Living in a 20-foot travel trailer, 24/7 is more like living in a small house than camping. Much more spacious and complicated than living in my mini-van, which I did one winter as a park volunteer. It has a plumbing system, heating system, sewer system, an awning, and window coverings, however, the plumbing system is a hose hooked up to an outdoor faucet, the heater is a small propane powered unit that roasts the room then freezes it, and the sewer requires frequent emptying into a portable tank that you haul to the dump station. The awning is susceptible to damage in high winds, but though technically retractable (if I were two people with 6 hands) it is so cantankerous that once up, since it offers the only protection from the elements over the door and one window, it stays that way, (though I do lower it in bad storms.)
The window over my bed has no awning, so to keep the blazing sun out in the late afternoon, I like to close the blind, yet since my view seldom includes another soul, I like to leave it open when I go to bed so I can open my eyes to a view of the sun shining through the trees. Great way to start the day!
I have only been in residence a short while, however, the daily up and down of the blind frazzled an already frayed cord completely. Suddenly there was no way to raise or lower the blind without hand folding it and attaching it to the valance with a clamp. Workable but most inconvenient on my most used window.
I visited a nearby RV dealer and checked on the possibility of restringing the current blind. I was told that there should be some clamps at the top that would release the blind from the window/valance, however, since it was extremely difficult and time consuming to restring the blinds, they recommended removing it and getting a replacement. What a waste but what is a bear to do???
I went back to the trailer and while laying on my back trying to see the attachments through bifocals not meant for that distance, discovered that not only were there no clamps for easy release of the blind, but the screws holding the blind in place had a square head and I did not have a square headed screw driver.
I visited my trusty RV dealer back home in Madison, and they patiently explained my options and answered a few other questions too. Once the new blind came, which amazingly matches the originals, I used my new square headed screwdriver to remove the valance, narrowly missing my face when it dropped, and then removed the blind itself.
Thinking this will be an easy fix, I removed the old blind but when I went to install the new one, I discovered that the pre-drilled holes did not match up. ARRRRGGGHHHH! I need to go get an electric drill.
Thankfully for my pocket book, the next morning my neighbor was taking apart a deck and was using just the tool I needed. He kindly took a few moments to drill the holes and I was ready to install right?
Not quite. In order to install the valance again, apparently you need two hands to hold it in place and another two to manage the screw and screwdriver. Last I looked, I only had two hands! Do they have 6-handed people at the manufacturing plant?
Though I tried a head, an elbow, and even a foot or two, there was no way for one person to reinstall that valance, not even standing on my head! Thankfully a friend came to visit and with her help holding the valance in place I was able to reinstall it. Ah, soooo much nicer than the towel that was serving as my privacy curtain.Thank you friend.
After all this, I took things one step further and purchased some extenders for the bottom cord anchors. That way there will be less friction on the cords as I raise and lower the blind and less likelihood of having to do this again anytime soon. I thought ahead and bought enough extenders to add to all the blinds however, the cords have been trimmed and are too short. I will just have to wait until they break and repeat this process all over again. At least I now know what to expect and will make sure I have at least two extra hands, one in possession of an electric drill, BEFORE I remove the old blind.
Now if only solving the mystery of the non-working radio (which works just fine in the trailer at the dealer) was so “easy.” But that is another story.