DIY Vehicle Camping Curtains

Sleeping in your vehicle can keep you warmer, drier and safer than tent camping, not to mention more comfortable depending on your set up.One primary issue with car camping, however, is ventilation. It can be difficult to get a nice breeze whipping through your vehicle and, once the sun is up, most cars tend to turn into an oven.

With some handy-dandy, super-simple camping curtains, this issue will be no more. These can also be used for a multi-person tent should you want to string up a dividing curtain for privacy. Read on.

Where to Start

  • First, determine which windows in your vehicle need coverings. For a truck bed, you may want to do both windows of the camper shell and the cab window.
  • Measure each window twice and write down the dimensions.
  • Choose fabric that is darker and heavier or can be easily doubled over. Light fabrics won’t keep the sun out and will fade over time.

What You’ll Need

For a car, SUV or truck:

  • (1) 2×4 or a shower curtain rod and shower curtain rings
  • Fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Staple or glue gun
  • Scissors (Leatherman Style CS works great)

Once you’ve purchased your fabric, cut it based on the dimensions of your windows.

Then, if you are using a 2×4, cut it into two equal beams. These will easily wedge lengthwise above the cab and back window of your camper shell.

For a car or SUV, a shower curtain rod can typically be used instead of wooden beams.

Once you’ve cut your beams, you can attach your fabric to the beam by stapling it to the wood. You may be wondering why the use of beams is suggested instead of string or a curtain rod for a truck. Shower curtain rods often become flimsy in the center when stretched too far. Most truck camper shells are too long to support a typical shower curtain rod. As far as string is concerned, you will have to find a way to attach your string to the camper shell. This may require affixing duct tape or hardware to your camper shell. The beams, on the other hand, can be wedged, allowing you to have curtains without tearing up the inside of your camper shell.

After stapling the fabric, the rest is all decorations. Use the felt fabric to create fun and easy designs such as mountains, pine trees, etc., and affix them to the curtains using fabric glue.


If you discover your beams are a bit loose, felt pads (typically used on the bottoms of chairs to keep from scratching up hardwood floors) work well.

If you have a car and decided to go with the shower curtain option, instead of stapling the fabric, you simply cut tiny holes into the cloth and string the rings through the holes. They can then be hung up like a shower curtain.

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