Warning, this is a long post describing a complex problem which required many different fixes and modifications. The entire explanation will have to be spread out over a few posts due site limitations.
Before attempting to fix my door which was ill fitting, did not close properly and frequently sprung open while towing; I searched the internet, looked at every trailer and every fix I could find.
I discovered that there are 4 types of problems that are common in the boler
and their various offspring. The problems are:
1. The door is warped
2. The body is warped
3. The hinges are loose, worn or both
4. A combination of any of the above.
My door was fine. There are a lot of good fixes for warped doors posted here and elsewhere. I’d suggest you determine which of those might best suit your needs if a warped door is your problem.
My hinges were both loose and worn. Hinge ball kits can be bought from Scamp
trailers and work equally well on the bolers and their offspring. Just keep in mind that when you buy a “set”, you are buying the parts for just one hinge. One set includes a bolt, brass ball, spring, washer and nut. So buy 2 sets to do both hinges. The complete hinge can be purchased. Please keep in mind the Scamp
hinge is attached by three screws on the door where other trailers are only attached by two.
Various sources state that since fiberglass is flexible the bodies on these trailers bows out like a balloon that has been squished from the top. To determine where and how my body was warped I made a wooden template to match the curvature of the body at the corners of the trailer. The template is first shown on the rear streetside corner below.
When the template is moved forward to the front edge of the streetside window I found the lower body matched the curvature, yet was slightly bowed outwards where the top edge of the lower cabinets meets the lower edge of the window. The upper curvature closely matched the template along the frame of the window. The body seemed to be kinked outwards in the area of the lower edge of the window and the upper edge of the lower cabinets. Structurally this makes sense since the upper portions were supported by both the upper cabinet and the window frame and the lower part by the lower cabinet. In my trailer the rivets holding the wrought iron support had broken off allowing the body to flex outwards at the weakest point. Later on I’ll show pictures of what was happening on the inside of the trailer at this point as I begin to show my fix.
Moving the template forward to the midpoint of the streetside cabinets, I found the body was more uniformly bowed outwards. This made sense because the body was not structurally tied to a large window or a cabinet edge.
Further ahead the body more closely resembles the rear corner because it is structurally supported by the front corner, the cabinets and the lower bench.
The rear curbside corner is similar. The template is away from the body on the lower half for 2 reasons. The seam at the belly band is slightly offset and the bottom portion of the body is longer and therefore shaped differently curbside than streetside.
Moving the template forward to the front of the curbside window in the area of the rear of the closet, I found the body to reasonably match the template except in the area of the window. It seemed that the top of the window was pulled inwards. This really made no sense until I did my floor a year later. It turns out that the dinette bench on that side was made a little too long on its upright side which forced the closet to twist forward. This caused a dimple in the area near the top right corner of the window and a bowing out on the top left corner of the door frame.
Bringing the template further forward to the latch side of the door you can see it matches the body fairly closely except for a hollow just behind the top left of the door frame. I feel the hollow is due to the torsion of the closet explained previously.
Continuing forward to the hinge area, the template closely matches the area of the body where it is supported by the square tubular frame is on the inside. Yet that entire area is bowed outwards at both ends of the frame. One would think that structurally the front bench would prevent this from happening on the lower portion but this is not the case since the bench does not vertically attach to the side walls. I should mention that the plywood laminated horizontally to the inside of the trailer wall supporting the front bench had separated in this area and needed to be reglued.
I feel this lack of support in combination with the added weight
of the door and torsion due to the closet twisting were all responsible for the stress crack on the top right corner of the door frame.
To be continued ....