Door Hinge Bolt Sheared Off - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2016, 06:06 PM   #1
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Door Hinge Bolt Sheared Off

Well. It happened. Our first needed repair of something on the Scamp while out camping. Often we leave our door on the Scamp 13 latched open through the night when the evenings permit. While camping this past week, I went to close the door and lo and behold, the bottom bolt had sheared in half. The door was only being held on by the top hinge. Needless to say, this was not expected!

Not sure if this was a result of the door moving in the slight over night breezes (we always close it if the wind kicks up) or a condition of the bolt probably being 20+ years old. Last summer we had an issue with the lock nut coming loose and the door drooping. At some point we tightened it enough that that stopped, but we probably should have done a proper repair at that time.

Down the mountain about twenty minutes away, some lovely folks at a local hardware store helped my husband pick out several bolts that might work and some locking nuts and washers to go with. Thankfully, we were able to do an on site repair, quite easily and go on with our trip.

The most incredibly ironic thing about this happening, is that the DAY BEFORE we left, I had placed an order with Scamp for a myriad of small things, but decided AGAINST including an extra set of bolts and hardware for the door, just in case we decided to change it out or to have on hand for a situation like this.

I opened my phone to call Scamp to see if there was anyway to add these items to my order before it shipped, but before I could find the phone number, I received an email that my order had shipped - less than 24 hours after I placed it. I didn't know whether to be happy about such quick service or disappointed it was too late to add to it! Regardless, I now have new bolts and door hardware on the way.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:26 PM   #2
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I doubt that the breeze caused the hinge to wear. I'm betting it's just wear from age.

I read your post with interest because we also like leaving the door open at night allowing more air flow through the trailer. We normally use our door holdback to keep it from blowing shut. We have the Scamp bifold screen door which keeps the bugs out but not the raccoons. In certain campgrounds we frequent, raccoons have gotten bold about pushing on the screen door and letting themselves in. So far we haven't experienced this while sleeping but it has happened a few times while sitting at a campfire after dark with the screen closed. They simply push the screen open and help themselves to food inside. I could tell lots of raccoon stories. This year we've had them climb on the spare tire and push on the rear screen and also climb up the propane tanks and try the bathroom screen. We find little muddy paw prints all over the white trailer.

At first we'd set something heavy like a duffle bag against the screen at night. Our latest trick is to wedge a spring loaded curtain rod behind the screen when we turn in. It's kept the raccoons out so far.


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Old 07-11-2016, 06:15 AM   #3
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Note to self... make sure my wife never, EVER reads your post, Ken!

She insists we keep the door closed at night, but I've never given the windows a thought... nor has she.
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Old 07-11-2016, 08:00 AM   #4
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Ken, YOUR post is incredibly interesting to ME!! We have the same screen door, and while I have thought about bears, it never occurred to me that raccoons would be such a problem.

I LOVE your idea of using a spring loaded shower curtain against the screen at night. I was thinking of adding a turn knob, maybe made out of wood, that we could flip horizontal to keep the screen from being opened at night, but worried it would turn on it's own and lock me out at some point. Your idea is great.

I cannot believe the raccoons would try to push in the window screens!!
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:23 AM   #5
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the bolts which serve as hinge pins are standard long shoulder bolts available at any hardware store. At the first sign of rust, I replaced mine with stainless steel .
If your hinge is wallowed out, you can drill it out and upsize the bolt from 1/4" to 5/16".
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
the bolts which serve as hinge pins are standard long shoulder bolts available at any hardware store. At the first aign of rust, I replaced mine with stainless steel .
If your hinge is wallowed out, you can drill it out and upsize the bolt from 1/4" to 5/16".
This is great info to have because the bolt that sheared was threaded all the way from the top to the bottom, with a locking nut tightened above the ball and another under the hinge and below the ball. The new bolt we ended up using as a replacement is a long shoulder bolt because that's what they had. This makes me think our bolt was replaced at some point but was maybe binding due to the way two lock nuts were being used.
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Old 07-11-2016, 09:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
This is great info to have because the bolt that sheared was threaded all the way from the top to the bottom, with a locking nut tightened above the ball and another under the hinge and below the ball. The new bolt we ended up using as a replacement is a long shoulder bolt because that's what they had. This makes me think our bolt was replaced at some point but was maybe binding due to the way two lock nuts were being used.
Here is basically what a new hinge and bolt looks like...

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Old 07-11-2016, 11:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Note to self... make sure my wife never, EVER reads your post, Ken!

She insists we keep the door closed at night, but I've never given the windows a thought... nor has she.
Yeah sorry Jon. Hope she doesn't see this thread.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
Ken, YOUR post is incredibly interesting to ME!! We have the same screen door, and while I have thought about bears, it never occurred to me that raccoons would be such a problem.

I LOVE your idea of using a spring loaded shower curtain against the screen at night. I was thinking of adding a turn knob, maybe made out of wood, that we could flip horizontal to keep the screen from being opened at night, but worried it would turn on it's own and lock me out at some point. Your idea is great.

I cannot believe the raccoons would try to push in the window screens!!
Emily,
I've actually seen raccoons in broad daylight walk up to RVs in the campground, climb the steps and try pushing on the screen doors. I have yet to have one damage the screen. They are smart animals and once they are successful getting food they repeat the process.

To be clear, we used a smaller spring loaded curtain rod that goes across horizontally. Looks like this: Rod We found ours at a thrift store. You could also use a shower curtain rod vertically. It might even be a stronger option.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kdhanso View Post
Emily,
I've actually seen raccoons in broad daylight walk up to RVs in the campground, climb the steps and try pushing on the screen doors. I have yet to have one damage the screen. They are smart animals and once they are successful getting food they repeat the process.

To be clear, we used a smaller spring loaded curtain rod that goes across horizontally. Looks like this: Rod We found ours at a thrift store. You could also use a shower curtain rod vertically. It might even be a stronger option.
Thanks for the link and options!

We actually had a raccoon get into our tent years ago in Yosemite during the night while we were sleeping. To be fair, We hadn't zipped the door closed, so he was able to walk right in. That was a bit terrifying as we initially thought it was a bear!

I know they are smart, but I guess I forget about them as we never see them in our camping adventures in Colorado!
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:57 PM   #11
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Here is basically what a new hinge and bolt looks like...

This is what I ordered from Scamp. Because of the way our bolts were stacked with lock nuts and washers, I think our hinges may be off, and the PO was trying to adjust the door by adding additional nuts and washers where they don't belong. Our set up looks nothing like this! I'll be curious to see how things line up with the new bolts, but I did buy the new hinge set as well, just in case we need to replace them, which I hope is not the case.
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:13 PM   #12
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Finally got my husband to send me the pictures of the hinges that we took.

In the one photo, you can see that there is the bolt, a lock nut, then two washers stacked on top of the ball then a lock nut at the end. This is the upper hinge, which is still in place.
Click image for larger version

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The other photo is of the bolt that sheared in half, below the ball. If you look, you can see a lock nut in place above the ball on this bolt as well. Obviously not a set up that is currently in use for hinges! My new ones shipped today, so I am eager to replace these!
Click image for larger version

Name:	Hinge.jpg
Views:	13
Size:	32.9 KB
ID:	97333
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