Granted, the Bay Window VW Bus is far from the fishbowl that is the 23-Window Bus; however, privacy whilst camping is nearly impossible without window dressings of some type. At this point, I have met many veedubbers who have fashioned some creative ways to keep their private time private. Being the prude/fashionista/pragmatist that I am, I wanted dressings that were functional, stylish, storable, and durable. I think I have found the perfect combination.
Window shield/front windows: I bought a Fanchers window cover for this one. Yes, their website is a little clunky (certainly better than most bus vendors though), but their products are top notch. The Fanchers cover is made of a tough canvas that isn’t scratchy and the magnets they use for anchor points are strong. The thing fit like a glove. Plus, the roll-up screen windows feature is *chef’s kiss*.
Back windows: Before we left our home for 14 months, Miracle and I were sitting on the couch, enjoying a glass of wine. “I’m going to miss having art on the walls,” she said. I felt the same and said so. Hanging on the wall next to the couch is an old poster that had been covered with hand carved stamps of women—women on motorcycles, a naked woman with a mask, a librarian with pistols, a burlesque dancer. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece of art that comes with an amazing story (for another time, kids), but I knew right away I wanted that to be our blinds. I found a place online, Contrado, that custom makes roll-down blinds. The process was so simple, it felt like there had to be a catch. I put in the dimensions, uploaded a scan of the artwork (courtesy of my go-to printshop, World Digital Imaging), and paid. I received a notification within minutes that my job was going to print and would ship within the hour!
Hanging the blinds was a bit more of a challenge since I am certain the good folks at Contrado didn’t design these things to be in a VW Bus. I had to make little blocks of wood on one end and mount the other end to the headbanger cabinet—pretty easy, especially with help from Miracle. I shortened up the chain pulls and glued magnets onto the bottom edges to give the dressings some cling and voila.
Back window: Since Miracle and I first conjured up the idea of riding around the entire country in the bus, we’ve had a window cling on the rear window with our Instagram on it. We go out for fries at the Root Beer Stand or park in a campground for two days, and we’re bound to have gained a handful of followers. The cling itself is a perforated material, which allows me to see out, but keeps others from seeing in. We decided to upgrade to a full window size. My buddy and graphic designer extraordinaire, Rajan, was the one who designed it and taught me the secret to installation: soap and water. That’s right. Spray the window down with a liberal amount of soap and water. Slide the cling to where it needs to be, then squeegee. I will note that with the lights on at night, it is possible for people to see in, although it isn’t exactly easy. Once the lights are off, it’s pretty private. Where did he get it printed? At the public library’s makerspace, of course. Support your libraries, folks.