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Old 06-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Door hinge

Here I am on the road in the middle of a 2-3 month trip and my door hing is problematic. Door will not close easly without tweeking. The bottom hinge is loose and I can not tighten the bolts/screws. I know the bolts go through and the nuts most probably droped off. Whats the trick to get to the back side of the bolts? If there is a way please share. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Here I am on the road in the middle of a 2-3 month trip and my door hing is problematic. Door will not close easly without tweeking. The bottom hinge is loose and I can not tighten the bolts/screws. I know the bolts go through and the nuts most probably droped off. Whats the trick to get to the back side of the bolts? If there is a way please share. Thanks in advance.
Motorhome, trailer??

Year and length is important when asking many questions, as well.

Otherwise answers will more often than not be confusing or genaric.

Andy
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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I had the same problem with my top hinge on my 98 Excella. The solution was to remove the door trim and drill two 5/8 holes so I could get a socket and new nut on the backside. I used new stainless steel bolts and nuts. Put the door trim back on and you can't see the repair. If you don't have door trim then The Vap guys suggest you buy a chrome plug, which you can get at most hardware stores.

Good Luck
Damon
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:45 PM   #4
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We had the same problem...it got worse whenever we used the leveling jacks...Oasis RV in Tucson solved the problem, last year, but it's coming back...I'm watching this thread with personal interest.
mike
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Old 06-16-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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We had the same problem...it got worse whenever we used the leveling jacks...Oasis RV in Tucson solved the problem, last year, but it's coming back...I'm watching this thread with personal interest.
mike
Entrance doors can be jammed by mis-use of the jacks.

The are "NOT" leveling jacks, but they are "stabilizing jacks."

If stabilizing jacks are used to level the trailer, they will usually twist the shell enough to jamb the entrance door.

If they are used for leveling, they more than likely will soon break or bend, as they were not intended to be used for leveling.

BAL advertizes them as "stabilizing jacks," only.

If leveling is a problem, then blocks of wood or leveling blocks should be used.

Andy
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:20 PM   #6
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Raveson's post appears to be about a motorhome and not a trailer.

However, I can attest to the fact that the hydraulic leveling jacks found on the Classic motorhomes can twist the coach enough to bind the door. So trailer or motorhome, you need to be careful when using the stabilizing/leveling jacks.

On our 310 motorhome the door also has bolts that are loose, I just haven't had or taken the time to cut a hole on the inside wall to get access to the nuts. Someday..........

Brad
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Old 06-16-2009, 11:00 PM   #7
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Andy,
Thanks for a clarification no one told me about. The dealer who sold us the unit told us they were leveling jacks..."so you don't even have to get out to level the unit if the weather is bad..."...I still wouldn't trade this honey for some SOB, but the advice is the real reason the forums is such an invaluable tool...I will reinstate the 2X6's and remove some of this other unnecessary cr-- I carry when we get home, in a couple of days. Thanks, again,...I'm not sure what $ you have saved me, but I do know what frustration you have allowed me to avoid.
mike
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Old 06-17-2009, 04:38 AM   #8
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Mike, actually those are leveling jacks on your motorhome. The trailers use "Stabilizing jacks" and the motorhomes have "leveling jacks". That being said, you still need to be careful using the leveling jacks on the motorhome to avoid twisting the chassis and coach. Carrying blocks of wood and other items to help in getting closer to level before using the leveling jacks is a good idea.

Brad
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:31 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update, Brad...I reckon I'll still carry 2X6 supplements...kinda confusing that leveling jacks require supplement, but then, I had a Ford pickup with the rear un der-the chassis spare mount, and if I had a rear flat, the factory jack wouldn't fit under the jack point...
mike
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:43 PM   #10
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Hi raveson - To simplify answering questions you can set your Airstream type in your profile. Log in. Click on 'User CP' (control panel) in the blue toolbar at page top. Choices are along the left. Select 'Edit your details,' scroll about halfway down the following page to the 'Additional Information' block.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:27 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update, Brad...I reckon I'll still carry 2X6 supplements...kinda confusing that leveling jacks require supplement, but then, I had a Ford pickup with the rear un der-the chassis spare mount, and if I had a rear flat, the factory jack wouldn't fit under the jack point...
mike
We've been lucky so far in that we've been able to level with just the leveling jacks. One thing I did find out the hard way was you can raise the back wheels off the ground using the leveling jacks. Did that inadvertently and ended up rolling backwards folding the jacks backwards. Fortunately there was no damage to anything other than my self esteem and ego .

Brad
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:57 AM   #12
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Here I am on the road in the middle of a 2-3 month trip and my door hing is problematic. Door will not close easly without tweeking. The bottom hinge is loose and I can not tighten the bolts/screws. I know the bolts go through and the nuts most probably dropped off. Whats the trick to get to the back side of the bolts? If there is a way please share. Thanks in advance.
I love how quickly a question about how to get to door hinge nuts turns into a discussion on proper use of leveling jacks... As for the question asked. I have seen people drill holes through the inner skins to access the bolts then plug them once finished. I have bought new hinges to replace my worn out originals and plan to remove the inner door skin and small section of inner wall to replace them in my 1988 345. I will document the procedure when I tackle it this spring but hopefully this helps you a little bit. I used the plastic washer trick to get me by for another year but it is time to change out the old hinges for the new ones. It is an easy job made difficult by the fact that the nuts are not attached to the frame forcing the removal of the inner skins (or the drilling of holes). It's almost like Airstream didn't want us to work on our own motorhomes???
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:28 AM   #13
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Easy
Three years ago, removed the door molding, eased back the interior skin and re bolted the door hinge. Not as much trouble as expected! Door still fits snug today rergardless as to how I have the coach leveled. The removal is drilling out rivits and re installing ith pop rivits. Might add that at the time of the fix used locktite, lock washers and locking nuts on the existing bolt.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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Yeah, I don't know how I got on such old threads the other day, all the while thinking I was reading the latest posts? No harm done.
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