There is nothing worst when camping than having a fly or mosquito buzzing around your ear when you are trying to sleep, unfortunately when you don’t have a screen on the door it becomes a nightly ritual, swatting flies and mosquitoes before crawling into bed. But there is a solution, in fact I will provide three options that are detailed below, each one requires a different skill and gives your Boler a different look.
Beads – For That Groovy Look
The first screen door solution is not only very effective, in my view it also looks the best. I am not sure why or how they work, maybe it is the movement of the beads in the breeze, but it works great, this is what I personally use on my Boler. These are also very easy to make, the most difficult part is finding beaded curtains, especially ones that look good. I found the beads in the picture in our local Kijiji (Craigslist), but a little searching on the internet should identify a number of sources.
No matter where you find the beads, modifications will be needed to make them effective, the spacing between each string of beads have to be very close. The curtain I bought were over six feet wide but had the bead strings spaced at two inch intervals, the curtains were also about seven feet high which is far too long for the Boler doorway.
The modifications will depend on the curtains and beads you buy, I will describe what I did. The finished beads need to be mounted to a wooden header that is mounted above the door by drilling out 3 rivets from the rain deflector over the door and attach the wood using wood screws and sealant.
As I mentioned the wooden beaded curtains I bought were six feet wide and over six feet high, the first thing I did was to cut each beaded string from the wooden header they were tied to, I removed beads from each string to end up with the correct length for each string (I will measure the length once I get my Boler out of storage this spring). Any reasonably sized piece of wood can be used as the header, I used a 1″x1″ and cut it to length to fit with one end against the closet and the other end a few inches past the door opening . You could just drill holes through the header to tie the bead strings to, I used screw-in eye hooks spaced 1/2″ apart. Mark 1/2″ spacings along the entire length of the header and drill a pilot hole in the center of the wood for each eye hook, screw each hook in and then tie each bead string to an eye hook. On my curtain there was a pattern which meant I had to keep the strings in order, layed out on our living room floor. To tie the string I threaded each string around and through the eye twice then tied it off with a double half hitch knot.
The final step is to mount the curtain into the door opening. Using a 1/8″ drill bit carefully drill out two outside and one center rivet from the drip cap over the door. Position the wooden header strip so it lines up to the center of the mounting holes and drill pilot holes. using either nickel plated or stainless steel #8 wood screw apply some sealer to each hole and tighten the screws securing the header to the inside of the doorway.
Now you can enjoy a bug screen that matches the vintage appeal of your Boler, mine have works flawlessly for the past two seasons, they have kept all the bugs out with the exception of one campground which had a large population of wasps. The wasps would land on the wooden beads, probably thinking they were a good source od nest building material, the breeze would move the beads and a few wasps ended up inside.
So the question remains “how do they work”? They do work as intended, they keep the bugs out and when you walk through the doorway they “snap” back together behind you, it is actually quite cool, but I found a problem I found frustrating. Since each panel is fastened along the top and each side, this restricts the center opening which will not open very wide at the top ( see picture below). I am not a big person but neither is the Boler doorway, this solution makes the doorway even smaller at the top which I found awkward, especially when carrying items in and out of the trailer.
A Real Screen Door
This option is far more complicated. It is taking me a little longer to write the detailed plans.