Adding exterior access hatch - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #15
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Been there, done that. My tips:

Cruise the RV and boat parts sites to see what hatches are available, may be visit a view local stores. Many have calalogues, and will order just about anything for you.

Look at the trailer and carefully decide exactly where the hatch goes, what shape, and what size. Remember you should plan on installing a wooden back-up inside the trailer for support, especially with the larger, rectangular hatches.

Do not cut anything until you have the hatch in hand, have put it up to the trailer, and you are sure it is what you want.

Measue the hatch carefully to determine the correct hole size.

Decide on a hole starting point (corner of a rectangular hatch, bottom of a round hatch, allowing for the flange), and drill a small hole through the shell tp the outside from inside the trailer. This will ensure no mistake on hatch alignment.

With this starting point, marke the rest of the hole pattern (circle/rectangle) on the outside of the trailer.

Cut the hole, staying inside the lines you made. It is easy to enlarge the hole if needed, really tough to make it smaller. I used a metal blade in my jigsaw.

Install the wood back-up within the trailer. I also fiberglassed the lower lip of my wood backup piece.

Install the door using the soft butyl caulking compund used in trailers. Be generouse here, and tighten the attachment screws evenly across the entire frame. The butyl caulk will squeeze out over several days. Take a popsicle stick, and sharpen one end to a 45 degree blade. SLightly dull it on fine sandpaper, and then use it to "cut" the caulk away from the trailer and frame. Incredibly easy to do!

Final FYI. Go to your locksmith and buy a new lock cylinder for the door. For some misbegotten reason, the RV industry only uses two key patterns for these small locks, A and B. Not sure, take you key to a dealer's lot and see how many compartments you can open!

See my photos:

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/55112...ABqdPX?start=24

Vic
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:08 AM   #16
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Name: jim
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I put the hinge on the bottom side so that is stays open when I'm at it. Otherwise I'd need a prop stick or something.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:12 AM   #17
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I put the hinge on the bottom side so that is stays open when I'm at it. Otherwise I'd need a prop stick or something.
I think that sounds like a good idea... top opening, but on the other hand.. how easy would it be to spring the door if you were to drag something across it... like a water hose? Curious...
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:18 PM   #18
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I added a door on each side. I purchased them at an RV salvage yard for twenty bucks each. I cut the holes with a jig saw and using butyl tape riveted them into place. They have been working very well for several years.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:48 AM   #19
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Somewhere on the site I saw a link to a website that had several old style exterior door hatches. I had the page open on my daughters laptop- to order today- and now I can't find the site. I believe it began with a "K"- that's all I remember! Any help is appreciated!
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #20
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I found it: kinro.com if anyone is interested in rv access doors/hatches.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:53 AM   #21
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Cyndi, check your web history. I can see all the websites I've visited for the past month. Once you find it, let US know what it is

hahaha we were both posting at the same time. Here's a direct link: Kinro's Complete Line of RV Access and Baggage Doors
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #22
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A fiberstream appears to have more flat area than most.
When I moved my electric cord on my Scamp and changed to an external plug, I installed a small door on the outside to access the "quarterpanel" behind the waterheater. It is large enough to store a bunch of essential itemslike flares, chocks, a tarp, raincoat, etc. Yet small enough that curvature is not an issue.
I also bought an oak picture frame and made a door for under the bench from inside.(total cost $2) It originally was for the purpose of checking freshwater levels, but it turned out to be great access for storage as well, even to places formerly without practical access......
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