Casita closet door - bigger opening possible? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-30-2021, 09:22 AM   #1
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Casita closet door - bigger opening possible?

Is it possible to make the front closet door on a 17 for casita bigger? Before hubby cuts it, I wanted to know if anyone has done this. The bottom of the closet us hard to access.

We have a rooftop AC, not the one at the front

Thank you
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:29 AM   #2
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I have seen where some Casita owners have cut an opening below the original closet door opening to access that bottom area. Usually they make a small door for there. Maybe reinforce the opening with plywood behind it. May be a better idea than cutting the original closet opening. Make the corners rounded as it helps to prevent a crack forming there. In our SD17 Casita we put a plastic tub down in the bottom of the closet for dirty laundry.
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Minogue View Post
Is it possible to make the front closet door on a 17 for casita bigger? Before hubby cuts it, I wanted to know if anyone has done this. The bottom of the closet us hard to access.

We have a rooftop AC, not the one at the front
You didn’t say what year/model Casita….

After installing shelves in my 2007 17’ Casita Spirit Deluxe, I realized that access to the floor of the closet was quite restricted. Since the shelves are sized to the curve of the Casita, I didn’t want to rebuild all the shelving so I cut a notch out of the front of the lowest shelf to give me a bit more access to the floor area of the closet. I also extended the closet opening downward a few inches and re positioned the hinges on the door so that it covered the full opening.

Note that there is a horizontal “rib” on the inside of the fiberglass just below the bottom of the closet opening. On my Casita, below that rib is a 110v outlet. Those were limiting “features” on how much lower I could extend the closet opening.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:10 AM   #4
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Thanks Larry. Ours is a 2008 liberty, so same vintage. Ours had shelving installed too by the previous owner. The door hinge spot has a 1×2 wood reinforcement on the inside of the fiberglass panel - I don't know if it is original.

So it sounds like it is ok to cut the opening bigger - the fiberglass panel wont crumble, crack or otherwise fall apart.

Oddly enough, the factory-supplied door is big enough to cover an enlarged opening. I don't know why the opening isn't bigger unless it is some holdover from when the AC was on the floor under the closet
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:13 AM   #5
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I installed a cover that was designed to cover sheetrock openings where access to plumbing is required through the wall. Easy to install and I think it looks real good. The door pull is extra.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:38 AM   #6
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Wow, that looks great. A trip to home depot needed! Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:39 AM   #7
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They come in differant sizes too.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:44 AM   #8
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In addition to adding shelves to the closet, I also added a floor with an access hatch on a piano hinge in it at the level even with the bottom of the closet door. The access is so I can get to the incoming wiring bundle if I need to without having to take the whole shelving out. I also added a new door below the main closet door to easily access that storage area.

As to widening the door, it has been done, but the gain in width would be minimal. There's no gain on the left side due to the gray tank vent stack being right there. On the right, you could expect to gain, at best, only a couple of inches. Just didn't seem worth the effort for such a small gain.

For the new lower door, I had to relocate the 120 VAC outlet over to the far left side, which was no problem at all. And while I was at it I also added another outlet up in the notch at the top of the closet bulkhead by the gray tank vent stack. The wife likes this one because she can plug in her hair appliances while using the big bathroom door mirror and I don't have to trip over her cords. Win-win.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer Minogue View Post
Thanks Larry. Ours is a 2008 liberty, so same vintage. Ours had shelving installed too by the previous owner. The door hinge spot has a 1×2 wood reinforcement on the inside of the fiberglass panel - I don't know if it is original.
....
Oddly enough, the factory-supplied door is big enough to cover an enlarged opening. I don't know why the opening isn't bigger unless it is some holdover from when the AC was on the floor under the closet
Well, that 1x2 (pine) wood reinforcement is there only for the screws that hold the three hinges for the closet door. When I put the shelves into the closet I replaced it with a 1x3 (red oak) hardwood so that I could use it for the 14" shelf brackets.

And, yes, the door is taller than the original opening. After trimming a few inches off the bottom of the opening, I re-positioned the door (downward) so that it fully covered the closet opening.
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Old 08-05-2021, 06:57 AM   #10
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The lateral panels add structural rigidity to limit side to side flexing of the exterior walls. The closet is so close to the front wall that a reduction in the effective diagonal bracing effect that would result from enlarging the closet door opening is probably minimal, but that has so far dissuaded me from cutting our fiberglass opening larger to match the door size.

The addition of an inset access door as Lee and Greg show will have less of that diagonal resistance reduction than simply cutting the existing opening larger.
I may just have to copy their ideas.

With Bonnie's approval, of course...
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