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Door repair advice please


MarkV
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Well, on the maiden voyage of Hull 953, we experienced some very strong winds. At one point as I was opening the door, a strong gust got a hold of the door and both pulled me out of the camper and slammed the door stop into the side of the camper. As a result (picture below) the metal plate around the door stop smashed through the fiberglass of the door. 

Any suggestion on how best to repair this?

Thanks.  Mark & MaryBeth

1613257658_OllieDoorDamage.thumb.jpg.a3e51b6ff219683b74301660a6c62a4f.jpg

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MarkV

2022 LEII Hull #953

2021 Ford Expedition Max w/ Max Tow Package

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6 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Are you close or are you going to be close to the Mothership?

Bill

We are not.  We're in Colorado.  I think we can find a reputable fiberglass repair place, but any thoughts on what we should do in the meantime to prevent leaking?  (Well, not that our part of Colorado ever gets any damn rain anyway these days....)

mb

MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
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Oliver service will make that look as good as new. Just had my door latch repaired Wednesday. When they riveted it in during construction they missed the metal plate inside the hull behind the latch. The pressure from the rubber grommet was enough to pull the rivet through the fiberglass. They went in by cutting a hole in the closet and adding the metal support brackets. I thought they would put an access port there to cover the hole. To my surprise they re-fiber glassed everything. You cant tell anything was done.

As far as keeping the rain out. Butyl tape will leave you a mess but will work. If it were me, I would just put a piece of the air-conditioning foil tape over it until I could get it fixed. Think it will come off easier than the the butyl tape. 

 

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I think any reputable place that does fiberglass work should be able to do a proper repair on your door.  As far as stoping leaks, if it isn’t going to be very long some kind of tape should work.  I carry a roll of white duct tape and a roll of white gaffers tape (leaves no residue).  Butyl tape will also work.

I just bought a roll of 3M 4412N Sealant Tape that I read about on the Airstream forum.  Folks over there are using it to seal around roof appliances on their trailers.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it gets good reviews.  Mike

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44 minutes ago, VBistro said:

We are not.  We're in Colorado. 

Shame.

A good boat or fiberglass place should be able to perform the repair without too much trouble.  However, in order to get the repair to disappear you will need to know the exact color of gelcoat that was used and be able to get a very small quantity of it.  

If this were my Ollie, I'd make sure that once I found the repair place, they were placed into contact with the folks in Oliver Service.  There is a good chance that not only will the Service people tell the repair outfit what and how things need to be done in that area, but, they will also be able to sell them a small quantity of the proper color gelcoat.

Good luck!

Bill

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Well, that's a bummer.

I'd use white or clear  duct tape for a temporary fix. Like many others, we carry rolls with us. 

Butyl tape is a sealant, not really a "tape."

The door itself is damaged, right, not, the trailer hull? That  is probably a Lippert made item. Your insurance may cover a new door. I'd open a ticket, and ask for Jason's advice. 

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42 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

they will also be able to sell them a small quantity of the proper color gelcoat…

The doors come to the Oliver factory preassembled with the screen door, hinges and attached to their frames. They are simply installed into a hole cut in the hull. The color of the door is what comes from the door manufacturer. Just paint the repaired door white and put it back in the hole. 

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25 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Well, that's a bummer.

I'd use white or clear  duct tape for a temporary fix. Like many others, we carry rolls with us. 

Butyl tape is a sealant, not really a "tape."

The door itself is damaged, right, not, the trailer hull? That  is probably a Lippert made item. Your insurance may cover a new door. I'd open a ticket, and ask for Jason's advice. 

Hadn't thought about insurance.  We've got ours through GoodSam and will check.  Will also open a ticket and get advice from Oliver.

That wind was SERIOUS.  Like 60-70 mph....

Thanks!

mb

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

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That is serious wind, and something for everyone to consider. 

I hope you can resolve your issue with insurance. With or without, very glad you were not injured when the wind flung you back. Trailers heal with money. We humans heal more slowly. 

With components, it's sometimes less expensive to replace than repair  

 

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I would cut out a slightly larger backing plate from 0.032” 6061 T6 aluminum, say an inch bigger all around, the same stuff Oliver uses everywhere. Remove the old plate, fill the holes with epoxy, and bond the new plate in place. Use a white product like Marine Tex (not my favorite JB Weld, because that is dark grey)…. Reinstall the bumper. I don’t think you need to do any actual fiberglass repair, as long as there isn’t any ugly sideways displacement, it looks like it just pushed it inwards, crushing the core a little.

This mod won’t stop that kind of sudden, unexpected damage,  but it will prevent the chrome hold open from breaking or pulling out of the hull.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5788-how-to-cabin-door-bungee-hold-open-strap/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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Ditto to John’s solution.  If you try to just repair it as original it’ll still be a weak spot, and probably won’t look quite perfect.  Adding a larger aluminum backing plate is less complicated than trying to do a perfect fiberglass repair job.  A slightly larger aluminum plate will hide the original damaged edges/area and also give a larger area to support the rubber bumper in case it ever happens again in the future.  

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Yes - 

I didn't think about that being the door and not the body of the camper.  There's not much behind that thin door fiberglass besides Styrofoam.  JD's suggestion of filling and then simply placing a slightly bigger piece of aluminum there is a good fix that shouldn't cost too much in either time or money and will look OK.

Good luck!

Bill

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Mark and Beth,

That has to be tough with a new Oliver. I like Johns idea with a larger thicker aluminum plate and backfilling.  

Were the winds in Boulder?  Now they get some really strong winds there.  I lived in Colorado most of my life.  Born in Longmont,  In Boy Scouts I ushered at Folsum Stadium, and worked at IBM on the Diagonal.   My son still lives and works in Boulder.  

Good luck on that repair. 

Bob and Dawn

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And -

While you're at it and if you haven't already done it - you might want to consider a "handle" something like THIS or THIS in order to give you something to grab either when the wind catches the door or simply when you want to close the door from the inside.

Bill

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I just had exactly the same thing happen to me out in Utah when my door flew in 70 mph wind so I am looking at John's idea of epoxy back filling and a bigger metal plate to cover it. Has anyone tried this? John, were I can get the  0.032” 6061 T6 aluminum plate?

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38 minutes ago, Imelda said:

I just had exactly the same thing happen to me out in Utah when my door flew in 70 mph wind so I am looking at John's idea of epoxy back filling and a bigger metal plate to cover it. Has anyone tried this? John, were I can get the  0.032” 6061 T6 aluminum plate?

Any large city will have a “specialty metals” supplier (usually it is not also a steel supplier), I get all my materials from here, which is just five miles away. Very handy!

https://alcobrametals.com/aluminum/sheet-plate/6061-t6-aluminum-sheet/

While you could order from them, you must buy a big piece and the shipping will kill you. If you can locate a supplier on Amazon Prime that will sell you a 12” x 12” square, that would be fine. I personally would go into the local store, tell them what you need, and they will either find you a cheap cutoff scrap, or cut it to the exact size you want for a dollar or two…It wouldn’t have any rounded corners, they use a big shear, but it would be close to finished.

An alternative is if you happen to know a pilot or an aircraft tech, they could bring you a piece, it is super common in aviation. It doesn’t have to be 0.032”, you could go thicker to 0.040”, but the heavier stuff is harder to work with hand tools. I would not go thinner than 0.032”, it won’t be rigid enough. Do NOT use the cheap “dead soft” aluminum you find at the box store, it is not at all appropriate and it dents super easy.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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5 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

Any large city will have a “specialty metals” supplier

And, many smaller towns too.  Asheville North Carolina has one as does the even smaller Hendersonville, North Carolina.  Neither of these are "large" by any means.  Possibly try a welding shop or fabrication/machine shop.  Even if they don't have it they can probably tell you where to get it.

Good luck!

Bill

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I can sometimes get small pieces left  from a custom job at my local alro metals. They have operations in many cities. They're called alro steel in some locations, but they carry a lot more.

Topgun's idea of asking a local fabricator or welder is also good. You don't need much, and they might have a bit of cutoff in a scrap bin.

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On 4/22/2022 at 9:39 PM, John E Davies said:

I would cut out a slightly larger backing plate from 0.032” 6061 T6 aluminum, say an inch bigger all around, the same stuff Oliver uses everywhere. Remove the old plate, fill the holes with epoxy, and bond the new plate in place. Use a white product like Marine Tex (not my favorite JB Weld, because that is dark grey)…. Reinstall the bumper. I don’t think you need to do any actual fiberglass repair, as long as there isn’t any ugly sideways displacement, it looks like it just pushed it inwards, crushing the core a little.

This mod won’t stop that kind of sudden, unexpected damage,  but it will prevent the chrome hold open from breaking or pulling out of the hull.

https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/5788-how-to-cabin-door-bungee-hold-open-strap/

John Davies

Spokane WA

I hadn't even thought of that.  Seems like the simplest fix.  Thank you!

And I'll definitely look into the bungee solution, too.  We are just thankful that Mark didn't take a good tumble when it happened....

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Any large city will have a “specialty metals” supplier (usually it is not also a steel supplier), I get all my materials from here, which is just five miles away. Very handy!

 

 

We have an amazing Ace Hardware in town that sells everything...I have NEVER not found what I needed there, and I would guess they would have this as well.  And they'll cut it to order. McGukins rules!

 

MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
TV: 2021 Ford Expedition Max Platinum, Max Tow Package

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28 minutes ago, VBistro said:

We have an amazing Ace Hardware in town that sells everything...I have NEVER not found what I needed there, and I would guess they would have this as well.  And they'll cut it to order. McGukins rules!

It would be truly astounding if they sold structural “aircraft grade” aluminum of any type, this is definitely not it…. 

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/hardware/metal-sheets-and-rods/sheet-metal/5024849

Ollies are made from 6061 T6 or a similar “tempered” alloy, which is a very good thing indeed.

There are several Ace stores that I visit when the box stores don’t have something (which seems to be happening more and more often) but none of mine will cut to size, which is frustrating, but understandable from an economic standpoint.. They are independently operated, so they can order different inventories, but I believe it all comes out of the same Ace warehouses. i have had them special order items for me, they are very helpful people. It would be cool if they worked on RVs with the same attitude.😃

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/

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On 4/22/2022 at 4:54 PM, MarkV said:

Well, on the maiden voyage of Hull 953, we experienced some very strong winds. At one point as I was opening the door, a strong gust got a hold of the door and both pulled me out of the camper and slammed the door stop into the side of the camper. As a result (picture below) the metal plate around the door stop smashed through the fiberglass of the door. 

Any suggestion on how best to repair this?

Thanks.  Mark & MaryBeth

1613257658_OllieDoorDamage.thumb.jpg.a3e51b6ff219683b74301660a6c62a4f.jpg

You  may even try Oliver. I’ll bet they have a lot of short pieces laying around

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