Oh! The cheap, sagging door of 1990 Bigfoot! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #1
Nik
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Red face Oh! The cheap, sagging door of 1990 Bigfoot!

We had a great time boon-docking on our maiden voyage near Mt. Hood, OR. I love this trailer. Just the right size!

The one annoying thing was the door! It's got a tiny bit of sag. There's a little wedge of plastic screwed into the bottom of the door to lift it up at the last second, but it doesn't really work. Even if it did, that's not good enough.

If I lift the door while closing it I can undo the slight sag and it closes nice and easy. The door is essentially just out of square. When lifting on the end I can see the front panel slipping within the frame. I can feel the corners changing angle ever so slightly.

I don't want to tie a cable from corner to corner to pull the door up. I'm thinking about L brackets or triangles in the corners. I could also see taking the whole thing apart and trying to make it stronger all around. But that's risky because getting it perfectly back in - I don't know.

The hinges are cheap and basically unadjustable - or am I missing something?

Anyone got an idea here? Method?

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:58 PM   #2
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First, check for a deteriorated frame in the door. That's the door itself, not the trailer. The door is made from an outer fiberglass panel. an inner aluminum panel. a foam sheet between, and a wooden frame around the foam and an aluminum molding around the entire assembly. It's the wooden frame (only about an inch wide) on the outer edge that provides the strength. You should be able to check this wood part by looking at the screws that hold the aluminum to the wood. There are 4 on each side and 4 on the top and bottom. The bottom part of the wood is what rots first so check that those screws are into solid wood. I had some completely gone because the wood was so rotten. If this is the problem, you need to replace the wood. A little treated lumber, a table saw (to get the proper thickness) and lots of labor to remove the door and disassemble the door will get you back in business. Adding additional brackets will not work because there is no structure in the door if the wood is rotten. If you reassemble the door and make it perfectly square, it most likely will not fit because your door frame is probably not square.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:58 PM   #3
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Nik,

Is it the door or is the problem in the connection between the hinges and the door?

I have made a lot of doors in stick-and-brick houses fit by shaving wood from the routed area underneath where the upper hinge attaches. This pulls the door into alignment.

Maybe looking at it from that frame of reference will help you come up with an idea...
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
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The door is not exclusive to Bigfoot trailers. Many trailer brands used the same door.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #5
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Of the three hinges holding the screen door, the top hinge is clearly bent such that the top of the screen door doesn't close tight. If I can bend the hinge back to 90 degrees, that would help that door.

As for the larger door I can see the hinges aren't 100, but most of the slop is clearly right in the structure of the door itself. The corners all give. Two are less than 90 and the other two are greater than 90. It forms a parallelogram.

The idea of rotten wood in there and the screws at each corner not having any meat to lodge into makes sense. I will do a little probing and get back about this.

Thanks for the starting ideas and info.
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Old 08-20-2017, 06:07 PM   #6
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I had the same issue on my 1989 Bigfoot 17. The door was full of dry rot and was falling apart from the inside out.

I replaced the door with an off-the-shelf AP Products door.

AP Products 015-217711 Square Entry Door RH Polar White 24" x 68"

I could not find one in colonial white so I refinished it before installation but it was a direct replacement for the original door.

Once painted it only took a few hours one afternoon to remove the old door and replace it with the new one, which included a new screen door.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainjunkie View Post
I had the same issue on my 1989 Bigfoot 17. The door was full of dry rot and was falling apart from the inside out.

I replaced the door with an off-the-shelf AP Products door.

AP Products 015-217711 Square Entry Door RH Polar White 24" x 68"

I could not find one in colonial white so I refinished it before installation but it was a direct replacement for the original door.

Once painted it only took a few hours one afternoon to remove the old door and replace it with the new one, which included a new screen door.
$456 at Amazon with new lock, window and screen door including shipping is not a bad price.
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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It's great to know if all else fails that I can get a new door! This way I don't mind taking it apart. It all seems pretty much integrated. Does the new door include the jam and threshold all the way around? The pictures of it don't make that clear, but I imagine that's how it works.

Thanks a lot for that info.
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