Next problem... Hinge on outside door broke off!! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-02-2008, 04:23 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
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We went camping this past weekend in our 13' 1982 Burro. As I was about to close the outside door at the end of the trip I hear a "pop" and found that the top hinge of the door had ripped off the side of the camper! I found the head of one screw, an intact but very rusted and worn down 2nd screw and no sign of the 3rd screw. The holes in the camper don't look too bad and the hinge itself is not damaged. Fortunately I was able to close the door and lock it so the camper stayed closed on the drive home. So now I have to re-attach my door....

Please remember from my last post that I have very little if any mechanical skills. I have a garage full of tools that could create a lot of things in the right persons hands, those hands unfortunately are not mine!

Can I put 3 new screws into the old holes and call it good? Should I use some type of anchor in the holes on the camper to screw in the new screws? Do I need to fill the existing holes with something and then re drill new ones? Any other ideas or concerns? I can post a photo tomorrow too show what I'm dealing with if that would be helpful to anyone.

Again.... Please....type...slowly...using....single...syllab le....words...if....possible!


Thanks!!


Rob
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
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Post....the....pictures....

Sorry, had to say it.

The pix will help whoever weighs in with a recommendation. Hopefully you'll have an easy fix.
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Old 09-03-2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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When I was reworking my friend Karen's Burro, I found a previous mechanic had replaced all the hinge screws with larger ones. He had done that because the wood inside the door that the screws go into was pretty soft and half-rotten. I was able to salvage the situation by soaking the wood with an epoxy-based penetrating sealant pumped in through the screw holes with an eye dropper. Once the sealant had cured and firmed up the wood (it was quite a long wait because I was doing this in the fall and it was cold out), I pumped in epoxy resin using a caulking gun and then had something firm to drill new screw holes into.


In one spot (the lower hinge) I was able to get under the bench seat and get access to the rotten wood; I just cut out the old piece using a Dremel and fiberglassed in a good piece.

When I put the door back on I was able to revert to the proper sized screws. Also, I used stainless screws; cost more but'll never rust.


Here's the thread:

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/in...howtopic=28267
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:51 PM   #4
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Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
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Thanks for the advice so far. Here are a couple photos:

It's the upper hinge that broke. Here is the hinge with the door closed showing the hinge over the holes:


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here is a look at the holes:


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Sounds like I should buy some epoxy-based penetrating sealant and some epoxy resin pumped through the holes, redrill and use stainless screws. Can I buy these types of products in the Home Depot paint department or should I go to a specialty store? Are these products specific for fiberglass or someother type of material? Thanks!!


Rob
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
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Hi there,

The problem with simply filling holes is that there *may* not be anything back there to fill and nothing for the epoxy to stick to.

I had the exact failure (As have many others) on my 13 footer a few years ago.

Unfortunately, all the pics and story were lost in the hack.. I will try to recap so it makes sense without the visual.

The raised area that the hinge mates with does indeed hide a plywood backer that the screws mount into. Unfortunately, it isn't an area folks pay much attention to when checking for leaks, as the whole "Bubble" there is sealed off from the rest of the rig.. if there is a leak, you wouldn't know it...until the door falls off. Why Burro didn't encapsulate the plywood, I dunno.. and it has caused this problem for many future owners. Once the water starts, the plywood backer literally disintegrates.. nothing left but powder if it goes too long.

What we did to fix mine:

Cut away the raised area, in one piece.. (After removing the door, of course) I used a dremel tool, it makes a clean cut for the eventual reuse of the bit. Save that sculpty bit as a whole (Think Skull Cap) and set aside for reuse. You will now see what has no doubt turned into a black powder.. that used to be the plywood block.

Vacuum out the cavity and roughly shape a bit of wood so it fills most of the space. Encapsulated the wood in fiberglass.. small kits are available at any auto supply store. Place wood in the cavity.

Next, get the "Hump" you cut away and fiberglass it back into place. Sand and fill as required around the edge you glassed back on.

Use stainless screws, and yes, when you remount the door, use epoxy in the holes.

When I sold the unit, the guy that bought it had no clue it had been rebuilt in that area. It isn't hard to do, you will have some paint and refinish work to do tho.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:20 AM   #6
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Whoa!!! I don't think I'm prepared to cut out chucks of my hull. Are there any other options? I'd rater send a bolt all the way through to a nut on the inside of the camper. I think I'd like to try the option Steve had with the epoxy first. Any reason I shouldn't try that before I try any other options?
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:40 PM   #7
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You can do that, using a HUGE fender washer on the inside... BUT...

you really should have a lot more support than the 1/4 to 1/8 fiberglass on each hull.

The epoxy won't do any good if there is no wood back there for it to bond with, and I sure wouldn't want to rely on just a wad of glue for support.
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