Mod #30: Plexiglass Screen Door

Mod #30: Plexiglass Screen Door

Submitted on: 07/07/08

     Category: exterior
Mod Rating: 12345

(27 ratings)

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Mod Description:

The Plexiglass screen door mod is one of those mods you have to experience to understand its appeal and usefulness. When it’s hot out, you generally close up all the windows and blinds (or curtains) and turn the A/C on. But then you don’t get to see the view and it becomes a bit dark in the RV. This mod can help you get back some of the lost view and let some light in, all while keeping the cool air inside the RV.

Mod Difficulty:

The first thing of note is that you want to use Lexan instead of Plexiglass. Lexan is both lighter and less expensive for the same thickness, but you can still use Plexiglass if you want. You will need a piece about 24″ x 72″, wider if you have the wide door option. 1/8″ is plenty thick.

Start by making a template of the screen door using cardboard by tracing the outside of the screen door using a marker. You can do this with two pieces if you don’t have a large piece of cardboard or if you opt to use two pieces of Lexan instead of a single large piece to cover the door. After tracing, trim the cardboard to the exact size of the screen door.

Next, trace the cardboard on the Lexan using a dry erase marker. This way if you make a mistake, you aren’t stuck trying to get the ink off. To cut, use a jigsaw with a fine blade designed for cutting plastic. It can be a bit tricky if you try to cut too fast as the Lexan can melt. Use 120 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges after cutting.

To mount, you have a couple of choices. You can use screws or Velcro. Most use industrial strength Velcro so the Lexan can still be removed for cleaning but remain securely attached through repeated use. White is a good color to use if you can find it as it makes the Velcro inconspicuous. If you do choose to use screws, be careful when drilling the Lexan as it can split if you use too large of a drill bit.

TipIf you opt for a single piece of Lexan to cover the entire screen door, you will have to notch it where the screen door latch can be still be used. Some just use a string attached to the handle to avoid having to notch the Lexan.


ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
The Online Source for Plexiglass and Lexan
Lexan, Polycarbonate, and Plexiglass Sheeting

General Reference
What is the difference between lexan and plexiglass?

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12 Comments For This Mod

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  1. Jay

    I have done this mod but I used what they call deep reach panel clips (available at Lowe’s). No holes, no drilling, they kinda work by pressure with a set screw.

  2. ModMyRV

    Great idea Jay. Do they look something like this:

    http://www.doityourself.com/invt/u625731

  3. jmt

    I’m going to do this mod very soon. I’m wondering what what used in the middle for getting at the outside door? Looks like a clear piece (I’ve seen something at camping world that is clear) Any advice on how too handle the middle piece?

  4. ModMyRV

    The only one I have seen is the one from CW. It replaces the entire center piece of the screen door. Pretty cheap too. I think it was around $18. You probably couldn’t fabricate one for less if you include your time and beer expenses. ;)

  5. Bob Vaughn

    I had seen this done up in NC last summer while we were there….I came home and tackled it…the only problem I encountered was cutting the plexiglass curves with out cracking it….I went to CW and bought a clear slider to complete the job. I even bought a little handle that goes thru it to release the door without having to open the slider….I am tickled with my job….

  6. Trailblazer

    I did this mod, but instead of mounting the lexan with screws or velcro, I cut it to fit inside the frame rails on the door. If you purchase .008 thick lexan it will just fit the gap in the frame. Use a piece of cardboard to make a template that just fits inside the frame, then when you have a good fit, trace the template onto the piece of lexan you get a precise fit.

  7. don

    Are you sure it is .oo8 thick?? I have found .080 but that is the best I have found

  8. dherrera

    (1) I removed screen door, (2) removed all screen material, crossbars, etc., until I only had the outer frame as a rectangle. (3) Then I took the outer frame to Interstate Plastics in San Leandro, CA, and they measured it. (4) Then they cut a piece of plastic to size, which fit right into the groove that already exist in the aluminum screen door frame. Now I have one solid piece of plastic as a screen door, minus the small square that we had to cut-out so that the door knob doesn’t slam into the plastic. Interstate Plastics charged a total of $50.24 for the labor and materials. At first I purchased my own piece of plastic from Home Depot for $50.00, and tried to cut it with a hacksaw. However, the plastic shattered all over the place. Home Depot charges $100 for the Lexan sheets, so I just decided to go with the clear acrylic, and I’m just as happy with it. Interstate Plastics phone number is 510-483-4341. They sold me a sheet of .08″ x 48″ x 96″. Then I was able to keep the leftover pieces, which were quite large. If you have any questions, my email address is DanAlameda@aol.com

  9. Frank

    I did this with .093 Lexan from Lowes. I was able to get a 36″x48″ sheet for $70. This was large enough for me to make a top and a bottom panel. My Rockwood 2902 already has a clear panel across the center section. I removed the screen door and opted to mount the lexan on the outside of the screen door (for me it was a good choice as last week the pine tree pollen was everywhere but on the screens as the lexan keep them clean). The only thing I will do later is change out the turn clips. The flush mount type was the only ones available at Lowes and HD. Their websites have the 1/16″ stand off type but the stores do not stock them. The shipping was more then the 16 clips I need. I cut the lexan with a plywood blade in my circular saw and cleaned up the edges with a hand file. I loved being able to keep the door open and cook outside without the grill smoke entering the trailer and setting off the smoke detector.

  10. nosticks

    Took a pattern for the two pieces to ACE Hardware. I used Lexan and they cut it to fit. I just bend it in the center and it slips in the grove on the inside portion of the screen. I left the screen in place. Just bend the Lexan to pop it out again and you still have a functioning screen door.

  11. sdayman

    I finally got around to doing this, thanks to the tips here. Got Lexan and had a tricky time cutting it with my jigsaw since it kept welding itself back together due to the heat. Had to add side notches to break away the pieces as I went. I only did the lower half since I’m just trying to protect the screen from the dog and baby. Got industrial strength Velcro from OSH.

    UPDATE (4/6/13): The velcro just didn’t hold well. Eventually, it would detach at the hinge side and then fall off. I bought some .093 and scored it to size so it would fit into the screen door slots as mentioned in someone else’s installation. It’s not as sturdy as the .220, but at least it’ll stay.

  12. shortshasta

    Hi, just a little tip. Lexan & plexiglass can be cut very easily. Take your rip saw with a plywood blade in it…and turn it around ( backwards ) it will cut it with ease. No chipping, no catching and especially NO HEAT….check it out.

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