Casita Door Bumper - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-20-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Casita Door Bumper

This has doubtless been discussed many times here, but a quick search didn't find it (there are threads on the Casita Club and Casita Forums sites), so I'll take the risk of redundancy and remind new Casita owners (like me) of the problem, and the solution:

The door on the 16' 17' models, if allowed to swing open freely, without using the external latch, can bang into the 'belly band', which sticks out all round where the two halves of the trailer join, and that can damage the fiberglass door.

I have seen somewhere a report that this has been fixed in the newest models, but don't know if it's true; it's a little hard to explain how they can have let it go for so long. But the YouTube videos for new users still caution about letting the door swing in the wind.

Users have adopted many little devices to buffer the door. One of the simplest, and to my mind most elegant (and cheap) is to buy a 'soft wall door stop'. It's hollow, with a gap to let air out, then refill. You just carefully attach it to the wall of the door with its self-adhesive backing, and lo and behold! your door won't hit the belly band.

I got the stops at our local hardware store. Not only do they solve the problem, they look like hard-boiled eggs!

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:02 PM   #2
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I have posted on the other two forums and now I will post on this one. The white bumpers will reduce the chance of the belly band punching a hole in your door but will not eliminate the occurrence. I know because my belly band pushed the white bumper through the outer skin on my door. No two Casitas are identical and some of it depends on the angle that is cut in the belly band. You still have to hang on to your door when the wind is blowing. Hopefully your grip is better than mine.

By the way Mr Lynn your belly band looks very similar to mine - be for warned.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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Name: Wayne
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Door Buster

Hi All,
I agree with both above posts. While camping at Ft. Pickens on Santa Rosa Island this past February, the campground was evacuated due to impending severe weather. Waited out the storm in a Walmart located close to Pensacola, while we experienced heavy rain and high winds a tornado touched down in Pensacola. Entering and exiting the Casita became an adventure and required both hands and a firm grip on the door, the force of the wind on the door was impressive. I have the half-moon bumper installed on my door but I have seen where folks have taken it a step further, placing a door guard disk under the bumper which would theoretically provide more protection. I have just gotten into the habit of having a good grip on the door at all times. Peace
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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Name: Tom and Stephanie
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Another solution is to attach with silicone caulk a one inch in diameter hard rubber stopper (Home Depot) to the seam (not the door). It seems to work quite well although I have not had a high wind to test it on my 2016 Casita.
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Cantrell View Post
Another solution is to attach with silicone caulk a one inch in diameter hard rubber stopper (Home Depot) to the seam (not the door). It seems to work quite well although I have not had a high wind to test it on my 2016 Casita.
Hey Tom,
Just as in Larry's case, I think a good wind would push that stopper right through the skin of the door. The best solution would have been for Casita to address the problem which it seems to be doing now.
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:51 PM   #6
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Some have installed a piece of sheet metal, 1/16" or 1/8" thick, horizontally on the outside skin of the door, at a height in line with the existing "belly band," upon which they then mounted their half round bumpers. The theory of which is that it helps to spread the compression "pressure point" out over a larger area on the fragile outside door skin to reduce the chance of cracking the door skin as easily as it would with just the bumper installed by itself. Some people paint them white to match the door while some leave them "metal colored" to just blend in with the lines of the trim band around the trailer. FWIW.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #7
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Hey Tom,
Just as in Larry's case, I think a good wind would push that stopper right through the skin of the door. The best solution would have been for Casita to address the problem which it seems to be doing now.
How are they addressing this?
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:41 PM   #8
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How are they addressing this?
Hey Jim,
While camping at Ft Pickens a 3 week old Casita pulled in and we started talking and he asked me what was on my door, I explained the purpose and he said he didn't think the area where the belly band tapers to the door area was the same as mine. His band did have a longer more gradual taper than on my Casita, which would have mitigated the problem.
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:13 PM   #9
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Is there a way to attach one of those chain-and-spring things to the top of the Casita door, to prevent it from opening too far? Just a thought.

It does sound like a design flaw that needed to be addressed.
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hey Jim,
While camping at Ft Pickens a 3 week old Casita pulled in and we started talking and he asked me what was on my door, I explained the purpose and he said he didn't think the area where the belly band tapers to the door area was the same as mine. His band did have a longer more gradual taper than on my Casita, which would have mitigated the problem.
Good to know.
Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:39 PM   #11
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I don't recall ever having seen any posts for belly band repairs on a Casita. Just got me to wondering if you were to remove a few rivets to allow the band to be angled up out of the way enough for grinding a longer angle on it. A little trimming to the band, new rivets......MMMMM
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:07 PM   #12
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Originally Posted by Larry,C View Post
I have posted on the other two forums and now I will post on this one. The white bumpers will reduce the chance of the belly band punching a hole in your door but will not eliminate the occurrence. I know because my belly band pushed the white bumper through the outer skin on my door. No two Casitas are identical and some of it depends on the angle that is cut in the belly band. You still have to hang on to your door when the wind is blowing. Hopefully your grip is better than mine.

By the way Mr Lynn your belly band looks very similar to mine - be for warned.
Well, something is better than nothing. I'm not as worried about wind as I am about grandkids flinging the door open and leaping out. I think this little nubbin will help.

Larry, I see you are selling modifications and upgrades for the quirky cupboard latches that Casita managed to find and install in their campers. How about a better door protector than the little bumpkins?

It is surprising that Casita took years to finally modify the belly band near the door so it wasn't a problem. Then, it might have required changing the molds, which could be a big deal. Seems to me they could have put in doorstop hinges—but what do I know?

My next project is to find a spring to close the screen door, which otherwise is going to get left open, letting the bugs in.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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OK, well this is what I came up with after the fact. First I cut this add on plate out of 1/8 inch thick aircraft aluminum. Then I filled the hole where the bumper was pushed through the skin with white silicon and then riveted the aluminum plate over that and remounted the white rubber bumper.

I guess if I had the fab shop cut out the shape with a CNC cutter and then packaged it with the rivets I could bring it to market for about $30. and cover packaging and shipping and still make a couple of bucks for my time. Any takers?

I'm thinking an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the mean time keep a good grip on the door when the wind blows or the grand children are around.
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Old 05-23-2016, 10:22 AM   #14
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Trailer: '84 Scamp 13' & 2001 Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe
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Our 2001 Casita 17SD has a large 'frosted' glass window in the door, with a trim edge of fairly thick rubber, approx 1 1/4" wide all around the window. Apparently that necessitated reducing the angle of the bellyband to very shallow to accommodate the window trim (the lower half of the bottom trim piece hits the bellyband. We've never had any problem with damage to the door or hinges. We've only had the trailer for a year but POs took very good care of it. Dunno if the shallow angle on the bellyband was factory or done afterwards but it's obviously been there for a long time...
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