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RV Screen Door Issues & How to Solve Them

RV Screen Door Issues & How to Solve Them

Who doesn’t love their RV screen door when the weather’s nice? It lets in the sun and the breeze, and gives the RV a bit of a screened-in porch feeling. But over time, travel, and terrain, several things can go wrong with an RV screen door.

Today we’ll show you the four most common RV screen door issues, and how to solve them.

RV Screen Doors: What Could Go Wrong?

We’ve posted before about repairing or replacing an RV door. In that post, we mentioned that RV doors can sustain various types of damage over time because they’re exposed to the elements, jarring, and movement, and they get so much use.

RV screen doors get a lot of use, too. But the thing about screen doors is that they’re less robust than heavier-duty exterior doors. So today, we’re focusing on some things that can happen to the screen door of an RV and how to repair them.

Broken Screen Door Slider

Many RVs have a small screen door slider (or “bubble slider” or “stopper”) which is a panel made of plastic or composite material that slides back and forth to reveal or cover the door latch and/or lock. These can crack or can even just get discolored from UV exposure over time.

Fortunately, they’re not expensive and are very easy to replace.

You’ll need to research your RV’s year, make, and model for the proper type of slider, as various manufacturers use different types, shapes, and sizes. You’ll also need to know the measurements of your particular slider. But it’s generally an easy DIY repair that should only take only a few minutes.

We’ll include links to a few different types of sliders here, followed by a short video tutorial on how they’re typically installed. Obviously, not all sliders are like the one in the video, but in general, you’re looking at the following steps:

  • Remove the old slider
  • Clean the tracks
  • Set the new slider into the tracks (some sliders may need to be trimmed to fit)
Clear Plexiglass 4810-00 Screen Door Bubble Style Stopper Complete Replacement Kit, Compatible with Dexter Right Hand Screen Door Bubble Style, Clear, Works with 4812-01 Slide 4814-00 Holder
  • ✅Manufacturer Part Number: 4810-00
  • ✅Package Include: One piece of Clear Plexiglass 4810-00 Screen Door Bubble Style Stopper, Works With 4812-01 Screen Door Bubble Style Slide 4814-00...
RV Screen Door Slider, 12" White Panel Fits RV, Trailer, Camper, Motor Home, Cargo Trailer
  • RV Screen Door Slider 12 x 11 15/16"
  • OEM replacement for 12" wide tracks(White)
Camco 45581 Screen Door Slide Set (12" x 24", Clear)
  • Contains (1) 13"W x 12"H stationary piece & (1) 11-1/2"W x 12"H door slide.Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • Comes in clear color

Damaged Screen

We covered this one pretty thoroughly in our post on repairing or replacing an RV door, but we’ll include the steps and tools here as well since this is a post specifically about RV screen doors.

When Fido gets excited to see that squirrel passing by your rig, things can go south fast for your RV screen door. We’ve got a couple of solutions.

Screen Repair

If you’ve already got a torn screen and you’re not a fan of sharing your living space with mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs, you’ll need to repair your screen. A screen with a small hole can often be patched fairly easily:

ScreenMend 8.57E+11 Window Screen Repair Kit, 5" x 7", Charcoal
  • QUICK REPAIR: Screenmend is the do-it-yourself (DIY) solution that lets you fix rips and tears in screen material in less than 60 seconds. Simple and...
  • REPAIR ANYTHING ANYTIME ANYWHERE: Mend rips and tears in window screens, screen doors, tent mesh, pool screens, RV screens etc.

However, a torn screen is a different matter and generally requires replacement. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Replacement screen
  • Appropriate size spline (Tip 1: sometimes you can reuse the old spline if it’s in good condition and you don’t damage it when removing it. Tip 2: remove the old spline and take it to the hardware store to buy the correct replacement.)
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter
  • Spline tool like this one:
Prime-Line P 7505 Screen Rolling Tool – A Must Have Tool for Installing Window and Door Screens – Spline Roller with Wood Handle and Steel Wheels – Durable and Easy to Use (Single Pack)
  • MUST HAVE TOOL – The strong and sturdy screen rolling tool is a must have for replacing window and door screens. It’s extremely economical and...
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION – With a wooden handle and steel convex and concave roller wheels, the screen spline tool is highly durable. The metal wheels...

The steps to replacing your screen:

  1. Remove the spline and the old screen.
  2. Measure the screen and cut to size using scissors, leaving an extra inch or so around each edge.
  3. Set the screen frame on a flat surface with the groove side facing up.
  4. Lay the new screen over the frame.
  5. Use masking tape to adhere three of the sides to the frame to hold the frame and screen steady.
  6. Use the flat-wheel side of your spline roller to press the screen into the groove into the edge that’s free of masking tape. You’ll want to roll the screen several times to create a clear indentation in the screen.
  7. Place the spline over the indented screen and use the grooved side of the roller to press the spline into the screen and frame’s groove.
  8. Continue this process all around the frame, removing the masking tape as you approach it.
  9. If your screen is too tight or too loose after all four sides are in, simply remove the spline on one side, adjust the screen, and reinsert the spline.
  10. Once the spline is well secured in the groove, and the screen sits smoothly in place, use your box cutter to carefully cut away the excess screen all around the edges.

Screen Protection

We’ve got an entire post on RV pet screen door protectors, but we certainly want to address this DIY project again in this post. Those of you who travel with beloved four-legged besties (or kids) may want to prevent a torn screen in the first place. RV screen door reinforcement panels or grills are a good way to do this.

Adding a panel to the lower portion of your RV screen door is an easy DIY upgrade that helps keep both kids and pets safe inside and prevents your screen door from being damaged.

These panels and grills are generally made from solid aluminum or even steel and come in various sizes. The key, of course, is to measure the area you’ll be covering accurately. You can also opt for an adjustable panel or grill. Please note that if you’ve got a small pup or cat, to prevent injury, you may want to consider whether their nails might get caught in certain types of panels.

If you’ve got a Lippert door, the Screen Defender is a popular option, but there are a number of alternative choices available on Amazon and elsewhere.

Lippert 859792 Screen Defender RV Entry Door Screen Protector, 26-inch Door (22.5" Screen Kit) , Black
  • PERFECT FIT - measure the inside edges of your entryway doorframe and round to the nearest number: 24”, 26”, 28” or 30”. This number will...
  • ADDED PROTECTION - This is an easy solution to keeping your pets safely inside your RV and it helps protect your Lippert entry door from damage...
Camco Deluxe Aluminum RV Screen Door Grille | Adds a Sturdy Feel to the RV Door | Adjusts from 20-inches to 32-inches Wide | (43991)
  • Helps Protect Your RV Screen Door: Adds a sturdy feel to your RV door and saves repairs to screens.Fit Type: Universal Fit
  • Provides Extra Security: Helps stop children and pets from pushing through the screen
Premium Adjustable RV Entry Screen Door Grille, Adjusts from 22"- 31.5", Aluminum Alloy Protector Guard for RV, Camper- Black
  • RV Entry Door Screen Protector: designed to fit your RV's entry screen door, preventing children or pets from passing through while keeping your door...
  • Adjustable Width: Customize the fit of your screen door grille with its adjustable width ranging from 22" to 31.5", making it suitable for various RV...

Screen Door Latch Replacement

The RV screen door latch is another piece that tends to wear out or become damaged or broken over time, travel, and regular use. These lightweight plastic door latches simply aren’t made to stand the test of time, particularly if they get a bit of rough use.

If this is an issue with your RV screen door, the good news is that replacing the latch is neither expensive nor complicated. And common latch replacements are readily available online.

Here’s a latch for a right-hand door:

RV Designer E285, Screen Door Latch and Handle Kit, Right Hand, Entry Door Hardware
  • Amerimax style screen door latch and handle kit
  • High quality material with strong construction for durable use

Here’s a latch for a left-hand door:

Camp'N - RV Screen Door Latch - Handle (Left Hand) for RV, Trailer, Camper, Motor Home, Cargo Trailer - OEM Replacement (LH)
  • ➊Universal application Note: Most RV's have right hand doors
  • ➋ Includes latch, striker, keeper and mounting screws

Here’s an entirely different type of latch:

RecPro RV Screen Door Latch | RV Exterior Door Accessories | Black | Camper Screen Door Latch
  • With the easy simple use and easy screw in installation, this latch adds ease to your door while adding security to your RV
  • Non-locking as well, you don’t have to worry about where you left the keys or whether the mechanism will work properly; Just turn the knob to open!

This video demonstrates DIY latch replacement.

Screen Door Replacement/Upgrade/Addition

If you need to replace your RV screen door (or if you don’t have one at all but would love the option of having a fresh-air breeze flowing through your rig), you’ve got options. You can order a new screen door from your RV’s manufacturer or opt for one of the following choices.

Retractable Screen Door

If you’ve been looking for a retractable screen door, you’ll be happy to know they’re not only available but there’s a video from our friend Mark Polk at RV Education 101 showing you exactly how to install one from start to finish.

For his own installation, Mark used a Plisse retractable screen. Made in Austin, Texas, Plisse retractable screens are great for most applications because they’re custom-built for each customer’s specific door opening. This means they can be adapted to all different styles of doors and windows. They’re also available in six standard colors to match most exterior trim colors.

Magnetic Screen Door

Those of you with an RV that doesn’t have a screen door at all may want to opt to install one of the magnetic screen doors that lots of Class B and camper van owners use. These screen doors are adjustable and reportedly very easy to install with the included instructions.

Note that these may not be the best option for anyone with very young children or with pets that tend to run off. Some RVers say they’re perfect for their pets to roam in and out of the house at will. But that could definitely be a negative for some people!

AUGO Magnetic Screen Door - Self Sealing, Heavy Duty, Hands Free Mesh Partition Keeps Bugs Out - Pet and Kid Friendly - Patent Pending Keep Open Feature - 38 Inch x 83 Inch
  • EASY TO INSTALL: Screen Door Measures 38” x 83"”, Fits Door Sizes: 36” x 82”. It is super simple, quick and fast to install the screen door....
  • BREEZY INSECT PROTECTION: Keep bugs, mosquitos and other pests out with a screen that seals behind you magnetically as you walk through it. The...

Now’s the time to get your RV screen door ready for summer. We hope this post will be helpful.

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Ray Lucas

Sunday 2nd of July 2023

Do you have any information on replacing the sweep on the bottom of the RV screen door? I have a Keystone trailer. I tried reaching out to them by email but they never responded back. Thanks.


Monday 3rd of July 2023

Hi Ray... don't have any info specific to your Keystone... but most of those door sweeps are pretty generic. They often just slide into a track at the bottom of the door, or are held on with just a few screws. If you can remove it, you may be able to find a replacement just like it at a big box hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot.

Marc Goldstone

Sunday 2nd of July 2023

I use these replacement springs in my right hand screen door latch. 20 pieces should last a lifetine as each seems to last a year or so of full time use. They take just a minute or two to replace when your latch loses its springieness.

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PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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