'76 Trillium 1300- Replancing Ext Door Hinges - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-01-2014, 09:53 PM   #1
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Washington
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'76 Trillium 1300- Replancing Ext Door Hinges

Hi! The next project on the to do list is to replace the ext. door hinges, as the door sags down and the door lock just barely hits the lower edge of the contact plate.

Looking at the hinges on the door frame, the upper one sags down at the pin and the lower hinge mount is slightly tipped downward at the mounting and pin. There is obviously more space between the door and frame at the left upper corner but not so much at the right upper corner. When one measures the space between the door and frame above and below the lock on right and left sides, the difference in space above and below is not more than 1-2 mm. This leads me to conclude that the door has simply dropped down, particularly on the left far corner of the door.

It may not be possible to reinstall the door perfectly I realize and what one ends up with will be better than before but a compromise due to the aging of the door frame and door.

My plan is is to use aluminum plates and bolt thru to them on the door frame on top of the ensolite ( yes the plates will be visible on the inside) and also to bolt the door hinge part to the door. New hinges arrived thanks to Tom and the bolts will be stainless steel #10, the same size as the door hinge holes.

To start with, to get the door off, I realize I will have to remove the pins in old door hinges because the upper bolt's head will not clear the top of the pin.

As much as one might want the holes on the inside of the door frame to perfectly correspond to the three holes of the door frame hinge, it is realized that one can't drill the hole to that degree of perfection and one will just have to mark the inside hole positions on a piece of paper and transfer that to the plate for hole drilling.

Many thanks go to everyone who has contributed threads to dealing with this Trillium problem. All the previous comments have been extemely helpful in formulating a plan of attack.

Just wondering if anyone have any updated suggestions on this project?

Thank you.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:14 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
Ontario
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No need to remove the pins -you take a good chance on breaking the hinge doing so. The top bolt can be removed last and installed first. Insert the bolt before tightening.

It sounds like you have decided to use your own method already with the Al plates. So suggestions re other techniques wont matter. Use the hinge itself to draw your drill holes on the plate. Consider peeling back the ensolite and installing the plate behind it.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Washington
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Trillium Door Sag Repair

Thank you for your suggestions.

Although a plan has been identified, it is by no means the only plan that one could use, and might be reserved for the situation where other approaches fail, so I am open to ideas and was prepared to try different approaches, starting with the simplest, until one works satisfactorily.

The thing that is perplexing to me is that there are (1) four mounting points that will need adjustment and fixation, (2) the points of fixation are questionably solid to begin with, (4) the door is held out at arms reach by the hinges and (4) looking at the door right now one can see the left top edge droop but the vertical gaps on the sides of the door aren't that different (1-3mm), raising the question of how much is there really to work with in trying to reposition it?

Your help is appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:38 PM   #4
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On these small fiberglass eggs, most often the poorly fitting doors are a result of sagging of the front corner of the trailer or bulging of the side wall of the trailer rather than an issue with the hinges. Make sure you know the true cause before trying your fix.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:21 PM   #5
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Washington
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Sagging Trillium Door

You are very right about needing to properly identify all the problems at hand before starting this project.

Thank you for helping explain why I was having trouble attributing all the door problems to the hinges, and why replacing the hinges might not solve all the problems. Taking another look at the door and opening is on the to-do list today.

If there were an expert in this kind of problem in Portland, OR , I would not hesitate to take it there for a review. Unfortunately, the one known specialist, Robert Johans, is some distance away ( 4 hr+ drive one way) in Bend, OR

Thank you again.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:47 PM   #6
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When I faced this dilemma on our 78 trill , which had 1/4" bolts through bolted to the body and door and even then the door wouldn't latch I used ss threaded inserts epoxied into the oversized holes and 1/4 20 ss allen head bolts to hold the hinges on. I removed the old and worn out hinges and taped the door in place in the correct ( or the best I could get) location and used the new hinges to mark the location for the inserts, epoxied them in place and when the epoxy set screwed the hinges on. I patched the holes in the inside elephant hide with almond caulk. I used epoxy on the door to fill the holes where the po had through bolted. I was fortunate that the wood behind the hinges was not rotten and with some epoxy would hold the inserts. It made for a clean , strong repair and the hinges were easy to remove when I later painted the trailer. YMMV I am an hour and a half south of Portland and would be happy to consult if you are interested.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:23 PM   #7
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Washington
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To do or not to do - new Trilly ext door hinges

Reid, thank you for your kind offer to help me with this project, and I will keep it in mind. As it turns out, I did purchase some of the inserts for the screws I think you were referring to, so I know what you are talking about. I would have to go back and purchase a #10 size rather than the 1/4". Since each component is rather short, one would have to be careful lining them up and it might be a problem if you had to redo the job (ie, remove them).

Dave's comments did prompt me to go back out and look at the Trilly door and yes, it appears the upper door frame at the right horizontal droops a little or the door on that side is raised a bit, explaining why simply raising the door would not solve the all the problems.

I found a website on google that offerred solutions to square triangle problems when you had limited data to input ( drop angle and horizontal), and punched in some numbers. The width of the Trilly door is 25". If the lower hinge was depressed by 3 degrees, that would cause a 1.3" drop in the left top corner, which is about what I am seeing in reality.

The problem is that if I raise and tilt the door up to the left to fill that 1" gap, I don't have a lot of room on the sides to play with, so it would result in a wider gap in lower half on the right side where the hinges are mounted .

The bottom line is that it may be better off leave things as the are until I can get some other experts to actually to look at it. There is no rush to make this repair. The door still works.

The input from everyone has been most helpful and appreciated. It is better to get opinions before rather than after, and that is the beauty of this forum. It can get one to rethink the project.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:44 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1972 boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500
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A previous owner had tried the steel inserts on mine and they had loosened. I took the hinges off, pulled out the inserts, cleaned out as much loose stuff as possible. I filled the holes with one of the "tech steel" putties in layers leaving a rough surface for each subsequent layer. They were larger holes from the inserts. I actually had to form a rear wall on the holes because they went right through the wood. I repositioned the door, drilled pilot holes and screwed the new hinges on. Barring the cost of hinges, it costs less than $10 and can be done in a day.

Others have replaced the wood that is in the hinge side of the door frame. That would have been my second option, but the first one is still holding up. I needed something quick because I had broken one hinge the day before we were leaving on a trip.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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The trailer side of the hinges on my door were coming loose, but on the door, they were solid. So I took to door off, leaving the hinges attached to the door. I filled the holes in the trailer, that the hinges were in, with fibreglass and resin. When the resin was jelling, I scraped it off the jell coat, and used a razor to trim the glass that was sticking out of the holes. When it was hard, I used boxing tape to put the door on, where it looked right. It took three tries before I was happy with the location. Then I re-drilled the holes, using a drill size selected for the new screws I had bought. The holes were drilled using the hinges, that were still attached to the door, as a guide. Then I filled the holes with glass and resin again, but while it was wet, I screwed new stainless steel screws in. Tightening the screws cut off the fibreglass that was sticking out. When the resin hardened again, I took the screws out of the door one at a time, and filled the holes with resin and glass and put new stainless screws into the door too.

It was nice having a door that sat straight in the frame for once.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
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Trillium Ext. Door Repair

Roy and David,

Thank you for sharing your successsful approaches to fixing the Trillium exterior door.

Every little detail someone can offer up can be very helpful when you are attempting a project like this. They are all getting recorded in the project notebook .

It is very encouraging that people have gotten good results from their efforts !
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:32 AM   #11
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My 2010 Trillium has a fiberglass pillar (stiffener) that goes from the bench to the roof, inside on the hinge side of the door opening. When I repaired my door I cut into it to install bolts and a plate. Putting the plate outside the pillar would have placed them on an angle because they would come through the pillar on a slope. Also flex in the pillar might cause things to loosen. I'm not sure if your Trillium has this pillar but if so you might want to cut into it to install your plates.? In any case there might be something useful here. Good luck, Raz

Trillium Hinge Repair
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:59 PM   #12
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
Washington
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Replacing '76 Trillium Ext Door Hinges

Raz,

Thank you for your suggestions and previous "how to" post.

Yes, my Trillium has the vertical pillar you are referring to. The previous owner installed bolts thru the top hinge with washers and angled spacers on the nuts to level the nuts against the curved interior wall.

It is realized that if one were to go with bolts and plates, one would have to do something similar to this and even bend the plate so it would fit in the curved interior.

As kindly suggested by others in this thread, replacing the hinges may not solve all the door's problems because of the apparent slight sagging of the right upper door frame which leaves little maneuvering room for adjusting the position of the door.

At the same time, the math says that slight changes in the positioning of the door at the hinge translate into major changes 25" away from the hinge on the opposite side of the door.

At this point, more precise measurements are needed to ascertain whether the door sag could be improved by replacing the hinges. So, back to the drawing board.

Thank you again for your input.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:28 PM   #13
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While I can't address removing the ensolite as I don't have it, I can tell you that once the wall covering is pulled back, the access hole is easy to cut. I mapped out the hole, drilled corned holes, and cut by hand with a hack saw blade. Took minutes. Filling the existing hinge holes and redrilling slightly over sized should give enough play for adjustment. Just make sure you get the spacing between the upper and lower screw the same or you'll have the problem I started with; the screws literally being pulled out every time you open the door.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:59 PM   #14
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Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300; Invertec Falcon 190 class b rv
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Thank you for your tips. You are definitely the expert on this repair. Wish you had a shop nearby.
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