Redoing Burro door hinges - door fell off! - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
Posts: 37
Redoing Burro door hinges - door fell off!

Some wicked washboard finished off the hinges on our '82 Burro last weekend. Made it to the campsite, but when I went to open the door, it literally fell off, pulling all the screws out of the trailer body (the hinges remained attached and functional on the door).

A liberal application of JB Weld and some new screws made it serviceable to get home, but I'll have to substantially redo the hinges/frame.

Any tips on doing this on the Burro?

There appears to be a (now rotten) wood panel sandwiched between the inner and outer skin under a bulge to which the hinge is screwed.

I'm not sure if I would be better off cutting away the outer fiberglass and replacing that piece of wood, then refiberglassing and repainting the section (lotta work, but probably pretty solid), or just putting bolts all the through the inner or outer skin and bolting it to a plate of some sort on the interior (much less work, uglier and possibly less secure).


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Old 05-12-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 72 Boler American
Posts: 1,557
That sux! If I was going to cut up the glass to fix the wood I'd probably do it on the inside. Can you do that with a Burro?

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Old 05-12-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 23,908
Hummm, seems like Gina had a problem with the door in her 13footer. She cut the fiberglass away on the inside (if I remember right) to get at the wood, etc. And I think she said it was better cosmetically than doing it on the outside.

I'll see if I can find the post... no promises tho.

On Edit: FOUND IT!
Next problem... Hinge on outside door broke off!! this will take you right to her post.
Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #4
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 4,517
I had thought that the Burro hinges would hold up forever, they look so tough. It never occurred to me that there is rottable wood holding the hinges in place! Wow.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #5
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Name: Charlie
Trailer: '83 Burro
Posts: 300
Latecomer to this thread; The '83 I got from Shane O had a similar problem when he got it, so he glassed in little plates of aluminum between the layers. It's invisible from the outside and I expect the repair to outlast me!

This technique is reminiscent of the way high power rifle shooters bed the blocks that are used to screw together their big boomers. I've never heard of one of those coming loose, and think of the pounding they take!

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Old 07-09-2011, 02:08 PM   #6
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Name: Patti
Trailer: 1984 UHaul CT13
Posts: 387
Don't know how to install but look on "" at the Polar hinges they advertise. Made for Burro.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
Posts: 37
Finally got around to fixing this last week. Took it out on Saturday and the new hinge mounts held up fine.

When I cut open the hinge mounts, there were two layers of wood inside: A small top piece of plywood, which was old and beat up, and some kind of regular wood block, which was like a sponge. It's a wonder it was holding anything at all - you could scoop it out with a fingernail.

I got all that out, let the cavity dry off, cut out some new plywood pieces for both sections, wrapped it all with fiberglass and shoved it in the cavity, then held the flap until the fiberglass set. A little more fiberglass, a little Bondo, some paint and voila, good as new - literally, I would think.

One note: I painted my trailer a couple years ago, so don't expect be able to blend in a repair like this if you have the original gel coat.
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trailerhinge1.jpg   trailerhinge2.jpg  

trailerhinge3.jpg   trailerhinge4.jpg  

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Old 01-22-2014, 05:08 PM   #8
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Name: Paul
Trailer: 1983 Burro 13ft.
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by keekers View Post
Don't know how to install but look on "" at the Polar hinges they advertise. Made for Burro.
So gl;ad I saw this input, my hinges were totally gone and now I've ordered new hinges and replace them with some good fiberglass work.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:16 AM   #9
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Name: pat
Trailer: MITY LITE
British Columbia
Posts: 102
May I pick you brain on this one? I have the same problem ! I have never figerglassed and wondering what kind of wood would be best and what materials needed to glass? The door also has a gap bottom left.....
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:53 AM   #10
Name: Rick
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 76
You have some choices, depending on how rotted the interior wood is.

As for the replacement wood, use PT (pressure treated) so as to resist future rot as moisture will eventually get in there again.

The bottom hinge is easier to repair as you can get to it from the inside since it is not a sealed surface, being under the seat. You can simply cut a suitable block of wood and fiberglass or epoxy it in place.

The upper hinge is more of a challenge as this area is finished on both sides. If the screw holes are enlarged but there seems to be "some" of the original wood still intact, I would first try injecting thickened epoxy into the screw holes with a syringe. Woodworkers use this trick to put glue into small spaces. Put in as much as it will take.You want to fill all the voids. But it must be thick so that it does not just drip down inside the wall. 2 applications of this may be needed. After a day of setting up drill a pilot hole in the hardened mix through one of the screw holes and install a 2" screw about half way. Then grab the extending screw with vice grips and test to determine if you can wiggle it around. If it appears to be solid, you are good to go. Then just pilot drill and install the hinge. It is WAY worth it to try this method since the alternative on.

If it is still not solid. You need to cut open the FG and dig out the rotted wood and replace with new dry PT. It is your choice as to whether you want to go in from the outside or the inside. You can get a small fiberglassing kit which has resin, hardener and glass cloth, since you are doing a small area.

I did this to my Burro. After the repair, I painted the new FG with the closest color auto spray paint that I could find. (some old Ford white from auto parts store). Feathered it into the gelcoat (all wax removed) with fine sandpaper then polished the whole Burro with RedMax pro. It looks amazingly good. The polish and the curved surfaces hides the slight color mismatch.

When reinstalling the hinges, regardless of repair method, be sure to set the hinge in butyl tape to prevent water from leaking in again through the screw holes!

The Burro hinge itself is a Polar hinge originally designed for commercial freezers. The hinge itself should outlast the trailer.

Good luck,
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:39 AM   #11
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Name: pat
Trailer: MITY LITE
British Columbia
Posts: 102
Thanks Rick,

I'll try the epoxy first and cross my fingers. The holes on the door are also needed to be done...Previous owner drilled through and reinforced with nut bolt to inside wall...So when I remove door there will exposed holes on the inside walls. I'll fill those with epoxy as well I guess. Looks like they are replacement hinges as there are 4 holes on the door side.

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