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Old 01-28-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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Bent door

We had some trouble with the latch on our last trip, and somehow the door flew open in mid ride. The obvious happened in that the door bent. So there's a gap at the top, and at the bottom. The hinges seem fine.

I saw another post, about using a 2 x 4... but that seems a bit complicated, and requiring some manpower. I was thinking about getting two long straps with a come along and strapping the door vertically in an effort to bend it back.

Does that sound like a logical plan? Other suggestions? There is an airstream dealer not too far away, so there is that option....

Kim
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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We had some trouble with the latch on our last trip, and somehow the door flew open in mid ride. The obvious happened in that the door bent. So there's a gap at the top, and at the bottom. The hinges seem fine.

I saw another post, about using a 2 x 4... but that seems a bit complicated, and requiring some manpower. I was thinking about getting two long straps with a come along and strapping the door vertically in an effort to bend it back.

Does that sound like a logical plan? Other suggestions? There is an airstream dealer not too far away, so there is that option....

Kim
Kim.

To properly repair the door, the inside metal mustr be removed, the door realigned, and the door frame either beefed up or welded. You should find the door frame broken in the area of the door lock.

Then the interior metal can be reinstalled, but you must make all new rivet holes.

After the rivets are installed in the new holes, then and only then can the old rivets holes be filled with rivets.

Part of the problem is that the interior rivet holes have been enlarged, which makes them sort of useless, as they would allow the warped door to return to it's warped position.

Check the entrance door lock. You will probably find that the striker bolt is badly worn, along with a worn striker pocket. That's probably what allowed the door to fly open.

Andy
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Kim, sorry to hear about your door. You have to love suicide doors.

Andy is correct. We had the same thing happen to use a while back. We had just had the door straightened for the first time since our AS came w/ a bend door. We failed to install a deadbolt during our first repair and the door flew open going down the road. Did not make the same mistake the second time. As for the strap idea, I tried that and in my case, it did not make a difference. Once the strap was released, the remained bent.

During our second repair, the shop showed me the inside of the door and how it was put together. Based on what I saw, I would find it unlikely one could repair it w/out causing more damage just by applying force. However, once the skins are removed, the frame is very flexible. You may be able to reshape the frame at this time. The trick is how to keep that shape while putting the skins back on. From what I could tell, the skins are really what retain the doors shape and give it strength.

In our case, they had to cut the door frame in several places and then weld it back together as they shaped it. Just bending it back caused the other side of the frame to crack since the initial force caused the aluminum to stretch.

I wish I had better pictures but here are a few.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellyandmikep/3509212918

We wish you luck w/ your repair and consider the deadbolt idea.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:24 PM   #4
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I used a heavy duty ratchet strap. One that could be used to haul equipment, cars etc. on a trailer for hauling. You may have trim on the bottom of the door that you'll have to remove. Place the strap so that the ratchet is on the interior of the door, it will hang away from the curve so you won't scratch anything. Ratchet away, be careful not to over due. It does take some effort but works. Did mine a year ago and it's still fine.
Good Luck.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:32 PM   #5
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Campaz - good to know someone else utilized duct tape as an interim travel repair!
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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I subscribe to the tenet that the right way to repair something isn't always the best way. I figure that if I have to re-do it sometime in the future,...I will have mustered enough energy by then. Can I have an Amen?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:54 PM   #7
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Some doors have a cast frame inside that bends or breaks when the door flys open. Others have no solid frame and rely on the skins and rivets to keep the shape of the door correct. I have a slightly bent door, and I used the 2x 4 method along with some serious pressure at the top and bottom of the door to try and bend it back. It bends a lot but will not hold its shape until I send some new rivets through it. You can reuse the existing rivet holes if you go up one rivet size and drill out the holes to the larger size. It looks better than having extra rivets(IMO).

Rich the Viking
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I subscribe to the tenet that the right way to repair something isn't always the best way. I figure that if I have to re-do it sometime in the future,...I will have mustered enough energy by then. Can I have an Amen?

Amen brother
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:50 PM   #9
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I subscribe to the tenet that the right way to repair something isn't always the best way. I figure that if I have to re-do it sometime in the future,...I will have mustered enough energy by then. Can I have an Amen?
Keep in mind, that if the entrance door is warped, and it's fixed with (ahem) duct tape or the like, then more than likely, should it rain, water will get on the floor by the door.

That's inviting a floor problem.

Andy
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