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ronsmithis Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:59 am

Aloha Sambanista's,
I posted this setup on an earlier post but thought it deserved it's own thread,specially since summer is just around the corner. It works great and for $11 and a little work can't be beat.
Cheers, Ron

Been meaning to post a report with some pics of my screen door setup. Someone beat me to it but this is a pretty inexpensive setup that works well for me at least. The screen itself can be had though Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019W1DSG/ref=wms_ohs_product
It's only $11 and made for a regular door make sure to get the 48" one. It needs to be trimmed at the bottom and I replaced the weights that came with it with heavier bicycle intertube that I cut and filled with sand used zip ties to seal the ends. Works well here in windy Hawaii. It attaches to the backside of my awning with Velcro Along the sides I added a few extra tabs for a tight seal.
Last but not least,you need to cut out an area so it fits over the door hinge. Used some nylon strapping that I glued to make a tight seal around door hinge bracket.
Been in use now about 1 year works great,it's not noseeum size netting but works for us and rolls up for storage. Easy to put up and easy to store when not in use. It can also be rolled up while camping and tucked on top of the awning and rolled back down at night when the bugs come out.
Cheers, Ron
:D ....Please don't hate me cause I drive a Eurovan......:D

Screen door picked up from Amazon for $11 modified a bit,works great. Rolled up for storage
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It's attached at the top by velco tabs at the backside of the awning.
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I had to modify to fix around the door hinge,cut and sewed/glued with strapping and velco to keep closed.

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I sewed on some extra tabs w/velco to keep a tight fit. They use a magnet to keep the 2 flaps closed,easy in an out.
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Had to shorten the screen,it's made to fit a regular door. I also got rid of the sand weight at the bottom and used old bicycle tire intertube filled with sand to keep it from flapping around here in windy Hawaii,works great BTW.
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When not need rolled up and stowed on top of awning,just roll down when needed,can even close/lock door while off hiking.
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dhaavers Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:25 pm

Good thinking - looks nice!

Windig89 Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:19 pm

Got my 11 dollar screen today, did a dry fit on the Van to see where I need to cut and sew. Its seriosuly a PERFECT fit for the Vanagon. I will post up pictures and instructions when complete.

ronsmithis Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:07 pm

Boostd wrote: Got my 11 dollar screen today, did a dry fit on the Van to see where I need to cut and sew. Its seriosuly a PERFECT fit for the Vanagon. I will post up pictures and instructions when complete.

Boostd,
One quick way of doing the alterations is to use "fabric glue" You can find it at a fabric store or I've seen it selling here at the Ace hardware. Kinda hard to sew screen material.
Cheers, Ron

http://www.amazon.com/Beacon-Fabri-Tac-Permanent-A...amp;sr=8-6

IdahoDoug Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:25 pm

That is ingenious! There should be a Samba "virtual award" others can award someone for this kind of great contribution. Kurt would have a bunch for his "Mullendorf Port", for instance. I'd be in the negative in 3, 2, 1....

Great idea, especially with kids like we have going in and out. That magnet would keep it properly closed despite constant movement.

Cheers,

DougM

Windig89 Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:08 am

ronsmithis wrote: Boostd wrote: Got my 11 dollar screen today, did a dry fit on the Van to see where I need to cut and sew. Its seriosuly a PERFECT fit for the Vanagon. I will post up pictures and instructions when complete.

Boostd,
One quick way of doing the alterations is to use "fabric glue" You can find it at a fabric store or I've seen it selling here at the Ace hardware. Kinda hard to sew screen material.
Cheers, Ron

http://www.amazon.com/Beacon-Fabri-Tac-Permanent-A...amp;sr=8-6

funny you mention that - I actually plan on using GLUEFIX and sail tape ( as you know im a kiteboarder, so already have these items in stock for kite repaires :) Much quicker and easier than using a sewing machine.

All dry fitted and measured. I will post up the measurements for a Vanagon to save people that whole step.

kamzcab86 Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:57 pm

Argh! I need quit clicking on things like this! :x :lol:

I've been meaning to to alter my home-made screen to have a slit in the middle for a year now, but this pre-made screen will actually be cheaper and quicker! Thanks for the idea! :D

Windig89 Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:59 am

I made some progress last night, got the biggest part finished.

Parts list:
48 inch Jobar screen from Amazon
Sewing skills or -
GLUEFIX
Black Sail tape
Sharp utility knife
Measuring Tape
Scissors
Velcro strips (If you want better pieces of the male stick on Velcro than what comes with the screen, some people complain about it, but it sticks well to the van...)
Straight edge ( 4 foot level works great) to Cut the screen straight...


1) Find a nice straight piece of wood and attach a few pieces of Velcro to secure the top of the screen during modification.

2) Cut Velcro at the top of the screen to detach it from the screen (do a nice job and keep it because you will be reusing it). Use a nice sharp utility knife with a fresh blade for this.

3) You are now left with 2 panels. Cut each panel to length individually. ( use a straight edge and knife for this over the wood)

4) Now is the time to decide how you want your door to open. I chose the most forward panel to be on the outside of the van, for easy egress...

5) lay the top of the screen over the Velcro strip. Temp secure the screen with tape to hold things in place while you work.

6) Cut your sail tape into one long strip (use small sharp Scissors), about the same width as the Velcro.

7) Work the glue into the mesh with a piece of packaging cardboard or something else flexible. Lay the Sailtape on top of the glue. Press really hard to work the glue onto the tape.

8) Go over the whole strip again with a rolling pin or fat roll of duct tape to ensure the sail tape has seated well with the glue. Allow to dry overnight.







[/img]

Windig89 Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:09 am

Next steps are to cut the hinge area out of the top corner of the screen and re-position the magnets. I also plan to fill the bottom boot with buckshot or bb's to give it more weight. The sand it comes with is not enough...

Will report back!!! With Final install pictures.

ronsmithis Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:51 am

Boostd,
Nice work there,one step people can skip if they like is replacing the velcro strip at the top section. The velcro that they complain about in the review is the other half pieces that they include with the screen,those do fall of because of the adhesive.
Don't forget to glue/sew some extra tabs along the sides for a better seal.
Cheers, Ron
:D........Please don't hate me cause I drive a Eurovan...... :D

Windig89 Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:18 am

Ron -
Yup agree the fluffy velcro strip on the top of the screen is quite sound and defiantely good to reuse.... I used it, its solid. I stuck a bunch of the little male peices it comes with on the van and the adhesive seems like a strong hold ( maybe they listend to peoples complaints and changed suppliers...) If they fall off, no biggie, just buy new ones at office depot.

The biggest difference I think between our methods is that I shortened the screen from the top ( lowering the top strip of velcro) and left the weighted section as it came from the factory...

dangerbus Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:24 am

ive been trying to fabricate my own version for a while.

have been using magnetic strips down the entire opening to keep the bugs out. maybe that's overkill...do these stay closed fairly tight with just the overlap and single magnet??

also, how are you guys are attaching at the top. are you simply using self-stick velcro to your bus?? tried magnets but even the rare earth seem to pull off at the top when going in/out...
was thinking of the screw-on snaps but i hate to drill into the bus :?

ronsmithis Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:39 am

dangerbus wrote: ive been trying to fabricate my own version for a while.

have been using magnetic strips down the entire opening to keep the bugs out. maybe that's overkill...do these stay closed fairly tight with just the overlap and single magnet??

also, how are you guys are attaching at the top. are you simply using self-stick velcro to your bus?? tried magnets but even the rare earth seem to pull off at the top when going in/out...
was thinking of the screw-on snaps but i hate to drill into the bus :?

Danger,
The door stays sealed quite well with just the one magnet,even here in windy Hawaii. If you look closely at my pic you'll see that there is about a 4" overlap of the 2 panels at the door opening. It makes for a tight seal,no bugs manage to find their way in at nighttime with the lights on,which is when the bugs come out here.
One other point Boostd, if I were to do it again I would use a cardboard template for the door hinge. When doing it I measured with a tape and as you can see from the photo's it's not as tight a seal as I would like. I'll add a small strip to close the area around the hinge to keep the bugs out.
Cheers, Ron

Windig89 Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:58 am

ronsmithis wrote: One other point Boostd, if I were to do it again I would use a cardboard template for the door hinge. When doing it I measured with a tape and as you can see from the photo's it's not as tight a seal as I would like. I'll add a small strip to close the area around the hinge to keep the bugs out.
Cheers, Ron

The Vanagon door hinge sits much closer to the body than the EV (there isnt much of a gap for bugs to get in... so I dont think its going to be as complicated as the EV. I will take close ups of that section when complete.

Windig89 Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:05 pm

So I had some time to finish up the screen. Here is the final result. I’m very pleased. Total cost in the end was about 25 bucks and 2 hours of my time.

Pluses:
- you don’t need to drill into your Westy and deal with broken snaps
- Velcro peals off clean. replacement Velcro is cheap and easy
- Cheap, Cheap, Cheap easy to do :)
- quiet entry at night (no zipper)
- hands free operation. nice for egress with hands full
- always stays shut. bonus for kids going in and out forgetting to zip up
- rolls up nice and small ( fold at the panel joint then roll)
- super light weight
- Takes about a minute to install, and 30 seconds to remove carefully.

Minus:
- Not a professional look, but it doesn’t look bad overall. If your not looking closely at the edges its a quite clean overall look.
- Can't close the door with it installed.... On the Vanagon its all gotta come down. ( takes about 30 seconds to remove)



Here is how I worked around the door hinge. A little finesse with scissors and the sail tape... To square off the edges clean, I cut the strips of sail tape to length and put a little slit in the ends ( directly on the center fold line) then folded the tape over the screen mesh onto itself.. Overlap the tape in the corners this way… The tape sticks to itself through the screen mesh. Its very strong adhesive on the tape, no glue required here… The little flap is also just sail tape folded on itself.







The Velcro attachment points are crucial to a good seal. Especially the front bottom point. Notice it’s almost inside the Van. Otherwise a small gap will exist for bugs to get in. The door seal actually acts as a great contact point for the screen making a bug tight seal. Yes my next project is to clean up the rust on the bottom door guide :oops:







Nice big strip of Velcro at the center. And a big strip above the door hinge to hold the loose flap of screen. I used all the screens factory female attachment points.



For the door opening, I added extra weight at the bottom ( 8 packs of lead split sinkers used for fishing) Just top off the sand bag that it comes with.. Keep the weight near the center so the panels close tight. Don’t add weights near the edges, it will make things too stiff and you will loose the door hinge effect.... I did not even bother to reseal the cloth pouch ends after re-inserting the sand bag and weights…. Just make sure to open the pouch from the outside end and not the entry point ends...



Few extra Tips:
-Little sharp scissors work best with sail tape.
-Steady hands when picking stitches off the magnets (for repositioning) you will scrap the whole screen if you snip even a small strand of screen. I mostly used tweezers to pick the threads out, snip on the fabric side to be safe.
- use a piece of cardboard as a template for the hinge area. Make your cuts, dry fit it to verify, and then tape the edges off.

Any questions or more detail pics required let me know.

Enjoy 8)

SL1 Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:17 pm

Great job, excellent write up and pics :D

I will definitely make one for this season....LOTS of flies in Nova Scotia during spring....Thanks

Flash Kaleo Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:21 pm

I am working on a screen this weekend. It looks like each of you have attached your screen to the underneath portion of your gutter. Is this correct?

Also I am estimating the height from top to bottom to be 57". This would allow for an inch of velcro on the top and enough to hang just below the base of the door opening.

Any other thoughts/ suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Flash

kamzcab86 Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:43 pm

Flash Kaleo wrote: Also I am estimating the height from top to bottom to be 57". This would allow for an inch of velcro on the top and enough to hang just below the base of the door opening.

For comparison, my current screen is 58":



I'm working on the new one this weekend as well. I'm adapting the existing border (with magnets inside) onto to the new one. I'll be adding a couple of leftover hooks from my rainfly project to the top of the new screen to mount to the gutter for added protection (from falling off). I refuse to put Velcro on the van.

Flash Kaleo Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:57 pm

I would rather not use velcro as well, but did not think the top would stay in place with magnets. Curious to see how your have yours set up with the hooks on the gutters.

Windig89 Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:45 pm

Flash Kaleo wrote: I am working on a screen this weekend. It looks like each of you have attached your screen to the underneath portion of your gutter. Is this correct?

Also I am estimating the height from top to bottom to be 57". This would allow for an inch of velcro on the top and enough to hang just below the base of the door opening.

Any other thoughts/ suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Flash

I cut mine to 54 1/2 to the top of the sand bag...( so 54 1/2 of actual screen). I did this so the sand bag would fall right in front of the bottom door rail so I can tuck it in there in case of heavy winds. If you look closely at picture 8, the velcro is on the underside of the rain gutter.

You wouldnt even notice it if you werent looking for it. In a perfect world the velcro color would match the paint!



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