Van-X Curtains

There are numerous options for blocking out heat and light and retaining heat in your van when you’re out in the wild. Our current solution is the thermal window blind variety with the suckers you have to lick and stick to the window.

The issue I have with them is they are a ball ache to get out and stick up. Especially if you are just crashing in the van because you got drunk or you are doing a spot of wild camping, ours fall down a lot too.

I’ve been looking at the Van-X curtains for a while and if you believe the hype then the hype says they are the best van curtains on the market.

After our trip to France and a few other spontaneous nights away I’d managed to convince Lolly that curtains in the rear and tailgate was the way forward, she agreed so I cracked on and ordered a set of the premium line T4 tailgate and side window curtains. I ordered on the Friday and they arrived on the Monday.

Christmas happened and then I got a chance to fit them.

Each curtain comes in its own box with its own fittings. I started with the window above the cooker and sink.

Here’s what it looked like before.

You have to look up the instructions online, they are pretty straight forward, these things come in handy.

As different vans have different size windows you’ll need to cut the rails to fit yours which is no real drama.

The thing I found the most difficult was getting the supplied self tapping screws into the body work, I broke two drill bits I was using as pilots but persevered and got there in the end. I also found the curtain stops that plug into the  end of the rail a pain to get in, I pushed both curtains on and left the the last screw out so I could bend the rail a bit to get the stopper in as shown below.

Once the stopper was back in I put the last screw in and pulled the second curtain back to where it should be.

The curtains also totally block out any light.

The curtains also come with a tie back, I didn’t put them in as I don’t think I need them plus the light was fading and I still had two curtains to go, this one took me an hour.

The next curtain went up fairly quick, when you do the sliding door curtain you need to pay attention to the rail.


As you can see, one channel is wider than the other, on the previous window you fix the rail with the wider channel toward the window, in this instance you fit the wider channel away from the window, you do this so you can cut a bit out for the sliding door lock.

This means the curtain can be pulled without fouling on the lock.

This one took about 40 minutes to do, a bit quicker than the last one.


The tailgate curtain has one regular rail and one that doesn’t look like any of the others, the regular rail goes at the top of the tailgate and other one goes just below the window and fixes to the wooden panel, took about half an hour to install.


I’m very happy with the way they have turned out. If I can put these in anyone can!

We tested them out a couple of days after, we went over to friends and stayed on their drive after a few beers.

The curtains lived up to the hype, they kept the cold out, the warmth in and blocked out any external light, as you can see we still have the thermal curtains in the front, more to block the light out than anything, maybe a van X cab divider curtain is the answer!

Anyways, from my experience I would gladly recommend these curtains, well priced, well made and well awesome!

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Le Conclusion

We’ve been home almost a week now, I went straight back to work, Lolly had the remainder of the week off before starting her new job. It’s the longest trip we’ve done in the van both in distance (just over 2000 miles) and time (21 days), I thought it would be a good idea to write down what we would do differently next time and things we (mainly me) would like to do to the van for our next adventure. 

I also need to cut my grass!

  
Moving About

We both agree that whilst it was nice to move about and see different places if we do it again, we’ll get as far as we want to go and then stay there for a while, maybe spend a couple of days getting somewhere, hold up for a week, then move on somewhere not too far away, stay there for more than a couple of nights, less moving the better. It’s a pain packing up the van every other day, taking all the thermal curtains down, putting the bed up, moving the surfboards from the back to the front and then back again when taking off, it would be much easier if we could arrive, set up camp and then leave it like that for a bit.

Stuff

I doubt we’d take much less, maybe less clothes (especially if we head back to Montalivet) and i’d deffo find a better way to store the body boards as they take up a lot of room in the van, there are a couple of things i’d take next time for sure. I will definitely have on board a reverse polarity adapter for the 240v hook up. We came across this twice, once in an aire and once at a campsite, from what I have read a lot of the Flot Bleu aire’s are wired up reverse which could wreak all sorts of havoc on your electrics, luckily our PMS 3 has a reverse polarity indicator.

I’d like to see if I could get another top box on the roof, in there i’d put all the bedding and one of those fold up table and chairs for when we eat or just wanted to sit outside the van.

Van upgrades.

Solar, I definitely want a solar solution for the leisure battery, whilst I enjoyed staying at the campsites with all their facilities I also really enjoyed staying at the aires, most of which had no electricity supply. I could keep the fridge going for a lot longer which would mean Lolly would have ice for her G&T’s (plus the ice won’t melt and flood the fridge), i’d have cold beers and our food would keep, the split charge kit has massively helped keep the charge up when on the move as has rewiring the fridge.

A pop top, i’ve never really seen the point of them until I saw Dickie and Julias van, I really liked the fact that they didn’t have to fold down their seats in the rear when it was time for bed, they just popped the roof, put their duvet and pillows up there and climbed up to crash, they also have a sunroof so I wouldn’t have to ditch ours which is a feature I really like. I would however have to revisit how the top box attaches to the roof, rails bolted to the pop top would do the job.

An awning, more for rain than sun, it does sometimes rain when cruising about the place in summer and to have a shelter to sit under while nature does it’s thing would be much nicer than having to sit in the van with all the stuff we just chucked in to prevent it getting wet !

Curtains, Van-x preferably, our just kamper thermal curtains are great but they are annoying to deploy, lots of licking and then occasionally falling down in the night, curtains for the rear and two side windows would be great.

Location

We really enjoyed France and both feel we have a lot more to explore and will definitely be going back, we’d both really like to do a similar trip in Spain and then maybe Morocco, dreams for now but you never know !

There is a part of me that looked enviously at the size and space the huge motorhomes had that we were frequently parked up next to, also having your own toilet and shower means you could do a whole trip without ever going to a campsite using just your own facilities, what puts me off is pretty much all of the owners had upwards of 20 years on us, we’re not ready to roll with the olds, we’re still reasonably young and happy being in the cool crowd with our lovely yellow T4  !

Updates

Over the last couple of weeks i’ve been adding some content to the site, mainly things that we have done to fix up Bumblebee and a write up of some of our travels.

In the not too distant future I will be migrating the site to a hosted solution so I can add, amongst other things gallery functionality to our posts.

I hope you enjoy reading as I enjoy writing about our exploits and we’re looking forward to great year ahead of camping, adventures, photography and blogging !