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RV Screen Doors: Your Guide for Fixing, Upgrading, and Replacing

RV Screen Doors: Your Guide for Fixing, Upgrading, and Replacing

When you think about RV essentials, items like a comfortable bed, a functional kitchen, and a working bathroom likely come to mind. However, there’s another element that people often take for granted: the RV screen door. The screen door and latch plays a crucial role in your RV experience. It allows fresh air to circulate while keeping insects and debris out.

In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of functional RV screen doors, their main components, replacement options, and common repairs. We’ll also provide tips for adjusting and upgrading your RV screen door. Let’s dive in. 

RV Screen Door Cleaning and Repairs

Functional RV Screen Doors Are Really Important

Having traveled the world by RV, we can guarantee that poorly operating screen doors can really put a damper on your RV experience. We have experienced failed RV screen doors so many times that we now carry repair supplies everywhere we go. Once your RV fills with biting insects, you will really be wishing you had fixed the door earlier!

For us, the RV screen door also keeps our dogs in. Well, most of the time. We did have an incident where one of our dogs clawed through our screen, so we had to update it to a pet-proof fabric. On our other RV’s, we have a grate over the screen that keeps the dogs from getting at it.

Regardless of the reason, a functioning screen door is essential, in our opinion.

Important RV Screen Door Components You Need to Know

Understanding the components of your RV screen door is essential for troubleshooting and repairs. The primary components include the RV screen door frame, the screen, the screen door latch, and the bubble slider, also known as the latch cover. The frame holds the screen in place and provides structure to the door. Meanwhile, the screen is the mesh material that allows air to flow while blocking insects. 

Nevertheless, things can get confusing regarding the latch and the bubble slider because they’re much different than residential doors. The latch is the small handle that allows you to open and close the screen door. The bubble slider covers the square opening in the screen door. This allows you to access the main door’s latch from the inside. It slides so you can open the main door from the inside of the RV and cover the opening when you want to utilize your screen door. After all, what’s the point of a screen door if there’s a massive hole in it? 

Some modern RV door designs include a latch that goes through the slider to operate the screen door handle without opening it.

If this all sounds confusing, it can be and not every screen door is the same. In fact they are so different that it usually takes someone a minuet to figure out how to open it when they are new to RVs. Don’t feel stupid if you have trouble operating an RV screen door the first time; its normal.

Our RV screen door allows us to keep our door open while relaxing at our campsite.

Pro Tip: Use our guide on How to Replace and Repair Your RV Door to upgrade your RV’s entry.

Common RV Screen Door Repairs

While replacing your screen door is an option, a simple repair can also restore it. Let’s look at the most common RV screen door repairs. We will talk about replacement options in a bit if your door is too damaged to be repaired.

Replacing the RV Screen Door Bubble Slider 

If your bubble slider is cracked or broken, replacing it can be a straightforward fix. We highly recommend checking out Rec Pro’s slider option. It’s a durable plastic that’s UV and weather-resistant, so it won’t weaken from exposure to the elements. At only $12.95, it’s affordable and simple to install. 

RV bubble slider replace
A simple bend of the plastic allows the slider to come right out of its track

Repairing and Protecting the Screen

If you have tears or holes in your screen door, there are several ways to repair the damage and prevent it from happening again. You can patch tears and holes in the screen with repair kits. However, you might opt to replace the screen altogether. RV screen doors use the same type of screen style and material as most standard household windows.

Start by ordering enough screen material to cover the openings you want to replace. Then you’ll remove the old screen by pulling it from the seams around the opening. To install the new screen, use a screen roller tool to force the new screen into the seams. You can purchase a screen replacement kit on Amazon. There’s also an excellent screen replacement tutorial video from Via RV Parts and Service to help guide you through the process. 

King&Charles Screen Tool, Screen Roller Tool with...
  • ⭐【QUALITY MATERIALS】- Solid wood handle + double carbon...
  • ⭐【SCREEN TOOLS SET】- The screen rolling tool has two...
  • ⭐【EASY TO USE】- Installing a screen with a screen rolling...

For enhanced protection, we recommend using an extremely tough screen like this fiberglass replacement screen or installing a screen defender to protect against pet scratches. 

Loboo Idea Fiberglass Window Screen Mesh...
  • Easy To Install. Using the diy concept, this fiberglass screen...
  • Optimal Design. With right balance of protection, shade and...
  • Wide Range of Applications. This unique diy design can meet the...
broken RV screen door
An RV screen door is essential for keeping curious critters out of your rig.

How to Adjust an RV Screen Door Latch 

If your screen door latch doesn’t line up correctly with the main door, it can be a pain going in and out of your RV. Luckily, there’s a way to adjust the latching mechanism on the main door so it connects with the screen door handle. This will allow it to track with the main door when you open and close it. 

Loosen the screws to the latching mechanism in the main door and slide it up or down, depending on how you need to reposition it. Then, ensure your door latches correctly and retighten the screws. If you need a visual, click here for a simple tutorial. 

screen door latch adjustment
adjusting the latch is pretty simple, a few screws allow the catch to move back and forth.

Installing a New RV Screen Door Latch 

Upgrading to a sturdier latch can make all the difference when going in and out of your RV, especially if your original latch has seen better days. Thankfully, you can replace your RV screen door latch for very little money, and it’s convenient to do it yourself. All you’ll need is a Phillips head screwdriver and an RV latch replacement kit. To replace it, unscrew both the old latch on the screen and the latching mechanism on the main door. Then rescrew the new parts in its place. This step-by-step tutorial shows how easy the process can be to complete. 

Huazu RV Screen Door Latch - 2 Pack Right-Handed...
  • Selection Made Easy: To select the right latch, stand outside the...
  • Improved Functionality: Replace a worn or damaged screen door...
  • Premium Quality Material: Our latch kit is made of high-density,...

Pro Tip: Want to upgrade your RV door lock? Prevent break-ins by using our guide on how to Install High-Security RV Door Locks.

Can You Replace a Camper Screen Door? 

Yes, you can replace your camper screen door. Whether it’s due to wear and tear or a desire for an upgrade, replacing a damaged or outdated screen door can significantly enhance your RV’s functionality. Because RV screen door sizes can vary, measure your door to obtain exact measurements. Most standard RV doors range from 24 to 30 inches wide and 66 to 72 inches tall. You can go through your RV dealer or service shop, but this option will likely be pricier than doing it yourself.

If you are interested in DIYing this project, we recommend checking out Affordable RV Parts. This website has stand-alone screen doors for sale, while other sites tend to sell the main door and screen door as a package. Installing your new screen door should be as simple as unscrewing the original from the hinges and screwing the new one in its place. 

While replacing the door is an option if the metal has been damaged, you can repair a broken screen pretty easily. We will get into repair options a little further down.

unscrewing an RV screen door to replace it
Grab your tools and DIY your own RV screen door replacement. Removing a RV screen door is as easy as removing a few screws. A second person can be helpful to hold the door however.

Options for Replacement RV Screen Doors

Replacing that awkward RV screen door with another screen option is popular among RVers who are sick of constant repairs. Let’s look at some alternative screens you can install to replace the standard RV screen door. 

Magnetic Screen Doors 

You’ve probably seen those As Seen on TV screens; the ones that automatically clip back together after you walk through with a giant pot of spaghetti. Well, they’re very handy because they’ve become relatively popular. These doors use magnets to close themselves automatically after you pass through, preventing bugs from entering. They’re an easy, hands-free option. This door keeps insects out and is relatively straightforward to install. However, it might not be the best option for pets who might run off, as it’s very easy to go through the screen. 

Retractable Screen Doors 

Retractable screen doors, or disappearing screens, are a functional option for people wanting to get rid of a cumbersome screen door. They roll up when not in use, allowing them to disappear into a thin section. 

In the past, RVers who wanted a retractable screen door would either have to spend a lot of money for a custom screen or figure out how to fit a residential retractable screen for their RV. Luckily, Plisse Screen Door offers affordable, custom-made retractable screens for any opening, including RV doors. RV Education 101 has also made an informative guide on installing Plisse screen doors to help you tackle this project. Click here to watch that video. 

european rv retractable screen door
Every European RV we have ever rented had a retractable screen door.

Save Money by Doing Your Own RV Repairs 

Understanding your RV screen door’s components and knowing how to repair typical issues can keep your RV well-ventilated, secure, and bug-free. Furthermore, taking the DIY approach to RV repairs can save you money and empower you with the skills to maintain your rig. Because of this, we think it’s worth it to do your RV repairs. Not only will you save money, but you’ll become an expert on your RV.

If you’re ever feeling intimidated, remember that you can often do basic repairs and adjustments with the help of online tutorials, manufacturer guides, and a few simple tools. We know you can handle basic repairs and replacements with the help of these tips and tutorials, and you can always refer to this guide in the future. 

Do you do your RV repairs? Tell us in the comments below. 

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

When you replaced the screen with the thicker pet screen, did you use the original spline or did you use thinner--to accommodate the thicker screen material? Our dog has pushed on the screen beside the bed and it pulls out of the groove. I am thinking the thicker screening will be heavier and prevent that.


Monday 2nd of October 2023

Kind of surprised you didn't mention pet screen as an option. Sometimes you have to get a little creative with it because it is thicker than regular screen, but it's many times stronger.