If you have ever used an RV screen door, you probably know just how unsecured they really are. One firm jiggle or one hard push, and the doors will usually swing right open. Which is what happened to us one day last week. Julia was working on our Dinette Remodel Project, and looked away from Ellie for two seconds. That’s when she heard the screen door swing open. Ellie had simply pushed on the screen with both hands. Luckily she just stood at the top of the steps, but it sure was frightening to think about what could have happened. That is when we realized it was time to start baby proofing our camper.
The first of two steps we took was to add screen door grilles. These serve two purposes for us. First, they add strength to the screen, so a child or animal can’t fall through it. Second, since we take our cat on all of our camping trips, it is good to know that he cannot claw at the screen and rip a hole in it.
We decided to use these Camco grilles.
These were very simple to install. The only tool i used was a cordless drill with a phillips head bit on it.
NOTE: the screens come with pre-attached brackets for mounting. Since the grilles fit perfectly to our doors, I removed the brackets and used slightly shorter sheet metal screws to screw right into the door.
After screwing in all four corners, the lower screen is now strong enough to withstand anything we put it though.
There is a more decorative, but slightly pricier, option for screen door grilles, shown below.
The second step we took, was to add two barrel bolt locks to each screen door. One was installed right under the existing door handle.
The next one was installed at the bottom corner of the door grille.
I made sure that the lower lock was still reachable from outside the camper door. That way we can leave just the screen door shut and lock it from outside or inside the camper.
With the new screen door grille installed, and both of these locks in place, our screen doors feel totally secure. Now we can leave our doors open to let a nice breeze flow through, without worrying about any of our babies (Furry or Human) having an accident with the door!
With less than $100 invested in this project, and less than 1 hour of time, we are very happy with the results.
From our trip to the Badlands, to our favorite local place in Wisconsin, Ottawa Lake Campground, we have had this modification tested on many occasions this past year. We are happy to report that our child and animals have not had one single accident involving our RV screen door!