Pleated day/night window shades are a common feature in just about every class of RV. Since the design relies on thin fabric cords sliding across hard plastic parts, cord wear and breakage is a distinct possibility.

During our 9+ years of full-timing, we’ve probably had to re-string blinds around 10 times, or an average of about once a year. Part of the inherent problem with the design is that there needs to be enough tension on the cords to hold the shades where you put them, preventing them from falling on their own.

Unfortunately, keeping tension on the cord increases the friction of it against the hard plastic parts as you open and close the blinds. It’s a delicate balance that sooner or later leads to broken cords.

The good thing is that re-stringing a pleated RV window shade is a do-it-yourselfer’s dream job, with the vast majority of the cost being labor, inexpensive & readily available replacement parts (just the cord) and no special mechanical skills or tools required. A little time, patience and care are all that’s needed for this task.

We keep replacement cord on hand for that inevitable time when one of the shades falls loose at an angle, letting us know that the cord is frayed and about to break.

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  1. It seems the video of “How To Re-String a Pleated RV Window Shade” is gone from your website? Please help by sending a link to the video.


  2. Hi Peter and John, I would like to thank you both for your very informative video. I just finished helping my brother-in-law restring one of his shades and with your help we were able to do right the first time. I really appreciate your suggestion to make a drawing of how the strings are routed. The shade had three strings so I used three different colored pens to mark the routes. Thank you for all your “Words of wisdom” and great videos. I hope some day we may cross paths and I can then thank you in person.

  3. Hi, so far no cords have broken (knock on wood) but the little plastic spools they loop around at the bottom have. I have managed to temporarily repair just by reversing the spool but know that eventually that side will give out also. Do you know of a source for those spools?
    Thanks in advance,

    1. Hi Don! We’ve re-strung more broken blind cords in 14 years than we can count! So hopefully it’s not just a matter of time for you. ;-) We know the “spools” you’re probably talking about (clear plastic and like an empty spool of thread, right?) Ours are a little different… better we think… and never break. The main reason we like them better is because of the way they work. The cord feeds down between the inner and outer sections of the tensioners, which clamp down on the cord automatically when they’re screwed to the wall. The benefit is that they’re easily adjustable. All you need to do to tighten or loosen the cord is back the screw a little bit out of the wall while holding tension on the cord with you other hand (we generally leave a small bit of cord sticking out below the tensioner for this purpose). By pulling the cord a little further through, it will tighten up the blind. By letting a little more cord up through the tensioner, it relaxes tension on the blind. Then just re-tighten the screw and the cord is clamped in place again. Makes fine tuning the blind tension a breeze (again, as long as you’ve left some cord sticking out below the tensioner). They’re probably more expensive than the spools though. We found this example of them on eBay, so you can see what they’re like.

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