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Old 02-17-2020, 05:44 PM   #1
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Question about rivets for interior door skin

Folks, I wont go into the gruesome details right now, but my door flew open at speed. Its tweaked good, but not broken. 15 interior skin rivets popped. I have read many threads and am comfortable with the repair....on the road! What length rivets do I need? How thick is the aluminum door frame members?
2007 classic.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:48 PM   #2
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I don’t have an answer to your question but wanted to say I’m sorry about the ouch! Dang!!
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:59 PM   #3
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I don’t have an answer to your question but wanted to say I’m sorry about the ouch! Dang!!
Thanks. Doo doo occurs. I am trying what I think is a new approach to fixing the door.
Removal of the interior skin rivets and using large band clamps to re-curve the door in place. Worked like a champ on the screen door tonight. It flattened out as well. Fits better than it ever did.
Went to Ace and got supplies, but I just dont know the rivet length.

The large whoopie in the belt molding and skin dent will be a challenge, but that can wait till I'm off the road in about 5 weeks.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:05 PM   #4
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This is what it looked like after manhandling it on the first exit, just to get it to close. It was out about 1/2" on top and bottom. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-17-2020, 08:07 PM   #5
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This will be difficult. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-17-2020, 08:27 PM   #6
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Oh crap! That looks like a heartbreaker. Well - I’m sure the gang here will have helpful advice. I’m sure you’ve seen the door holders people have made for this during travel. Both of my doors open toward the direction I’m driving (it’s why I had the emergency exit door open that way even though it’s not ideal when camped - was afraid of exactly this kind of thing happening).

Are you the kind of guy who likes war stories with your trailer? If so - you’ve got a great campfire story to tell. If you prefer a more pristine look - after you get it functional, you’ll want some time at the factory I suppose.

Either way - best of luck! Really sorry this happened to you!
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:12 PM   #7
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Oh crap! That looks like a heartbreaker. Well - I’m sure the gang here will have helpful advice. I’m sure you’ve seen the door holders people have made for this during travel. Both of my doors open toward the direction I’m driving (it’s why I had the emergency exit door open that way even though it’s not ideal when camped - was afraid of exactly this kind of thing happening).

Are you the kind of guy who likes war stories with your trailer? If so - you’ve got a great campfire story to tell. If you prefer a more pristine look - after you get it functional, you’ll want some time at the factory I suppose.

Either way - best of luck! Really sorry this happened to you!
Yeah, it's a story that starts with leaving northern Illinois at -9* F....covered with ice and snow. The door just didn't fit at -9. I could hold the umbilical straight out for almost 2 feet of its length......and on and on. I used to be in the pristine camp, but after spending my entire adult life making life happen, I am now working on letting life happen. Retirement is outstanding.
Anyway, I am still a "fixer" at heart. I'll work the belt molding. Wont be perfect, but worthy of a purple heart.
The door will have to be perfect, and I think I can get it pretty much there, if.....
Someone can tell me what length rivets I need.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:41 PM   #8
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inside door rivets

Rich
I have had to replace some of the same rivets on several occasions due to 'slamming"! I have the rivets in my hand and the are from an un-labeled package. mt best guess is that they are 1/8 diameter by 1/4 or 3/16 length. The door material is not very thick. My repair rivets have never popped out after the repair.
There is a video I found that showed how to get a bent door back in place using a 2x4 block placed in the latch area of the door , and pressing the door back in to shape in the frame. A little crude, but it worked.
Hope this helps
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Rich,
1/8” body with 1/4” grip is what you need. Good luck on your fix. Looks like you are doing great.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:59 PM   #10
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Thanks GMFL and whitelaker. I guessed 1/8 X 1/2, so back to the hardware. I did buy some 3/16 as well. I have read that, after removing the inner skin and reshaping the door, that new 1/8" rivets should be installed in new holes. Because of the reshaping, old holes wont line up, therefore drill 3/16 holes in the old positions and install 3/16 rivets in those old placements. What say you?
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:02 PM   #11
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Pete, the block method from the video is the roadside repair I did at a balmy 0*F. Just to get the door to close. I wont do more. I was sure I was using so much force that the window was going to explode if I did more. Time for surgery, not manhandling.
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:05 AM   #12
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Rich,sounds like you got this one. I take it that you are in a warmer place to do the repair. Remember it take eight hours to built one at J.C. with proper tools and a jig. Go slow and steady. We are near Dade City Florida should you need any assistance and happen to be near by.
Yes, retirement is a blast! Pete
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:01 PM   #13
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Sorry for you and your Airstream.

Go to it, Mr. Fixit!

No I’m curious, and worried. How might one prevent this from happening?
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:24 PM   #14
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rivets

You can purchased rivet materials from the Vintage Airstream Supply, they advertise on the AirForums site. See right side for their add.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:32 PM   #15
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Luckily, yours is not a vintage model with the forged Al door frame, those are impossible to buy new and very difficult to work on.

Please add your voice to the chorus encouraging Airstream to quit already with the insane suicide door design. There is no good reason, excuse or justification for it. A door that stays shut in transit even if the latch fails is a design every other trailer manufacture figured out decades ago in every other brand.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post

How might one prevent this from happening?


Check out reply #8 for a simple solution here:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...tch-27473.html
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:39 PM   #17
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Newer trailers have a secondary lock the ‘deadbolt’, anyone hear of one of these failing? Thanks
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Old 02-18-2020, 02:09 PM   #18
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"Suicide Door"

Please add your voice to the chorus encouraging Airstream to quit already with the insane suicide door design. There is no good reason, excuse or justification for it. A door that stays shut in transit even if the latch fails is a design every other trailer manufacture figured out decades ago in every other brand.[/QUOTE]

Good question Skyguyscott!
I have never paid any attention to the way our door opens. I am lucky enough to have a FB 27' and the door opens into the wind or the main body of the trailer.
Does anyone know why this is? I have to go around my door to stay under the awning as do people with a door in the front.
There must be a reason..... right?
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:37 PM   #19
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There must be a reason..... right?
Be eternally grateful for your sensible door! A while back, I started a thread on why I despise the suicide door design. ALUMINUMINUM gave a wonderfully detailed history of the door design (reply #17) in which he explains that it has to do with the door not interfering with the ventilation of the windows. That's a reason, but not a very good one, and definitely not one that outweighs the catastrophic result of a latch failure at speed in transit, IMHO.

The whole thread is a good read and includes lots of stories, workarounds, pics, etc. -- including the wedge.

The wedge itself is the subject of this humorous thread for those that know and those that need the revelation of St. Wally and the Holy Wedge.

I still have yet to hear a compelling reason why the suicide door is still part of Airstream or what prevents this company from doing the sensible thing and designing the trailer, floorplans, windows, awnings, etc. to eliminate it completely. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I can't believe they are this obtuse.

Believe it or not there are trailers out there with suicide doors that will open into and break windows, if the windows are open. I would be most curious to read about the meetings, memos, engineering and design teams that came up with and approved that idea. Can anyone explain that?
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:54 PM   #20
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————-snip for brevity————-
Believe it or not there are trailers out there with suicide doors that will open into and break windows, if the windows are open. I would be most curious to read about the meetings, memos, engineering and design teams that came up with and approved that idea. Can anyone explain that?

Yup. Mine is one of them. The forward dinette window is unusable because the stupid “suicide door” will take it right out if the window is opened at all for air and the door gets out of control and smacks itself wide open. Dumb. The window never gets opened.

There is more than enough room to open the door forward toward the awning support as well. Sigh.
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