Scamp/Boler Bottom Door Bar Hook - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-30-2009, 05:19 PM   #1
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Hi, I have an old 74 Boler where the door sticks out about 3/4 inch at the bottom. I have done a few things to improve it, such as straightening the support bar on the hinge side of the body, adjusting the hinges with new parts from Scamp and drawing up the door frame a bit with shaped supports at the bottom, but it still sticks out a little bit. The door itself seems in pretty good shape, not full of water like some others I have read about on the forums.

The problem is: driving on camp roads, the dust and rain/mud gets into the trailer through that area at the bottom of the door. I would like to fix it if practical.

I see on the Scamp website in the Parts store (Hardware section) that they have a "bottom door bar hook" and a "bottom door slide". Has anyone tried either of these things, and do they work? I am wondering both how they function from a mechanical point of view and how well they function.

Thanks,
Rick G
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Old 04-30-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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Rick,

I have the bar hook on my 13 scamp. With the right positioning it works ok. But I don't think it will ever put enough pressure against the door to seal it. It will just bend. I did have better luck with the new style of door seal that scamp is using. They stopped using the foam and are now using a "D" shaped rubber seal. Its much thicker than the old seal. Maybe if you call Scamp parts and ask Mike to send you a small sample.


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Hi, I have an old 74 Boler where the door sticks out about 3/4 inch at the bottom. I have done a few things to improve it, such as straightening the support bar on the hinge side of the body, adjusting the hinges with new parts from Scamp and drawing up the door frame a bit with shaped supports at the bottom, but it still sticks out a little bit. The door itself seems in pretty good shape, not full of water like some others I have read about on the forums.

The problem is: driving on camp roads, the dust and rain/mud gets into the trailer through that area at the bottom of the door. I would like to fix it if practical.

I see on the Scamp website in the Parts store (Hardware section) that they have a "bottom door bar hook" and a "bottom door slide". Has anyone tried either of these things, and do they work? I am wondering both how they function from a mechanical point of view and how well they function.

Thanks,
Rick G
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Old 04-30-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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I had the same problem on my Scamp.... Simple solution was to put a small eye-bolt thru the bottom of the door and another thru the cabinent under the couch/gaucho and then use a rubber bungee (tarp strap) to suck the door in..... Larry
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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I've heard a length of pool noodle (slit) and put on the bottom edge of the door keeps out dust and water. Pool noodles are closed cell foam. Sounds like it would work to me and the price is right $1 at the Dollar Store!
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Old 04-30-2009, 08:20 PM   #5
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Last week i have modified the door of my scamp and i have post some picture of the renov in the modifiacation and alteration section
Thr tittle of the post is Scamp 16' door and gravel shield renov
Since i have modified the door it's close perfectlt tight
Yvon Chayer
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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Donna you're a genius. From reading many of the posts on how to fix warped doors, I don't have the skills or tools to do the job. This will be a cheap and quick fix to fill the gap.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:48 AM   #7
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Had similar prob. with water, road dirt etc. getting inside. Had a slight outward bow to the door that I drew in with 2 stainless steel latches with heavy-duty rubber straps, which are adjustable. I believe I purchased them from Grainger(on-line). Cost around 25.00, and they work great! Installed very easily. Hope the picture helps! Jeff I.
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Old 05-06-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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Hi jeff (and thanks to all who responded so far),
That is an interesting way to do it, with the rubber Tslips. Do you have a link to the online store?

I have been away on work for a few days, but last weekend I decided to move the bottom hinge on the door. Some time in the past, someone had raised it up about one hinge length from the original position because the trailer body was broken there. There is a soft fibreglass patch in the original location which I did not want to fool with, so I moved the hinge down under the original location. The hinge is now pretty much one hinge length below the original location.

The good news is that it almost got rid of the gap in the bottom so that the door closes pretty well. This is understandable because the bottom of the door is now about a half inch closer to the body of the trailer than it was before, because of the curve of the trailer as you move downward.

The bad news is that the door just barely scrapes against the belly band when opened, which means that it can really only open half way before it catches on the belly band. This is undesirable.

I am considering three possiblilties. Option one is to cut a small piece out of the door where it meets the belly band. I think that less than a quarter inch would do it so the the door clears the belly band. I am uncomfortable with this, but it looks like it would work. Second option is to raise the bottom hinge piece on the trailer body out about 3/16 inch with a spacer to make it about the same vertical distance as it was in the original position. This would help with the door opening, but would move the door a bit further away from the door sill when closed, which was the original problem I was trying to fix. It would still likely be better than it was when I started though.

The third option is to use the current Scamp hinges. I bought some from Scamp when we first got the trailer last year but ended up only using the bearings from them. The piece which attaches to the door on each Scamp hinge is about a quarter inch longer than the same Boler hinge piece. If I moved the body hinge piece a quarter inch further from the door opening, the door would fit the opening when closed, but open a bit further away from the body when it was opened, thereby hopefully clearing the belly band. This would require replacing both the upper and lower hinges, I think, but might solve the problem.

I have resolved to think about it some more before trying anything, especially before making a permanent cut into the trailer door. I am leaning toward trying option 2, then option 3 if that doesn't work. Option 3 would put more holes in the trailer, but I already have a few to fill anyway so it won't matter much.

I also like the noodle idea. Last year we put a hand towel along the gap when driving, but the airflow sucked it out and we lost it. The noodle would take care of any small gap that we have left, and would be easy to place and to replace if necessary.

I also made a new door sill plate out of evestrough sheet metal bent to the approximate shape of the original, but which has a wider top surface plate area. This will allow me to move the edge of the door closer to where the bottom of the door closes, thereby minimizing the gap that has to be sealed. I tried this and it works, but when the door sticks out a bit from the trailer body at the bottom, it provides a place where airflow will get trapped while travelling. I would like the door to line up with the trailer body as much as possible to minimize any airflow into the bottom gap while travelling.

Thanks, Rick G in Edmonton
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:18 AM   #9
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Hey Rick,
Well it sounds like you have many an option(s). Any one, two or three....mix 'em up. And you'll come up with your own unique solution. The hardware I purchased actually came from McMaster-Carr catalog pg. 2912. I used the 6" long rubber straps w/stainless catches.
Good Luck!
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:51 AM   #10
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one thing I will mention...my door had a signifigant gap at the bottom for awhile, so I got a clamp (bar clamp is what they call it I think) and when I was not using my trailer I would clamp the bottom door esentailly squeezing the door shut at the bottom.....after about a month in warm weather the doow now seems to stay in this position....just thought I'd add this as a possible help
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:16 PM   #11
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Hi Rick
Option 4
If it only at the belly band where the door rubs when opening and closing, Why not just cut or grind back the belly band ? Mine has about a 45 degree angle at the opening. Why could you not make that 20-30 degrees? Simply lift the band off the trailer and grind the flange down then reattach the band.
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Old 05-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #12
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I don't mean to sound like a downer, but what about just fixing the problems and then having the door fit right and be right? I mean, compared to a pool noodle on the bottom it's more work; but on the other hand, compared to some of the other fixes you are thinking about, it's not that much more work, and won't have the cascade of new problems to fix (that are caused by the fix). I guess what I'm saying is not that I wouldn't do the pool noodle (it's easy, quick, cheap, and reversible), but that I wouldn't do some of the more elaborate fixes in lieu of the "correct" fix.

The first thing would be to patch the original hinge location. I'm not sure what "soft fiberglass" would be, because fiberglass is nearly hard as a rock when it cures -- maybe it's just bondo filler or something? (although even that cures hard). Caulk? I would dig it out and fiberglass it. This and remounting the hinge may take care of the problem.

If you still have a gap at the bottom, your door is probably warped and may have a wet core (the core-skin bonding gives it the strength to stay curved). There are a number of ways to fix this. Number one is to remove one skin, put in new core, and relaminate, but you could also glass half-moons of fiberglass or ply to the inside of the curve if you did not want to get "into" the door. Basically then you've created something like a triangle that cannot change shape at all easily.

Raya

Edited to add: It's also possible that the hinge side of the trailer has changed shape slightly, so that it does not match the door (instead of vice-versa). One way to fix that would be to affix (you can use screws in the part of the body that is covered by the door if you don't want to fiberglass) a tall "half moon" of plywood in place of the square tubing that is there now. It would look something like the piece Scamp puts in for the screen door but would be structural. The shape could re-establish your Boler's correct shape (if it has sagged) and would hold it much more effectively than the bar.

Sometimes the lower hinge can deform the body, or the whole thing can sag for other reasons. Triangulation power to the rescue!

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #13
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Hi,
yes, it would be better to fix the problem properly, if I knew what it was. The door shape appears to be pretty normal, and I can't tell if it has changed over time, but it is possible. On the other hand, last fall I drilled a few holes in the bottom of the door edge to let any water out of the interior of the door (as mentioned in various door postings), but there wasn't any, and the door feels firm but not too heavy. I also took off the square tubing on the door side of the trailer body last fall and straightened it a bit, which did help the fit somewhat. However, I don't think the door is badly out of shape, if at all.

Last night as I was dreaming about this problem, it occurred to me that there is an Option 4. The middle portion of the door actually now fits slightly tighter against the trailer body, so that the door is slightly recessed compared to the trailer body at the hinge side. This means that the door in its middle segment is flatter than the trailer body. This means that I might be able to solve my problem by flattening the middle of the trailer body on the hinge side to match, which would draw the belly band in slightly and cause the door to miss it when it opens. Obviously, the way to do that would be to take the square tubing off the trailer body and flatten it out some more, then put it back on, or to make a shaped piece as Raya suggested.

This makes sense to me because our trailer is also missing the shelf support bars on the sink side of the trailer, so I would not be surprised if the whole trailer has squashed a bit over time. I am also going to get new shelf supports to help straighten it on the sink side, someday.

Since I only need to gain about 1/8 inch of flatness for the door to miss the belly band, there is a reasonable chance that it would work.

I don't want to cut the belly band if I can avoid it, as I am told it is the main attachment for the two halves of the trailer and I don't want to weaken it in any way. My trailer also has about a 45 degree cutout of the belly band at the door, which I think must be standard.

I will also be looking at forcing the door into a better shape when the weather warms, but right now it is not warm enough in northen Alberta. I will remember that for later on.

As for the fibreglass patch job on the original hinge location, I don't know why it feels spongy, but it seems to be holding OK. It looks like a small strip of fibreglass tape with goop in it, so maybe there wasn't enough hardener or something? I don't know what might have happened in the past to make it this way, but redoing that section of the body would be an almost last resort for me. I have no experience with fibreglass, but I am a handy type. I am willing to try it out if forced to, but I am concerned about getting an ugly result from my lack of experience. In spite of my description above, it looks good enough that I didn't realize the hinge had been moved until recently.

I have a day off work tomorrow, so I will try the various options and post the results, (unless I succumb to frustration first if everything fails).

Thanks to everyone for their interest. The information on the forums has been encouraging on this and other issues.

Rick G in Edmonton

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Old 05-07-2009, 03:49 PM   #14
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Last week i have modified the door of my scamp and i have post some picture of the renov in the modifiacation and alteration section
Thr tittle of the post is Scamp 16' door and gravel shield renov
Since i have modified the door it's close perfectlt tight
Yvon Chayer
Yvon, your door looks great, although I couldn't operate the link for most of your pictures. I am definitely thinking about cutting slots in the bottom of the door to curve it up if the easier fixes don't work.

Rick
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