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Old 05-27-2012, 10:29 AM   #1
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Screen entry vestibule

Hello from Texas. My husband & I are wanting to purchase/modify/build a screen entry vestibule for our 1976 28' Argosy travel trailer to prevent our cat from running out the door when we enter while camping. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! Kat
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:28 PM   #2
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Hello from Texas. My husband & I are wanting to purchase/modify/build a screen entry vestibule for our 1976 28' Argosy travel trailer to prevent our cat from running out the door when we enter while camping. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! Kat
Easiest would be to get screened side walls for your awning, complete with a skirt to cover the space between the bottom edge of your trailer and the ground. Your awning manufacturer may already make these.

This not only solves your cat problem, but provides additional living space for camping in insect-infested areas.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:20 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for this information. I've just checked with the awning company and it looks like the side screens for Zip Dee awnings (Solar Screenroom) is about $1000. That's out of my price range! I'll keep investigating other options. ~Kat
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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Thanks so much for this information. I've just checked with the awning company and it looks like the side screens for Zip Dee awnings (Solar Screenroom) is about $1000. That's out of my price range! I'll keep investigating other options. ~Kat
You could buy the screen material and make your own. Use Velcro to attach the sides to the awning, to attach the panels to each other, and to attach the sides and skirt to the trailer.

If you do this, you might want to put the hook side of the velcro on the trailer, since the hooks will collect less road grime while traveling than will the loops. However, for attaching to the awning, put the loop side on the awning; that way, when you roll up the awning, the velcro won't try to stick to the awning and make it hard to roll. Don't put a continuous length of Velcro on the awning, just tabs spaced about a foot apart; otherwise the rolled-up velcro will make your rolled-up awming a lot thicker at the ends.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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Thank you for this advice. We'll likely give this a go. I'll update the forum once we make a decision. The solar screen rooms are very nice and would be worth the investment if we decide to keep the trailer. We'll soon be going on a "maiden voyage" and determining if this Argosy is a "keeper." I appreciate you sharing your expertise! ~Kat
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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Kat, I spent some time this weekend making a screen tent for my zip-dee awning. Here is what I did. It is not quite finished yet but has been surprisingly easy.

I found screen panels with zippers meant to hang from one of thos self-standing easy-up type canopies. It was 10' x 12'. (they sell similar ones at Wal-Mart, I thin k they are about fifty dollars there.) The screen panels were on clearance because they had sold out of the canopy structrures themselves. We got the screening for less than twenty dollars. The screens had zippers for doors. I unzipped one and stretched it out on the ground. Then I had alternating ten and twelve foot panels. My awning is 20', so I unzipped them all and zipped the two tens together to make the front long size of the screen porch to hang from my awning. I then zipped the two twelves onto the ends to be the sides. We used zip-ties to temporarily hang them from the the long front side of the awning in the center and at the corners from the awning arms. Then we stretched the sides over to figure out how big the triangle-shaped gap would be at the tops of the ends since the awning slants down from the Airstream. I cut off the excess screening at the sides where it meets the Airstream and sewed them onto the tops of the ends. (I took the sewing machine to the campground!)

My husband is attaching snaps to the same ribs the awning arms are attached to.

I simply clip the screening to the awning material on the sides of the awning, and will put snaps on the sides to snap to the Airstream at the edges. I had some old nylon tent-like material which I am using to make a skirt to go all the way across the bottom of the Airstream. My husband is putting snaps along at the same level as the steps. Under the steps is a little tricky and we are adding a few extra snaps there. We will get some caribiners to replace the zipties at the corners. The edge of the skirt will tuck under our patio mat and I will either new or nap it to the bottom edges of the screeing.

The bottom of the screen sides and front can either stake down or snap or clip to the awning mat. I am leaning towards that because it makes a very secure fit no matter what surface is under the camper. I thought about weighting it but since our mat is the right size, this seems easier. I am not quite finished making our screen porch but I will post pics when finihsed-- it works really well and after we buy the snaps it will still be less than forty dollars invested. I think this would work well with your cats, especially if you snap it to your mat since that will take away possible escape routes. The snaps are expensive but are cheaper in bulk online. There are ones with a screw back to attach to the trailer, and ones which you hammer or crimp together for fabric and mats.

Good luck! Funny you posted this just as I was working on mine! It looks great-- does not look homemade, though I wish it were gray or blue and bhiteinstead of tan! It does not match the airstream very well. We have seven kids in our Airstream, though, and really will enjoy the extra space!

Katie
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:44 AM   #7
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Wow, Katie! I'm impressed with your ingenuity. I will share this information with my husband. With seven kids in your Airstream, I'm sure the extra space will be appreciated. Thank you for sharing your project ideas. ~Kat
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