Installing door hinges

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    I couldn’t build my camper without the instruction book but sometimes it doesn’t explain all that it could. That’s why I appreciate this forum so that builders can share what works (and sometimes doesn’t) for them. Page 242 says the door hinges should be at 90º to the camper shell but doesn’t show any way to try and make sure of that. Many could probably eyeball it and be close or right on but here’s a way to take the guesswork out. I happen to have a 1 x 2 x 3 block but lots of things have a 90º corner and would work. Hold things together like in this picture and put a dot of CA glue on the hinge piece to hold it in place. For a little more accuracy, the distance between the top and bottom of the 123 block and saw kerf (cut line) should be the same.

    I did this with both pieces that go on the camper (for one hinge) first, then made sure the piece that goes on the door fit between them with even gaps. In other words, everything ‘lines up’ nicely. With the first attempt, one of the two camper pieces was crooked (not horizontal) and since it only had one drop of CA glue holding it, I could snap it loose and adjust. I’ll epoxy the two camper parts first, then the door part making sure not to put too much epoxy between the camper pieces which could get in the way of the door piece. I think it would take a lot of epoxy to do that though.

    A few things to note:

    My door is not cut out all the way around. I cut enough to be able to install the hinges and not have them in the way of a saw when I cut the rest. That idea came from others on this forum and I liked it. The instruction book has you ‘reinstall’ the doors and aligning them “with great care” but I don’t know that they’ll ever be better aligned than while still part of the camper shell.

    I did fiberglass the inside of the doors and the stiffeners have been installed. I’m counting on two doors that open easily and have even gaps all the way around.

    Finally, you’ll notice there’s no hole for the hinge bolt yet. I’m trying the ‘drill/fill/drill’ method. Once all three hinge parts are in place and epoxied, I’ll drill a hole through all of them at the same time. As long as I take my time, it should work well.

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