Trillium door hinge fix, need inside patch - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
Name: Colleen
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 63
Trillium door hinge fix, need inside patch

Hi all: I have a 1980 Trillium and the top door hinges gave out recently on a camping trip. (Scary, but God bless duct tape.) We limped home and now I'm fixing.
I saw a thread here (I think) where the owner had cut little ports on the inside which allowed him to then bolt the hinges in. This worked well but now I want to patch the holes on the inside in a way that allows for future access.

Since I'm relatively handy with wood, my first thought was to use a rectangle of 1/8" marine plywood, with light scoring on the back side to cover the curve of the hollow, fiberglass tube-like beam. But then, the bottom hinge cover would be problematic given that it curves in two dimensions: around the beam and "down" the beam where the tube begins to narrow. I'm not sure, but I don't think the plywood would bend well in two directions.

I'm thinking a more mold-able patch is in order -- maybe out of fiberglass which I have never worked with or some other, moldable material that will dry hard and be paintable. (I want to be able to screw the patch to the column.) Does anyone have any suggestions for material to use? Thanks in advance,

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Old 10-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #2
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
I am very interested in how this turns out. I wish I could offer some advice, but I have not attempted anything like this.

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Old 10-09-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
Name: Colleen
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 63
Here are some pics. The hinges are original. I removed the door side of the hinges as well and filled the holes with epoxy as those screws were giving way as well. I'm allowing it to cure for three days and then will rebore some holes and remount the hinges. And seal the holes a bit as well with marine adhesive sealant before I do. I think my only problem at this point is how to do a nice patch for the interior -- to give the impression I know what I'm doing.
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bottom bend.jpg   bottom port.jpg  

hinge outside.jpg   door side.jpg  

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Old 10-09-2014, 04:00 PM   #4
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,035
I have never done this type of repair before but this is how I would do it.
I would use this material.
Wal-Board Tools 8 in. x 8 in. Drywall Repair Self Adhesive Wall Patch-54-007 at The Home Depot
I would cut a piece over size and I would form it to the opening and stick it in place. Now you have a backing to work with. I would stick some glass and resin to that and let it cure to make a solid patch to cover the hole. If your good with Bondo you could fill it flush and stipple the surface to match texture as best you can and paint it.

A structural repair your going to have to glass it in a much bigger area making the repair bigger than what you now have.

Unfortunately you cut out the surface skin. Next time cut an inch wider than the hole you want to make. cut a slice with a very sharp razor across the top and bottom to the door jamb and peel back the to covering like a book. Then after the repair you can glue it back in place only dealing with the top and bottom cuts no vertical cuts since it goes back the door jamb. and no missing pieces.

Another way would be to to glue your original pieces back in place even though they are cut smaller. Take a strip of duct tape and tape it across the cut out piece right in the middle third leaving tails out the sides to stick on the wall. then stick this in the hole and use the tape to hold it in place. Now take a glue gun and squeeze some dabs of glue in four spots to temporary hold it in place. Now peel the duct tape off very carefully. Take some adhesive and fill in the gap. When that's cured dig out the dabs of hot-melt and fill those places with the same adhesive. If you use white adhesive calk and your lucky maybe the cut outs wont look too bad.
Patience will be your friend and preparing everything so you don't create a mess and spread it all over the place will be essential.
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Old 10-10-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
Name: Colleen
Trailer: Trillium
Posts: 63
Hey Steve! Thank you. I didn't save the original piece for the top hole, but I did for the bottom one. Gonna take you up on your kind advice and do this. I'll post progress pics here if I have sufficient gumption. I hung the door last night and it feels and sounds nice and solid. No worries for me on that score. Now to the "blemishes." I hope I didn't compromise the strength of the column too much with this maneuver though. I also didn't realize prior to taking this action that "ensolite" was such a precious commodity -- had no idea. Mine was stuck on with something that would not let go, so I had to cut and scrape it. Fortunately, there is a largish sheet of loose ensolite covering wiring inside the galley cupboard which I can use for the door, and replace with something else. Got lucky.

Next step, fix the column, and then replace wood around the windows. Scary.
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