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Old 11-14-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
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Bath Door Opening Direction

Late model Int'l/FC 30' and 2012 - 2014 front dinette models share the same bath design with the door opening to the front living area. I don't know why, a competent residential designer would never do this.

I am about to reverse the door by turning it upside down (latch assembly is same height either way), unscrewing the hinge and screwing it into the opposite side, as well as the latch plate. Then fill the old screw holes.

It looks like the structural support for the hinged door is equal either way.

We don't see where this would have any bad effect, the door would then open to the bedroom space and the toilet would no longer be visible from the living space.

What are we missing except a view of the toilet if the door is left open, or opened while someone is sitting down in there?
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
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We don't see where this would have any bad effect, the door would then open to the bedroom space and the toilet would no longer be visible from the living space.
Doors are non-structural, so it shouldn't make a difference which way it's hinged from that perspective. You could even remove the door entirely and replace it with a heavy curtain, if that struck your fancy, without having any adverse structural effect.

You have to watch out for is the revised door swing, though. The door may bump into something, or obstruct something, if hinged on the opposite side, that aren't affected as-is.

And then there's the ergonomics. Next time you use the bathroom, before opening the door to leave, take a moment and reach for where the doorknob will be, not where it still is. Is it awkward? Would you bump an elbow or your knuckles or anything while opening the door from inside? If not, then no problem.
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Protagonist. There seems to be no clearance problems, by structural I mean the supporting wall for the hinged side looks equal either way.

I cannot for the life of me understand why they designed it this way.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Thanks Protagonist. There seems to be no clearance problems, by structural I mean the supporting wall for the hinged side looks equal either way.

I cannot for the life of me understand why they designed it this way.
Ergonomics. Unless you've got poor nighttime bladder control, you're more often going to need the bathroom when you're in the living end of the trailer, not the bedroom end, and having to walk past the bathroom door, then turn around to open it, is less ergonomic than walking up to the door and opening it.

But even though I see why, I don't see why. Not many people frequently need a bathroom in so much of a rush that they can't afford an extra step or two, and if it was a regular occurrence for them why would they be camping and not in assisted living centers?
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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Yes... but at night you're often half asleep and you might leave the door open a couple of inches so that the bathroom seat isn't miserably cold. Then you have to work around the door to go to the bathroom. Uncomfortable.

When I had the Safari, even though my door opened toward the bedroom I often thought of replacing the door with a very heavy curtain (that cursed bedspread perhaps). Then If I needed a bit more knee room - no problem. I could even put shoe storage pockets for shoesketc,n on the inside.

Paula
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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Well, I flipped the door over, screwed the hinge to the other side, repositioned the latch plate, filled the old screw holes with wood putty, and it now opens to the bedroom. The interior of our bath is now private to the living space.

Int'l, FC 30' and 2012 - 2014 25' front dinette owners may find this an easy improvement.

But why did they do it "wrong" in the first place, maybe a safety code thing.
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:44 PM   #7
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Very good idea. More privacy from the living area, easier access from the bedroom area. Why does Airstream still have suicide exterior doors? I guess it just makes Airstream different.

We should start a fun thread called "Airstream Bad Ideas." I'm sure we could make quite a list.

However, there is way more good Airstream designs than not so good.

David
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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Well, I flipped the door over, screwed the hinge to the other side, repositioned the latch plate, filled the old screw holes with wood putty, and it now opens to the bedroom. The interior of our bath is now private to the living space.

Int'l, FC 30' and 2012 - 2014 25' front dinette owners may find this an easy improvement.

But why did they do it "wrong" in the first place, maybe a safety code thing.
Glad that worked for you, Doug. Did you ask while at the factory? In our 27FB, the door opens such that the bathroom is private to the living space (which you just achieved through your mod). That suggests to me there is a single/common manufacturing step for the benefit of the factory - that common manufacturing step saves time for Airstream and results in FBs working correctly and RBs having an odd dilemma.

That's just my inference. I could be completely wrong!
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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I don't think it's a manufacturing step saved. Not much of a dilemma, it's easily changed in an hour. Pretty nice bath design, larger than the FBs; maybe they want to highlight it on the showroom floor.

We will be living in it for the next 6 months and will report any problems.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:19 AM   #10
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Why does Airstream still have suicide exterior doors? I guess it just makes Airstream different.
Possibly because the typical right-handed Airstream owner will work the key with the right hand and swing the door toward himself with the left, so hinges on the left side are more ergonomic. From the inside, since one doesn't use a key to open the door, swinging the door out with the right hand is more ergonomic.

Being a lefty, I tend to notice right-hand/left-hand things more than some. Especially since my job involves workplace ergonomics to some extent.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:10 AM   #11
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Airstreams have suicide doors if they have a front door next to the awning support arm so they can swing completely out.

We prevent the suicide with a rubber door stop wedge slipped under the door grab handle. Poke a hole in the wedge, put one of those little ball and loop bungees on it, and hang it on the grab bar when traveling. Part of our check list.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:11 AM   #12
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A Possible Reason

We had the installers reverse the shower door in our home a few years back. The guy told me they could do it but the door was designed to shed water more efficiently the way it came. I don't think this would be the same issue in my Airstream since we usually are taking military showers but it might be a reason they were installed the way they were.

When showering, we close the accordion door between the shower and the living area. I personally have no problem with the way it hinges. I would classify this as looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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We had the installers reverse the shower door in our home a few years back. The guy told me they could do it but the door was designed to shed water more efficiently the way it came. I don't think this would be the same issue in my Airstream since we usually are taking military showers but it might be a reason they were installed the way they were.

When showering, we close the accordion door between the shower and the living area. I personally have no problem with the way it hinges. I would classify this as looking for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
Different problem here though. The shower door is fine, we "flipped" the door for the sink/toilet space which was opening to the living area on our model and others.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Airstreams have suicide doors if they have a front door next to the awning support arm so they can swing completely out.

We prevent the suicide with a rubber door stop wedge slipped under the door grab handle. Poke a hole in the wedge, put one of those little ball and loop bungees on it, and hang it on the grab bar when traveling. Part of our check list.
We do that too...
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