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Old 08-22-2015, 12:57 AM   #1
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Input on Roller Shade Manufacturers

It seems like there are three major players in the RV roller shade arena:
I've read a fair amount about all three of them, but I'm curious to know:
  1. What are the overall opinions of the various manufacturers (support, quality, reliability, etc)?
  2. Are there any OTHER roller shade manufacturers who are targeting the RV industry (or who AREN'T targeting the RV industry but who are offering similar dual-roller day/night shade solutions)?

I'm thinking of upgrading my RV with some shades, but want to do my "homework" beforehand to be sure that all the money I spend on the project is WELL-spent.

Thanks!

Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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We upgraded our previous RV to MCD. Very happy with the purchasing process and ease of DIY installation. Really enjoyed life after the string shades.
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Old 08-22-2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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Not too happy with United Shades, but they have recently gone to the same electric shade motor (red) that MCD is using, Chinese supplier. Appears to be better after two years of poor "new" shade motors.

IMHO, I'd prefer the not so glamorous pull downs instead of electric.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:19 PM   #4
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We had MCD shades installed at the factory throughout the motor home. I had issues with some of the shades not holding the speed adjustment - the ones with problems would go up really fast and after adjustment would work for a while and then screw up again. The factory had no solution except replacement which was quite costly - happened after the warranty had expired. I also had two motors fail on the windshield shades - one on each side. Also occurred out of warranty.
We loved the shades but I feel that the failure rate was way too high for an item as costly as these shades. For what they cost the warranty should be several years.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:34 PM   #5
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I just posted this a couple of days ago in this forum but here it is again. I realize you asked about roller shades but this is an alternative and information about Hunter Douglas roller shades.

I know they are newer but MCD shades are still roller shades. Those of us old enough to remember them still remember why we did not like them.

I am waiting for my order to come in but I went with Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades. They are supposed to have some insulation value. I went with the Duette which were a honeycomb inside of a honeycomb. The triette has 3 layers.


Hunter douglas also sells roller shades. I do not like them but here is the difference between them and MCD as far as I can see.

1. Lots of different colors or material in HD
Black in MCD

2.Lifetime warranty on the mechanism 7 year on the strings. HD
1 Year warranty on MCD

Both have day night shades, I believe they are comparatively priced.

If you want to go with what I consider a better option look at the Honeycomb shades. They have several options one of those being Bottom Up or top down shade. The shade raises from the bottom or lowers from the top. If you want some light but do not want to have the shade open so people can see in just get the botom up, top down and you can lower the shade from the top a few inches to let light in.

I ordered the Motorized duette shades. I did not feel like I needed bottom up ,top down so I did not order it although it was available. You can get the motorized with a "C" cell pack for power. I was going to just run power from the camper since they work off of 8 C cells (12 volts) Hunter douglas advertises a 5 year lifespan using the C cells and it is a lot easier to hook up. It looks like the Battery pack will fit in the facing board above the cabinet doors in the cabinets over the shade. Drill (1) 3/8 hole to run the cord through velcro the packs in place and I have power. I will take some pics when I get them installed.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:55 PM   #6
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We had MCD shades. One would not stay down, one broke the attachment point. No spare parts available, the only solution was replacement of the entire shade assembly.The only relief from them was a 10% "customer loyalty" discount.

We removed the MCD shades and installed the Automotion shades. They are more robust than the MCD and have more fabric selections. Much happier with them.
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Old 08-22-2015, 07:22 PM   #7
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I changed all the shades in my previous coach with MCD, including a power windshield shade. I had issues with two that didn't work when they arrived. I also thought that since they're special ordered, length and width, they would be adjusted correctly when shipped.

My sister ordered the Automotion Shades and I didn't see a difference in quality, yet the MCD's are more expensive.

If I were to do it again, I would buy the Automotion.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
We had MCD shades. One would not stay down, one broke the attachment point. No spare parts available, the only solution was replacement of the entire shade assembly.The only relief from them was a 10% "customer loyalty" discount.

We removed the MCD shades and installed the Automotion shades. They are more robust than the MCD and have more fabric selections. Much happier with them.
Thanks for the input, Don. Not many people get experience with more than one brand, so it's interesting to hear your opinion of one over the other.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
I changed all the shades in my previous coach with MCD, including a power windshield shade. I had issues with two that didn't work when they arrived. I also thought that since they're special ordered, length and width, they would be adjusted correctly when shipped.

My sister ordered the Automotion Shades and I didn't see a difference in quality, yet the MCD's are more expensive.

If I were to do it again, I would buy the Automotion.
Thanks, DSD. Again... interesting to hear the comparison of brands. MCD definitely seems to have the brand recognition factor in their favor... and at least as of a few years ago seemed to be the #1 most recommended choice. But lately it seems like they may have grown too quickly and quality is suffering. For the amount of money it costs for these things, I certainly don't want to end up regretting the decision!
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemini5362 View Post
I just posted this a couple of days ago in this forum but here it is again. I realize you asked about roller shades but this is an alternative and information about Hunter Douglas roller shades.

I know they are newer but MCD shades are still roller shades. Those of us old enough to remember them still remember why we did not like them.

I am waiting for my order to come in but I went with Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades. They are supposed to have some insulation value. I went with the Duette which were a honeycomb inside of a honeycomb. The triette has 3 layers.


Hunter douglas also sells roller shades. I do not like them but here is the difference between them and MCD as far as I can see.

1. Lots of different colors or material in HD
Black in MCD

2.Lifetime warranty on the mechanism 7 year on the strings. HD
1 Year warranty on MCD

Both have day night shades, I believe they are comparatively priced.

If you want to go with what I consider a better option look at the Honeycomb shades. They have several options one of those being Bottom Up or top down shade. The shade raises from the bottom or lowers from the top. If you want some light but do not want to have the shade open so people can see in just get the botom up, top down and you can lower the shade from the top a few inches to let light in.

I ordered the Motorized duette shades. I did not feel like I needed bottom up ,top down so I did not order it although it was available. You can get the motorized with a "C" cell pack for power. I was going to just run power from the camper since they work off of 8 C cells (12 volts) Hunter douglas advertises a 5 year lifespan using the C cells and it is a lot easier to hook up. It looks like the Battery pack will fit in the facing board above the cabinet doors in the cabinets over the shade. Drill (1) 3/8 hole to run the cord through velcro the packs in place and I have power. I will take some pics when I get them installed.
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Interesting option. Hunter Douglas is certainly a good name with an excellent reputation. Will take a look at their offerings and see if there's something that's a fit.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSL417 View Post
Not too happy with United Shades, but they have recently gone to the same electric shade motor (red) that MCD is using, Chinese supplier. Appears to be better after two years of poor "new" shade motors.

IMHO, I'd prefer the not so glamorous pull downs instead of electric.
Thanks, Dave & Beth,

I've been reading quite a bit on the Entegra forum about issues with the shades... but somehow didn't realize they were United Shade. I'm beginning to think you're right... manual roller shades may be a better choice. Simpler is usually better, and I'm a big fan of having fewer things to break. Especially since it seems like the motorized roller shades are prone to it.

Appreciate the input!
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Old 08-23-2015, 04:57 AM   #12
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Tiffin has been installing Automotion and there has been a high occurrence of motor failures in them. Both of my motors for the front shades went out.
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:02 PM   #13
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Lets see. I have MCD duo's on all of the windows (12), only two small (by bed) are non-powered. I have one motor gone bad, one will not accept link to either the 2-button or the 14-button remotes so it is effectively dead (and it is only part way down), and another that won't hold a direction or limit setting (and I have 12v), and the driver shade just lost its settings on the night shade. Using the manual to try and reset linkages or limits is a PITA to follow (do this, then this, then this, then this, all before it times out and you have to start over again). Oh, yea and they are loud when the bottom rails bang against the walls while driving.
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Old 08-23-2015, 03:05 PM   #14
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None of this is very heartening news. Sounds like ALL manufacturers of motorized roller blinds have quality issues! I could get away with manual rollers in most locations in the coach... but for the cockpit shades I really need powered versions (at least for the day-shade portion that I'd use when driving).

Now I'm not sure WHICH brand to consider. :P
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