Fridge Hinge Reinforcement - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2020, 09:51 AM   #1
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Name: Eva and Kirk
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
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Fridge Hinge Reinforcement

Our Casita 17 SD has the three way Dometic Refrigerator. I've read about hinges breaking and at a rally someone suggested getting a reinforcement kit from Little House Customs. I am confused as this appears to be reinforcement for the top hinge and all the posts I saw indicate the lower hinge is what fails. I have the Little House Customs part in hand and installation is a little intimidating. Not sure why I should mess with the door and reinforce the upper hinge if the lower hinge is the problem. Some first hand experience on this issue would be most valuable right now. Or maybe I'm reading the instructions wrong???
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Old 06-21-2020, 12:10 PM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
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I bought two of them, and installed them on both the top and bottom hinges. And, fwiw, historically, it is generally the top hinge that would be the one to fail if it does.

And that is not the extent of potential "fridge door" failures. The inside plastic shelves on the door are also very weak and prone to breaking. They are also ridiculously overpriced to buy if you need to replace them when they do fail. Mine have too. I rebuilt and reinforced them with additional "beefing up" of the sides where the shelves slip into the mounting grooves on the door itself. That is where they break.
I added sections of 1/2" PVC pipe, with about a 1/4 radius removed, which I glued to the corners of the shelves with PVC pipe glue, and after they hardened up, I filled the hollow areas with Sika-Flex white sealant, like filling an eclair pastry. That really reinforced those corners. I also added small angle brackets under the middle of the shelves and added some screws in the sides to add additional support. I now travel with those shelves fully loaded and I have not had a problem with a broken shelf since.
Attached Thumbnails
dometicshelf1 (1).JPG   dometicshelf 3.JPG  

casitafridge 003.JPG   casitafridge 002.JPG  

casitafridge 001.JPG  
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:17 PM   #3
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Name: Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casita Greg View Post
I bought two of them, and installed them on both the top and bottom hinges. And, fwiw, historically, it is generally the top hinge that would be the one to fail if it does.

And that is not the extent of potential "fridge door" failures. The inside plastic shelves on the door are also very weak and prone to breaking. They are also ridiculously overpriced to buy if you need to replace them when they do fail. Mine have too. I rebuilt and reinforced them with additional "beefing up" of the sides where the shelves slip into the mounting grooves on the door itself. That is where they break.
I added sections of 1/2" PVC pipe, with about a 1/4 radius removed, which I glued to the corners of the shelves with PVC pipe glue, and after they hardened up, I filled the hollow areas with Sika-Flex white sealant, like filling an eclair pastry. That really reinforced those corners. I also added small angle brackets under the middle of the shelves and added some screws in the sides to add additional support. I now travel with those shelves fully loaded and I have not had a problem with a broken shelf since.
As Greg suggested, I bought two hinge reinforcement kits from LHC and reinforced both the upper and lower refrigerator door hinges on our Casita
The installation is simple and straightforward
Six years later the door on our Casita refrigerator still worked perfectly
As far as the plastic parts cracking breaking , I made the repairs with glue and some metal reinforcements- not beautiful but functional.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:10 PM   #4
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Name: Eva and Kirk
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
Virginia
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Greg and Steve
Thanks very much. This is why I just love Fiberglass RV. Great practical advice from real world experience and folks willing to share. And with PICTURES! I think I'm getting a second reinforcing part and installing them both at the same time. I really like the shelf modifications with the PVC pipe! Clever folks out there!
Thanks again
Kirk and Eva
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:16 PM   #5
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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I broke a shelf by loading it too heavily and driving a washboard road. Fixed with aluminum edging and epoxy.
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Fridge repair A.jpg   Fridge repair B.jpg  

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Old 06-22-2020, 10:53 AM   #6
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Name: Jon
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Fridge Hinge Reinforcement

I bought some scrap stainless at the junk yard and made hinge re-inforcements for the top and bottom.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:27 PM   #7
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Name: Eva and Kirk
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Virginia
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Glenn & Jon-
Thanks, more great tips!
Eva and Kirk
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