The door its own mother wouldn't love - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-27-2020, 01:12 AM   #1
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Name: Sonny
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
Yukon
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The door its own mother wouldn't love

I just bought a sweet old 1975 Ventura. Is there any place to buy used parts? The last owner tore out the counter/sink/stovetop/fridge for some reason. As well as the electrical. Buy a tent next time dude. The door is a bit of a wreck and won't close without a fight. Its unaligned by about a half inch. Any suggestions? Sonny
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:44 AM   #2
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Pictures please. It's hard to grasp what you are talking about without the visuals.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:03 AM   #3
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonny75 View Post
I just bought a sweet old 1975 Ventura. Is there any place to buy used parts? The last owner tore out the counter/sink/stovetop/fridge for some reason. As well as the electrical. Buy a tent next time dude. The door is a bit of a wreck and won't close without a fight. Its unaligned by about a half inch. Any suggestions? Sonny
Very limited. Its a 45 year old trailer. The parts are long gone. Used parts can be found on ebay (expensive), RV salvage yards, C/L and so on. Very hit or miss and you need to be a digger.

Parts can also sometimes be found in the form of another trailer. Sometimes an old pop up trailer's parts can be used.

Google RV salvage yards in your area.

I do occasionally see old parts on FB marketplace.

Last year I saw a complete kitchen: stove, sink, refrigerator from a late 1970s popup, cheap. Condition was not ideal but usable stuff at a low price.

On doors, start with the shape of the door (does it match the contour of the trailer), then on to hinges. Last is the latching mechanism. Doors can get water inside them and basically destroy them. Hinges break, places where hinges mount can rot (if they are into wood), trailers sag where the door contour might be fine but not the trailer.

With stuff missing on the inside, and if left outside, roof sag can be a problem.

Read threads on what people have done on other brands of trailers. Many of the fixes will be similar.

One "mistake" people make is they only focus on threads on their brand of trailer. Repairs on other brands can be very useful to study. They also sometimes only seek parts for their brand trailer. The appliances inside trailers tend to be from the same companies that made parts for everyone.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
Michigan
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Check the door opening for square. Mine the wood the bottom of the hinge side anchored to rotted so the frame was out of square. Hinge side bottom was semi-floating.

I adjusted that thing a number of times and it would close and latch ok and seem like the door was fairly square with the top of the opening. Arrive at campground with the gap on top of the door 1/2 inch wider on one side than it was on the other side.

Found the source of the problem when replacing the front section of floor and it was a small block of wood that joined the bottom of the wall to the frame under the floor on the hinge side.

That and it wouldn't latch with too thick of weather seal foam along the door opening at the latch. Have to have about 6 inches of thinner foam by the latch. Old fiberglass bows outward with age. Especially if some of the interior support has been removed. Closet or cabinets provide structural strength and support.

I would be thinking of that bowing of sides or roof sag if all the interior cabinets were removed. You will probably want to use interior braces wedged to force the roof up a touch when you put in the cabinets which form a wall to floor brace or closet walls which are important to keeping the roof where it is supposed to be as well as forming wall to floor and ceiling brace.

I think I would second the idea of trying to find a "junk" trailer. Popup with rotted canvas etc. that you can purchase cheap to pillage the parts and appliances from. Get those and then build cabinets to fit them. Or pull them out of junk camper complete with cabinets. I unscrewed the aluminum side of a camper so I could remove the kitchen complete to install in a school bus camper. The aluminum sides went to scrap yard and the trailer frame with floor was sold as a flat bed trailer. I got a kitchen and dining table with cushions plus fridge and made $75 in the bargain.


There are a lot of RV salvage yards and surplus RV parts available from around Elkheart Indiana. To long a drive but if shipping isn't horrid it may provide an online source for some stuff. I have purchased cushions custom sized there for a very reasonable price. About 1/3 of local prices.
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:35 AM   #5
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
Alberta
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Ventura

You might have to disasemble the door and redo the frame did this on mine . Mine was a gut and redo i also put a 4 inch lift in and extended the tongue24 inches
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Old 05-27-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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Name: Sonny
Trailer: 1975 Ventura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve hammel View Post
pictures please. It's hard to grasp what you are talking about without the visuals.
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Old 05-27-2020, 11:57 PM   #7
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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I can't tell you absolutely for sure your door is not working as I am not there to take a look at it. It could be the door, the hinge, the shell or the structural frame under the trailer, the effects of gravity and heat on the fiberglass shell, or a combination of several of those factors. You will have to do some analytical thinking and observation and likely some experimenting too.


However just by looking at the fiberglass damage in the lower hinge side corner I strongly suspect that there is a gravity over time issue, possibly induced by the door being left hanging open quite often. It can also be created by someone constantly using the edge of the door as a grab bar to boost themselves into the the trailer thereby putting a lot of downwards push onto that lower corner of the door. That would also cause the hinges to get stressed which would mean the door was no longer properly being supported by the hinges.

The aluminum frame my Campster door sets into had all the welds at the corner busted and the upper and lower corners of the fiberglass in the frame opening broken. By using analytical thinking I could tell that someone using that side of the door frame as a grab bar. Because there is no built in step and the trailer door sits up off the ground the previous owners were constantly boosting themselves in and out using the edge of the door and the door frame. I had to beef up the frame on the interior by epoxying doug fir wood to the interior all around the door opening. That new interior wood frame added a lot of strength and allowed me to add interior and exterior grab bars and of course I repaired the fiberglass shell as well.

You can fix this issue and you know what you need to do to help prevent it from failing again. Never grab onto the door or the door frame to act as an assist handle.



At the lower edge of my door screwed in place there were orignally two small wedges of UHMW plastic that kept the door aligned in the frame when the door was closed. The thinner edge of the wedge faced to the interior of the door and as it was closed the door got lifted up into the correct position. I do need to recreate those parts, one was missing all together the other one is a bit too far gone. Fortunately I have plenty of the correct material on hand for the fix but have not gotten around to it yet. I will cut wedge shapes on the band saw and drill the hole to match the original one I have left. Making something such as these parts could help you solve some of your issue of getting the door closed and have it stay aligned when it is closed. Here is a photo of the original UHMW wedge. UHMW is a very slippery, self lubricating but durable plastic. It is an easy plastic to saw, drill, machine.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:44 PM   #8
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Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
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Kind of looking at that door I would say that it was some kind of an after market install. And a bad one. Pretty much looks like one that was never supposed to be on something that moved. It looks like the hinge is broken. Some of our old farm machinery used doors like this on homemade cabs. The hinges were always a problem.


This is an interesting challenge. But this looks already like a challenge for someone who has already rebuilt one. But whatever. If you want to make it happen you can make it happen. But I have to wonder if you want to that much.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:29 PM   #9
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Doors for houses come pre-hung attached to frames that attach to the structural rough framing of the house. This facilitates squaring up a door by shimming it within an imperfect opening.

Attaching a new door with suitable hinges to a strong metal frame made of aluminum extrusions could give you the ability to then attach the frame to the trailer in a manner that would spread the stresses around and also not require getting the whole opening perfectly squared up.
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