Warped Scamp Door - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-16-2005, 08:37 PM   #1
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Hi,
I just found this page while looking for fiberglass supplies. My Scamp door is badly warped. I think someone tried to break in but, while trying to fix it, I discovered it was full of water! Anyway, I cut several kerfs across the width at the bottom on the inside and attached metal bars to reshape the door. I think I can make it look a lot better by eliminating the bars and using fiberglass resin. Anyone out there ever try this? What could have made the door warp so badly?
Tom
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:07 PM   #2
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Welcome to FiberglassRV Thomas, we're glad you're here

I'm trying to track down some VERY good information regarding the Warped Scamp Door and when I make contact with the writer/photographer I'll see if we can post the information right away.

In the meantime, hopefully someone will jump in and give you a hand.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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Let me preface this by saying that this is NOT my fix...it belongs to Nevin Lescher. I just happened to have printed it out for my own use, and am now re-posting for others to come. I do apologize for the graininess of the photos - I am scanning in from prints on poor-quality paper.

I understand Nevin has left the board...but he will long be remembered and copied for his door repair
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:30 AM   #4
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In Nevins own words:

“After several weeks mulling over how to fix my problem with the warped entrance door on our Scamp, I bit the bullet and removed the door. I thought to myself as I put the door on a couple of sawhorses, that this thing seems almost as heavy as the whole trailer and at that instant water began dripping out around the small window. The whole core of the door was completely saturated with water! As there was no way to get to the core which is sealed by the inner fiberglass covering, several holes were drilled at the bottom after removing the soaked carpet-like lining and the door set aside in the sun for a couple of days to drain and hopefully dry out.

It did dry out and the job of stressing the lower portion back to its original contour began. Two 1” pieces of angle iron were bolted to the lower portion about 18” apart with pre-drilled holes for (3) 1/4” threaded rods.

The door was then rehung on the trailer and the top nuts on the threaded rods tightened from inside the trailer. Slowly but surely the door took on its original contour and the gap closed.

The door was removed and recovered with a felt type material, the window recaulked and the edge molding reinstalled. To finish up the job a cover was made from 1/8” masonite, covered with the same felt material and two small speakers wired to the stereo sound system added.

The whole idea of stressing the door is akin to the early principles of airplane wing design where the pilot controlled his flight by merely warping the wing airfoil!

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished project.”
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:32 AM   #5
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Interior of completed door
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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Corrected lower door contour
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:36 AM   #7
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There were also a couple of other interpretations of this type fix. I don't remember who posted this one. They added a wire basket to the framework and made it into a trash container.
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Old 11-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #8
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And, I believe Thomas Haney posted this one, going the full length of the door for the aircraft cable:
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Old 11-19-2005, 01:41 PM   #9
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Hi all,
I just did a successful repair to my warped Scamp door. I traced the contours of the door frame onto plywood and built a mould. I cut saw kerfs in the bottom part of the door to give it flexibility and fitted it properly into the mould. Then I re-fiberglassed the bottom half with resin and 'cloth'. Oh happy days, it fits perfectly and is much stronger than the original. The hardest part was cleaning up the mess I made during the first 'fix'. I had to clean off all the flooring adhesive from re-upholstering. I also drilled drain holes across the very bottom on the inside, of course. I'm now heading to town to look for some suitable fabric to finish it. Now.......... come on Spring! Thanks for your responses.
Tom
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Old 01-18-2006, 08:49 PM   #10
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Hi all,
I just did a successful repair to my warped Scamp door. I traced the contours of the door frame onto plywood and built a mould. I cut saw kerfs in the bottom part of the door to give it flexibility and fitted it properly into the mould. Then I re-fiberglassed the bottom half with resin and 'cloth'. Oh happy days, it fits perfectly and is much stronger than the original. The hardest part was cleaning up the mess I made during the first 'fix'. I had to clean off all the flooring adhesive from re-upholstering. I also drilled drain holes across the very bottom on the inside, of course. I'm now heading to town to look for some suitable fabric to finish it. Now.......... come on Spring! Thanks for your responses.
Tom
Hi Tom,
I have the same door problem on my 1986 13ft' Scamp. This sounds like a pretty common problem. What I don't understand is, where does the water come from that is soaking the fiberboard core? And what purpose does the core have? Is it to only make the door thicker to accomadate the window?

thanks,
Gary Little
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:30 PM   #11
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Hi Tom,
I have the same door problem on my 1986 13ft' Scamp. This sounds like a pretty common problem. What I don't understand is, where does the water come from that is soaking the fiberboard core? And what purpose does the core have? Is it to only make the door thicker to accomadate the window?

thanks,
Gary Little
N.C.
Hi Gary,
I have the same question. I think it's just for insulation. After cutting into it, it sure looks like insulating material. The water had to come from around the window, somehow, I would think. I drilled drain holes across the bottom (inside) to keep it from filling up again. I read somewhere that sitting in the hot sun in extreme temperatures caused the warpage over time. We always assumed that someone tried to break into it. By the way, mine is an '85.
Tom
PS You could be right about the need to accomodate window thickness.
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Old 01-19-2006, 12:18 AM   #12
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My Boler door on my 13ft was a plywood core.I did same thing and drilled holes on bottom inside.Man what a lot of water I had.
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Old 01-19-2006, 07:48 AM   #13
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I wouldn't THINK that the door thickness has anything much to do with accommodating the window. After all, there's windows all the way around the trailer and the walls aren't all that much thicker than the rest of the shell at those points.

I'd THINK it would have more to do with giving the door more structure because it's a relatively small piece that's constantly in motion....opening and closing. The door would really have problems if it was the same single-wall thickness as the rest of the trailer.

None of the windows on my Scamp have silicone around the outside...except the door window. It goes out and around the window a good half inch...and because the door is curved pretty drastically....the top sticks out more than the bottom to keep the window straight up and down.

If it's a continuing problem...how about putting E-Z Gutter around the top of the window to wick the rain around the window???
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Old 01-26-2006, 12:27 AM   #14
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I guess I'm confused but if you drill holes on the inside of the door, what happens when it rains. Does the water drain inside your trailer ans soak the carpet etc??
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:46 PM   #15
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I had the same problem with my door. I drilled 4 small holes in the bottom without going all the way thru. Then, Wa La, water started dripping out of the door. I was amazed at how much water came out. I simply opened the door all night and let it drain. The door didn't totally come back to shape, but it did come back pretty well. There is still just a little gap at the very bottom and I haven't noticed any more water over time.

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I guess I'm confused but if you drill holes on the inside of the door, what happens when it rains. Does the water drain inside your trailer ans soak the carpet etc??
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Old 03-08-2006, 04:54 PM   #16
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Well it looks like this discussion of problem doors is not going to go away so I guess it is time to put my two bits worth in.

(a) First off we have to understand some of the properties of Fiberglass. FG it's self is not a structurally strong product so it must be stiffened and reinforced with embedded plywood, wood frames or metalwork. If any of you ever get the chance to look around boat building, street rod body, shower and bath stall FG plants do it. You will learn a lot and see how they add some sort of stiffening in strategic places. A number of years ago my friend and I built molds (Plugs) to build race car parts and snowmobile skimmers and we embedded wood and metal for strength.

( When most of these FG trailers were built back in the 60's and 70's the designers and fabricators were reliying on the bonding of the inner and outer door skins to give these doors enough strengh to not warp. For example, they only used 5 horizontal wood strips in the Boler door, not for rigidty but to keep the two skins apart, much to my dismay when I opened it up. Time has shown that their theory was faulty. As FG ages it loses it shape and wants to flatten out. Some plastics are what is called in the industry "Memory Plastics" Plexiglass (Acrylics) is one of those. I have blow moulded and stretch moulded Plexi and if it didn't turn out right the first go, I could throw it back in the oven and it would return to a flat sheet.
FG may not be a memory plastic but there is enough evidence that it wants to flatten.
All most every older FG trailer I have seen, the door have flattened towards the bottom.
From comments here it appears the plants have sandwiched other materials in to the doors, many retaining water, quite often due to no drain holes in the bottom.

© The other problem that occurs on these doors is the hinges are bolted directly through the outer skin. As the years go by and the mileage piles up the hinge bolts start to elongate the holes in the skin. Next the door droops and doesn't fit the opening proeprly. Then the drooping and flattening door the weather stripping doesn't seal properly and you have another water problem. Even our Boler door sagged and it didn't have a lot of miles on it.

(d) Two other things I found with our door, and I believe this applies to most others:
Water leakage through the door latches and the window seal. Ours had nothing to stop water into the door latch. Solved that with a rubber gasket.Our window seal was still good but it was a matter of time before it leaked. All the windows on removall, the mastic was hard as rock.

(e) Most of the fixes I have seen on this forum are what I would consider bandaid solutions. I am not knocking anyone for trying, just that you may have only solved temporarily.
I am not saying my solution to fixing the door is the way to go but it has definately a big improvement in the fit, strength and sealing of the door. I had anticipated more problems and time involved when I started, but it took not that much time and went much smoother that I anticipated. The thing that took most time was finding the right bonding agent.
So if anyone else whats to tackle it, I will be glad to help with directions. Check out my pics on Webshots.
Enjoy
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Old 03-11-2006, 09:46 AM   #17
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Hi all,
I just did a successful repair to my warped Scamp door. I traced the contours of the door frame onto plywood and built a mould. I cut saw kerfs in the bottom part of the door to give it flexibility and fitted it properly into the mould. Then I re-fiberglassed the bottom half with resin and 'cloth'. Oh happy days, it fits perfectly and is much stronger than the original. The hardest part was cleaning up the mess I made during the first 'fix'. I had to clean off all the flooring adhesive from re-upholstering. I also drilled drain holes across the very bottom on the inside, of course. I'm now heading to town to look for some suitable fabric to finish it. Now.......... come on Spring! Thanks for your responses.
Tom
In my mind this method is a very good strong repair. If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and really get into it, this should work well. I would also probably reglass the whole face of the door while I was at it. Fiberglass is easy to work with once you figure it out and buy the right sanders and sandpaper. Different cloth weights and multiple layers adds strength. It is wise to address the hinge areas while you are at it (there are many methods for that repair). I repaired a lot of areas on my Burro after I decided I was going to get real dirty and itchy!

The other item to remember is to keep water (rain/snow) from getting into the door/window areas. I have mine garaged but a carport or tarp would work as well. For any of us who have put a lot of time and money into rebuilding their older egg, storing it properly is a must for longevity.
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Old 03-11-2006, 01:28 PM   #18
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Well, well....I kinda like the old ideas that it`s not the fault of the door but of the trailer sagging and changing the arc of the trailer wall....it was described some time ago as pushing down on a balloon and the sides bulge.....who on this site was the person that straightened out the support square tubing somewhat along the interior hinge side of the door and cured the door problem that way??.......the door wasn`t touched......makes sense...my door is starting to open somewhat on the bottom of the hinge side and when the weather warms up I`ll try reshaping the square support......I believe the trailers I`ve seen, including my 13' Boler, usually have the lower front door edge appearing to be pulling away from the body.....the latch side is okay maybe because that side is supported by the closet inside and the body shape doesn`t change.......Benny
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Old 03-11-2006, 02:40 PM   #19
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It may be somewhat of a engineering problem on many of the older eggs, but my door hinge side of the body also sagged. I welded a large 1/4" steel support with gussets under the entire door area and also towards the front of the trailer. I first jacked up the body as best I could to get that corner back to where it should be. The bodies do start sagging but the doors often have issues as well on some of the designs.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:46 PM   #20
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.... I first jacked up the body as best I could to get that corner back to where it should be. The bodies do start sagging but the doors often have issues as well on some of the designs.
What is this picture. Are you laying on your back shooting picture upward torward the bottom of the door? I know your down low on this shot cause I see the roof vent in the upper background.
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