How To Fit Curtain Tracks - VW Camper
Old, stiff, bent and broken curtain tracks can not only look untidy, but can be a real pain come bedtime. Maybe you’ve just bought a Bus and it hasn’t got any as it started life as a Transporter. Or, maybe you would like to upgrade from the classic DIY wires or the flat aluminium rods Westfalia used.
There are a number of different tracks on the market that are loosely based around the well-known Silent Gliss system – an aluminium extrusion into which plastic sliders are fitted, and the curtain hooks then attach to these. There are different sets depending on what model of Bus you have, but the fitting process is the same across the board.
Before fitting all of the curtains and sliders, run one single slider all the way round the fitted tracks to ensure there are no kinks and everything runs freely.
First job is to check you have all of the track, sliders, hooks, screws and end stops in the kit. Next job is to measure everything and cut the tracks to length. Although they come roughly to size, it’s better to get them right before you start drilling holes.
Depending on your interior layout, you may need to remove some furniture to be able to fit the tracks all the way round. It’s also worth checking at this point if the headliner is looking shabby around the window surrounds as now might be a good time to replace this. This Bus was having a wooden ply ceiling fitted, and was painted around the window apertures.
This picture shows how the rail system works. You can use a metal end stop as the last hook to stop the curtain pulling too far round. This kit has the better (flatter) style of curtain hooks to keep the curtains closer to the Bus and held prevent gaps.
Once you’ve cut the tracks to length, and are happy with their location, it’s time to start drilling holes. There will already be holes in the track so use these as a guide. We used the small screws provided in the kit and found 3.2mm drill bit was just about right, but check this as screws may vary.
Most of the screws can be screwed into place using a battery drill with a screwdriver bit fitted, although I found in some places where the metal is two skins thick, it’s better to use a hand screwdriver as it is very easy to round the small screw heads off.
This particular Bus had a Westfalia-style wooden headliner, so we fitted the tracks slightly lower than the roof support panel.
On the c-pillar at the rear of the sliding door we made a small bend so the track fits flush all the way along the side of the Bus. I very carefully bend it by hand, but don’t be too enthusiastic as it’s very easy to put a kink in it, which will stop the sliders moving past it.
Gently shape the track to fit around the sliding door runner, again ensuring you don’t kink the track. You will need to trim the screws down a bit for this section as there isn’t much clearance behind the metal you are screwing into. If you don’t do this, you will end up with a screw sticking out of the middle of your track.
The front cab sections are a little fiddly to do. You need to make sure the tracks run across above the windscreen without interfering with the sun visors, clips and rear view mirror.
Carefully bend the tracks to an almost 90-degree bend with two twists – one so it sits flat with the metal above the door and the other so it sits flat against the metal above the windscreen but below the sun visors.
Start securing into place in the same way as the other tracks one side at a time, then manipulate the track into place to finish up.
This particular kit comes with two sections for the cab that meet in the middle next to the rear view mirror.
Depending on the furniture, you can either fit the rear track to the top of the rear door or to the underneath of the roof locker. If fitting to woodwork, you may need to find more appropriate screws as the ones provided are intended for metal.