Yet Another 3-Season Door Question... Panels - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 04-12-2016, 05:53 PM   #1
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Yet Another 3-Season Door Question... Panels

For those of you who have the OEM 3-Season Doors... I've got questions about the panels:

1) What are they made of? Acrylic... Plexiglass... ???

2) Do you find them useful?

3) Are they decent quality?

4) When not in use, where do you you store them?


Ok, here's the deal. Some of you may remember that I bought a set of these doors from someone & installed them a few days ago. After we've had a couple of strong storms pass thru over the weekend, that blew rain into the garage area... I've decided I need to get some type of panels to put over the screens occasionally.

I called Lippert, and got the part numbers for the 3 different panel types (clear, tinted, full privacy) in my size... and the price they're willing to sell them for: around $150 per kit type, + shipping.

Now, to me, that seems a bit high for what I'm assuming these things are: 4 plexiglass sheets with velcro along the edges. I'm thinking that I should be able to go to just about any glass shop, give them the measurements, and have them made for about half that... but I don't know.

So that's why I've got the questions, before I go shell out more money. Well, that and... what to do with them when not being used? I mean, space in our rigs is limited enough as it is... so who needs 4 (or 8?) 81" x 18" rigid panels laying around in the way somewhere when they aren't on the doors?

Any input is appreciated... Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:27 PM   #2
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These panels are not plexiglass on OEM, it is just a thicker tinted plastic with velcro on the edges. They can be rolled and stored.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:29 AM   #3
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Tom,

Check in a fabric store for clear plastic sheeting. The only thing I can think of to compare it to is them Clear Plastic sofa covers from the fifties, the ones you stuck to at grama's house.

It's relatively inexpensive, 36 or 42" rolls. My wife has sewn velcro strips on it for me and I've used snaps on it.

May suit your purpose.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:31 AM   #4
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I would look at an place that sells stuff for boats. They use it a lot for the flying bridge covers and such. That might be a better quality and come with UV stabilizers in it, or maybe not. Here is some from Sailrite.

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Old 04-13-2016, 06:53 PM   #5
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3 season doors

ATCguy, you need to visit Regal plastics in OKC on west Reno. I bought 4ea tinted lexan panels for $277 out the door. All you will need is some screen clips that twist over the edge and hold in place. I have no use for the crap they used from the factory. They work great.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvacman View Post
ATCguy, you need to visit Regal plastics in OKC on west Reno. I bought 4ea tinted lexan panels for $277 out the door. All you will need is some screen clips that twist over the edge and hold in place. I have no use for the crap they used from the factory. They work great.
Lexan, huh? Are these flexible (rollable), or are they hard panels? And if the latter, what do you do with yours when not inserted into the doors?

That's my big concern... hard panels. While I think they'd do a better job than a flexible material, I'd only use them occasionally when it rains. And who needs 4 tall panels that you have to worry about not scratching sitting in the way somewhere when not in use?
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:05 PM   #7
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I only take out two and that lets in plenty of air. Put them on the upper bed when not in use. I did not remove the Velcro on the doors and am trying it to see how it seals. Seems ok
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Old 04-14-2016, 10:27 AM   #8
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I usually don't even take mine down all the way. Undo the velcro and fold down (no creasing) halfway.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvacman View Post
ATCguy, you need to visit Regal plastics in OKC on west Reno. I bought 4ea tinted lexan panels for $277 out the door. All you will need is some screen clips that twist over the edge and hold in place. I have no use for the crap they used from the factory. They work great.
Went over and spoke to Danny there today, and he showed me some options. I think I'd have rather had the thick vinyl-type rollup kind... but they didn't have any of that in stock. Plus the price... I wasn't aware that stuff was so expensive!!

So anyway, I've got him cutting me four clear 1/16" lexan panels, and I'll see how those work. The tinted sheet that he showed me was a very light tint, and not much different than the clear... but was about $30 more expensive. I asked him about a dark (privacy) tint, and he said that he only had that in a much thicker plexiglass. And while he could special order it... again, it would be much more expensive.

So like I said, I'll see how this works for now. Stopped over at Lowes and bought some twist-clips to hold them in place... and I'll post back later today or tomorrow after I go pick them up and get 'em in place.

Thanks for the feedback & suggestions, everyone!
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:36 PM   #10
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Ok, well... that ended up being quick!!

They called me about an hour & half ago, and told me the panels were cut & ready for pickup. Got them back to the rig, and decided to not use the screen-clip method.

Since the door-screens were already velcroed (is that a word??), I decided to just go that way. I always keep a few big rolls of velcro in the rig, so I laid the sheets out and ran a strip of the "loop" around the perimeter of each panel. Put the first one in place, and it fit like a glove. I then proceeded with the remaining 3 panels.

Then, remembering hvacman's statement about only usually removing 2 panels... the 'solution' of how to store them when not it use became apparent.

I took the "loop" side of the leftover velcro (the felt side), and ran it all along the interior perimeter of the 2 outermost doors. I then took the 2 panels off of the inner-doors, and placed them on top of the panels on the outer doors... mating the velcro up with what I'd just ran.

Works like a charm! So now the outboard doors have 2 panels on them for everyday use... and when the time comes that I want the garage completely sealed off, I'll just remove a panel from each, and place on the inboard doors.

Not too bad for a few hours work! Time for the little boy again...

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Old 04-15-2016, 12:25 AM   #11
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Nice!
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:30 AM   #12
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Love to see the little guy! Way to go.
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