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Old 02-23-2012, 06:42 PM   #1
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Entrance door question

How common is it that you would need apply a moderate amount of pressure to completely close and latch the entrance door?

When we bought ou 02 Safari the door needed adjusting so that you did not need to slam the door to get it latch at all. I used all of the different door adjustment instructions I could find and have seen considerable improvement. However, it is far from perfect. Is this condition common for a ten year old trailer? I think I would need to take it to an expert to get any more improvement.

Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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Is the gap the same all the way around the door? Has the gasket been replaced recently?

Perry
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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New gaskets on both main door and screen door. Real AS gaskets from ODM. The gap has some variation. In the adjustment process I removed the inside door skin and adjusted the hinges as much as possible and have door contour matching the frame contour very closely. The door gap to the frame is closer on the hinge side than the latch side. The striker pen lines up exactly with the latch.

With no gaskets installed in closes fine but would leak. The gasket clearance on the hinge side seems to be causing the tightness.

This may need some major hinge adjustment to get closing easily. I have considered taking it to Jackson Center for them to adjust.

Really wondering if this is common on older AS's. Perhaps I need to just learn how to live with it and stop obsessing about it.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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That is the problem. The gap is too small on the hinge side and it is pinching the gasket. I don't know if the hinges can adjust in and out.

Perry
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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I have found if the Airstream is level , the door closes more easily. Not level? Gotta slam it!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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Eventually the gasket will take a set. The important thing is you have no major leaks around the gasket. You might try some silicone grease to help the gasket conform.

Perry
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Stress on the frame will cause door problems. These trailers have a very weak frame and it flexes a lot. I'm not sure you can solve the problem totally by door adjustment. Are you sure you have the new gasket installed properly? Can you tell if the door has been damaged by flying open and slamming against the side of the trailer when going down the road?
I always level my trailer and deploy the stabilizer jacks whether it is at the campground or in storage. I believe that if the unit is stored with the body and frame under stress that after a while it will take a set. I also support the rear end to prevent or at least slow down the dreaded rear end sag.
Have you tried adjusting the striker plate to see if it makes any difference? Perhaps it was adjusted by the PO to compensate for the compression of the old gasket.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:30 PM   #8
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The striker plate is aligned properly. I shimmed the pen about 1/16" to ensure that there is good clearance for the jaws of the latch. I installed the gasket in one continuous loop with the splice at the bottom. I looked at an 06 in the campground that had cut the gasket at the bottom of the door front and rear and placed a separate piece of gasket across the bottom. Which is correct?

I backed out the hinge bolts from the door frame today. There is no adjustment at the door frame. The gap between the door frame and the door is 3/16" along the back edge and 3/8" along the front edge. When I removed the inside skin from the door and adjusted the hinge position, I moved the door as far forward as possible with the present hinge bolt holes in the door. Perhaps I need to file out the holes to make them longer so that there is more adjustment room.

I checked the frame as square by measuring across diagonally.

I know nothing of the history of the trailer. The door was probably damaged and poorly repaired, but the present contours all appear correct and the gaps are consistent individually. The front and rear gaps just don't match each other.

What is the gap measurement on some of your doors? The 3/16" gap on the back edge may well be the whole problem.

Thanks for your help
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Don't Hyperfocus

Airstream doors require that you close them "assertively."
The closing motion must compress the door gasket before the striker catches in the striker plate. And yes, you want it this way.

As your Airstream ages the door becomes easier to close as the gasket wears out until, voila, you replace the door gasket, and guess what?

A badly out of level Airstream, or one that is torqued by virtue of being parked with tires in a rut will actually throw the door out of alignment with the door frame. This is a temporary condition.
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