Keeping Door shut while traveling? Trillium 4500 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-13-2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Hi all!
I have had two episodes over the past year when the door on my 1978 Trillium 4500 opened while it was locked and we were traveling. On one occasion I knew the exact unexpected bad bump in the road that caused it to happen. Wondering what is the most "elegant" solution to fully secure the door while traveling. I would prefer not to put a latch with a padlock on.

The door lock seems to be functioning properly, I believe that the trailer's flexing on bad road conditions caused the lock to slip out of the catch plate in the door frame.

Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:19 AM   #2
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The door lock seems to be functioning properly, I believe that the trailer's flexing on bad road conditions caused the lock to slip out of the catch plate in the door frame.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Hi Fred,

We have had the same happening with our Boler. I think that your assessment of the problem is correct. Our solution is a bungee cord of just the right length from the closet to reach inside and hook onto the door handle. Then the door won't fly wide open on left-hand turns, and can be re-latched at the next stop.

Des
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:31 AM   #3
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I have a clasp latch on the bottom of my boler door. When travelling you clasp it and it sucks the bottom of the door tight to the weatherstripping. Bolers are natorious for having a gap at the bottom of the door allowing dust and crap to enter while travelling. The clasp kills 2 birds with one stone.
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:27 PM   #4
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Thanks Des and Colin. I had toyed with the idea of a bungee cord on the inside. Maybe I will give that a try first, and then consider the latch if it doesn't work.

Fred
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Old 12-15-2006, 12:16 AM   #5
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My Scamp does de tame ting!
I shaped on a milling machine a block of poly white plastic that has a groove that slides on the bellyband over the door. I machined two slots in the plastic for two screws that are tapped into the belly band.
This sliding plastic bolt has worked O.K. the last three trips.
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:54 AM   #6
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Jim, you need to replace the brass part of your hinges. Scamp sells a repair kit, but it may be just as cheap to replace the hinges, rather than take the time/money to repair. That way you'd know you've got good ones. The price on their website:
Outside Door Hinge Set (Two Hinges), 26.00
Brass Ball, 1.50
Hinge Springs, 1.25
Set Of Brass Ball, Springs, Two In. Bolts, Etc., 5.00

Don't Trilliums have a wood frame that the door hinges screw into? I've read about wood rot when windows leak...maybe the door hinges are affected the same way?
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Old 12-15-2006, 08:14 AM   #7
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Yes, my Burro mounted into a thin chunk of plywood encapsulated under a sculptered bit in the body. It lived between the shells.

Rotted clean away, it's amazing the door stayed on as long as it did.

Major fiberglass surgery later fixed it. The thread was lost in the hack, and the pics are living on my dead laptops hard drive
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:16 AM   #8
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We had the same problem, people would tell us at the red light that the door was
swinging open, stop door closed and locked.

Finally the wife saw the door swing open going down the road, no bumps or anything that would cause the flexing in the trailer, ( scamp, fifth wheel). So we hook a bungee cord to a inside handle and then the outside door.

We stopped in Elkhart to pick up some parts for our bus conversion, and I got to looking at the door lock and I think that was the problem, felt like a spring was broke in the lock, and not holding the latch closed. Of course, I couldn't find any at the local surplus stores, but Scamp only wanted $14 for the piece.

We'll be off to FL for the x-mas holidays, and I get to check if the door lock caused the problem.


regards
david
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:23 PM   #9
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Donna, the usual Trillium hinges are not the Scamp/Boler ball-pivot design; they are more like a commercial refrigerator hinge, with a conventional pivot pin. They're barely visible in the Album photo of a 1978 15' Trillium. It's a different approach to providing the offset required due to body curvature, with the Boler/Scamp pivot axis offset outward from the body, and the Trillium pivot axis offset forward from the door edge. Fred, is that right for your 4500?

For those with worn ball-pivot hinges, I would certainly recommend trying just the ball replacement (and spring and bolt if you want) before resorting to doing the whole hinge. I did this (on my Boler 1700, using parts from Scamp), and found it very easy (almost trivial) - getting the hinge halves off of the door and body would be another matter entirely.

In my case replacing the pivot balls did help the door alignment, but bending of the body at the lower hinge mounting area is a larger problem, so the latch still does not align as well as it should. This did cause an accidental door opening once, I guess before the ball replacement. The only issue I have had with body flex due to frame bending has been when I have transferred too much load to rear stabilizer stands, bending the body up at the ends and causing the door to stick (latch jamming, not letting go).
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Old 12-16-2006, 07:34 AM   #10
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Donna, the usual Trillium hinges are not the Scamp/Boler ball-pivot design; they are more like a commercial refrigerator hinge, with a conventional pivot pin.
I realize that Brian, if you notice I was responding to Jim who has a Scamp. Jim mentioned his door flies open too and he discussed what he had done to stop it.
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:00 AM   #11
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I had the same prob. with our 99 Scamp. The door handle is pressed downward on the inside to open. There is an internal spring in the latch mech. to return the handle to horizontal. While traveling, road bumps gradually move the door handle downward and (it appears) that tension on the door prevents the spring from returning the handle to the horizontal position. I installed a small expansion spring on the exterior top of the latch which engages the door handle and helps return it to the horizontal position. So far, so good. I havn't had any problems with the door opening since installing it last spring.
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:09 PM   #12
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On the lever style older Boler door latch mechanisms, if the spring inside is broken it`ll do the lever working it`s way down and unlatching the door trick....this spring can be changed with a good one and voila, problem solved... ..Benny
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:33 PM   #13
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I realize that Brian, if you notice I was responding to Jim who has a Scamp...
Gee, that would be why you started off with "Jim,"... sorry

Jim, I'd still do just the balls first...
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Old 02-11-2007, 10:07 PM   #14
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Thanks Des and Colin. I had toyed with the idea of a [b]bungee cord on the inside. Maybe I will give that a try first, and then consider the latch if it doesn't work.

Fred
My exterior door lockset may be different from what people with 13' trailers have, but I found this little door knob bungee at my local trailer supply. I have one outside, on the main door and 2 inside; one on the bathroom door and one on the closet door.
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