RV Roller Shade Won’t Stay Down – Why? What To Do?

You are on a road trip, and your RV roller shade won't stay down. The sunlight beams into your RV early in the morning and disrupts your sleep. How can you fix the shade? We researched the problem and have answers for you. 

The reason your RV roller shade won't stay down is probably because the ratchet and pawl mechanism is out of order and needs cleaning.

You can clean it by taking down the shade and vacuuming away any debris. Afterward, apply a lubricant spray to keep the mechanism functioning and prevent it from getting stuck.

To keep your RV shade working properly, you should maintain it by cleaning and taking care of parts like the roller. Read on for details on fixing your shade and keeping it clean so that you can enjoy your road adventures.

The rolled beige shutters is on a wooden surface. Beige blinds lie on an old wooden white table. - RV Roller Shade Won't Stay Down - Why What To Do


Why Won't My RV Roller Shade Stay Down? 

An RV roller shade adds privacy and prevents sunlight from heating up your RV. Different types of RV shades are available on the market.

You need a roller shade that's in good condition when you travel. Read on to find out why your shade isn't staying down.

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Faulty Ratchet And Pawl Mechanism

A roller shade has a spring that tightens or loosens when you roll the shade up or down. It is attached to a pawl and ratchet apparatus that halts the spring movement when you let go of your roller shade.

When your RV roller shade won't stay down, the spring or the ratchet and pawl is probably at fault. They could be dirty. Cleaning them can solve the problem. 

How To Clean

You'll need a few tools when you for cleaning. They're listed here:

  • Small vacuum
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Silicone lubricant spray

Follow the steps below for cleaning:

  1. Move any objects near the window so they don't get in the way while you're fixing your roller shade.
  2. Detach the shade from the window.
  3. Pull out the roller cap.
  4. Check for any dust or dirt.
  5. Clean the apparatus with the vacuum on a low setting or a soft microfiber cloth.
  6. Inspect the shade again to ensure there's no debris left.
  7. Apply silicone lubricant spray to prevent the device from getting stuck.
  8. Replace the roller cap.
  9. Carefully reinstall the roller shade.
  10. Finally, pull the shade down to make sure it's working.

Check out this silicone lubricant on Amazon.

Types Of RV Roller Shade

If you're shopping for window shades, you should know that various types of RV roller shades are available to suit your style or needs.

You can choose a roller shade that works with your RV depending on your travel destination and how much sunlight you want. Here are some options:

Details of camper car recreation vehicle, window roller shades blind

  • Day and night shades: These shades provide privacy but allow heat in from the outside without obstructing the natural light. They come in different color choices, from light to dark.
  • Top-down bottom-up RV shades: These shades provide privacy and help maintain a cool temperature in your RV. They are easy to maintain, fit in smaller windows, and have a cordless design
  • Cordless cellular shades: These shades will add natural flair to your RV. Because they're cordless, they're safe for children and pets. The cellular design provides a soft light that brings warmth. 
  • Blackout shades: These shades provide complete darkness for your RV. The shades make your RV cozy, perfect for movie-watching or sleeping during the day.

Check out this roller shade on Amazon.

How To Clean RV Roller Shades

Frequent traveling exposes your RV and shades to smoke, dust, and dirt. You should keep an eye on your shades and take note when they need cleaning. You should wash fabric shades only. Paper shades should be vacuumed.

Prepare the following tools to clean your shades:

  • Vacuum
  • Color-safe, stain-remover detergent
  • Bathtub or large basin
  • Warm water
  • Spray starch

Follow the easy guide below to properly clean your shades:

  1. Remove the shade from your window.
  2. Hang the shade outside.
  3. Carefully clean the dust off with a vacuum.
  4. Put one cup of detergent in a bathtub or basin filled with warm water and mix thoroughly.
  5. Soak the shade in the tub for half an hour.
  6. Then rinse the roller shade with clean water.
  7. Hang it outside to dry.
  8. Apply spray starch to the shade to reestablish the creases.
  9. Reinstall the shade once it's completely dry.

Check out this clear starch on Amazon.

How To Maintain RV Shades

Man installing gray roller blinds on the window

Keeping your roller shades clean and working properly will make staying in your RV more enjoyable. Here are some tips for maintaining your roller shades to them free dirt and functioning well.

  1. Regularly remove the dust on the top layer of your shades through steam cleaning if the manufacturing information allows this. You can also simply wipe the dust off with microfiber cloth.
  2. Do not use strong cleaning agents that may damage your shades.
  3. Check the manufacturing information so that you know how to handle your shades properly.
  4. Brush or softly wipe the shades and never use the rough side of the sponge in wiping or drying your shades.
  5. Dry the shades throughly before rolling them up or reinstalling them in the brackets.

How Do You Reset A Roller Blind?

If you have a problem with your roller blind and need to reset it, you should determine whether the issue is mechanical or if the shade's fabric is causing a jam.

An uneven shade that's stuck may be due to a fabric jam. To reset the shade, unroll it completely. Then gently roll it back up. This might do the trick.

If not, remove the shade from its brackets and then reinstall it. Pull the shade down and roll it back up to check that it's functioning properly before reinstalling it.

Why Is My Roller Blind Stiff?

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Your roller blind or shade is probably stiff because the bracket has friction with the blind barrel.

This means that the brackets are too tight, which makes them rigid or creaky. You should move the brackets away from the blind barrel. 

Can You Replace Roller Shades?

Yes, you can change out your old roller shades. First, measure the size of the blind. Then choose your fabric and the type of blind you want.

You can also add accessories, such as braids and finials. Don't forget to maintain them by washing and replacing faulty parts.

How Long Do Roller Shades Last?

A roller shade can last up to eight years, but you can change it earlier than that as needed or if you want to give your RV a fresh new look. Worn-out shades are unsafe and unattractive, so you should change them as needed.

How Do You Stiffen Fabric On A Roller Blind?

Usually, spray starch is used after washing shades to bring back the stiffness of the material. But if you want your blinds to be extremely stiff and sturdy, you can use a fabric stiffening spray.

This spray is different from spray starch. You can also make your own stiffening solution by mixing one tablespoon of PVA glue with water.

Check out this fabric stiffening spray on Amazon.

Can I Use Hairspray To Stiffen Roller Shades?

Yes, you can use hairspray to stiffen the fabric of your shades. It is a good alternative to starch or stiffening spray.

Note that you should use an aerosol instead of a spray pump and spray the product evenly over the fabric. You should also use a product that's free of alcohol, because alcohol can damage the shade.

Check out this hairspray on Amazon.

Summing Up

The reason your RV roller shade won't stay down is probably because of a faulty ratchet and pawl mechanism. The debris and dust that get trapped there can prevent the shade from working properly. You need to remove the debris with a vacuum.

Learn more about maintaining and choosing the right shades and blinds in these posts:

Roller Shades Vs Cellular Shades: Which To Choose?

How To Remove Slats From Blinds (Inc. Cordless, Vertical, Faux Wood, Venetian, And Vinyl)

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