the top, then a little sleeve for the rods below the top part, so the rods could hold the extra fabric above up against the head-liner to really get rid of any extra light. We sewed in holes at the top where the cargo hook will be attached to the rod. So these side Passenger Curtains actually slide towards the Cargo Hooks, from the ends, and hang in the center of the window, rather than sliding towards the front or back. They can be tucked up over the rod to keep them out of the way, as pictured above.

We sewed every curtain twice as wide as the opening it was meant to cover, so it could hang wavy, like normal curtains

For the two front curtains behind the front seats, we cut the curtains longer than from roof to floor, so that when the front seats are folded all the way forward, the curtains can cover up all of our cargo on the front seats, and cover whatever is on the dash, and reach all the way to the windshield with fabric to spare. These two curtains are two completely separate curtains that come together in the middle.

For the two rear curtains at the rear hatch opening, we cut each curtain long enough to have extra material laying on the floor. These two are also completely separate, and come together in the center. But Each of these curtains has a hole sewn into the top where the cargo hooks can attach to the rod.

For the small rear window curtains in the cargo area, we made one curtain for each window, twice as wide as the window, with a hole sewn into the center top where the rod can be attached to the cargo hook. These curtains will also hang in the center of the window, when bound out of the way, and can be tucked up above if desired.

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Step 2, Front U-Bar:

Next, we went to a wrecking yard and pulling out all 4 cargo hooks from the cargo area of an older Gen1 Xterra, but any cargo hooks you could find would work for your vehicle, and just use the bolts from your handles.

We then took off my rear passenger overhead grab handles on each side, by popping off the cover and unbolting them. We then just put one cargo hook on each end of where the handle was mounted, so two hooks in place of each handle, like so:

20150612_190939

 

Then I went over to a Craft & Home store and got this extendable Curtain Rod with the L-shaped ends that are meant o go into the wall. We got the longest ones they had which could go up to 12 feet long or something. It came with what you see in the picture below, plus 2 long extendable pieces that go in the middle to make it longer:

DH02

We took the 2 middle extension pieces and attached them to the other ends of the L-shaped corner pieces that usually get mounted to the wall, so that the entire thing made a gigantic square “U” shape instead. We then cut the ends to the desired length, to be behind the front seats, then come around and go past the Rear Passenger Windows.

We then went to Ikea and got two of these metal curtain rods that are very thin and round, but very firm and cant be bent. We only used the rod itself, none of the rest of it.

thin3

We cut the Ikea Rod to the length of the L-shaped Curtain rod. We then inserted it through the center of the flexible-metal curtain rod. We then used metal hose clamps to bend the outside metal tightly around the inner Rod at the L-shaped brackets near the corners to hold everything firmly together. We put Duct Tape over the Hose Clamps to prevent snagging.

On each of the rear arms of the big U-shaped rod, we put foam over the sharp ends, then put Duct Tape over the entire ends to hold them on well, so that the exposed ends wouldn’t rub against the headliner fabric.  We used a good 1″ of foam all the way around each end pole, which brought the ends down from the headliner about an inch, which in turn helped to push the front of the rod behind the drivers & passengers seats up tighter against the top headliner.

We put the two front curtains all the way around the L-joint on the corners, clear of the hose clamps. We then put the two side passenger curtains on each side, up to the hose clamps, then carefully pulled the ends over the hose clamps.

We lined up the 2 Holes we left in the top of each of the curtains with the Cargo Hooks. We then used 4 Industrial Zip-ties for each Cargo Hook, 2 per side of the hook. There are two hooks per side, so we used 8 Industrial-strength Zip-ties per Side, to secure everything very tightly in place.

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Step 3, Other Curtain Rods:

Part A, Side Cargo Curtain Rods:

Then we also picked up 2 of these smaller spring-loaded rods for the side back windows in the Cargo Area (they were probably a bit longer than the ones in the picture here).

sidelight-curtain-spring-rods-5-to-10-pair-3

These were just inserted into the curtain, then just zip-tied through the center hole to the cargo hook using the larger industrial-strength zip-ties to both sides of each hook, with 2 zip-ties on each, so 4 zip-ties per rod, then the extra ends of the zip-ties were trimmed down.

Part B, Rear Hatch Opening Curtain Rod:

We also got a longer one of these same spring-loaded curtain Rods to be used across the rear hatch opening. We Ran the Left Rear Curtain on the Left Side of the Rod, and the Right Rear Curtain over the Right side of the rod, with the holes we left in each curtain lining up right with the cargo hook. We then Zip Tied those in place, 4 Industrial Ties to each hook, same as above.

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Then I got these Ball Bungees for Tarps and I use them to tie up all the curtains.

bungee

For the Rear Hatch Curtains, we just put the Ball Bungees through the loops in the back sides for the cargo net, and just pull the rear curtains apart and tuck them through the ball bungee loops.

 

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