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Keeping Bugs Out: DIY Mosquito Netting That Won’t Break The Bank

Vans are a phenomenal way to get around and see the world. However, a van filled with mosquitoes can pretty quickly change your mind about said dreamy mode le transport. For me, burning the darn thing to the ground in a very expensive citronella simulation wasn’t too radical an option.

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Having learned from last summer, I started investigating options to seal up the drivers’ side door with some kind of bug netting, while still maintaining the ability to ingress and exit without having to take the whole thing down. Unfortunately, all the “spec” (purpose built) things I came across were outrageously expensive ($800+!), so the DIY gears started turning.

I found this french door mosquito cover on Amazon, which happened to be on sale and prime delivered at the time of writing. The 72×80 option is tall and wide enough to have plenty of material to size up and trim away. That’s it! You already have everything you need to secure it to the van with the existing door gasket.

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Mocking up the new purchase

The bottom of the netting is weighted which means it has a nice drape over the sliding door step, plus the stock magnets for the door opening work really well out of the box. My stove island enters the doorway slightly, plus the canted nature of the door gasket prevents the magnets from locking automatically as you step in and out, but a minor hassle in the grand scheme of things. I am sure that you could add additional magnets to give it the automatic zipper closure effect.

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With nothing more than a pair of scissors, the mosquito net kit, and an extra pair of hands. we embarked on the install. Yeehaw!

  1. Trimming the top of the net is a good place to start, as it is uniform across the body. I left about 1/2 inch of extra height to tuck behind the door gasket.
  2. Determine where you want the opening: My walk-thru is on the right – door goes here!
  3. Trim right side netting, leaving about 1/2 inches of extra material for tucking within the door gasket.
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The end result of your careful cutting & tucking

  1. Starting from the bottom right corner, pull the door gasket back and slip the netting straight into the gasket in small increments, pushing the gasket back on as you go and working your way up. This is much easier than removing the whole gasket and needing to pin it up to hold your progress, ask me how I know…
  2. Finish up the left hand side: a little trickier than the right due to some curves in the door flange. Stay patient, trim and tuck as you go, and you’ll be done in no time.
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Double duty magnets!

The quality of my life went up about 300% after this mod. Having the ability to sleep with the door open and fan running, the air swirling through your cabin in a delightful refreshing wisp, is nothing to shake your head at, and quite possibly deserves a celebratory dance recognize your new existence without the blood sucking critters. Please send videos of this.

Have any questions or comments on your own adaptation? Share it below!

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