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Old 03-07-2008, 11:24 AM   #1
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Usefulness of rear & side door screens

I wanted to ask if those of you who opted to get the zippered bug screens for the side and rear van doors felt they were worth it. Do they keep bugs out well enough? Are they a pain? Do they hold up?
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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usefullness of side & rear doorscreens

Have you ever camped in MI,or WI above 55f?
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:35 PM   #3
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They aren't worth having. They don't close at the bottom unless you get out and use velcro straps, which still leaves gaps and you can't get back in. The zipper is hard to use and the velcro is peeling off the van which just causes more problems.



The back one probably wouldn't be so bad as rear entry is rare and difficult (at least on my van) so permanently screening the back wouldn't hinder anything I normally do.

Better to build your own... one of may projects I intend to do "someday".
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #4
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I have to laugh at Patrick's answer. Cause I know how bad it can get camping with bugs. We get a really nasty 'bug season' here in Putnam County, NY. (bug season comes after Spring and before Summer...and it's like a horror movie.)

But Jage you are stating what my concern was. That they may be flimsy and might not hold up. I'm guessing once they fall off after a few years you're left with gummy residue on your door jams, etc.

But, I figure bugs aren't much a problem for most the guys on this site who seems to be from out west. But, what about anyone from midwest and east?...Do you think they are a 'must have?'
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:02 AM   #5
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I think they are less than perfect, but they are a 'must have' item. When it is really muggy and you want (NEED) ventilation they allow you to open the van wide open and still keep the little critters out. We use the side door screens frequently and the rear seldom.

My wife keeps talking about making replacement screens that only attach at the sides and overlap in the middle and have weight at the bottom. Similar to the picture above, but so far she hasn't gotten around to it. So, for now the screens are lifesavers.

Mike
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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I think these are useless, at least the ones we got from SMB West. After 3 months, the velcro started peeling off from the door jams...and we have never even used the screens yet.

I called SMB and told them I'd be returning those, along with our 'custom' van cover that doesn't fit.

If I lived in Arkansas, where they seem to have a monopoly on flying and crawling insects, I'd fabricate some alternative.

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Old 03-08-2008, 08:12 PM   #7
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Did SMB install the velcro for you?

When we installed ours, we carefully cleaned the surface, then went over it with a wax remover and then installed the velcro.

We've had ours on for almost 4 years. The velcro is starting to peel off in the corners, but if we are careful when removing them it is not an issue.

It is a bit of a hassle to go through the zippered middle, but far less of a hassle than trying to get a half a dozen mosquitos out of the camper when we are inside.

Mike
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:52 PM   #8
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I made screens for our van. The screens for the front doors are held with rubberized magnets:

http://www.pbase.com/railbat/image/64815103

I added four metal magnets at the corners later. The rubber magnets are on the van side of the screen, but the metal magnets are on the outside of the screen. The metal magnets are much stronger than the rubber ones.

The screen for the rear doors in held with rubberized magnets and a few spots of Velcro:

http://www.pbase.com/railbat/image/81038712

So far we have been happy with the air flow, even with the side doors closed. We do get a nice cross flow of air from the front to back of the van, and don't have to figure out how to get in and out through screens on the side doors.

Brian
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:18 PM   #9
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Nice work Brian. Are the magnets actually attached to the screen material, or do you put the magnets in place each time you use the screens? If you attached them, did you glue them in place? Also, what did you use for screen material?


thanks,
Herb
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Old 03-09-2008, 12:14 PM   #10
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I came across these as a possible solution. Clever idea, but seem pricey. My sewing skills are lacking. Not sure how tough it'd be to cob up a pair at home.

http://www.skreenz.com/
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