by Dragostin Lazarov January 21, 2024
There's nothing worse than getting eaten by mosquitoes and all sorts of insects while trying to sleep at night. There's nothing worse than having to leave your windows closed just because you don't want to let the flies in. Having bug nets on your skoolie's doors and windows will be a game changer. Your vanlife experience will become way more pleasant.
There are several ways to make window screens for your skoolie. Before making my own, I wanted to buy some online but couldn't find any. Nobody was selling exactly what I was looking for. This is why I decided to make my own. At this time, I didn't have much free time so it had to be done quickly. Today, I will show you what I came up with. It is not the best way to do it but it is cheap, easy and it doesn't demand any technical skills. No sewing and no drilling.
First of all, you have to measure the size of your windows and decide how many bug nets you want to make. This way, you will be able to calculate how much screen roll and Velcro tape you will need for this job. Keep in mind that the bug net is removable and can be installed on any window. In my bus, there are 6 usable windows and I decided to put together only 4 mosquito nets.
Then, go to your local hardware store to get some window screen roll, heavy duty tape and Velcro tape.
Measure and cut the screen to the size of your window. You should leave a little border and cut a bit larger to cover more surface. It will be easier to stick the tape and install the screen afterwards.
You have to stick the Gorilla tape all around the border of the screen. Follow the outline and install the tape on the outline. Be careful because the heavy duty tape is permanent and cannot be removed.
Next, install the Velcro tape on the borders of the screen, directly on the Gorilla tape. You can use the soft side of the Velcro: the loop. It will stick instantly and it will be very solid.
The final step is to install the rough side of the Velcro, the hook, all around your skoolie's window. It will easily stick on the metal but make sure the surface is clean before doing this job. Measure and cut enough Velcro tape to go all around the window.
You can now install your new bug net directly on the window! I suggest you make only one bug net and test it before doing another one. If the screen is not large enough to cover the window, simply add more Gorilla tape on the borders to extend it.
This method is not the best but it is easy and anybody can do it. These mosquito nets are light, flexible, strong and they don't take much space in your bus. You can even roll them for easier storage. You can even drive your bus with an opened window and the bug net will stay in place!
The easiest and cheapest way to have bug nets on the front and the back door of your converted school bus is to install magnetic screen doors. These products are inexpensive and they are offered in different sizes to fit your needs. You can find magnetic screen doors in your local hardware store or anywhere online.
To install the screen doors, you can apply the same method mentioned above. The Velcro tape will be very helpful. It is convenient to be able to remove the screen easily to clean it or to work on the bus. Back in 2022, when we installed new seats in our bus, we needed to remove the front door bug net to pass the seats through the door. Removing this mosquito net was simple and fast.
The installation can be tricky depending on the size of your door and the conversion of your bus. At some places, it is possible to screw the screen directly on the bus. In my bus, I had to stick the Velcro on the side of the stairs to get to the bottom of the front door.
Having bug nets in your skoolie is a game changer. There's nothing better than being able to sleep at night with opened windows without getting eaten by mosquitoes and all sorts of unpleasant insects. During the day, it is pleasant to leave the doors open to maximize airflow without letting the flies in. Dealing with bugs in your bus can become a real struggle! Help yourself by installing mosquito nets on your doors and windows. You won't regret it!
If you have better ideas to keep the bugs out or you want to share some tips, leave a comment below or contact me directly.
Happy travels and see you on the road!
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