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Old 10-21-2014, 01:55 PM   #1
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Interior SCREWS and HINGES- Tired of screwing with them

Eight years of tightening and replacing cabinet and fixture screws became an... ART. I have yet to understand why Airstream has not found a screw that will stay permanently...

Our 2014 25 footer already has required screwing... and no hardware or hinge is immune to backing out of the materials used for the interiors. Well... I found some fixes.

Fix Number ONE:
Piano or Strip Hinges that come in 36 inch or 48 inch strips. Cut to fit and they use a large number of wood screws. It is labor intensive for drilling small pilot holes, so not to split the finish.. but they hold. Somewhere in Boondocking years ago I illustrated some replacement hinges and they never needed to be tightened again! This was the permanent fix. Remove the original hinges and insert the strip hinges in their place. If you cannot do it, a cabinet shop could in less time and do a better job.

Fix Number TWO:
All possible doors and drawers that could open on their own... secure by tying a rope to a secure available spot. Never had a problem of open cabinets or drawers in our 2006 Safari again.

Fix Number THREE in progress:
My wife found a loose short screw that attaches the male plastic closer for the cabinet door. Vibrated loose on an easy road trip from Colorado to Las Vegas and back this Summer. Other odds and ends came out of hiding places, but were from the Jackson Center installation process and dropped to disappear. Well, we have a few extra screws and some things we cannot identify, but keeping them handy just in case.

Fix number three is where I am at this moment. I am considering using "Elmer's Glue" or a wood glue to cement the screws into the fixtures. It should be permanent. Maybe permanent is a future problem if, for some obscure reason, the wood screw needs to be removed.

I would like to avoid installing strip hinges on a new trailer. Time will tell. Has anyone used a wood glue like Elmer's to secure screws backing out while traveling? An inexpensive cure if it works. I can think of at least one disadvantage... the cheaply made door closers that have the male and female locking system... the female plastic in the cabinet splits apart. I know, we bought spares while in Jackson Center in 2008. Some of you may have experienced this problem. We tried the compression springs, but they were not as secure... thus the ropes to keep the doors from opening on any left to right motion.

The long screws that attach the cabinets to the frame of the shell... just be careful they are not longer than the original when using a larger diameter screw. That took care of the cabinet screws to frame coming loose.

Last comment. If axles are responsible for the screws coming loose... well my new 2014 had better not have axle problems. I lean more towards the road vibration provides the "physics", providing the release of tension of the spiral screw towards least resistance... backing out. Hot and cold will back nails out of house gutters and wood, that does not apply. Automobile bolts are designed different to substructure and they always seem to tighten with use, not become loose. Maybe some with similar experiences can add to this incomplete report of my solutions.

Has anyone used wood glue to secure cabinet screws? Just sounds too simple of a fix... but simple is good enough for me.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:16 PM   #2
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For the first time in three years, we had a serious screw problem. One of the curved doors under the galley sink just came off in my wife's hand after a day on the notorious I-40/I30 cement and spacer roadway that is Central Arkansas. After we ate.... first things first . . . I conspired to best the European hinge set up, finally taking each hinge apart so that I could reinstall the door. What I found confounding is that these hinges are held together with what appears to be tiny wood screws that are connecting metal to metal? Really? No small nuts and bolts available? There is one screw on the door side that appears to have stripped out of the wood, so I may try the old wood glue and sawdust trick or a matchstick to give the screw something to stick to. These type of hinges have never been my favorite, even in the modern stick built houses we have occupied... seems like they are always either out of adjustment, or if you bump a cabinet door the wrong way you suddenly have a door hanging by one hinge..... I'm sure in the hands of a skilled cabinet maker, installer, these are just marvels of modern engineering, but they continue to be confounding to me and I've got 30 years of house renovation experience.

Dana
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:21 PM   #3
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An alternate to your 2) is to use net curtain wire (not common in the US, but in just about every house in the UK (Amazon.com - Curtain Net Expanding Wire White 8 Metre 8M With 12 Hooks & 12 Eyes Cp - Utility Hooks)). Simply fixing an eyelet at each end of a cabinet run, cut the wire to length and attaching a hook to each end, and you can utilize the 'spring' of the wire the hold the doors/drawers shut. On my motorbike hauler I also add another hook between each door so that not only does the wire run across the fronts, it can also be stretched back over the hook between each door.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Fix number three is where I am at this moment. I am considering using "Elmer's Glue" or a wood glue to cement the screws into the fixtures. It should be permanent. Maybe permanent is a future problem if, for some obscure reason, the wood screw needs to be removed.
Using glue to secure screws is a time-honored tradition in boatbuilding. No reason why it can't be done in a trailer. Elmer's shouldn't be nearly as permanent as the epoxy glue I've seen used on some boats; sufficient torque with a screwdriver bit chucked into a drill should break the glue bond, but simple vibration probably won't.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:05 PM   #5
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net curtain wire (not common in the US, but in just about every house in the UK (Amazon.com - Curtain Net Expanding Wire White 8 Metre 8M With 12 Hooks & 12 Eyes Cp - Utility Hooks))
You may have just solved my biggest headache. I removed the accordion-pleated blinds from my Interstate with the intention of replacing them with thermal lined curtains that not only make the interior a lot darker but do a better job of blocking out summer heat. But then I couldn't figure out how to mount the curtain rods. Curtain wire seems like it could be the ideal solution! I'll have to look into it!
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:07 PM   #6
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I use a dab of gorilla glue on all the hinge screws in my old Airstreams.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:07 PM   #7
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Goal15- I had a hinge come loose I the same location. But attribute it to leaving the lower drawer open and then opening the cupboard door. That makes a pretty strong lever for popping s screw.

And thanks for reminding me to fill the hole (toothpick and elmer's) to fix it.


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Old 10-21-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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You may have just solved my biggest headache. I removed the accordion-pleated blinds from my Interstate with the intention of replacing them with thermal lined curtains that not only make the interior a lot darker but do a better job of blocking out summer heat. But then I couldn't figure out how to mount the curtain rods. Curtain wire seems like it could be the ideal solution! I'll have to look into it!
It's amazing stuff, and sold in just about every 'dollar' and DIY store in the UK, yet here is like gold dust. My only recommendation is not to use the (cheap) eyelets and hooks that come with the kit, instead you can buy stainless steel/marine grade equivalents online.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:20 PM   #9
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It's amazing stuff, and sold in just about every 'dollar' and DIY store in the UK, yet here is like gold dust. My only recommendation is not to use the (cheap) eyelets and hooks that come with the kit, instead you can buy stainless steel/marine grade equivalents online.
Not to worry. West Marine is only two miles from where I live. I don't think my new curtains will be too heavy for the curtain net wire; they only weigh 12 ounces per 42" wide 18" long panel.
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Old 10-21-2014, 04:32 PM   #10
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We no longer have problems with our cabinet doors falling off. See permanent fix at this ink:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1306011
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:40 PM   #11
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Cabinet doors fall off as result of something else.

VIBRATION.

Lack of proper running gear balancing is the usual culprit.

Think about it. If cabinet hinges don't fall off in your home, then why do they do it in your trailer.

Stopping vibration in it's tracks, stops many other crazy things from happing in an Airstream.

Andy
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:24 PM   #12
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2008 Classic 25fb. I have an Equalizer hitch with 1000lb bars and my tires are Michelin 235/75x15 run at 50lbs and they were balanced on the aluminum rims. I've only tightened one screw so far but I'll check now that I've read this thread.

Kelvin
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:35 PM   #13
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I think Inland Andy hit the nail on the head. In five years, ten cross-country trips we've not had screws coming loose on our two Airstreams towing with a full coil spring Ram 1500, ProPride hitch, and balanced wheels.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:06 AM   #14
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Andy, in our case, it wasn't the running gear -- It was the infamous road to the Madison Arm Resort in West Yellowstone. See descriptions that I have previously posted at the links below:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...ml#post1356233

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ml#post1305989
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