As someone who loves RVing with my family, including a playful dog and an adventurous toddler, I know the challenges of keeping them safe and secure inside the RV. The weakness of RV screen doors is a concern for many, as they can easily be opened by a child or pet. But fear not because there are effective solutions available, both DIY and off-the-shelf. In this article, I’ll share the best methods I’ve personally tried and found successful in ensuring a worry-free RV experience for the whole family.
Here are some quick tips to get you started:
- Stairs Safety Handle Latch: An easy DIY solution for kids. By positioning the RV steps’ security handle, you can prevent the screen door from opening, adding an extra layer of security against accidental openings by children.
- Plexiglass Retrofit: A more involved DIY method that’s great for preventing pets from scratching through the screen. By adding a plexiglass panel to the screen door, you can provide sturdy protection while still maintaining visibility.
- Lippert Screen Defender: An off-the-shelf product designed especially for RVs. This powder-coated aluminum screen protector is a stylish and durable way to keep pets safely inside and protect your screen door from damage.
- Perma Child Retractable Safety Gate: An excellent option for both children and pets, this retractable gate can be easily installed and offers a flexible yet secure barrier at your RV door.
Keep Reading for more details on each solution:
RV Screen Door DIY Options
Stairs safety handle latch
Here’s an easy solution for kids (but not so much pets) if you have a security handle for your RV steps. After opening the main door, simply reach through the slide opening and pull the handle into your tow/drive position. This setup will position the handle so the screen door won’t open. It adds a little extra security preventing small kids from inadvertently pushing through the screen door and tumbling down the steps.
A little more time-consuming, but a good option if you’re more worried about your pet scratching a hole in the screen is to add a plexiglass (or Lexan) panel to the screen door. You can accomplish this by cutting a section of Lexan around the same opening of the bottom screen and securing it with double-sided tape or mirror hanging hardware. Again, make sure you use a product that you can easily cut without having it professionally cut by a hardware store. Lexan can be trimmed with hand tools.
RV Screen Door Off-the-shelf Options
The Lippert Screen Defender is a great product inspired by RV pet owners. It’s also a great option for parents who want to childproof the screen door. For small kids, I also suggested adding an extra latch. The Screen Defender Entry Door Screen Protector is a black, powder-coated aluminum screen that helps ensure your pet can’t damage or break through your existing entry screen door. It’s available in different sizes to fit pretty much any RV screen door.
- Durable solid aluminum screen
- Keeping your pets safely inside your RV and prevents screen damage
- STYLISH DESIGN with a black, powder-coated aluminum screen
- Fits 24”, 26”, 28” or 30” doors when ordering the correct size
- EASY DIY UPGRADE
The Perma Child Retractable Baby Gate is a great solution that is there when you need it but hidden when you don’t. This has been a great solution for my young daughter when she was too small to be trusted by the screen door. The one thing that you need to be aware of before installing this is to ensure that you have two opposing verticle surfaces where you can install it. We were able to install it against the interior wall and cabinet without a problem. The retractable gate is 33 inches long and can extend up to 71 inches. It’s also a great option for keeping pets away from the front door.
- Retractable Design
- One Handed Operation
- Great for Children & Pets
Childproofing or Petproofing your RV screen door is not only important for the safety of your young and furry camping companions, but it’s also a stress reliever, allowing you to fully enjoy your RV and camping trips. If you’re the DIY type, you can get to work and install a solution yourself. However, if you want a fast and easy solution that you can rely on, there are several great products on the market. When I installed a solution in my RV, my camping trips became much more enjoyable.
Check out the following article on Home Security Measures for RVs and Mobile Homes