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Old 08-17-2015, 07:24 AM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Kalispell , Montana
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Bent Door Frame

Greetings! I am working on my 1978 AS Sovereign 31' that I just purchased for a steal of a price and am realizing that the front door is bent. It looks as though the front door handle broke off and they couldn't get in so they attempted to pry open the door and bent the frame. Is there any way to get this bad boy bent back into shape?



It seems like the top is bent out and the bottom is bent out as well. I'm not sure if you can tell from this photo but you can see a tweak in the frame a little. It makes it so the front door is not water/air tight. I am currently gutting the AS but need to get all of the windows, doors and holes weather tight before fall/winter hits because I am up in Montana.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aholmquist View Post
Greetings! I am working on my 1978 AS Sovereign 31' that I just purchased for a steal of a price and am realizing that the front door is bent. It looks as though the front door handle broke off and they couldn't get in so they attempted to pry open the door and bent the frame. Is there any way to get this bad boy bent back into shape?



It seems like the top is bent out and the bottom is bent out as well. I'm not sure if you can tell from this photo but you can see a tweak in the frame a little. It makes it so the front door is not water/air tight. I am currently gutting the AS but need to get all of the windows, doors and holes weather tight before fall/winter hits because I am up in Montana.
Check the frame very carefully at the lock striker bolt. You most likely will find it crack.

That being the case, the frame will need to be welded back together in that area.

You must remove all the inside metal of the door, align the door frame, and then weld it.

Check to make sure the door frame matches the door jamb. If it does, then reinstall the inside door sheet metal, USING ALL NEW HOLES.

Check the door again, and if it's alignment is OK, then fill in all the original holes with rivets.

The original rivet holes, especially in the sheet metal have enlarged. Therefore you must not use them to hold the door frame shape. Filling the old holes in is for cosmetic purposes only.

Andy
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:51 AM   #3
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These pictures show how I reformed my door after it blew open on the road.

The from was cut to the contour of the trailer door frame and then a thin pieces of wood was added, glue in place as you will have to plane it to taper it to the form. Clamps were applied to bend the door and removed and checked for results. Additional strips of wood were added, each shorter than the last, and reclamped. After each bend test the door against the trailer. This will let you know how you are doing and give an indication as to where to place the next wood strip.

You can see the thin strips added to the original frame by my thumb.

You have to work in small increments because you have to over bend metal to reform it and you don't want to go too far.

The clamps around the center of the door are just to position the wood frame. The top and bottom clamps are the ones that will do the bending and NO wooden strips should extend to the top or bottom of the frame.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:31 AM   #4
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There is also a great thread here someplace about straightening a bent door.
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:43 AM   #5
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Do a google search from outside the forums for the terms "Sprung door airforums," and you should find several threads discussing door repairs/rebuilds.

good luck!
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Old 08-17-2015, 09:54 AM   #6
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Be careful of the "Block of Wood" approach. You can easily over bend and kink the door if working with a single point while applying force to the door.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:55 AM   #7
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Wow! Thank you for all the great information everyone! I found the repair manual while demoing shortly after I posted this! And it outlined instructions on how to fix this. They were pretty much the same as what Inland RV Center said. I will do the google search as well to find the other post you are talking about. I am almost done with demolition inside and then I will be working on the windows and doors. I will post some photos here when I get it figured out. Thanks again!
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:49 PM   #8
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Here is one:
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