By Chuck and Mary Culp
Our Keystone fifth wheel always seemed a little dark on those days when it was too cold to open the door and let natural light in through the screen door. Even on hot days, leaving the door open meant letting the air-conditioned air out — a bit much just to let a little natural light in.
The light finally came on for our “need-light-but-not-the-elements” dilemma. First, we attached small squares of stick-on Velcro hook-and-loop tape to the outside of the screen door frame. This gave us attachment points for a material that lets in light but blocks heat and cold: a piece of heavyweight, smoke-colored vinyl. You’ll find this neat material at your local fabric store. Cut the vinyl to fit over the screen door, leaving a cutout for the door-opening slide.
We then attached the vinyl to the outside of the screen door by sticking the matching part of the Velcro to the vinyl and pressing the matching pieces of Velcro together around the door. Now we can open the door and enjoy the natural light. With this setup we can see what’s going on around us while keeping out the cold or heat, depending on the time of the year.
If the weather is pleasant enough that we want outside air to come in through the screen, we separate the Velcro spots and remove the vinyl, rolling it up and storing until it’s needed again. You could use clear vinyl, but we chose smoke-colored vinyl so that when we have the door open, we have some privacy. People on the outside can’t see in, although we can see out very well. Plus, the darker vinyl helps block the heat from the sun if we have the door open on a hot day.