how to fix door so it won't pop off - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-29-2006, 10:33 AM   #1
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Hello to all you rv'ers. I have greatly appreciated this site and have enjoyed your humor and comradery. Have learned much by reading the problem solving section, mostly what to look out for!

I am interested in buying an old trails west camper that is fairly close (6 hrs) and the right price.

When I went to look at it, the owner was obviously very honest and told me a few problems with it. When they go down a dirt road, the door would pop off. She said their fix was to jump out of the car every quarter mile and pound the hinges back in.

I live in Yosemite and want to take the trailer in the high country where there are nothing but bumpy dirt roads. I have read some postings from other fiberglass rv owners whose doors have opened under similar circumstances, but none that completely fell off.

Do you suppose this is a problem that can be remedied without spending huge $$$$?

Also, the trailer sat under 7 feet of snow last winter and they forgot to cover it, causing the popup to leak. The leak was noticeable because there is plywood under the pop up cover which appears water stained. But still, it seems in good shape, except for the fact one of the mechanisms to hold up one side of the pop up is completely gone. On the issue of spare parts, do you know where we might be able to get one of those mechanisms?

I keep trying to overcome my desire to buy a fiberglass rv, which hits me hardest when I go to work, but alas, I think I am hooked. So I am trying to keep the price of the purchase down, and not buy a bomb, in order to try it out and see if I really like it.
thanks again


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Old 07-29-2006, 03:20 PM   #2
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I'm surprised no-one else has posted a reply, but I guess the Trails West is fairly rare. So you don't think we're unhelpful, here is my temporary answer.

According to the photos I've seen and the ones in this site's Trails West album, the rear door is a standard aluminum-framed RV type - unlike pretty much all the other eggs. If the Trails West you've seen is the same, what you've described could be two things:

1. The whole door frame coming out the back of the trailer, presumably because the fixing screws have failed or pulled out. This seems an unlikely event and would be fairly easy to cure - simply replacing the fixing screws with bolts, or adding fender washers if it already has bolts, would likely fix it.

2. The hinges between the door and frame are detaching from the frame or the door, or the hinges themselves are broken. This might need some metalwork skills, as those hinges may be rivetted to the frame and door. But this isn't a show-stopping problem - other RVs will have had it before!

Hopefully an owner of a Compact will join in here, as they seem to have the same sort of door, and you will get an expert answer.


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Old 07-29-2006, 06:56 PM   #3
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Do you suppose this is a problem that can be remedied without spending huge $$$$?
As long as you have plenty of the normal sized $$$$...

OK, OK, I'll go to my room...

But first...
She said their fix was to jump out of the car every quarter mile and pound the hinges back in.
I'll bet that gets old fast.
Both my Compact Junior and my Fiber Stream have similar doors, however I haven't had either one fall off yet. It would be difficult to diagnose and prescribe a fix until I could see the problem. Can you get pictures? Is the door frame intact? "Square" and "True"? It could be a hardware replacement question, but you may not need to go with exactly the same kind of hardware.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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If their temporary fix is to just pound the hinge pins back down, it sounds like road vibration is causing them to come loose -- Likely, you can just drill thru one side of the hinge and the pin and put a wire thru the hole to prevent the pin from climbing -- Alternatively, you can put a longer pin in and put something thru a hole drilled where it protrudes -- I'm sure any mechanically savvy friend can just look at it and come up with a practical solution.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:25 PM   #5
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Thank you all for you very good ideas. I decided to go ahead and purchase it with the idea that I can fix these things. Thanks for the reassurance!

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Old 08-02-2006, 10:40 AM   #6
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I just bought a 1970 Trails West camper.
I think that you can solve your problem by bolting directly thru the hinges and the wall of the trailer with small diameter carriage bolts. Carriage bolts have a fairly flat head and should not interfere with the door when it is closed. Be sure you use self locking nuts on theinside of the camper and you should not have any problems with them coming lose. For about $3.00 you should be able to fix your problem.
I envy you living in Yosemite. It is the most beautiful place in the Country in my opinion, especially the High Country. You know that there is a God Heaven when you look out over the meadows of the High Country.
Your post has reminded me of what I have not seen in years and Tuoloume Meadows, I hope I came close on the spelling, will be my first trip when I get my camper ready to go.


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