Door Flying open! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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I just returned from a weekend at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico and am a bit concerned with a problem with my door. I can lock the door before I hit the highway, but as shortly afterwards i look in my side mirror and see that it is open but still locked. Apparently the camper flexes enough for it to come unlatched. As I look at the hinges i can't seem to figure out how to remedy this problem. I also need to tweak the door up a bit on the top left hand corner. It appears that the springs and nuts on the hinges are meant to be used to make such adjustments but I can't seem to figure it out. And suggestions?
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:56 AM   #2
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Its a really funky design that has no solution. I solved it another way by attaching a Stanley combination lock hasp above the handle. It uses 8 screws/bolts that have held up for the last 3600 miles. Some came a little loose but the door stayed closed.
These trailers sure get the crap pounded out of them. I always have stuff thrown on the floor. The roller cabinet latches are another feeble Scamp feature. There must be something better available.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:20 PM   #3
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I just returned from a weekend at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico and am a bit concerned with a problem with my door. I can lock the door before I hit the highway, but as shortly afterwards i look in my side mirror and see that it is open but still locked. Apparently the camper flexes enough for it to come unlatched. As I look at the hinges i can't seem to figure out how to remedy this problem. I also need to tweak the door up a bit on the top left hand corner. It appears that the springs and nuts on the hinges are meant to be used to make such adjustments but I can't seem to figure it out. And suggestions?
I don't know if this will help you but I had the door on my Casita come open. There is a hand hold by the door. I use a bungie cord that I hook on the hand hold and loop around the handle on the door and back to the hand hold. It is not stretched tight but just a little added security.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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.......sounds like the door 'latch' itself might need a little tweaking or even changed off for one that has more 'bite' to it .....more metal for the assembly to grab on to????
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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When we bought our Casita we were told by the owner that this is a problem with fiberglass campers. He put hooks, one on each side of the door -on the camper not the door- , for a bungie to hook and cross over the door and hold the
door closed
..We have seen other fiberglass campers with bungies holding the door closed.

Not a real pretty solution-but it works.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:57 PM   #6
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When we bought our Casita we were told by the owner that this is a problem with fiberglass campers. He put hooks, one on each side of the door -on the camper not the door- , for a bungie to hook and cross over the door and hold the
door closed
..We have seen other fiberglass campers with bungies holding the door closed.

Not a real pretty solution-but it works.
Ahhh...so that is what the hooks on the side of the door are for. Thats what I ended up doing for the rest of the drive home. I am going to try to figure out a way to slide the latch hardware over and see what other modifications I need to do to make that work. I never realized that this was such a common problem.
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:20 PM   #7
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Ahhh...so that is what the hooks on the side of the door are for. Thats what I ended up doing for the rest of the drive home. I am going to try to figure out a way to slide the latch hardware over and see what other modifications I need to do to make that work. I never realized that this was such a common problem.

From what I understand there can be some flex in the body of the trailer allowing the door latch to slip off the top of the strike plate. Newer Scamps put a lip on the strike plate to prevent it. You might just give Scamp a call and maybe replace just the strike plate with a new design.

Byron
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
I just returned from a weekend at Ojo Caliente in New Mexico and am a bit concerned with a problem with my door. I can lock the door before I hit the highway, but as shortly afterwards i look in my side mirror and see that it is open but still locked. Apparently the camper flexes enough for it to come unlatched. As I look at the hinges i can't seem to figure out how to remedy this problem. I also need to tweak the door up a bit on the top left hand corner. It appears that the springs and nuts on the hinges are meant to be used to make such adjustments but I can't seem to figure it out. And suggestions?
Jonathan--- YUP fought that problem also when we first got our Scamp. My solution over the years has been to use a bungee (a rubber tarp strap) from an eyebolt low on the inside of the door to an eyebolt on the cabinent under the gaucho/couch. This also helps the gap on the bottom of the door and cuts down on the debris sucked up on the hiway. (passed a hay truck one day and the result was just about enuff alfalfa inside to make up a haybale )
Then, to square the door up, had my machinest friend make me some modified brass balls for the hinges. This helped without having to redrill, rehang the hinges, and glass up the old holes. Larry
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Old 07-15-2008, 01:39 PM   #9
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Jonathan--- YUP fought that problem also when we first got our Scamp. My solution over the years has been to use a bungee (a rubber tarp strap) from an eyebolt low on the inside of the door to an eyebolt on the cabinent under the gaucho/couch. This also helps the gap on the bottom of the door and cuts down on the debris sucked up on the hiway. (passed a hay truck one day and the result was just about enuff alfalfa inside to make up a haybale )
Then, to square the door up, had my machinest friend make me some modified brass balls for the hinges. This helped without having to redrill, rehang the hinges, and glass up the old holes. Larry
Your photo shows exactly what i was thinking of doing, except I was planning on crafting a part out of HDPE or something similar. The piece of rubber that is currently on there is like a chunk of rock (being 32 years old)
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Old 07-15-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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As I look at the hinges i can't seem to figure out how to remedy this problem. I also need to tweak the door up a bit on the top left hand corner. It appears that the springs and nuts on the hinges are meant to be used to make such adjustments but I can't seem to figure it out. And suggestions?
Try ordering 2 sets of spings/balls from Scamp first. A "set" is the bolt, spring, ball and nut for ONE hinge. I'm glad I ordered 2 when I did. That might help a bit. They are designed to compensate for flex and wear and are not adjustable.

I used to have the same problem as you, the original owner put a couple of eye bolts on either side of the door and ran a locked bar through them. Which is rather smart because all one has to do is undo the two bolts on your hinges and the door comes right off. You can see a picture or two here:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=19930

My door has not popped open since I changed the hinge sets and reinforced the door frame. Which is in my opinion a weak point in design and the cause of most door problems.
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:06 PM   #11
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I read a lot about this problem as I bought my 2005 Scamp 19'. Seems to be two main fixes/work arounds. The first being the bungee cord which is effective, quick and cheap. The other was to install a deadbolt. Following the lead of others, I chose the deadbolt fix. Over the next two+ years and a lot of roads, never had a problem. Here is how it looked and see http://tinyurl.com/2tr3go for the complete mod.


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Old 07-15-2008, 10:42 PM   #12
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Howdy Jonathan, I would first loosen the lower hinge bolts that go thru the cabin and maybe also the ones that go thru the door......now push the bottom of your door toward the rear of the trailer and the door should close up most if not all the gap that you have in the lower corner area....tighten the screws well that were loosened......now your door edge should be even top to bottom......this will also give your latch a lot more contact with the striker and should stay shut.....the holes of the screws that you loosened are probably elongated somewhat with time and the reason the door sagged.....you could remove the door hinges and fill the screw holes and redrill them to be a snug fit into the mounting screws......this is a very common problem with the Boler doors but may not be your problem with the Scamp.....good luck...Benny
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Old 07-15-2008, 11:19 PM   #13
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This happened to us the first time we took our Scamp on the road--about a mile from home. It hasn't happened since, but we do want to install a deadbolt lock.

However, we have also had the opposite problem--getting locked inside the Scamp! It is possible for the lock mechanism to slip, causing the door to lock so that it can't be opened from the inside. We could have handed someone a key through the escape hatch so they could unlock it from the outside, but luckily we had a tool box inside & my husband managed to free us.

The whole lock situation leaves a lot to be desired! Thanks, Don, for the great pics showing how you installed your deadbolt.

Sandra
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:44 AM   #14
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We had a problem much like this with our Scamp and wound up using bungee cords to keep the door closed while we were towing it until I had time and brain space to figure the problem out.

When I sat down to figure things out, one of the things on my list of door oddities was that the door closed so very tightly. You really had to give it a push to get the latch all the way closed, and looking at the strike plate, it was kinda ramp shaped. As I thought about it I could see how all that tension could "walk" the latch tongue backward up the ramp as the trailer flexed while being towed and never give the door a chance of closing down enough to give the tongue a chance to snap back into place.

I wanted to make the door easier to close anyway, so I took the lock set off the door and discovered it already had a thin, 1/8" spacer between it and the rat fur. I made a duplicate spacer from 1/4" plywood and installed it. Not only did it make it easier to latch the door shut, it also solved the problem with the door swinging open while the trailer is being towed.
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