GMC Motorhome Front Window Cover

Building a front window cover is a relatively easy project.  The Unique feature of this cover is the attachment method.  I realy hate the looks of snaps screwed into the side of the motorhome to hold the cover in place so I came up with a little different approach.

Selection of material is also an issue, Most people are using a solar shade material that is available from any number of sources, including some garden departments. If I was using the solar shade material I would probably purchase it from a local company called Vaughan Brothers Inc here in Portland Oregon who sells upholstery supplies and has the material in several different colors.  I chose to use a totally opaque vinyl when I built mine because I did not have very usable front curtains at the time and wanted more privacy at night.  If  I would use one of the solar shade materials.

Building the cover itself is started by taping together paper in a flat sheet that is big enough to cover the windshield.  Butcher paper or even newspaper will work.  It should be taped together on the flat ground so that it simulates the flat material that will be used to build the cover.

Once you have a sheet of paper large enough to cover the windshield tape the paper in position over the window, then using a large marker, mark the outer edge of the windshield  rubber.  Remove paper from motor home and lay out on the ground.  One inch out from the line traced on the paper mark a parallel line to allow for a hem around the edge of the cover.  Now cut along this outer line to make the pattern.

Now prepare the cover material, in my case it was not wide enough for the pattern to lay on it and I had to seam a piece to one end to create a large enough piece .  Now lay out the pattern on the cover material and tape it down.  Cut around the pattern. Turn over the 1" edge and sew it flat.  This will leave a multiple layer area in each corner that will be a naturally reinforced area for attaching the fasteners.

At this point you have created the typical cover ready to have snaps installed around the edge.  But wait a minute, remember what I said about not liking those ugly snaps?  This is where I have a little unique solution but it is only good for those of you that have a rain gutters (some early GMC's do not have a rain gutter).

Drill small holes in the bottom of the rain gutter at the front edge.

Using a small diameter of stainless welding rod (1/16") fashion a hook which is then crimped onto the top corners of the shade.  Length of the hook is adjusted so that when hooked in the holes of the rain gutter the shade is stretched around the front of the motorhome and naturally lies in the right position.

At the bottom corners of the cover punch two small holes and attach a piece of line, although a better choice might be to sew on a piece of narrow nylon strap, in either case the length should be about xx" long with a loop at the end.

 

Next using the same stainless steel welding rod create 2 hooks that are about 12" long with a sharp hook on one end and an eye on the other end.

Then create a large rubber band using shock cord that is about xx" long before stretching, I used 3/16" shock cord and hog rings to hold it together. This rubber band connects the long hook to the end of the line

Installing the shad on the motorhome.

Hook one of the upper corners in the rain gutter on one side.  Stretch cover around the front of the motorhome and hook the other corner to the rain gutter. 

Using the long end of the lower corner hook reach under the motorhome and hook it on the frame in back of  a cross member which is about 43" in back of the back of the front fender well.  Hooking in back of the frame member will keep it from sliding forward and keep the cover stretched tight.  The first time you do this it might seem a little difficult but it soon become easy to reach under and hit the right spot without looking.

Lift the wiper blades out from under the cover and place on top of the cover to help hold it down.  You might also consider making some sleeves out of the same shade material to pull over the wiper blades to keep the sun off them which will make them last a lot longer.

Disadvantages

Not sure how much wind this attachment process will handle though it has stayed in place during some pretty good storms down on the Arizona desert.  I prefer not to leave any cover  in place in high winds because any dirt that gets behind it will act like sand paper as the cover is whipped by the wind and might scratch either the window or paint.

The most serious flaw to this system is having to deal with those lines with the hooks on the ends.  If they get out of the role when in storage they hook on everything.  This problem could be solved with a storage bag.

hooking it to the rain gutter is probably a little stretch for most people and will require the use of a stool.  My 6' 5" height allows me to do this from the ground.