Trillium Hinge Repair - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #1
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Trillium Hinge Repair

The door on our Trillium was harder to open the wider you opened it. When our trailer was built the door hinges were installed not parallel to each other. This resulted in a torque on the hinges pins that was literally pulling the screws out of the trailer body. To solve the problem I removed five of the six screws on the upper hinge, filled the holes and relocated each screw such that it was the same distance from its lower counter part.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:12 PM   #2
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My original assumption that the trailer side of the hinge was screwed into a block of wood was incorrect. There was nothing there but the thickened fiberglass wall. I decided that bolts and backing plates would better support the hinges. To do this required peeling back the wall covering. This exposed a fiberglass structural support. To get to the back of the hinges required cutting access holes in the support. The hinge screws can be seen protruding from the fiberglass.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:18 PM   #3
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Next the door was removed. I used PC - 11 epoxy putty to fill the holes in the door and on the trailer. I clamped a piece of sheet metal to seal one side of the holes. At first I tried to push the putty into each hole with a bamboo skewer but the putty was so sticky it wouldn't stay in. Putting the putty into a syringe and injecting it into each hole worked great. A couple of hours later I removed the sheet metal and with a putty knife removed the putty that had oozed. This saved lots of sanding.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:18 PM   #4
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Raz, the wood block idea is a good one as it will definitely provide more support. Just remember, that's also what Burro did and now some owners are having door sag problems because the wood dry rotted. Really work at sealing the hinge bolt area or you (or future owner) may find the same condition down the road.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:20 PM   #5
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More pictures.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:23 PM   #6
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Maggie and I set the door in place using duct tape after drilling the bolt holes for the lower hinge. Using the emergency window I went inside and installed the lower backing plate and the corresponding hardware.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:25 PM   #7
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Days were spent researching and constructing a tool to precisely place the upper fasteners. Once marked, the upper holes were drilled. On the door we reinstalled the screws; on the trailer, bolts with a backing plate.

I put access covers on the holes should we need to get in there again.

The door now swings freely. Raz
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Raz, the wood block idea is a good one as it will definitely provide more support. Just remember, that's also what Burro did and now some owners are having door sag problems because the wood dry rotted. Really work at sealing the hinge bolt area or you (or future owner) may find the same condition down the road.
Hi Donna,

We were surprised to find nothing back there supporting the door other than fiberglass. We expect that Raz's reinforcement with the metal plates will provide the extra support and avoid troubles that wood might cause. <crossing our fingers> And, yah, we sealed the hinge bolt area really well. <more crossed fingers>

Maggie
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Old 07-31-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Days were spent researching and constructing a tool to precisely place the upper fasteners. Once marked, the upper holes were drilled. On the door we reinstalled the screws; on the trailer, bolts with a backing plate.

I put access covers on the holes should we need to get in there again.

The door now swings freely. Raz
Super job

I really need to permanently fix my door hinges and you've inspired me to undertake the task.
Finally!
Any chance you could post pics and instructions for the tool you mention above?
Is it a template of some kind?

Thanks!

Francesca
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Super job

I really need to permanently fix my door hinges and you've inspired me to undertake the task.
Finally!
Any chance you could post pics and instructions for the tool you mention above?
Is it a template of some kind?

Thanks!

Francesca
Hi Francesca, the highly technical tool I developed is shown in the last set of pictures. It's a stick with 2 ten penny nails set to the correct distance. Using two screws on one side of the hinges, measure center of screw to center of screw top to bottom. That's your nail separation. Ours measured 23". The "days to research and construct" is just a bit of sarcasm on my part. You know, having to do the job in the first place!

To make the brackets I used the hinge itself as a template. All the holes lined up except for one which needed a little filing. Also, a strong magnet on a string is useful when you drop the backing plate. Raz
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:29 PM   #11
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Hi, Raz

I'm such an idjit.
I see the Terribly Technical Tool now.
I hope you've got your patent application in!
You have inspired me, though. Would you believe that my trailer's door
has for more than a year been held on by......(drum roll, please).....
!!! wood screws in blobs of epoxy !!!
At least I won't have to cut out the fiberglass, though.
In my trailer, there are cutouts already- the old timers' doors came with the hinges held on by nutted bolts.
At the time of the Emergency Epoxy Event, I didn't have access to deep sockets.
But I do now!

Thanks

Francesca
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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Hi Raz,
Tried to repair hinges today. HMMMM not smooth going.

I cut out the rectangular hole to access the trailer side hinge backs. There was another bulge of FGlass where the three screws went in. So I don't think I can put in the metal plate that you described. I suppose I must now use the epoxy on both sides, the door and the trailer side. Am I right?

Also, as predicted in another thread, the one top pin was very frozen up and did not respond to wd40 or silicone lube or punching or twisting or even foul words. The trailer side bracket broke.

Does anyone have an old used hinge and pin? I really hope not to buy new ones. One old one would match! Really only need smaller left side piece and pin.

Any clues how to clean the small zit like bumps off the surface? I suspect the finish is just chrome. ?

Sure hope the rain stays away til this job is done!
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #13
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Dave,
Raz has a newer Trill without wood from his discription. Search trill hinges.
I have an older spare. Let me know if you need it.
PM me where in ON you are.
Roy
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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Hi Raz,
Tried to repair hinges today. HMMMM not smooth going.

I cut out the rectangular hole to access the trailer side hinge backs. There was another bulge of FGlass where the three screws went in. So I don't think I can put in the metal plate that you described. I suppose I must now use the epoxy on both sides, the door and the trailer side. Am I right?
To the best of my knowledge the older Trilliums had wood rather than fiberglass. I was told mine would also have wood. Surprise ! Sounds like you have fiberglass in place of wood but shaped different? A picture would help. Since you already have the column open consider using bolts with fender washers if a metal plate won't work. Raz
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