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Old 12-05-2017, 11:37 PM   #1
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Crosslake , Minnesota
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IState bathroom expansion panel mods?

I searched the forum for anyone talking about modifying the bathroom expansion panel w/o success, so I'll ask:
Am I the only one annoyed by the hinged expansion panel and its grade-school latch design?
For some reason I'm the only one in my family that can routinely latch it successfully. My wife regularly thinks it's latched only to have it flapping while driving down the road moments later.
There's got to be a better way.
Any ideas/successes?

Thanks so much!
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:41 AM   #2
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Welcome to the AirForums! Glad I could help on your first post!

When I push in the latch, I always twist the latch to the right (clockwise) as far as it will go after pushing it in. That keeps it from backing itself out.

One thing I've done with the hinged wardrobe closet door to keep it from coming open in transit was to add a child-proof latch. (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) It occurs to me that one of these on the outside of that panel as a backup might help keep the panel in place.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:52 AM   #3
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We always leave the panel in the open position. Even when open it is not the narrowest spot in the aisle, and my wife and I have learned to maneuver past it. I made a wedge that sits on top of the panel and jams it open. I use velcro to keep the wedge in place. I forgot that it was even hinged until reading this post. It gives more room at the back of the bathroom (front of the van) where the room is needed the least, but oh well...
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:44 AM   #4
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My bathroom extension rattles when we travel with it closed, but not if it is open.

I currently have the extension stops removed and the extension door free-swinging in order to get easier access to replace the terrible Thetford toilet with a ceramic Dometic 311. When I finish the toilet install, I will permanently attach the extension in the open position. The amount of aisle space lost is insignificant.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:10 AM   #5
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I leave it in closed position. Removed to lower part to be able to open the toilette. I donít see a reason to expend the bathroom in the far end over the rear of the toilette. I am 6í1Ē and really donít need this extra space.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:27 AM   #6
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I have my bathroom extension free-swinging. I have strong magnets installed to hold it in the extended position. The extra space is useful because I have two towel bars installed on the inside of the extension. I'll post photos of the magnets later since my choice of magnets is a bit unusual.

The reason that mine rattled is that the latch that holds it closed does not go into a socket. Rather, it simply bears against a small piece of wood on the inside of the frame. This allows road bumps to move the door toward the curb, moving the latch pin away from the frame. The noise is when the latch pin strikes the wood again.

I replaced the small piece of 3/8" thick wood that the latch sits against with a 3/4" thick piece with a hole drilled to accept the latch pin. That way, the extension is positively prevented from moving in and out. I'll post a photo of the fix later.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:34 PM   #7
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As I stated in the last post, I have installed magnets to hold the bathroom extension in the extended position and still allow me to swing it entirely open for access. The magnets I used are not what you might expect, though.

A few weeks ago, I bought a set of magnets that laced into shoes and made it unnecessary to retie the shoes each time. I did not like them at all for that use, but when I wanted magnets for the extension, they turned out to be perfect. The holes for the shoe laces are a perfect fit for flat-head #4 screws. I installed the magnets on the extension and frame at about knee and shoulder level. I put a piece of cardboard between them when I installed them so that I would have space between to prevent them hitting. With the two sets of magnets, it takes a really substantial tug to completely open the extension. As a belt and suspender safety item, I installed a removable stop pin on the ledge below to prevent any accidental "exposure."

The other thing I did was to replace the piece of 3/8" thick wood that the extension latch pin rests against with a 3/4" thick piece of ply with a 1/4" hole drilled for the latch pin. I tapered the entry of the hole to make it easier to insert the latch pin. This fix will prevent road shocks from vibrating the door latch against the frame. The wood block in the photo is a trial fit before painting with enamel color matched to the iron-on edging used on the laminate elsewhere.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:14 PM   #8
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When I owned my 2013 Interstate, I did two things...

At first, I always left the panels in the open position. Would have left it closed, but I recall that that will block your ability to raise the toilet seat.

Then, when we were at Jackson Center, we just had them remove the panels altogether. You can do that yourself, we just had them do it because they were doing a couple other things for us. Just unscrew them. When we sold the AI, we just screwed them back into place. Solved the whole problem of that stupid design.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:29 AM   #9
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I use magnets for kinds of thngs. I get them from kjmagnetics.com
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