Sagging doors - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-29-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
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I have read a lot of posts about the sagging doors on boler trailers and mine is no different, I removed the door to install a new window and thought it felt heavy , after sitting in the warm garage a while frost started to appear on the bottom third of the door, it's full of water! a lot of water. I don't know how it got in there but I drilled a few drain holes in the bottom so it won't happen again.

This has to be a part of the sagging door problem!
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Old 11-29-2008, 04:40 PM   #2
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Hi Rick,

The doors have an inner and outer layer of fiberglass, with varying types and amounts of core between the layers. Water can get in where there are breaks in either "skin," such as for the window, hinge attachment fasteners, or door handle.

It's possible that these fixtures weren't well-bedded to begin with, or that the bedding has simply aged past the point of doing its job.

I come from a boating background, and on fiberglass boats the decks are often constructed similarly. There it provides a structural function (i.e. makes the decks stiff and light), so it's really important to keep the core dry and healthy. Once it gets wet and the skins delaminate, you no longer have the "I-beam" structural function.

The Boler door is not structural in the same sense, although the stressed skin could help to keep the door curved. (That said, I'm not sure if this was part of the engineering thought when they made them, as I've read varying reports of what's actually in the doors, ranging from full core, to strips, to nothing.)

To keep water out of the inner door, the most basic step would be to "bed" the fixtures with something like butyl tape or caulk. On boats, we oftentimes ream out the core for a short distance around the item and then fill the gap (or larger hole in the case of a fastener) with thickened epoxy. Once that cures you have a barrier (in the case of a fasterner you redrill the smaller fastener hole through the new epoxy annulus). Then you reinstall the item and re-bed it.

I realize there are various reasons for sagging doors, but if the body is "straight" and the hinges aren't pulling it out of alignment --- meaning the the only problem is the bottom of the door "relaxing" its curve --- then "re-coring" the door would most likely fix the sagging. It's the same as the boat decks: The two skins spaced apart by the core, but held fast to it, create a strong, shape-holding structure.

Not saying you need to do all this on your Boler door; I really just started to explain where the water got in, since you were wondering, then I got a bit carried away

R.
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Old 11-29-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
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The inner door is filled with low density foam, I was hoping when I put the door back on with new bolts and some brass balls from another deceased Boler the door would come back into place (it didn't). When I installed the new window I put it straight with the door when I put the door back on, because its 3/4" lower on one the new window looks crooked. The only way I can see to fix the door would be to repostion the hinges, Next summer I will have a go at fixing the door
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:20 PM   #4
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Ah, I see, you're talking about sagging on the hinges and I was thinking that perhaps you meant the curve of the door "relaxing."

R.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:58 PM   #5
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The inner door is filled with low density foam, I was hoping when I put the door back on with new bolts and some brass balls from another deceased Boler the door would come back into place (it didn't). When I installed the new window I put it straight with the door when I put the door back on, because its 3/4" lower on one the new window looks crooked. The only way I can see to fix the door would be to repostion the hinges, Next summer I will have a go at fixing the door
Hi: Rick... I repositioned the hinges on our former Boler using a product called Tech Steel. I plugged the old holes(looked like clover leaves) and within an hour was able to file smooth& redrill new holes. This product was avail. from a local auto parts supply store. It really is a two person job but do able.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:06 AM   #6
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Alf
did you add any backing to the inside wall under the hinge?
did you have to move both hinges or just the top one ?
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:38 PM   #7
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did you add any backing to the inside wall under the hinge?
did you have to move both hinges or just the top one ?
Hi: Rick... First I ordered hinge repair kits from Scamp. Each kit is comprised of 1 pin,1brass ball, 1 compression spring& 1 nut. I did not remove the hinge halves from the trailer wall...just the door1/2's. I had to drill out the screws as they would not turn had been painted over by previous owner!!! These I replaced with S/S bolts and acorn nuts. At this point I discovered that the door only required a slight adjustment aprox. 1/4 " and slightly less bottom than top!!! Thats why I plugged the holes in the door...that and it looked like it wasn't the first time this had been done(elongated holes)!!! I was able to wedge some wood shingles along the door edge to hold the door in while I marked where to drill the new holes. All in all a very slight movement of the hinges produced a much straighter hanging door. BUT...You must be very cautious not to move the door enough to misalign the latch striker and plate or your door will want to sprout wings while in tow!!!
I hope this helps some.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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If any one is interested, I can send you a 16 page tutorial on how I did the repair on our Boler door. I put this together after a number of requests from other members. It includes step by step pictures and descriptions and bill of materials.
It is about 5 mgs. in a zip file so you need to have high speed internet connection.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:37 PM   #9
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Perhaps your manual should be in the document center available for dowload for years to come.
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:50 PM   #10
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If any one is interested, I can send you a 16 page tutorial on how I did the repair on our Boler door. I put this together after a number of requests from other members. It includes step by step pictures and descriptions and bill of materials.
It is about 5 mgs. in a zip file so you need to have high speed internet connection.
Would appreciate a copy of this, experiencing the same problem with my 1980 13 footer.

Thanks
Scott
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:50 PM   #11
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Con's manual is very well put together with easy to follow directions, not to sure about the aluminum welding.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:13 PM   #12
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Perhaps your manual should be in the document center available for dowload for years to come.
Already on it Roy... sounds like a great idea to me.
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