The Doorway to Heaven
Originally posted 3/21/2013
I’ve been going through stacked up magazines looking for info, new things worth researching further, and reference articles I’ll need to scan and convert to PDF files. That lets me chuck the pulp versions and helps clear out the clutter. Been doing that since about 9AM, and not letting myself get distracted.
So, when I finally tried to exit the trailer at 4PM, the external door seemed mighty reluctant to open! Hmmm. It’s been pretty moody ever since departing Algonquin. Easy some days, and a PITA on others. When it’s feeling peckish, it just doesn’t want to close and latch, and the lower frames look stressed and unhappy. Once open this time, it became obvious that the bottom of the door was literally coming apart. The bottom frame section had flopped down about a half inch, both side frames had spread, and both inside and outside panel surfaces were exposed at the edges and trying to go somewhere other than where they are now.
Doors on RVs are a big deal. A replacement for this one would have to come from a salvage yard. So, I’d have to do what I could on this one. A couple of corner brackets might be enough to tie it all back together. I could put them inside only, so the trailer wouldn’t look too hillbilly from the outside. I had a bit of sheet aluminum from the water heater vent shield that didn’t work very well, so I broke out the cheapo-knockoff paramedic shears I use in the kitchen. They didn’t work very well to cut the aluminum, but they did work. I did lack small sheet metal screws, though.
So I hopped on the bike and headed for the small hardware store in town before they could close on me. Presto, found just what I needed for $2.40. I noted their prefab corner brackets they had just in case my fake-up failed to really take care of the issue, and cycled back. Goal: get the door basically happy before sunset, because today’s on-again, off-again wind made it very undesirable to try to leave the door open overnight.
I’m pretty slow when I do things. I like to say that I prefer to take it easy and enjoy the process. But really, I’m just slow. Still, I realized that the raw edges of the aluminum would probably slice a nice wafer off me sometime when I least expected it, so I bent one edge and folded it over on itself to become non-lethal. The other edges would hug the doorframe and were comparatively shielded. Measured out and drilled the new corner pieces for fasteners. Held them in place and drilled the doorframes. Screwed everything together, and then put everything away. 5:30. Still an hour to spare. Yea!
The door opens and closes like it never has. Like it’s supposed to, actually. Nice and crisp. I will be exceedingly curious to see if removing the support jack under the door influences it at all. I like to think that there’s a possibility that the weight around the doorway opening was a red herring, and that the door itself was reacting to something – like falling to pieces. On the trip down here, I twice had to literally pry the door open with a screwdriver, and had to reset the latch several times just to get it to close again. Not the happiest thing to do in a Walmart lot with a load of groceries waiting in a cart.
See, the jack under the door seemed to help door function in general, but not at all consistently. I’ve been assuming that the doorway opening has been shifting. Maybe it is, but this little fix on the door itself might outweigh that. I just backed off on the jack, and its still works great. Too soon to tell now, though. Only the stresses of travel and parking on different surfaces will tell the story for sure. Still, as of today, me happy!