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HOW TO: Cabin door bungee hold open strap


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This is in no way original, pics have been posted here a few times over the years, but I finally got around to doing this and thought this cool and easy mod needed a “home” thread. I can’t recall who posted the original pics, but thank you! This provides protection against a strong and unexpected wind gust, which might possibly break the OEM hold open bar or pop its rivets out of the fiberglass. I have never liked that design, the marine latch works fine inside a boat to hold open an inside door, but it is not suitable at all for windy conditions.

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The yellow bungee is a 48” one from this assortment package: …. SmartStraps

The stainless snap hook (carabiner): …. 3/16” Stainless Snap Hook 5 pack

The bungee has a scratch proof plastic hook at each end, it won’t scratch anything when looped around the inside handle. The reviews are mixed, some buyers say it doesn’t last under constant UV exposure. I have never used these outside, so I can’t comment on that. I do like the big plastic hooks, they are way less dangerous than those little steel ones, which can remove an eye.

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The front strap is a home-built one from woven paracord, with a big loop in one end and a small one to capture the snap hook. The big loop goes around the jack body and then the other end feeds through it. It is about 24” long end to end. It touches the doghouse lightly, but any motion is linear at the bungee cord, the strap does not actually move at all. This is one reason I didn’t just use two bungees, I did not want the gelcoat to be scuffed. (You could eliminate the front strap and just connect the front bungee hook to the doghouse cover hold-down, but in that case it will chafe on the hull. This setup provides about 3” of clearance there.)

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If you want an off the shelf strap, with no steel parts, these would work fine:

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…. Race Driven Tie Down Straps. They would not look as sexy 😁

 

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If you have just  the screen door closed and want to close the outer one, you can just unhook the cord from the handle and swing the door closed. You don’t have to go outside in your pajamas to unhook the OEM hold open bar. The bungee will launch toward the ground behind the tow vehicle, but the front cord and steel hook will not go flying.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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You disappoint me John.  After what you did with the filter media in your window I expect better.  Surely you can come up with something that looks more professional.

Sorry, I couldn't resist getting in a dig on this one... 😁

  • Haha 1

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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1 hour ago, LongStride said:

You disappoint me John.  After what you did with the filter media in your window I expect better.  Surely you can come up with something that looks more professional.

Sorry, I couldn't resist getting in a dig on this one... 😁

Show me a better solution that does not cost me any $$$ and I will gladly buy you a nice steak dinner. 😁

Any way, this one was not my idea, I am recycling it.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Looks like it works.

Most of us never need it, but nice tp know you (probably) have the bits with you, or readily available. 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Would it be better to anchor the strap to the trailer tongue, not the jack?   Just thinking out loud 😊

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCAIDNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Ray and Susan Huff said:

Would it be better to anchor the strap to the trailer tongue, not the jack?   Just thinking out loud 😊

Possibly, where would you hook it? There is not much exposed structure there. You could use one link of the right side Andersen chain, if you use that hitch. It needs to be quick and easy to hook up or you won’t use it, especially if you have to squat down and fumble around under the frame…. and it can’t get dirty or you will not want to handle it.

It would probably work OK around the straight part, but I think it would chafe the gelcoat because of the angle. In that case, just hook onto the rubber strap thingee that holds down the doghouse cover.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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All of the solutions in this post, including the one I was poking fun at (I was just playin, it's really a good idea) are a great way to protect the door hook from tearing out in a wind gust.  On my Elite, the eye for the door hook has a reinforcing plate on the inside of the door.  I don't know what Oliver did with the hook side.  Let's assume it is reinforced and you just can't see it because it is between the hull shells.  If a nasty gust of wind came up and the door hook held, it could still severely wrack your door because it is just secured at the bottom.  Something in the middle of the door like what we are discussing here is much better.

Thus far, we just close the door if wind is a threat.  I really like the bungee idea, but if not done right it has it's own set of problems.  First and foremost, I don't want to place undue stress on the door hinges.  The tension of the bungee would need to be just right, as well as the elasticity.  Just enough to barely compress that rubber stopper on the outside of the door that keeps it from slamming against the hull.  The other obvious issue is potential damage to the gel coat from chafing against the hull.

Using both the elasticity of the bungee and the weight of my safety chain this is what I came up with...

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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I just used what I had laying around.  I still have a couple of inches of stretch left in the bungee.  I will need to play around with it some more.  I would like the weight of the chain do a little more of the work.  I'll have to go get a "snack pack" of bungees and try to find one that is just right.  

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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1 hour ago, LongStride said:

I just used what I had laying around.  I still have a couple of inches of stretch left in the bungee.  I will need to play around with it some more.  I would like the weight of the chain do a little more of the work.  I'll have to go get a "snack pack" of bungees and try to find one that is just right.  

Get a longer cord, hook it onto one of the links further forward, that will give you a lot of adjustment capability. If the loose end hangs down, it won’t be an issue. My long cord stretches about 18” and the load on the door is very minimal.

I considered your method, but I normally try to stay hitched all the time, so my safety chains and Andersen chains are busy elsewhere. Living in an area of extreme drought and possible wildfires, I like to reduce the time it would take to evacuate. I also avoid any campground with only one way out at the end of a long slow bumpy road. 😳

John Davies

Spokane  WA

  • Like 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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@John E Davies good plan to stay hitched if wildfires are around.  The idea of a quick getaway never dawned on me when you mentioned wildfires in your post about the window air filter.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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