Doors & Door Construction or Design.

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Doors & Door Construction or Design.

Postby Dale M. » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:58 am

Help!.

So talk to me about doors. I am about to restart construction on my project. Not many things about the construction bother me, but the doors... Seems silly but it does.

Are door built up out of same materials as sides , either single sheet of plywood or composite build up (layers of ply and insulation and skin) really the way to go. I mean is the hassle of making door and fitting it with trim and all the processes and procedures really successful or should I just bite the bullet, and find "something" that is already available like a RV "escape hatch" or storage compartment door and adapt it. OR again biting further go to a RV manufacturer and just have custom door made for my project... We are talking about two doors, one on each side...

And what size door seems to be optimum.... I was contemplation a 28 in. wide by 32 in. high door. My chassis is based on a 56x108 inch design very much a copy of the "Larry & Diane" design Outback Teardrop. Since I have not decide on actual outside "finish" but am learning towards Filon (sp) for maintenance issues over polished aluminum I think that can be adapted to any door design I choose....

Its not a money issue (not that I have a lot) so lets stay away from that side, I really am more interested in practicality of construction. Is it easier to just buy a door and fit it or having to fabricate a door and fitting it ...

What would you do different in next build if there were one in your future...

Dale
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Postby Miriam C. » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:09 pm

Dale,
I think you asked one of those questions everyone has thier own answer to.

I am making mine. It's a match issue. My woody needs to have doors that match. I was saving the piece I cut from it but it is sitting to the side warping in all this heat and humidity. :x If I get another piece I wil get some thin birch ply and make a sandwich . Yummmmm. :lol: and water proof it real well

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Postby Mark & Andrea Jones » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:01 pm

Dale,

We went the other way. We were under a time crunch and time was more important than the extra money for purchased doors. And on our first build, it was more important to have it completed, than NOT completed. That being said, they weren't cheap. Check out Cozy Cruiser for the doors that we ended up purchasing. The size is 36" tall and 30" wide. Having the screen is a major plus. We did replace the solid white plastic piece (in the screen door) with a clear piece of acrylic. Clear molded handles (for the screen door) can also be bought - I just haven't done that yet. Having the screen door (ANY kind of screen door) is a must, particularly if you don't put in AC.

Oh, and we put one on both sides of the tear, so take the cost times 2 plus shipping/crating. Ugh.

Would we do it again? Probably - if money wasn't an issue. I really like the doors and everyone else likes them - until they see the cost! I have done some research online for custom made RV doors that are teardrop sized and the cost was fairly close to what these are - like $380 - $400 or so. I'd be interested if you found something else.

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Postby Ira » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:29 pm

Making a door using your same wall construction isn't that big a deal.

And even if you bought a pre-made door, you still have to make the opening to fit, and hang it right.

So you have wall, you cut hole, and you now have door opening AND door--and a perfect fit.

Except for sanding down and fitting after installing on hinges.

Seriously, mine aren't perfect, and they scared the hell out of me before starting on them. But they work just fine at zero extra expense. ZERO, except for hinge, knob and weatherstripping.
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Postby TRAIL-OF-TEARS » Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:34 pm

I am some where in between. My door is the same as my side wall construction 3/4" ply. But I did buy a door kit from Camp-Inn, it is the alum trim around the door and the door opening it comes with weather stripping also. it was easy to install and it makes a purty nice door too.
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Postby 48Rob » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:08 pm

Hi Dale,

When imagining a door made out of a thin sheet of plywood, "warp" is the first thought that comes to mind.

An unsupported piece of plywood that allows one side more access to moisture than the other, will.
But, that is not the way it ends up when used as a door for a teardrop!

Since the door will be hinged, one edge is supported.
A piano type hinge is best for plywood because of the continuous support it provides.

If you install a window, it will also "stiffen" the broad expanse of "flat ".

The latch or lock will provide some stiffening on the opposite side, but only at one point.
A three point latch will solve the problem, but it gets pretty complicated for a simple door.
A better solution is to use a 1 x 2 or something similar, to create a stiffener that runs vertically near the latch edge.

Generally, using 3/4" or thicker plywood will greatly reduce the chances of the door ever warping, and pretty much negates the need for a brace.

A pre made door is okay too, if you can find the size and shape that compliment your profile, as opposed to just jamming whatever you can find in there.

Overall looks and symmetry aside, the larger the door, the more comfortable it is to use.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

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Postby Nic » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:45 am

I had no idea how to build a door, and i started my build before finding this site. So i used my 3/4" ply that my side walls are made of with a 1x2 frame/trim on the door. For the opening i also made a frame with 1x2s kinda like a house door. I had to trim the cut out plywood used for the door to make room for those frames/trims. I think i have a picture posted of the start of my door. Not a very good pic though.
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Postby Sonetpro » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:01 am

I cheated. I was worried about the door warping. I bought a 36" solid core hardwood door for a house and cut it in to 2 doors. Then I was worried about the weight. But after cutting the 23x25 hole for the window it didn't weigh as much. They are very solid.
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Postby Mark & Andrea Jones » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:36 am

See? :lol: It seems like there are almost as many different ways to build / do your doors as there are tears out there!

Good luck!

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Postby GPW » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:26 am

We just cut our door out of the side, while we were cutting all the lumber... using a jig saw and very carefully following the line , fit great ... soaked all the 3/4" ply exposed end grain with Tightbond II thinned , then primed and painted... Piano hinge , TD lock and the suggested trim pieces as seen here ... makes a very soild door , really easy and included in the cost of the side , cept' for the hardware , which didn't run over 50 bucks ... ;)
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Postby Frank » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:14 am

Dale,

After seeing Steve Fredericks builds I could not recommend any other door design more. It is not expensive, matches your outside and inside walls, and is waterproof and very tight. If done correctly you can not slam the doors shut no matter how hard you try, they are so tight that the air cushions like a shock asorber. They are really COOL and LOOK GREAT!!

He has a CD that is for sale on the board with a lot more good ideas, the way he puts the hatch and roof together will save you a lot of time and expense. The knowledge and tricks you will learn is priceless.

Go to Members and click on his name to get to his site.

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Postby kayakrguy » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:55 pm

Hi Folks,

Can't stay away from the 'Door' topic <g>

There are two questions that I have one of which I HAVE seen the answer to on the board but my searching cannot find it for the life of me and that is: Why piano hinges are not shimmed while other hinges are??

The second question concerns seals. When I look at most doors it appears that the seal is mounted on the inside aluminum stop. But that raises the whole question of how the latch is attached..ie is there a gap in the aluminum inside trim and the attached seal so that a latch can be attached to the wall?

Thanks if you can clearafy my thinking (?)

Jim
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Postby kayakrguy » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:54 pm

Hi Frank,

Thanks for your recommendation of Steve's build CD.
My hesitation about getting it has been $

But, that aside,--having gone where no sane people have gone before (building a T)--I am open to getting the cd...but I have some questions--would like a 'customer' to answer.

1) Does the CD address building either with or without sandwich construction....makes a difference insane folks who are already doing construction...

2) Same question about the door...does what Steve recommend accomodate doors made from 3/4" ply and any size opening.

3) And, IF I lose my mind again and build another one of these, or even a kayak! <g> do the methods translate to other kinds of builds...

Don't want any build secrets here just general answers to the above...

Jim
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Postby Frank » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:52 pm

Jim,

I will try to answer these questions, and if I don't to your satisfaction you can E-Mail Steve direct and he will.

1) Does the CD address building either with or without sandwich construction....makes a difference insane folks who are already doing construction...

Not really, however if you did not want to use sandwich construction, you could easily add some inside framing.

2) Same question about the door...does what Steve recommend accomodate doors made from 3/4" ply and any size opening.

Yes, to both.


3) And, IF I lose my mind again and build another one of these, or even a kayak! <g> do the methods translate to other kinds of builds...

Yes, to all of #3

Hope this helps, I know about the $ but it is money well spent, and a couple of OOP's :oops: and you have more than paid for the CD.

Frank



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Postby kayakrguy » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:55 pm

Frank,

You convinced me. I ordered the cd from Steve. Since beginning the build I have learned two things: What I thought I didn't know--well I didn't know more than I thought1 <g> Second, There usually are at least 3 elegant, effective solutions to any build question, usually more. Which is a good thing because there are at least 10 answers to questions I didn't think to ask <g>

Jim
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