Mod #30: Plexiglass Screen Door
Submitted on: 07/07/08
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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.
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.
If 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.
What is the difference between lexan and plexiglass?