Looking for some Door Hinges.... - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-17-2007, 01:33 AM   #15
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The Boler and Scamp hinges are apparently identical, other than the mounting flange details. Other than therse two, I have never seen a closely similar design... which doesn't mean there isn't one, of course.
My Perris Pacer has the same hinge issue......same design using identical bushings, springs, bolts, but the mounting flange on the trailer side has only two mounting holes versus three on the Scamp hinges. Maybe mine are the same as Boler? I've never looked that close at others.
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:35 PM   #16
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I redid the hinge mounting on my 13 foot Burro. I had to remove the whole hinge from the body and remove the door (With the hinges still attached, as there was no issue with the door mounts)

Can you rebuild the hinges on the door, or do they have to be removed completely from the trailer?
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Old 06-17-2007, 02:08 PM   #17
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My Perris Pacer has the same hinge issue......same design using identical bushings, springs, bolts, but the mounting flange on the trailer side has only two mounting holes versus three on the Scamp hinges. Maybe mine are the same as Boler?...
That seems likely, as that difference in number of bolts - and apparently spacing of the holes - is the only Boler/Scamp difference that I know of. It seems that the Scamp hinge revision is further down the evolutionary tree than the Perris cloning of the Boler...
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Old 06-17-2007, 02:21 PM   #18
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...apparently the design of the Scamp and Boler hinges allows the door to open and close by allowing the hinge to change the axis of the hinge pin as it swings.....it seems that this is done because of the body shape of the trailers....if the manufacturers had incorporated flat verticle mounting pads for the hinges onto the trailer body, then a standard butt type hinge could be used as the door would swing on that type of hinge like a domestic house door ......when the door of the Boler and Scamp swings, you can see the hinge pin change it`s angle from the verticle plumb position....
I just ran out to the driveway and checked - there is no [b]angle change in my Boler's hinges with door motion. The ball design would allow this, and it may indeed be a reason for the design choice, but the hinge halves are angled to match the body so there's no need for the allowance unless the body shape is distorted so the hinges are not properly aligned. Locating the hinges incorrectly would also require this, and there's nothing moulded into the body or door to indicate specifically where the hinges should be, so I'll be there are Bolers out there that need the balls to work.

A standard domestic door hinge still wouldn't work, because clearance is needed for the curve of the body. This has nothing to do with balls versus straight pins, but all hinges for curved doors have some kind of [b]offset; the Boler/Scamp/Pacer hinges are offset outboard (perpendicular to the trailer wall), as are (for instance) GMC motorhomes. Trillium, Escape, and U-Haul hinge pins are offset forward (along the trailer wall). I think the forward offset is a much better idea, although purely forward offset does not allow 180 degree door movement.

This (fuzzy) photo, looking downward past my Boler's hinges, shows how the pivot points of the hinges stand well out from the body. The angles of the hinges mounting pads are not apparent from this view, but are such that they could have straight pins and work fine, as long as the pins were aligned.

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(Note that in this photo the hinges are also twisted on the body, which causes door alignment problems and is the reason the photo was taken; this is caused by the offset and unrelated to the ball design)
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Old 06-17-2007, 02:31 PM   #19
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...Can you rebuild the hinges on the door, or do they have to be removed completely from the trailer?
The bolts which run through the balls, and the springs on them, can be changed without even opening the door. Since these bolts are not hinge pins (that's the balls' job), the door is still fully supported.

To change a ball, the bolt through it is removed, and the door lifted enough to get the ball out. You might be able to do this to only one hinge at a time, not removing the door, because the spring on the other hinge's bolt would allow a little movement. I wouldn't bother trying this.

The easy way to change balls (and the bolts and springs with them) is to remove both bolts, lift the door off, place the new ball(s) on the body-side hinges, and replace the door. There is no need to remove either side (door or body) of either hinge (top or bottom) unless the aluminum hinge halves themselves are to be replaced.

One advantage of lifting the door off is that's when you find it is way too heavy, and thus realize it is full of water. Well, that's how it worked for me and a few other people, anyway...

The hinge halves are bolted through the door and body. I have not replaced any of the hinge halves, and have not even removed any of the (rusty) bolts yet.
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Old 06-17-2007, 02:37 PM   #20
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I can see why one would not want to remove the door if they didn't have to.

I was wondering why one would rebuild an assemby when it seems so cheap to just replace the whole thing and have a nice looking new hinge instead of wrestling with rusty bolts etc.
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Old 06-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #21
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I went outside in the dark to my 13' just now with a tape measure and a flashlight.....being limited as to how much I could check under these conditions, the only part I checked was the centre top of the top hinge bolt.....found that from the casting where the top screw comes thru from the cabin and to the top of the centre of the bolt the distance changes 1/8", going from 3/4" with door closed to 7/8" with the door opened 90 degrees.....the pin angle changes that amount.....maybe tomorrow will check with a protractor for actual angle change in degrees when door opens and closes.....when the door is closed both top hinges are mounted parallel to each other against the cabin and as the door is opened toward 180 degrees the distance between the mounting points of the hinges changes to a "V" between the top of the castings and the bottom....the ball ass`y is what allows the hinge to do this...... haven`t checked the 17' to see how much the change is there since I believe there is not as much curve in the body as the 13' ....Benny
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:49 PM   #22
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For me, there were three reasons for rebuilding rather than replacing:
  • there are no replacement hinges which would directly bolt on (...to a Boler, this doesn't apply to a Scamp), so replacement would be a much larger job, involving new mounting holes
  • the single spring-loaded bolt per hinge is easy to remove, even if rusted, while the four mounting bolts per hinge are poorly accessible (the body side bolts covered by the wall lining) and likely rusted and siezed in the hinges; the rebuild is much easier even if the exact replacement hinge were available
  • the sane way to mount new hinges would be just like any normal door: mount both halves, place door, insert pin (or ball and bolt in this case) - this means disassembling the hinges anyway, so it is the work of a rebuild and more
The Scamp hinges are cheap, so cost was not a factor.

Yesterday I noticed that my lower hinge was creaking and in need of lubrication, so I pulled the bolts, lifted the door off, added grease, replaced the door, and replaced the bolts. Total elapsed time, largely getting and putting away the wrenches and grease, was 7 or 8 minutes.
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:45 PM   #23
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....when the door is closed both top hinges are mounted parallel to each other against the cabin and as the door is opened toward 180 degrees the distance between the mounting points of the hinges changes to a "V" between the top of the castings and the bottom...
Benny, it sounds like the bases of your hinge halves are not angled to match the angle between the body and the hinge axis, as they should be. The hinges are normally numbered "1" and "2"; the two are identical, except that angle, with one set to fit the top and the other to fit the bottom.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:52 PM   #24
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Trailer: 74 13 ft Boler and 79 17 ft Boler
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My hinges are set the same on both Bolers....the top pair are an upside down #2 long and a #2 short....the lower set are both #1....one long and the other short.....the long ones on top and the short ones on the bottom of the ball.....I have never swapped the hinges around on either trailer....so if this is wrong it is coincidence that they are wrong on both trailers......Benny
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