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Old 02-23-2010, 08:36 PM   #1
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Not so square door.

So the other day I'm looking at the door of my 1750 and realize that there's a gap at the top on the latch side. The door had been sticking too, same top corner, but on the striker side of the frame.

So. Sagging door thinks I. Further I guess that's why the bottom aluminum seems to be missing from the door - I'm guessing it was dragging and some genius decided the "fix" was to remove it.

Anywho -I pulled the door off today. I found missing screws around the perimeter, and that the "skin" of the door had popped out from under the aluminum. So I start disasembly, straightening the metal, new screws, added some screws and got it all nice and snug. AND SQUARE - I checked it with a framing square so I know it is.

Once back in place I had made an improvement for sure, but the gap at the top remains. I made some measurements, and it looks like it's the frame, the top on the striker side is taller then the top on the hinge side!?


Did I just hit some sort of bad luck jackpot or is this an "not so uncommon" thing?
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:03 PM   #2
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Re: Not so square door.

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Originally Posted by Ted-Thompson
..... I made some measurements, and it looks like it's the frame, the top on the striker side is taller then the top on the hinge side!? ...
I have one that isn't quite right too. Everything looks ok but I can't latch the deadbolt because the striker plate opening doesn't match the deadbolt. I had to mess with the striker plate to get the door to latch and lock properly but I never got the deadbolt to line up. I never did spend enough time with it to figure out just what was off. My other door is perfect!

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Old 02-23-2010, 11:27 PM   #3
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I've had some that don't latch perfect before. Especially screen doors. You probably have the roller catch, but for those of us with the newer cheap plastic latches, I've had times where they don't match where the striker plate is, some that the holder latch on the main door isn't back/down enough, causing the screen door to catch some with normal operation of the main door, etc.

I would suspect maybe you have a little bit of wood rot somewhere in the door that caused it to sag. You were able to straighten it back out but I think the wood isn't there as much as it was and you were probably able to tighten the aluminum pieces in farther than they were originally.

If the gap is really big, I'm not sure how it got there.

When they install the doors, or at least the newer ones, they come already from the factory pre-installed in the frames. They have plastic shims to hold the door square in the frame. They install the door, then remove the shims. Sometimes trailers settle though and that causes the door to shift. I know I had to fool around with mine just this past summer because I got sick of the screen door always catching on the bottom of the door frame. The main door might have caught some too, but I didn't troubleshoot it. I tried adjusting it on the hinges, that didn't help much at all, so I finally got some leverage and just bent the door up a little. It deleted the catching. Because both doors have radius top corners, I can't really say if there was a before/after gap. It seems to seal OK. I'll admit my screen door doesn't meet much of the seal on the upper right and the bottom left now that I think about it, because I put some pieces of rubber there this summer to prevent it from rattling a lot when it was shut.

So to answer your question...I don't think there is a perfect door just because they are designed to be so flimsy. Some just happen to be better than others.

Jon
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:02 PM   #4
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Hi Ted

I can add to some of what Sunline Fan has experienced.

The newer style screen doors like Jon said can get, well twisted, in the 3 segments of hinge. On the newer coaches the screen door is not a full length piano hinge but has 3 segments of a Z shaped hinge. If you by accident pull on the door, it can bend in the Z hinge. Well realizing where it bent, you can lift in the right spot and tweak it back.

Now to the main entry door. In my case I think mine was installed non optimized from day 1. I have 2 doors. The door up front the gap is perfect all the way around. The door in the back, no. The sticker side has a wedge taper the full length. It is like it was set in the opening and screwed on where it landed. And sometimes when Iím not setup for camp the top of the door hits hard. In my case I have a lot longer camper and the rear problem child door is behind the axles. Depending on how the axles/tires are setting on the ground it can put a slight twist in the TT frame and that makes the door hard to open. When I level out the camper, put the stabilizers down, then the door works.

If I get up on a ladder and look along the top, errr, I can see the frame is not a parallel gap with the door. So any small camper frame movement can make it hit hard when closing. It comes and goes pending how the camper has settled before I put the stabilizers down.

If it keeps up like this I may have to pull the entire door out frame and all and reset it. Along with new butyl putty etc. The front door is perfect in any setting. Since the door is set in the middle of the frame and not skewed to one side, with some trailer twist, the gap accounts for the twist and the door still works.

I do not know if this is your issue or not but if you know the long piano hinge is sound and so is the door,. Then look at the gap all around the door. Yours being older may have had some frame flex and aggravated the problem.

Good luck

John
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:29 AM   #5
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Upon closer inspection in the daylight, I can see what's going on. The hinge side of the frame is lower then the striker side.

(my screen door has the 3 hinges BTW, but seems ok)

So it looks like the frame has sagged right below the hinge side of the door. It also appears (I can't get down to look right now due to mud/snow) that there is no support directly below that part, in fact it appears to be right in the middle of two supports, where it would be most likely to sag.

Further, this is where the front leg of the awning is clamped on, and I suspect that isn't helping.

Seems that the best answer may be to put a jack under there and see if I can raise that part and get a supporting beam under there, or maybe it needs shimming between the floor and the frame "beam" forward of that point, if that whole corner is sagging.

We'll see - I've had to do similar things in homes before.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted-Thompson
Seems that the best answer may be to put a jack under there and see if I can raise that part and get a supporting beam under there, or maybe it needs shimming between the floor and the frame "beam" forward of that point, if that whole corner is sagging.

We'll see - I've had to do similar things in homes before.
Hey Ted,

Is there any room on the frame, to weld/bolt a support plate? If you could get one between two floor supports, both the door and the awning would have some great support under them..


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Old 02-25-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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Sight unseen that's my plan exactly - IF.... IF things are where I think they are I'll basically run a plate under there, a steel L girder and that should take care of that.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:32 PM   #8
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a steel L girder and that should take care of that.
Sounds good!
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #9
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Just to add. I had my camera out at the trailer today, so I held it up and took this pic. You can see the gaping.

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Old 09-27-2010, 06:55 PM   #10
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On my 2004 SR rear screen door I elongated the screw holes in the hinges & removed the outside edge on the bottom z hinge which allowed me to unjust the screen door to the proper height....worked great
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