Interested in Buying Magnetic Bug Screens for Your Vehicle’s Windows?

For a couple of years now I’ve used sewn rectangles of no-see-um netting and individually wrapped magnets to keep bugs out of my SUV when camping with the windows rolled down. Here’s the latest iteration of the setup in action:

Magnetic car window screen setup
Magnetic car window screen setup

I made an entire video about the setup here, and I explain in the video how you can easily make your own set by using small magnets and duct tape.

If you don’t want to make your own, or if you want something that’s more finished and longer-lasting than the duct tape, I have something for you. I recently discovered a much better and more durable way to encase the magnets, and that is to use a heavy duty nylon fabric that seals onto itself. This creates a tough, waterproof sleeve/housing for the magnets. I’d like to offer these magnetic window screen kits for sale, and I have two of these kits currently for sale to gauge interest. EDIT: Both sets have been sold.

Each kit includes the following:

  • 2 no-see-um mesh bug screens (approximately 22 inches high and 40 inches wide). This stuff is much better than traditional mosquito netting; even tiny “no-see-ums” won’t be able to penetrate the screen, but it will still allow plenty of air flow. Make sure this size will fit your window before ordering.
  • 24 easy-grab neodyium magnets (12 for each screen). These are very, very strong little magnets of a very high quality. They’re smaller, stronger, and less brittle than ceramic magnets. Each magnet has a little silver dot on one side. This is to mark the polarity of the magnet to make the magnets easier to stack.
  • 2 heavy duty reusable plastic zipper bags. You can store the screens and magnets in these bags when they’re not being used. Toss the bag into your seat back pockets (where I keep them), your glove compartment, etc.
  • Instructions

Here’s what you’ll be getting with each kit:

The heavy-duty storage bag and set of instructions.
The heavy-duty storage bag and set of instructions.
A couple of the screens have minor cosmetic blemishes like the double stitching shown here. No big deal.
A couple of the screens have minor cosmetic blemishes like the double stitching shown here. No big deal. This is why they’re currently being offered at a discount.
Screen and magnets inside the storage bag
Screen and magnets inside the storage bag
The whole shebang. Each kit will come with double what you see here (i.e., enough for two windows).
The whole shebang. Each kit will come with double what you see here (i.e., enough for two windows).
The magnets
The magnets

And you can view and download the instructions (PDF) by clicking the image below:

Click the image to download the PDF version of the instructions.
Click the image to download the PDF version of the instructions.

I currently have two of these kits for sale. I made just a couple to see if there is enough interest in them to warrant investing in more tools and materials. If so, I’ll make more in the future. I’m selling each set (enough for two windows) for $35, including shipping to anywhere in the lower 48. Final pricing once I make more will be $45 or $50. The reason for the discount? Twofold: 1) I want to quickly gauge if there’s any interest here, and 2) there are some cosmetic blemishes on some of the magnets and the screens (as seen in the images above) that in no way affect their usability.

Interested? Contact me here using the contact form and let me know. I’ll then send you a PayPal request for $35, and you’ll be able to pay with a either a PayPal account or a credit card, but I won’t be able to see or have access to your credit card information (that’s how PayPal works).

Thanks!
Tristan

Nevada’s Lunar Crater and More!

In this final video from my four-state, two-country road trip, I leave Death Valley and make the trek eastward toward my adopted high-elevation homeland of Utah. Along the way I check out some historical sites in Death Valley, a ghost town in Nevada, an incredible crater out in the middle of Nevada called Lunar Crater, and more! (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

And here are some pics from the day’s adventures:

Fast-Setup DIY Awning for SUVs, Vans, or Trucks

In an older video, I shared a quick and easy way to setup an awning on the side of you vehicle, but today’s video shows my preferred method. It’s faster to set up and more secure than the clamp method.

(If you can’t see the video below, click here.)

The tarp that I use in the awning is this one that I got from Walmart (and other colors are now available online too). I’ve seen them at many Walmarts in the camping section.

Hiking Gear, Horse Skulls, Rock Art & More

In this video I embark on a 33-mile day hike in Death Valley National Park. Touted as Death Valley’s “premier backpacking route,” the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop takes in slot canyons, petroglyphs, natural springs, wild horses, wide-open valleys, and more.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this hike, this (scroll down to the Cottonwood-Marble Canyon Loop section) and this (a PDF) are good places to start.

This is another vlog in my series from January and February 2017. I left northern Utah, where I live, and traveled down through southern Utah, southern Nevada, western Arizona, southern California, and back through central Nevada, all while camping and adventuring out of my 2011 Toyota RAV4.

(Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

And here are some pics from the adventure:

A Campground Database, Useful Apps, SUV Curtains, and More

Here are a bunch of SUV RVing-related things that readers and viewers shared with me this week. Thanks guys!

Got something else that you think the SUV RVing community might find useful? Shoot me an email and let me know about it.

A Campground Database

One video watcher and book reader (hi Linda!) passed along a website for finding campgrounds. It’s called Hipcamp. It’s along the same lines as Campendium and FreeCampsites.net but doesn’t appear quite as good as either of those for finding free places to camp. I browsed some of the areas that I’m familiar with and found that it only has established paid campgrounds. Sometimes that’s exactly what you want, so this is a good website to know about and to add to your arsenal. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Some Useful Apps

A new email subscriber to the blog (hi Gennaro!) recommended a few apps that he’s found useful on his road trip adventures (all are free except Goodreader, which is $4.99):

  • MAPS.ME – Offline maps for many places in Europe and the US. (iOS & Android)
  • GoodReader – A document reader. Gennaro uses this to read PDFs and magazines. (iOS only)
  • SkyView Free – A stargazing app. (iOS & Android)
  • Kindle – For reading ebooks (including mine!). (iOS & Android)
  • iFirstAid Lite – First aid illustrated and explained. (iOS only; Something similar for Android is First Aid Emergency & Home.)

A Clever Curtain Solution

Video watcher and fellow YouTuber Florida Girl Adventures has an FJ Cruiser and came up with a clever way of hanging up curtains in her SUV. She attached the hook side of a Velcro strip to blackout curtains and found that the Velcro stuck to the headliner on the inside of her vehicle. See the setup in action in this video (the curtain part starts at about 2 minutes and 17 seconds in).

Multi-Use Toilets

And finally, another reader/viewer (hi Richard!) sent me a link to an interesting product on Amazon. It’s the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Portable Toilet, and Richard pointed out that it could be used as a small table when not being used as a toilet. In a space as small as an SUV, it’s always good when items are multi-use. The Reliance Products Fold-To-Go Portable Toilet is in the same vein.

(Note: This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links.)

A Crazy Slot Canyon Hike in Death Valley (Grotto Canyon)

In this video I hike one of the coolest slot canyons in Death Valley, Grotto Canyon. This is what I would call a technical non-technical canyon because you need to be comfortable with scrambling and rock climbing, especially as you go higher up the canyon. Climbing shoes certainly would certainly have helped tremendously for the more tricky dryfalls. (Click here if you can’t see the video below.)

The obstacle names I use in the video (First Obstacle, Second Obstacle, etc.) are not official and were taken from this website.

In addition to the video above, here are some pics from the adventure:

Looking into Grotto Canyon from the trailhead
Looking into Grotto Canyon from the trailhead
My SUV parked at the trailhead
My SUV parked at the trailhead
One of the Grotto Canyon obstacles
One of the Grotto Canyon obstacles
The biggest Grotto Canyon obstacle
The biggest Grotto Canyon obstacle
Grotto Canyon
Grotto Canyon
The Fifth Obstacle
The Fifth Obstacle
View from the Fourth Obstacle bypass
View from the Fourth Obstacle bypass
View from the Fourth Obstacle bypass
View from the Fourth Obstacle bypass

The Poor Man’s Winch

One of my SUV RVing fears is getting my vehicle hopelessly stuck in sand, mud, or snow when I’m out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a winch for my SUV but haven’t pulled the trigger because frankly, there are other things I’d rather spend that money on. But I recently found a YouTube video titled Poor Man’s Winch – Using ratchet straps for winch duties (it’s also embedded below if you’re reading this on the blog). The guy in the video talks about using ratchet straps as winches and demonstrates several possible uses that include getting a vehicle unstuck, removing a downed tree limb, and moving a large boulder.

He recommends the Quickloader brand of ratcheting strap. The selection on Amazon is OK but a bit confusing (browse them here), but it looks like HomeDepot.com has all of Quickloader’s straps for sale. The yellow one used in the video will hold 10,000 pounds, has a 27-foot strap, and costs $50. The red ones range in price from $20 to $30, depending on the one you get. One of these seems like a great thing to always have in your car for emergency purposes, both for yourself and for any other people you may encounter as you travel.

Here’s the video:

What do you think? Is this a good winch substitute for those of us on a budget?