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In answering assume that I have the lots of time it would take to chisel; I’m retired.
The question I am asking myself/agonizing over is whether to make that saw cut that you made in the existing stiffener, and if so whether to make several like the art of kerfing. I am worried about appearance. Or . . . perhaps for ultimately a better appearance, I should be more aggressive and cut into the existing stiffener at the panel 3/4 chine line and chisel out all of the stiffener above the panel 3/4 chine (the ramped part) and replace it after I get the new stiffener (which I figure will be2a total length of 21 1/2″) glued in. That way I would end up with hopefully just a thin glue line between the old stiffener and the replacement ramp piece. What stimulated this idea is the fact that when I test bend the door (try to unspring it) it bends starting just above the hinge (at the end of the ramp in the existing stiffener) and this visibly seemed to affect the hinge angle (not sure why or if it matters). I guess the biggest reason is the thought that most of the offending spring back probably occurred under that stiffener ramp area. It wouldn’t be fun chiseling out that ramp with the headliner and gasket already permanently installed, but multiple cuts with my oscillating saw might help a lot. What do you think Fritz, taking into account that my bevels measurements pretty reliably indicate that I need more panel 3/4 angle? The problem is that I “baked in” the spring back with the ramp portion of the existing stiffener so if the ramp is not removed the bending I introduce will be above where the spring back occurred (at least in theory as I invision it)???
Any opinions Fritz?
I agree with Derek. If you haven’t yet installed them just install them a bit further back. If as I have you already installed them, shave them a bit if you have to. They’ll still look and function great.
I just checked the shell and inside door surfaces with a long bevel guage: my doors are sprung out on the forward edge! So I’m with Fritz: keep adding lumber till it all fits: first attempt will be that 3/4″ x 1″ trailer bunk stiffener up against the forward window sill and lapping 5 1/2″ onto the existing door bottom stiffener almost to the bottom of the door. I’ll do the same cut in the existing stiffener that you did except perhaps deeper into the fillet. I think you will find that the glass over your trial cut won’t be enough , probably you’ll have to add lumber. Feel free to disagree/correct me.
My camper won’t leak and is good enough to take on the road, but I would like to get my door fit better than it is so far. Gonna have to sand some varnish off and add lumber.
That should have said” lap onto panel 4 part of stiffener”. And that should have said “use a bevel guage to get the panel 3 panel 4 angle of the shell. . .” And that should have said “the angle and lushness of my rear door side. . .”
Man I hate this site’s word correction software that corrupts what I write. Anybody know how to disable it?
Probably would have helped some to have glassed it but glassed plywood still bends as is the case with preglassed hull panels in boatbuilding. Its a moot point for me. I just went down and studied my doors again and came up with the following: the amount that the stiffener laps onto panel 3 is not enough to hold an angle with that panel above the filleted seam immediate area. The door side plus the window sill plus the acrylic window do not have much resistance to bending at all hence my problem #1 (see earlier post). A strap on the front of my door may help but only if I stiffen the door front side panel 3 (or problem #1 will get worse. The angle and lushness of the rear of my door (where CLC put their strap) is held nearly perfectly by the two actuating rods and the handle cam. Putting a strap their seems pointless to correct my problems, but has anybody with my problems tried that? Feel free, John Harris, to join in on the discussion. I am thinking of doing the following: use a bevels guage to get the actual papanel-panel4 angle of the shell at the front door frame. Cut a stiffener say 1″ tall by 3/4″ thick out of some cherry I have laying around with the desired angle in it. If glued inside the door up against the window sill it will lap 5 1/2″ onto the panel part of the stiffener, or most of the way to the bottom of the door. It may very well solve both of my problems. What does every/anyone think? I think the door needs a lot more rigidity on its entire FRONT side top to bottom. This should help those who are seeing a “twist” in their doors. No? It will make my doors heavier but the weight will be immediately next to the hinges. 3/4″ okoume ply (unused trailer bunks) would be lighater. What do you think? Feel free to criticize.
I didn’t use or like the straps either; don’t think they will help problem 2. I also don’t think changing the angle at the door stiffener will make much difference. I am considering installing the straps from the lower FORWARD door corner to the upper FORWARD corner, combined with the strongback stiffener to address problem # 1. A good material for the stiffener would be the trailer bunks that were not used on my TTrailed.The window sill and the window itself do not provide enough stiffness to the forward door edge between the hinges when compressed against the foam. It is straight when the doors are open.
There is another issue that happens when you close the door against the seal. The seal causes the door to bow out 1) between the hinges and 2) at the lower forward corner. Although I haven’t tried it yet, #1 can be corrected with a stiffener/strongback along the inside of the hinge side of the door between the hinges. #2 is a tougher nut to crack and may require cutting the stiffenermand glassing over. How did thatmwork out Fritz and have you tried closing your doors with the seal installed, actuating rods engaged with the fairleadsncorrectly shimmed aand the cam at the right level so as to engage the door frame (thus lining up the entire rear edge of the door with the shell. Problems 1 and 2 may diminish with foam compression, but for now I am living with them.
Regarding the hasp hanging down: you can simply flip it up. It stays flipped up, I tried it. I think the screws look nice. And with the nylon nuts a screw driver alone is not enough for a thief to remove them. So I hope he resorts to drilling them out before reaching for his saw or crowbar.
I installed my hasp with the screws showing andmused the wood block because I thought it looked good, and did so base on my philosophy on hasps and thieves. I wanted the system to deter someone without a screw driver, wrench (for the hinge pins), or wood saw, or crow bar. But if a thief has those tools, I’d much rather they use a screw driver, take my pots and pans, and leave my wood camper basically undamaged. There’s no point in building a metal fortress when you’ve got a wood structure.
All that said, I love cpleper’s solution, and may well do that later. For now I located my hasp catch such that it pulls the spring back (which I have as well) out of the rear of the hatch center.
Those fans are Conframo fans. You can get them in white or black from Defender Industries (a huge mail order marine supplier in Waterford, CT whose prices are 30 % less than West Marine on virtually everything). I got them and they push a lot of air, reasonably quiet, very nice.
Yes the mushroom vent seal CLC used is the same as door seal, same stuff as they sell for kayak hatches. But . . . if you install your mushroom vents correctly with the baffle pointing down, I don’t think you will need the gasket. I am at odds with the manual on this but will know for sure, I guess the first time I drive 65mph in the rain. The manual says they left insect screens out – not so, they omitted the rain baffles. For sure the rear mushrooms shouldn’t leak with their baffles in.
I installed a Hella marine (from Defender) light 15″ from the stiffener on the underside of my hatch ( on a 1/2″ plywood base matching its profile glued to the hatch underside. I hid the wire in a wood conduit between light and stiffener. There at the stiffener there are spade connector wire terminals. The wire from the electrical panel comes along the underside of the rain gutter andngoes through a hole in the stiffener. When I finally figure out how to post pictures, I’ll post some.
My doors just miss the eyebrows – zero clearance but no friction. The doors clear it if you aren’t inadvertently lifting on the handle as you close the doors. I am going to live with it, and if I have any troubles down the road, I’ll shave the eyebrows 1/8″ over the doors channels.the amount shaved towards the front and back. I like the eyebrows, feel they are(glassed) quite robust, and feel they protect and strengthen that panel 2/panel3 chine considerably, not to mention the fact that they keep rain out of the top of the doorseal channels. Worst case scenario is that they will bear the brunt of any abuse before the chine does.
Diving Duck’s solution is brilliant, the best yet. I suffered with alignment issues ( out of plum final holes, which drilling 1/2 way through from the top would have prevented), moving the teardrop forward and backwards over the trailer, then epoxy coating those holes that I felt were too near or touching the wood. 5/8″ for the fill holes would have prevented this even with the misalignment. I did 5/8″ holes for my storage box – much better. I put silicone around the upper 3/4″ of the bolts before inserting them in the camper floor.The weight of the camper on the neoprene washers should keep the moisture out from the underside with or without silicone. I suspended my teardrop on styrofoam blocks 1/4″ above the final resting position to get the neoprene washers and risers lined up with the bolts unassisted.
By the way, my springs change in force , but they still raise or hold the hatch above head height and enough to provide a good rainshield for the person cooking. The force should be temperature dependent (lower temperature = lower gas pressure), I will observe to confirm this hyphypothesis. Reference the gas law from your high schook chemistry. In new springs with good seals and smooth unscratched pistons, this is the most likely explanation.
Another typo: I meant “when rods are engaged”, not “when rods arecalculated.” This website’s word guessing/ processing software is annoying. You write one thing and it doesn’t like it and changes it to something else without your permission.