Border Collie Damage to Casita Door - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
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Hi,

I had my Casita door open to air out the trailer and my Border Collie came running through, chasing who knows what. He obviously was in too much of a hurry to calculate the fact that he is just a bit too tall to fit under the open door. He whacked it with the top of his back (and kept on going). That little maneuver produced about a 6" long, vertical tear in the outer skin of the door, right where the hold back thingy is located and down below that point.

I have a feeling that a repair will be cosmetic only and I will not be able to leave the door open. The hold back thing is screwed into the skin, not the door itself, so any movement at all will probably tear it again. Sometimes we are out where it is breezy or even windy and if the door is being held open I am sure there will be at least some movement. Has anyone had this happen and made a repair or did you replace the entire door skin? If you were going to replace the skin would you attempt it yourself or would you take it to an RV place to have it done?

Any help or advice will be appreciated.

Roberta
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:34 AM   #2
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I was "you tubing" refiberglassing yesterday and they had a nice tutorial on how to fix problems like this. maybe try this


Quote:
Hi,

I had my Casita door open to air out the trailer and my Border Collie came running through, chasing who knows what. He obviously was in too much of a hurry to calculate the fact that he is just a bit too tall to fit under the open door. He whacked it with the top of his back (and kept on going). That little maneuver produced about a 6" long, vertical tear in the outer skin of the door, right where the hold back thingy is located and down below that point.

I have a feeling that a repair will be cosmetic only and I will not be able to leave the door open. The hold back thing is screwed into the skin, not the door itself, so any movement at all will probably tear it again. Sometimes we are out where it is breezy or even windy and if the door is being held open I am sure there will be at least some movement. Has anyone had this happen and made a repair or did you replace the entire door skin? If you were going to replace the skin would you attempt it yourself or would you take it to an RV place to have it done?

Any help or advice will be appreciated.

Roberta
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:10 PM   #3
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A Border Collie eh? Why not have the BC view the YouTube video and then do it himself? <_< Don't let him tell you that he's not capable either. I've had two and let me tell you, they're good at not letting on just how smart they are!






Seriously though, I had a major repair to do on our Trail Mite's door. The door had come open will backing and it hit a wall and tore the upper hinge right out of the fiberglass. I'm halfway handy so I bought a fiberglass kit (fabric, resin) at the local auto parts store and using that, a palm sander and some Bondo, I had it looking good as new in just a few days.

I sandwiched a piece of stainless steel sheet stock between the layers of fiberglass to add some strength. One it was all glassed over and finished I re-drilled the holes and actually ended up with a door that hangs better and latches better than original!

Be sure to allow enough curing time before sanding and be prepared to do several layers and lots of touching up and sanding before being able to declare it done.

Vic
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #4
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It's hard to know whether a given suggestion is the best one without seeing the door, but I agree that you are probably not going to be able to just "put it back" without the problem recurring.

I think you're talking about a place where a holder-opener was attached to the door with screws? I'm thinking that you will want to reinforce that area. The best way would probably involve separating the door skins so that you could put the reinforcement inside the outer skin. OTOH, if you don't want to do that, you could possibly put a reinforcement plate on the inside of the door (under carpet if it is carpeted), with some epoxy annuli in between for crush resistance. You could probably accomplish this without taking the door apart (except for any carpet on the inside of the door).

Can you post a photo of the damage and of the door in general?

Raya

PS: Vic, ha ha!
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:22 PM   #5
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If you use the proper method you will have no problems with the strength of your door. It is hard to immagine what the damage looks like without a photo. There are ways of making it strong enough and I will try to show you how to do it. I am assuning that the door is made up of an outer skin and an inner liner. 1st. I would try to seperate the door into an inner and outer shell. Next I would sand the inside of the outer skin and patch the inside with two or three layers of glass and resin. Third on the outside of the door I would grind an area about 1 inch on either side of the damaged tear about 1/32" deep (enough for at least one layer of glass cloth and resen to fill to flush). That way you will have a homogenous patch thicker than the original door and much stronger. I would then bond the outer and inner skins together. Finally I would finish fill with bondo containing fiberglass strands followed with bondo filler a sandable primer, a primer sealer and finally paint. A whole lot of work but that would be a flawless fix.
Good luck with your project!
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:22 PM   #6
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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Different Casitas use different doors. My '99 SD 17 is different from later model 17s. 16 & 13 are different still. Repairs on each would be different.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:51 PM   #8
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Hi,

Thanks to all of you for the replies. And yes, I probably should make the BC do the repair but unfortunately he's a pretty lazy dog when it comes to tasks that aren't of his choosing. I thought I had set my original question so that the system would let me know when someone replied but perhaps I did not. I finally got back here to look at the forum all these weeks later and there are replies - yay! I will go out tomorrow and photograph the damage and get back to you on this.

In the meanwhile we lent the trailer to a neighbor for a week because his brother needed a place to sleep while helping with some construction. We got the trailer back late yesterday and apparently the brother must have left the top vent open and it rained. Yikes! We have mopped up all of the water and have been running a fan in there to dry the floor out. I planned to remove the carpet and replace it with some other kind of flooring later in the year, but not this week. I am thinking that we probably need to get that carpet up to see if there is damage underneath.

My poor Casita
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:15 AM   #9
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Maybe he was making a "run for the border".
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:42 AM   #10
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No matter how bad he is, I wouldn't replace his skin. That sounds painful and mean. If I had to, I would take him to the vet and not an rv place.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:03 AM   #11
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I redid my floor...all I have to add about that is make a templete out of newspaper then lay it on top of your new floor and cut away (*and make sure the flooring of your choice is face up or reverse your templete * otherwise it gets exspensive...ask me how I know

I am thinking that we probably need to get that carpet up to see if there is damage underneath.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #12
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If the floor hasn't been wet very long I would just dry the carpet real good, maybe a dehumidifier.

Bill K

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I am thinking that we probably need to get that carpet up to see if there is damage underneath.

My poor Casita
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:46 AM   #13
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Pictures of door:
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door1.jpg   door2.jpg  

door3.jpg   doorinside.jpg  

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:42 PM   #14
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From what I am seeing there I would want to take the door apart, and repair the fiberglass outer skin from the back side (there would still be cosmetic repair needed on the outside of course). Reinforcement could be added at the same time, so that a similar pull in the future would be much less likely to cause the same problem.

Raya
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