Dometic Window Replacement Screen  
Dometic-Seitz© Window Screen Replacement

Over time the original Dometic-Seitz© white nylon roller screens get very grubby and shrink away from the edges allowing insects to bypass the screens and invade your space. I have replaced the originals with black midge screening giving a better look and they shouldn't have the same shrinking problems as they are made from fibreglass. This is an economical upgrade as replacement screens from Dometic© are around 10 times the cost of DIY. I did try the Dometic© modification with adhesive fur sealing tape but it made the screens sluggish and interfered with their operation so much that I have concluded that it is a waste of time and removed it, the real problem is the poor fitting nylon screens. You need to make your own mind up on this but if you are going to do that modification you need to do it at the same time and you may need to increase the tension on the rollers because of the extra drag.






Step 1. Fully retract both the blind and screen then remove the rubber plugs covering the mounting screws using a sharp pointed knife or thick needle and put aside. If your windows are older you may have hard plastic screw caps and you may have trouble removing them without breaking them. You should be able to source replacements from Dometic© but they will cost you dearly.

Please read the Appendix at the end of this article to identify a cheaper alternative.
Step 2. Remove all the fixing screws from around the frame using a screwdriver or power screwdriver. It may be advisable to have a drop sheet as there could be a fair amount of debris inside the frame. Step 3. If you have a pelmet that cannot be removed to access the top screws then use a right angled ratchet with phillips bit to do the job. $12 at Bunnings© for a complete set.

NOTE. A word of warning here, some RV's have these windows fitted with no silicon sealant around the outside of the external frame and when you remove the screws there is a very real chance that your window will fall out! Please check before removing the screws and if necessary retain the window frame by duct taping it to the outside of your RV.
Step 4. Lift off the frame holding the blind and screen. This is a good time to clean out all the accumulated debris that is in the fixed frame with a brush.








Step 5. This shows the screws that hold in the insect screen roller. Note how much the screen has shrunk from the original pure white end on the roller. Step 6. Remove the clips holding the "L" shaped guides from the sides of the frame by levering with a small screwdriver. Don't lose these clips. Step 7. Unscrew the two small phillips screws that hold the roller in place. Gently remove the plastic bush and put aside with the screws, note how its fitted for when you reinstall. Step 8. Carefully remove the roller by sliding away from the end that is held down with staples, caution here to slide it out at a shallow angle or you will damage the mounting. It is a good idea here to clamp the spindle with a small pair of vicegrips, this will enable you to count the number of turns that the roller spring is wound up so you can wind on the same number of turns when replacing it. Now is also good time to give the frame a good clean out.








Step 9. Remove the black plastic spindle from the roller using pliers and put aside, do this gently so as to not damage the spindle with the pliers or lever out from the slot in the roller with a screwdriver. Step 10. If the roller has corroded the screen may be stuck to it and may not come out easily, if necessary the easiest way to remove the nylon screen is to tear it off along the roller. Step 11. Extract the nylon cord from the tube using long nosed pliers if necessary and put aside. Step 12. Give the roller tube a good clean with a wire brush and scrape out all the remainder of the screen material as necessary.








Step 13. Mark the bottom screen holder on the outside where the cut edge of the screen is and remove the black end by tapping free with a screwdriver. The screen is glued to the black end and will come out along with the end there is no need to remove the white end. You will need to clean the remnants of the screen and glue from the black end by scraping with a knife or you will have trouble fitting the new screen. Step 14. Slide out the screen from the aluminium channel. Step 15. Remove the nylon cord from the screen and put it aside with the other one. NOTE:- the cord from the roller is shorter than the one held in the aluminium bottom piece. if you should damage this you can substitute with equivalent line trimmer cord. Step 16. Lay out the old screen and measure the length needed. (this is not critical there is a lot of overlap on the original) The width is better measured by measuring the aluminium piece including the plastic ends.








Step 17. Lay out your new screen and accurately cut it to size with a roller cutter being very careful to keep it square or the screen will not roll properly. I have used black fibreglass midge screen as the hole size is very close to the original white nylon but should be more durable and is more pleasing to look thru. Cost is about $18/metre 1.2M wide from Bunnings©.
NOTE: This is known as "Miniweave"© and may only be available in precut packs depending on the Bunnings© you go to.
Step 18. Fold over the top edge by about 1.5cm and secure it every 6-7cm with clothes pegs, then feed the nylon cord (short one for the roller) thru the pegs and they will keep it right along the folded edge. This is different to the original as they had sewn the cord in. You can do that if you want if you have a sewing machine available but it is unnecessary, the finished screen will not come out once it has been wound on the roller. You should tape over the inserted end as in step 20 to ease it past the spring. Now thread the folded screen including the nylon cord into the slot in the roller while removing the pegs, taking care not to have it bunch up on the spring. It should be central on the tube and about 5-6mm from the ends. Once you have it in correctly push in the black plastic spindle. Step 19. Roll up the screen on the roller the correct way copying from the other roller this is important and make sure it rolls up straight. Now peg along the free end as before including the long nylon cord and thread it into the aluminium slide. Take care here to have the excess screen on the outside of the window that you marked earlier and keep it straight and even, this is the correct side but is not mandatory. Step 20. Tape over the two ends with adhesive tape, this makes it easier to thread into the slot in the aluminium and the plastic ends.








Step 21. Refit the black end, it may need a tap with a hammer to get it completely home. Now remove the adhesive tape you used to help it thru the ends. The finished screen will be as wide as the completed aluminium piece and the two plastic ends. You may put a drop of glue on the black end as before but it doesn't seem to be needed. IF you want to cover the vent holes now is the time to do it before refitting the roller. I didn't do this but if you have had significant insect intrusion thru the holes you might like to cover the holes with some tape or glue some screen over them, this is a personal choice. You will have to carefully remove the roller with the blind on to do the other holes, take care to keep the roller tensioned by gripping the spindle with vice grips while you cover the holes, then replace. Step 22. With the screen completely rolled up clamp the spindle with vicegrips as before a little way down the shaft and wind the spring up the number of turns you noted when you removed it (in the correct direction). You can add a turn or two here if you feel it necessary. Fit it back into the frame and reattach the black spindle socket to the frame with the screws. Carefully check that the screen works properly before reattaching the side "L" guides with the clips. If its ok then fit the slides and then do a final check of both the screen and the blind. This is a good time to give the slides and spindles a light spray with silicon spray. if you intend doing the adhesive fur tape modification this is the time to do it. Step 23. Refit the frame to the window and screw in with 4 screws in the corners. DO NOT over-tighten, I used a power screwdriver with the clutch set at minimum. If its all ok then the last job it to add some daubs of glue in the gap where the nylon cord holds the screen in the aluminium strip. You should have around 7-8mm of overlap remaining and a small drop of glue every 75mm is sufficient to hold the screen. I used Selleys Multigrip© which dries clear. The reason for the addition of glue is that originally I used no adhesive and over a period of months a couple of screens had worked loose so I had to rethread them, this will stop that happening permanently.



 Appendix:




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This picture illustrates the soft rubber like arrowhead buttons that were fitted to my windows, these are 100% reusable. These are the more common hard plastic buttons that seem to be fitted to most of the older windows. They are like a large screw cover button from a power point and are best removed by piercing with a sharp screwdriver and levering out. This shows the plastic caps that I have found fit perfectly into the holes. These are usually used in kitchen cupboards to cover countersunk particle board screws. Use the one shown if you have countersunk screws like I have otherwise those with round head self tapping screws should get the cap with the shorter shank. These should only cost you about 1c each from Bunnings© If you find that the caps are not staying in (I didn't) then a spot of contact on the shank before you insert them will stop them coming out but will still allow removal if necessary. This is how it looks with the replacement cap fitted, indistinguishable from my original caps. (The picture of the hard buttons was supplied by Retired John @ Casino)


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