One of the most common questions RVers with pets and young children ask is what to do with the Screen Door. RV screen doors do not latch very securely, and even a small dog or a young child can pop it open if a bit of pressure is applied to the door. Camping is supposed to be relaxing, but worrying about a runaway dog or a child tumbling down the steps can turn any trip into a stressful situation.
Keeping the screen door open while camping is a small little joy we get to experience on the perfect days when it’s not too hot or not too cold. However, worrying about your toddler or pet forces many people to keep the entrance door closed. Luckily, you have options. It’s not too difficult to childproof an RV screen door (or pet-proof an RV screen door)
There are several great products available that can help you put this fear to rest. Also, some creative RVers came up with some inexpensive and effective DIY solutions to securing the screen door for pets and kids. Let’s look at some of the best solutions to this problem.
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.
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 safety for 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 because much more enjoyable.