Playpac door repair help - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-14-2009, 12:31 PM   #1
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Trailer: PlayPac
New Hampshire
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So the first thing that needs to be fixed on my "new" Playpac is the door. The Playpac door is framed in aluminum trim and riveted through the fiberglass. It swings on a piano hinge which is riveted between the inner molding and outer frame.

The door itself seems to be mostly fine structurally. I'm not sure of what it's made of ... plastic/fiberglass? Anyway, the door molding is screwed into the door and that's how it's held in place.

pictures at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/snojrnl/PlaypacDoor#

The hinge is warped/pulling out and the inner door frame molding is not holding the door securely. Screws are pulled out and there's a damaged area on the upper corner.

I think the outer door frame is OK. It will probably need to be removed so a new hinge can be riveted in place. The inner door frame around the door itself needs to be replaced. Does anyone know of a source for that type of aluminum frame w/ curved corner pieces?
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:04 PM   #2
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New Hampshire
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I removed the door today. There were only 3 loose screws holding it in . With the broken frame, the door just fell out.

Closeup pics of the door:
http://picasaweb.google.com/snojrnl/PlaypacDoorCloseup#

The playpac door is an interesting construction. It doesn't look like it was really meant to be repaired, but I'll find a way. I think I need to locate someone who can bend aluminum channel. If I can get channel properly bent, I should be able to rebuild the frame around the door. I may then need to remove the main door frame from the Playpac to rehang the hinge... and then re-rivet it all back in place. I'm not exacty sure how I'm going to do it yet, but this is definitely a big project. This frame is structural, so I need to have it fabricated as a single piece.

--Chris



Quote:
So the first thing that needs to be fixed on my "new" Playpac is the door. The Playpac door is framed in aluminum trim and riveted through the fiberglass. It swings on a piano hinge which is riveted between the inner molding and outer frame.

The door itself seems to be mostly fine structurally. I'm not sure of what it's made of ... plastic/fiberglass? Anyway, the door molding is screwed into the door and that's how it's held in place.

pictures at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/snojrnl/PlaypacDoor#

The hinge is warped/pulling out and the inner door frame molding is not holding the door securely. Screws are pulled out and there's a damaged area on the upper corner.

I think the outer door frame is OK. It will probably need to be removed so a new hinge can be riveted in place. The inner door frame around the door itself needs to be replaced. Does anyone know of a source for that type of aluminum frame w/ curved corner pieces?
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Chris, I know you've got a PlayPac, but have you checked out Con's excellent writeup on how to fix a Boler aircraft door? He fixed it with an internal aluminum frame. Check out the writeup from the Document Center here: Boler Door Fix It's a 16 page PDF, and you may find it faster to save it to your hard drive rather than trying to open it across the 'net.

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Old 09-16-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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Trailer: PlayPac
New Hampshire
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Thanks for the PDF reference Donna ... I hadn't seen that before and it's definitely a helpful writeup.

The Playpac door is a single piece and it's quite different than scamp/boler doors. I'm still afraid that the only answer for this fix is to find a source for bending aluminum channel and build a new door frame.
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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Trailer: PlayPac
New Hampshire
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I've hit a brick wall. Nobody wants to help. I've called a bunch of different places... RV parts, metals fab, etc., all to no avail.

I'm beginning to think that this type of door repair on a Playpac won't be possible. I still can't figure out how it was possible to bend aluminum channel in the 70's, yet it's impossible now. Did we lose the technology somewhere along the way?

So yeah I'm stuck, big time. My Playpac doesn't have a door and it doesn't look like it's going to have a working door any time soon.

Does ANYONE have even the slightest clue about where I can obtain a few pieces of custom bent aluminum U channel? Anyone? It doesn't seem like that big of a request.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:13 PM   #6
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Well it looks like I did something wrong. No surprise there(grin).

Chris I'll try again. Bending the c channel is not impossible but it is a fussy pain in the butt sort of job that many shops won't want to take on. Bending channel forms often requires the use of fillers or special dies to prevent the channel legs from closing in or opening up at the bends. In addition the exact channel you have may not be available today as a lot of extrusions are proprietary and the dies for this one may have been lost with Play Pac. Do you have dimensions of the existing channel? It may be close to a stock extrusion which could be substituted. If you substitute a different extrusion you may need to use a glued on weather seal since the small channel for your existing strip will not be there.

I'm a long way from you being in NJ but I have an extremely talented friend in southern NH who might be able to help you. I'd have to ask him if he's interested before I pass along his number. I'm sure you are aware that a new frame will not be inexpensive but it is certainly doable. This time around replace the piano hinge with an aluminum one also if you do the job.

I tried without success to acquire a derelict Play Pac here in my area before I was fortunate enough to find a Trillium in very good condition for an amazing price this summer. I just took that camper on a weekend trip to Vermont and then back through New Hampshire for a blacksmithing event. I love it and I'm sure you'll love the Play Pac when you get it finished.
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Old 09-18-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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I have a friend who is a good welder ... I'm going to talk to him because I think it's going to be much easier to build a new frame from steel channel rather than aluminum. I could build the radiused corners from sheet steel and weld it all together probably much easier than aluminum.

Thanks, me, for the suggestion.
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