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Number One is our first RV that hasn’t been a Class B campervan. So as with all new things, there have been some differences for us to adjust to. Like having a door instead of a slider. That was one of the differences we were looking forward to. No more slider slamming! No more awkward opening/closing with our hands full!
Overall having a door has been great, except for one little issue that wasn’t on our radar. When the main door is open and the screen door is closed, there’s no handle to exit through the screen door. To exit, you have to open a slider in the center of the door, reach through, and then open the door from the outside. From Day One with Number One (ha!) we were confused by this weird design. Turns out it isn’t just EKKOs either. It’s very common with all RVs and trailers! If you’ve got an RV or trailer none of this is news to you, but for us, we’re just catching up. I’m still not sure why they’re made this way, so if anyone knows feel free to school me in the comments below, I truly am curious.
In investigating the screen door exit problem, we turned to Camping World. There, we found an inexpensive little gadget— the RV Screen Door Opener— that solves this problem.
It’s basically a lever you install, so that when you lift the lever up on the inside when trying to exit, it catches on the handle on the outside and bada bing! Door opens, no slider sliding required.
The reviews on Camping World’s website were consistently good on the product so we ordered and installed it. Even though we are Camping World partners and do regular projects with them, we purchased the handle full price and they weren’t involved at all. So, we installed the screen door opener, and have been LOVING it! (..and by ‘we installed’, y’all know I mean James, right?) This little gadget should come with all RV screen doors that don’t have the inside handle. It’s awesome!
So, about the install. For James, it was as easy of a mod as they come. You have to drill a hole through the slider—though do make sure you follow the directions and measure your hole location! Of course ours is perfectly spot on (because… James), but I’ve read reviews from others who installed it where they didn’t quite get the hole in the right place so their lever doesn’t always hit the exterior handle accurately.
So don’t just eyeball it! Take your time on getting this right. After you’ve got your hole, you pop in a grommet, add the lever, and your life will be changed forever!
James’ one tip is to use a step drill bit. Any drill will do, but using a step drill bit will make it much easier.
Just to be clear, it doesn’t change the way the doors lock, or close, or work in conjunction with each other. You’re not removing anything, so it all works the same. All you’re doing is adding a way to open the door from the inside.
So, who is this NOT for? Apparently, owners of German Shepards. One RV couple had trouble after their German Shepard figured out how to push the lever up and would let himself out whenever he wanted. On our EKKO screen door, we have a deadbolt. If we had a smart (and sneaky!) dog, we’d still get this handle, and would also get in the habit of keeping the deadbolt locked on the screen to thwart his escapes. And honestly, we were a little worried about Mel our crazy cat figuring it out.
He gets doorknobs at our house, and if this lever worked by pushing it down, and not up, he’d already have figured it out I’m sure. Glad they designed it to unlatch by lifting upwards!
And apparently, it doesn’t work with Airstream trailers either. Other than German Shepards and Airstreams, it sounds like it should work for anyone else looking for a way to open their RV’s screen door without doing the slider reach-through!
So what do you all think? Anyone else have one installed and have thoughts on it? If so let’s hear it down below in the comments!
And if you want to read the reviews or get your own over on Camping World , CLICK HERE!
forget the litterbox access. Where do you put a cat door for the cat to get into the rv itself”
Mel only goes outside with us, on his leash.
He’s never in one place long enough to learn his way around!
You can buy a two-handled screen-door latch for RVs.
I found this one:
4725-06 Dexter Screen Door Handle RH 0267304
The sliding metal panel on the Ekko screen-door will need to be altered to accommodate the second (inside) handle, but I don’t have my Ekko yet, so I don’t know how well a two-handled latch will fit.
Hopefully, I’ll get my Ekko in Feb. 2022!
If you look at that handle, there is a short section with a “ramp” on it. This is intended to engage with a “hook” that’s on the main door which holds the latch open. When this is engaged, opening the main door opens the screen door as well. It’s unclear why WGO failed to install this piece but at least one FB person had it installed by their dealer. You can find the kits with a search on “RV screen door latch kit”.
You’re talking about opening and closing both doors together, correct? That’s a great solution for doing that. But that still doesn’t solve the problem of exiting when only the screen door is closed and the main door is open. That’s the problem this screen door handle fixes.
Should have made it clear I was speaking of an additional mod to handle a different screen door issue. Sometimes my typing get’s ahead of my thinking.
LOL! I actually suspected that’s what you meant; but I just wanted to clarify for anyone else reading! xo
I wish that the screen door was the only issue with the Winnebago’s Ekko. I receive my Ekko in early September and nothing work with the electrical power except for shore power. It turns out that the Lithium battery was bad and had to be replace. I now see that the solar system is not working. Then I received a letter from Winnebago for the following fixes: 1. Upgrade bed board fasteners, 2 Upgrade lagun table mounting 3 Replace solar controller, 4 Remove shower pan check valve,5. Secure radiator hose 6 Correct blind spot monitoring operation 7 adjust entrance door 8Adjust awning pitch, 9 Calibrate awning.
We’ve received the same letter.
You should also have received another letter from Winnebago that extends your warranty coverage another 6 months.
I honestly think they’re trying to make it right. I don’t think they would have chosen to have so many items in the campaign, but they’re standing behind their product and getting them corrected.
Just some additional comments, Winnebago is trying to meet there commitment to provide a quality product and is giving an additional six months to the warranty. It is a new product, but being ~3 months late, being in the shop already for a month, then receiving the letter on all the fixes is very frustrating. I miss all the fall festivals. Overall the unit does seem to be well built, but Winnebago need to do a better job quality control before shipping the Ekko out. Need more space!
It’s appalling that Winnebago doesn’t have this matter “engineered” *.
One expects better from a $172,000+ investment.
* “When the main door is open and the screen door is closed, there’s no handle to exit through the screen door. To exit, you have to open a slider in the center of the door, reach through, and then open the door from the outside.”
Hi Kevin. Its not Winnebago, it’s the entire RV industry that doesn’t have this figured out.
It’s an interesting problem if you think about it.
On a house, the main door opens inwards, and the screen door is on the outside, and opens outwards.
None of that is possible in an RV.
Nobody wants an RV door that opens inwards, as it takes up too much interior space. And you can’t put a screen door on the outside unless you want to destroy it driving down the road.
What’s needed is a door that acts as two doors some of the time, and one door some of the time, with one handle that separates and becomes two handles when you want it to.
I’ve tried, and I can’t think of anything better. If you can, there’s your retirement!
Reminds me of the problem with awning window screens (on houses and RVs). They have to be inside because the window opens out.
House screen doors are on the outside ’cause the doors open in (security reasons).
Either way, you have to open a screen to get out…but putting screens on the outside of RVs would be a quick way to screen door destruction.
Interesting solution, though.
Also, you really don’t want doors on RVs opening inwards… takes up too much floor space!