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Old 04-19-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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Exterior Door hidge bolts loose

Well, I discovered that three of my four hinge bolts are loose and I cannot tighten them so that they are snug. I have read the posts on the forum and they were informative but not real helpful (i.e. taking the inner skin off, dismantling the frame, etc). I am asking if someone has ever taken the bolts out from the hinge, drilled thru the wall and then used a steel plate on the inside, longer bolts and nuts and anchored the hinge that way.
I am so disappointed with AS manufacturing that would design something like this but this is what I have and it needs fixed. Any ideas??? Thanks
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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I had the same issue, either the bolts on the back side came lose or somehow two of mine would not tighten. Depending on the trailer, ours has a trim around the door frame, I took that off, used a 1/2" hole saw, just big enough for a socket. I used locking nuts and now a year later they are still nice and tight. And the trim covers all the holes.

On older trailers you can use hole plugs like this. Found at most hardware stores.

Hole Plug, Steel, Zinc, 5/8 In, PK25 - Hole Plugs - Supplies - Hardware : Grainger Industrial Supply

Damon
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for that info. To make sure that I understand what you are saying, did you do this from the interior and went in and found the nuts and replaced the nuts with self locking or did you do this from the exterior? jjustice
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:22 AM   #4
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Smile Hinge bolts have nuts on inside with lose glue!

Hi, I have the same problem on my AS and yes, you have to remove the trim ring around the door frame on the inside. I ask an AS repairman, so this is the fix! Then locate the center of the bolt and drill the 1/2" hole to access the nut. The fix is up to you, but I would use the self locking nut as a replacement and a little loctite on the threads to lock it in. After the nut locking, replace the trim ring and the fix is in. One has to work out the glue that was suppose to hold the nut tight, but I have yet to do this one, so good luck.
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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If you use Loc Tite, make sure you use the right type for the job. The Yellow stuff will LOCK the nut on TIGHT and you will never be able to get it off. I think the proper type is a bluish green color ( the liquid I mean) and it comes in a red bottle. But be sure to double check and use the right type.
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:14 PM   #6
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If you use Loc Tite, make sure you use the right type for the job. The Yellow stuff will LOCK the nut on TIGHT and you will never be able to get it off. I think the proper type is a bluish green color ( the liquid I mean) and it comes in a red bottle. But be sure to double check and use the right type.
Yes, blue low strength is the correct LocTite to use. The blue high strength will stick too well. Most of the red stuff is also too strong.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
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Loose door hinge repair

Hello loose hinges! I finally made the time to fix the untightenable fasteners on the door hinges on my 2001/30'.

And yes, this requires that you remove the metal trim on the inside, find the bolt center, transfer the dimension to the inside, and drill a one inch access hole to fix it. And because they use a good bit of mastic over the nut, removing it takes more time than replacing it. But then I found that the steel machine bolt had rusted the nut on, so the next fix was to drill out the head of the bolt and remove the fastener. Now one might ask, why use a bolt and nut that will rust on! Because it feeds water from the outside and prevents the user from just tightening it!!!! Is this the A/S way??? ( A small O-ring on the back side of hinge would have made it leak resistant.)...1/2 cent part?

Because I'm a retired Manufacturing Engineer, little things like this makes me wonder who's watching the products long term durability and reputation of Airstream!!!

Yes, I replaced it with SS fasteners, 1/4-20x1 1/2", washer, lock washer, washer and nylock nut($7 @HD). And for good measure, I put sealant on the threads to prevent more water from leaking through the hole and a little LocTite to back up the two other lock features.

The inside wall skin will need hole patches with a precut , one inch circle of painted 1/8 underlayment. I'll use a hole plug of 1 inch foam board to hold the hole patch flush with the wall, and caulk it in and call it good. The trim will cover most of it and the rest will get flushed with white caulk. And next time it loosens, just pop out the plug and torque it down!

Good luck with your hinges and keep on trucking.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:48 PM   #8
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I would sure like to see some pictures of this if you have any. Would be good to have for future reference.

Don
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fred bartlet View Post
Hello loose hinges! I finally made the time to fix the untightenable fasteners on the door hinges on my 2001/30'.

And yes, this requires that you remove the metal trim on the inside, find the bolt center, transfer the dimension to the inside, and drill a one inch access hole to fix it. And because they use a good bit of mastic over the nut, removing it takes more time than replacing it. But then I found that the steel machine bolt had rusted the nut on, so the next fix was to drill out the head of the bolt and remove the fastener. Now one might ask, why use a bolt and nut that will rust on! Because it feeds water from the outside and prevents the user from just tightening it!!!! Is this the A/S way??? ( A small O-ring on the back side of hinge would have made it leak resistant.)...1/2 cent part?

Because I'm a retired Manufacturing Engineer, little things like this makes me wonder who's watching the products long term durability and reputation of Airstream!!!

Yes, I replaced it with SS fasteners, 1/4-20x1 1/2", washer, lock washer, washer and nylock nut($7 @HD). And for good measure, I put sealant on the threads to prevent more water from leaking through the hole and a little LocTite to back up the two other lock features.

The inside wall skin will need hole patches with a precut , one inch circle of painted 1/8 underlayment. I'll use a hole plug of 1 inch foam board to hold the hole patch flush with the wall, and caulk it in and call it good. The trim will cover most of it and the rest will get flushed with white caulk. And next time it loosens, just pop out the plug and torque it down!

Good luck with your hinges and keep on trucking.
Fred.

The typical cause for the loose hinges, is lack of proper running gear balance, and/or super heavy duty tow vehicle, and/or excessive rated torsion bars. Any one, or more, of these can be the cause,

Andy
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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Running gear?

Andy, the wheels have always been balanced and the new disc brakes you sold me should be good too, but I may have to use a wheel balancing system to be sure. I like the looks of the bead system one puts into the tires to make them dynamically balance on the axle. I know you sell the wheel balancing bolt on system but I need to check it out.

Thanks,
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:17 PM   #11
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Hinge pin movement repaired

After removing and replacing the hinge bolts in the previous post, I expected the pin problem to improve, but to no avail, it still worded out. So taking one of the fixes that were posted and I cross drilled the pin at the top, after I drove it in to add a roll pin stop the movement. I also sealed the pin hole in the top of the hinge and the pin to prevent any corrosion that might prevent the removal of the hinge pin in any future event. This will be the last time in 10 years that I will have to check that pin and drive it home. And yes, Andy, I balanced the wheel assemblies too!!!
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:55 AM   #12
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I think AS does everything on th CHEAP. If the fasteners that are used to hold the door hinges were the correct ones there would be not problem with the hinge bolts comming lose. Something as simple as a Nylock nut would solve the problem.
Last time I heard, all trailers vibrate some when going down the road. So why not use the correct hardware in the first place. I think the vibration issue is just another lame excuse to cover up poor design standards.
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Old 08-11-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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I think AS does everything on th CHEAP. If the fasteners that are used to hold the door hinges were the correct ones there would be not problem with the hinge bolts comming lose. Something as simple as a Nylock nut would solve the problem.
Last time I heard, all trailers vibrate some when going down the road. So why not use the correct hardware in the first place. I think the vibration issue is just another lame excuse to cover up poor design standards.
Regardless of a design, mankind has always figured a way to mess it up.

Since the failure rate of door hinge hardware is very very small, why would anyone be concerned about it?

As always, however, it's much easier to fault someone else, instead of ourselves.

But, Airstreaming, will always continue, since "they ain't too bad".

Andy
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #14
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Since the failure rate of door hinge hardware is very very small, why would anyone be concerned about it?

Because it is not an easy fix when you either have to remove the inner skin or drill holes in it to gain access. The proper design of the fasteners and access to them would make the repair and maintenance of the door an easier task.

Since all travel trailers require regular maintenance and repair. More thought should be given to the location and access to all systems in and on the trailers. Especially the the high end units like AS.

It's kind of like the rotten floor thing. I read on a regular basis about units less than 5 years old having rotten floors due to internal or external leaks. I know there is material out there today that would not be damaged by moisture. Why can't the design be upgraded? Relative to repairing or replacing the sub floor; replacing carpet or hardwood flooring would make the job less expensive and much easier. No one can convince me that a trailer can be built that won't leak some where. So the design of things like sub floor material that will stand up under these conditions should be
incorporated.
My trailer is 37 years old and I expect to have issues due to its age. But I feel that I should not be reading about the same issues I have in this old rig in a unit that is less than 10 years old. I mean we are still dealing with doors flying open (in new units) some 40 years later. When the simple fix is to hinge the door to open in the opposite direction. I know that I should just keep it to my self; but when someone asks I feel like I need to respond.
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