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Old 02-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #1
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Day-night re-string today, TWO OF THEM!

Ladies and Gents,
Well, we had one of the cords break in one of our larger day-night shades sometime on our last trip. So, time for a re-string. Now, re-stringing them is one thing, but, getting them out from under the window valance and back in is another. What a pain. But, anyway, for those of you that have done this little task, can you imagine sitting down at the drawing board and designing one of these, especially a four-string one??

The guy who did it must have been committed after it. I don't know all of them but, the ones we have use a less than 1mm string/cord from the factory. It's a bit smaller in diameter than the replacement cord in the kit packages. That cord is 1.4mm in diameter. I had the remains of one kit around and used it up and the DW darted on down to the local hardware store for more cord. Well, they didn't have exactly what I needed so, she got something close. But, it was "braided".

So I used it for two of the four strings/cords in the one shade. Well, when it was all said and done, the shade works and with the correct tension on the cords, it stays where we put it. But, by using the braided cord as replacement cord for even two of the four, you can feel and hear the difference in smoothness as you push and pull each section of the shade up or down. So, I'm not all that happy with that but, it was what I used and I know different now.

Right after the re-install, the DW said the day-night shade next to that newly re-strung one was sagging a bit. So, I loosened the tension screw and started to turn the tension dial. SNAP! Oh great! One of the strings/cords broke in that one. Well, down it came and onto my work table. Well, I got the system down now. I had it all apart and ready to re-string it in about a minute. But, NO STRING/CORD! So, after much debate, I ran over to a local RV supply place and picked up a kit for re-stringing them. This kit, was about $22.00 out the door tax etc. It said it had enough to do about 5 average shades.

Yeah sure. There's (5) 20' lengths of 1.4mm cord in there. These larger day night shades that have (4) cords in them use a lot of string/cord. I ended up using four of the five cords. So much for that kit doing (5) of the AVERAGE shades.

OK, now to the important part. About 90-95% of the kit, for me, is not used. All the little replacement eyelets and adjustment dials are not needed for me. All of mine were still as good as new so, basically all I'm paying that much money for is new cord. Well, to me, that's a seriously expensive, over rated kite string. Yes, I know it's more than just kite string but, still, it's way over priced. So, just for the heck of it, I cruised on over to ebay and typed in "1.4mm nylon cord" and got a ton of ads. There's many on there that are, 3000' of 1.4 mm nylon cord, in just about any color, one would want as replacement cord. There's a few bucks for shipping but, the point is, you can get enough cord to re-string all your day-night shades, your neighbors, your brothers, your uncles and more, for way, way less money.

One very important point here. The cord you want should be as smooth sided as possible. That 1.4mm nylon stuff is smooth but, not as smooth as the original factory stuff. The smoother the cord, the smoother the operation of the shades. I checked with a couple of hardware stores and not any of them carried the smooth stuff that's needed. They carry nylon string and it's close to the correct diameter but, it stretches and, it's braided which, like stated, will give a rough, not smooth operation as you push-pull the shades up and down.

So, for those of you that take on the re-stringing of your day-night shades, and, the hardware that's in yours is still in good shape, all you'll need is new cord. I'd sure think about getting that large roll of it from ebay and you'll be ready for re-stringing any time. And, you can split the cost with a friend or two or three and still have enough cord for all your shades. Just something to think about here. Good luck.
Scott

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Old 02-03-2013, 06:20 AM   #2
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Nightmare! We had ours done at a local blinds store when we had our Winnebago 35L. The one thing they pointed out to us was that the holes through which the string passed had "burrs" on them that worked away at the string. On each one they restrung, they also smoothed out the burrs, and then used a higher quality string. We looked at a diagram and directions that someone had thoughtfully provided online, and decided against attempting it ourselves.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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I have been using 80# test fishing line, it is a little more difficult to work with but when finished the shades work slick and quiet. Love it
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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I ordered on-line the items needed from fixmyblinds.com They send out instructions for the restringing process for ( 2 ), ( 3 ), or ( 4 string shades ). I've replaced approx.
5 of my day-night shades.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #5
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I also use 80# test fishing line, works great.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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Before we got rid of ours in favor of MCD shades I got replacement cord at a JoAnns Fabric store.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:54 AM   #7
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We used 100# fishing line. Picked it up at Bass Pro, 300' roll
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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DW and I did one last week. What a PITA this was.
I agree.....whom ever came up with this design has hopefully been committed!
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
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I taught myself to re string the blinds and they aren't that bad. I've taught several other people to re string them and taught a class at a rally. I've been thinking about switching to fishing line also, was hoping it would last longer. Wish the blind makers would switch to a heavy duty cord, what could this cost per blind, maybe 29 cents?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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The Design

All of the strings have to be the same length and have about the same amount of resistance. Whoever designed this system must have been a genius because the rest of us poor cobbers have such a hard time understanding it.

I resisted the urge to use fishing line because it stretches more and has poor abrasion resistance. I got mine online as a complete kit but most fabric stores also carry the cord if you're sure that's all you need. In theory if the cord broke it must have broken for a reason, I.e. abrasion. That's why they include the brass thingies.

I've done several. Including a couple with 8 cords.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:08 PM   #11
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Our last 5th wheel had those blinds...what a pain....as noted the hardest part was getting the blinds out....I sure don't miss them..
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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I had a cord break in one of my day/night blinds so I took it to a local shop. They said they didn't do RV blind repair, too much work. I asked if they sold the 1.4 mm cord. They asked how I knew the size. I showed them how to wrap it 10 X around a pencil and measure the 1.4 cm. They'd never heard of that! They did sell me the cord for about $8 and 45 minutes on the floor and it was all finished and ready to rehang. I went back and bought more cord 'just in case' and sure enough about 1700 miles from home I had another one break and this time it only took about 30 minutes. By the way, I run the cord over a piece of wax to 'lubricate' the cord and keep it running smoothly.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:31 AM   #13
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Been there done that Scott. I re-strung a 4 stringer while in Quartzsite 2 weeks ago. I bought all the pieces: grommets, 300' 1.4mm string, tie-off's, etc. and keep them on board. MOST IMPORTANT.... I keep several ~12" strips of Velcro like strips to tie off the various pieces so it doesn't open up all over the place. It also makes it a breeze to reinstall.

Got one more to do and it's wearing out fast. They're just so fun !


PS- I don't see it mentioned on this thread, but the primary reason these are breaking is because the gromments used to smooth out the hard right turn of the string are all installed upside-down... Thats why they break. Anyone buying string from FixMyBlinds, buy several gromments too because the OEM's need to be reversed and they will likely be damaged (or are already) when flipped around.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:15 AM   #14
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I sure hope you are talking about the pleated blinds type of day/night shades. We used to have those. The MCD duo solar blackout shades seem to work very well, and I am hoping cannot have a similar problem.
Sounds like you are up to the challenge. I am not sure I would be... it would be back to the dealer for a fix or replacement for me. smile
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddypaws View Post
All of the strings have to be the same length and have about the same amount of resistance. Whoever designed this system must have been a genius because the rest of us poor cobbers have such a hard time understanding it.

I resisted the urge to use fishing line because it stretches more and has poor abrasion resistance. I got mine online as a complete kit but most fabric stores also carry the cord if you're sure that's all you need. In theory if the cord broke it must have broken for a reason, I.e. abrasion. That's why they include the brass thingies.

I've done several. Including a couple with 8 cords.
Muddy Paws,
I think I'll have to differ with you on this one sir. You see, if you've done the multiple string/cord ones, you'll know two strings are both tied to two springs on one end together at the top. And, two other strings/cords are tied, both together on the other end of those two strings. Now, no matter which set of strings/cords you start with, one travels a shorter distance to the first hole and the other one travels farther to the outer hole. Then, the one that traveled the shorter distance now goes through the first set of pleats (night shade) to exit in the bottom (through the nylon grommets) of the center bar. Then, it takes the shorter distance to the inner hole on the next set of pleats (the day shade) and then exits the bottom bar (through the nylon grommet) and travels across to exit the opposite side.

The other string/cord travels a longer distance because it goes to the outer holes on all the point it has to go through. So, hence, those strings ARE NOT THE SAME LENGTH. You are correct though in saying they must have the same tension when it's all said and done and installed so the system works correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCVJeff View Post
Been there done that Scott. I re-strung a 4 stringer while in Quartzsite 2 weeks ago. I bought all the pieces: grommets, 300' 1.4mm string, tie-off's, etc. and keep them on board. MOST IMPORTANT.... I keep several ~12" strips of Velcro like strips to tie off the various pieces so it doesn't open up all over the place. It also makes it a breeze to reinstall.

Got one more to do and it's wearing out fast. They're just so fun !


PS- I don't see it mentioned on this thread, but the primary reason these are breaking is because the gromments used to smooth out the hard right turn of the string are all installed upside-down... Thats why they break. Anyone buying string from FixMyBlinds, buy several gromments too because the OEM's need to be reversed and they will likely be damaged (or are already) when flipped around.
scvjeff,
Not sure about something here. You say your nylon grommets were installed improperly? All of the ones I've seen, done, worked with and changed have been installed in such a manor that the string exits the pleats and the bar and, turns sharply at the "head" of the nylon grommet. So, that string/cord has a much larger contact point/surface to make it's turn on than it would if it exited through the smaller/non-rolled tip of the grommet. Do you see what I'm trying to say? And as stated earlier, so far about 99% of the grommets I've come in contact with have not needed replacing so, I've got a dozen of them hanging around in plastic bag for just in case. That's why I'm just going to purchase some cord for the future. Hope this explains things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekkers View Post
I sure hope you are talking about the pleated blinds type of day/night shades. We used to have those. The MCD duo solar blackout shades seem to work very well, and I am hoping cannot have a similar problem.
Sounds like you are up to the challenge. I am not sure I would be... it would be back to the dealer for a fix or replacement for me. smile
Trekkers,
The Day-night shades are, in my opinion, a very nice setup. They work well for how they're designed. But, like all things man made, they can and do, screw up. Stings/Cords break, the pleats get goofed up due to getting wet in the rain due to a left open window and more. Taking on the task of repairing/re-stringing them, is not for all folks. As it has been stated, it's a pain in the a$$. Not only taking them apart, remembering all the parts and pieces, how they came apart and have to go back together but, how the strings/cords go, running them through the pleats and more. But, also gaining access to the screws and center release points to get them from under the window valance(s) in many coaches is also a back/neck/head twisting venture. I do a lot of the work from outside of the coach, at least as much as I can.

I don't blame anyone for calling a repair person or, taking their rig into the RV service center to have them done. I'll get there soon. At this point in life, I'm just trying to save a buck for DIESEL so we can use the darn thing for some traveling.
Scott
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #16
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Mine Were....

The big blind I did had them going in alternating holes and directions and the 8 cords swapped sides in the middle bale. I strung it the way it was strung at the factory, not by the diagram found online. I'm pretty sure they were the same length, but whatever.

My comment was meant to humor, not an engineering challenge.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:21 PM   #17
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Quoted from Scott;
I don't blame anyone for calling a repair person or, taking their rig into the RV service center to have them done. I'll get there soon. At this point in life, I'm just trying to save a buck for DIESEL so we can use the darn thing for some traveling.
Scott
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I was just thinking about that, Scott. Right now I am still working and have some expendable income and less time. Soon we hope to full time and live off retirment, then we'll have to be up to the challenges as we will have more time but less income.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #18
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I'd agree with folks saying that all of the cords should be the same length. If the paths you're following aren't all the same length I would expect that the strings are being routed incorrectly.

Here's a relevent Winnebago Service Tip: 2006-09 Restringing Day Night Blinds - .
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I'd agree with folks saying that all of the cords should be the same length. If the paths you're following aren't all the same length I would expect that the strings are being routed incorrectly.

Here's a relevent Winnebago Service Tip: 2006-09 Restringing Day Night Blinds - .
Chris,
Well, based on that link you posted, ours ARE routed incorrectly. But, of the three, large windows with the 4-string/cord shades we have, I've had to re-string/cord all three and, I copied the routing of the cords to the letter and:
1. The cords on mine are, to my knowledge, factory, as they have the ultra thin, colored cord and there was only 40K miles on it when we purchased the coach so, I'm pretty sure they've not been re-strung prior to our purchase of the rig. (No real proof they haven't been)
2. Yes, according to the link you sent, it would make the cords all the same length. But, my inner cords, go from the spring, to the inner eyelets, down and out the center bar, cross over to the inner one on the other side, down the day shade pleats, exit the bottom bar and cross over and exit end of the bar and through the plastic caps. They (when I took them apart, never did go to the outer holes.
3. When installed the way I did it, and, the tension is adjusted, the shades works as they're supposed to. They stay where you leave them, the night shade does not come down when you start pushing the day shade up (as it does it the tension is too loose). The effort to move either shade is minimal and, it all seems to work fine. Hmmmmmmm

So, what it appears is that you can route the cords the way I did it and it will work just fine or, you can route them the way it is represented in the link you've posted for folks to see and it will still work just fine too. One has equal length strings/cords and one way it doesn't. Thanks a heap for the link.
Scott
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #20
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scvjeff,
Not sure about something here. You say your nylon grommets were installed improperly? All of the ones I've seen, done, worked with and changed have been installed in such a manor that the string exits the pleats and the bar and, turns sharply at the "head" of the nylon grommet. So, that string/cord has a much larger contact point/surface to make it's turn on than it would if it exited through the smaller/non-rolled tip of the grommet. Do you see what I'm trying to say? And as stated earlier, so far about 99% of the grommets I've come in contact with have not needed replacing so, I've got a dozen of them hanging around in plastic bag for just in case. That's why I'm just going to purchase some cord for the future. Hope this explains things.
Yep, that is exactly the problem.. The grommets are upside-down exactly as you describe. At least two of mine were like that, and the tall window curb-side on the 34H is wearing like I will find the same thing when I restring it as well. I have also needed to hot-glue a few in place once they are turned around dince the hole in the aluminum bar is too big to secure them. I like the idea and the look better than the shades, but sure not thrilled that I have to go back after the fact and fix the assembly.
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