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Front Door Fiberglass Cracked

Door Belly Band Slam Broken

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#1 casitauser

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 03:30 PM

We were camping in our 2008 17' FD on the fringes of Hurricane Michael ... after having to evacuate our original state park site that was only 30 miles from where the eye hit.  The outer bands of wind were hitting us on the East Coast of Florida.  When I got up in the morning, I did not realize how strong the winds had picked up there.  When I opened the front door, a strong gust of wind (probably 30 mph or more) pulled the door out of my hand and slammed it against the belly band.

 

I had a large rubber crutch tip cut to fit around the aluminum belly band in place, but that was not enough with the wind that strong.    When I looked at the door, it had a crack about 2 inches long with part of it pushed in a tiny bit behind the level of the rest of the door.

 

So now I am looking to repair the crack so that rain water will not get in between the two fiberglass layers that make up the outside and inside of the door.

 

My question is whether anyone has good ideas about how to best repair the crack.  My plan is to pull out the depressed area and glue it level using good epoxy glue.  However that will not look very good cosmetically, so I will glue a piece of flat fiberglass stock over the cracked area at the same time.  

 

After searching on the internet, I did find that I could buy a sample size of Filon RV fiberglass siding in Polar White and it looks very similar to the siding that the door is constructed out of.  The sample is only about 3" x 5", but that is big enough to cover the damaged area.  It costs $5, but it is better than having to buy a larger piece for $22 (the minimum size order other than the sample).  It is available from Affordable RVing of Milwaukee, and I found it through Ebay.

 

The siding looks to be the same thickness as the door panel is.  It will be somewhat stronger there after the two layers, but I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to some sort of further reinforcement or bumper that I should add over the new piece of fiberglass siding.  

 

It occurs to me that I could reinforce the area (that would hit the belly band) with a layer of fiberglass cloth between the door and the new fiberglass panel patch, but that might be more difficult to make not look so obvious.    Any ideas would be appreciated.

 



#2 Hot Toddy

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 04:52 AM

Most of us have had the same issue Casitauser, so you are not alone in this foible. I bought a round plastic door stop from Home Depot and glued it over the scar, then placed a bead of silicone caulk around it. The door stop is about 3-4 in diameter, flat, white and looks like it was placed there by the factory. I have longs since forgotten about the cracked fiberglass beneath it, and the door stop provides a layer of protection against the next gust of wind. You can spend a lot of time, energy, and money fixing that spot on your door only to have it happen again and again. Unless you are sailing, the wind is probably never going to be your friend while camping in your Casita. Accept imperfections as well earned battle scars from a life well lived. It is a camper being towed across rough roads, so blemishes are bound to occur. Best of luck!

Toddy

Learn to love your lucky fin! - Finding Nemo

Edited by Hot Toddy, 26 October 2018 - 04:56 AM.

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#3 Euphoria

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 05:42 AM

I bought these items at Lowes to "preempt" having that occur. I just trimmed the upper corner of the 4" square wall stop to fit around the radius of the window frame, when installed at what would be the "impact area" with the belly band if the door swung open. Helps to spread the force of impact out over a larger area as well as reinforce the door skin itself. It should cover whatever damage you did to your door skin. I just used the adhesive it came with because my door skin wasn't broken, but if you need to seal up the hole, then apply it with a good waterproof adhesive caulking.

 

https://www.lowes.co...-2-Pack/3353190

 

https://www.lowes.co...Stop/1000138425

 

door stop 002.JPG


Edited by Euphoria, 26 October 2018 - 06:04 AM.

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#4 casitauser

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Posted 29 October 2018 - 09:09 AM

That is a very nice and neat looking fix.  It looks like it was original, and the extra 4" plate should add a lot of strength compared to just the bumper alone.

 

Thanks



#5 Zimm

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Posted 24 November 2018 - 04:59 AM

I'm going to buy that plate today.  I repaired my door with Marine-tex, but this outing proved it's not strong enough to handle up to the stress of the rubber bumper pushing on it.


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#6 Zimm

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 05:52 PM

Here's the before and after.

 

45155365985_6366d865b7_b.jpg

 

44251062990_99ca38f03a_b.jpg


Edited by Zimm, 26 November 2018 - 05:53 PM.

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#7 Beadfingers

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:23 AM

Has anyone tried the bumpers that Casita sells for $2.50?  Are they sufficient prevention?

 

Julia



#8 NASA42 B

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 06:00 PM

Julia......

 

The white "bumpers" will protect against mild impact.  A 30-40 mph gust catching one's door is quite another matter.  "Sufficient prevention" is....install the bumpers as shown previously....and be careful to hang onto your door when opening or closing it.   Euphoria's repair as shown above in his and Zimm's posts probably represent the best way to spread the shock across the door skin if one wants to really work at prevention.   There is no guarantee, however, that some event can't damage your door.  Good luck!

 

Frank   :rolleyes:


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#9 Beadfingers

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 10:34 AM

Julia......

 

The white "bumpers" will protect against mild impact.  A 30-40 mph gust catching one's door is quite another matter.  "Sufficient prevention" is....install the bumpers as shown previously....and be careful to hang onto your door when opening or closing it.   Euphoria's repair as shown above in his and Zimm's posts probably represent the best way to spread the shock across the door skin if one wants to really work at prevention.   There is no guarantee, however, that some event can't damage your door.  Good luck!

 

Frank   :rolleyes:

Thanks, Frank.  I won't say how much I spent on a full repair of my door and then a week later discovered the repair with the tile and dome for six dollars.  I have ordered the parts and had already ordered the ones from the casita store.  I'll feel a lot better when I've got that tacked on.  But good to know there's an inexpensive cover up if it happens again.  BTW - my door is now the prettiest part of my 2007 trailer.  

 

Julia


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