After converting our 2015 25FB from queen bed to twins, we wanted to take advantage of the new under bed space on the driver's side by adding a storage compartment door to match the one already on the curb side.
Our bed conversion is at http://www.airforums.com/forums/f46/...ml#post1902810
. After posting that I was asked to show how I installed the new access door. Here's the tale.
The longest part of this project was building the confidence to get started. I was not eager to start cutting holes in our new baby. After I got over that it went pretty quickly.
To cut the inner and outer aluminum skins of the AS, I bought an electric metal shear. Bought mine at Northern Tool.
First, I carefully measured the location of the existing curb side door and marked out the location for the new, identical door on the driver's side. I confirmed that the internal support ribbing on the body was the same on each side to avoid cutting into anything vital. Based on the location of interior and exterior lights, electrical outlets, etc., I made an educated guess that I would not encounter any wiring in this area of the trailer wall.
I covered the entire area with painter's tape to protect the aluminum. Holding the new door against the side of the AS, I used a sharpie to trace around the door to show the opening I needed to cut. Here you see the hole already cut as for some reason I did not take a before picture.
Once the hole in the outer skin was cut, I inserted the door into the hole, opened it, and traced around the inside of the mounting flange to mark the hole I needed in the inner skin of the AS. I drilled starter holes to allow the teeth of the electric shear to get a bite, then started cutting with the shear. Pretty fast and easy on the straight sections, not so much in the curves. Combination of nibbling with the electric shear and finishing with hand-held sheet metal shears got the job done. This is the same process I used on the outer skin, I just don't have pictures.
I cleaned up the holes as best I could with hand held grinders (which don't work well on soft aluminum...) then inserted the door into the whole to mark my rivet holes. I used 5/32 Olympic shaveable rivets to secure the door. Before riveting I applied a generous bead of Trempro 635 poly sealant to the mounting flange of the door. Messy, but easy to clean up with solvent.
The Olympic rivets can be shaved to give the same appearance as the bucked rivets used to put the AS shell together (as opposed to more common pop rivets that have a hole in the center once installed). You need this drill mounted shaving tool:
Here you can see installed rivets before and after shaving. The piece of aluminum left extending from the "popped" rivet is burnished by the shaving tool to create a hole-free button head for the rivet, looking very much like the bucked rivets from the factory. Only you and I can tell...
This is the installed door, rivets shaved and excess sealant cleaned off. It does not fit flush because I had not yet installed the weatherstripping that seals the door.
Once again, I didn't take a picture of the weatherstrip install, but here's a photo from a vendor website showing how it goes in. Prior to installing the weatherstrip, which actually clamps the door frame and the inner AS shell together, I taped this joint with aluminum tape that is used to seal aluminum ducting (not duct or "duck" tape, which is vinyl, but aluminum tape). I did this because i was unable to get a precise fit between the door mounting flange and the inner AS shell. The aluminum tape made it much easier to slide the weatherstripping over these two metal sheets.
If you're reasonably handy with tools, plan, measure three times and cut once, this is not that hard a project. We really enjoy the additional outside accessible storage.
For those who might wonder, because of the way we built our bedside cabinet between our new twins, we could not add the front accessible outside storage that comes with factory Front Bedroom Twin Bed setups. Basically, we have more inside storage than the factory setup, and less outside accessible storage. But, much more outside and inside storage than we had with the original queen bed setup. So far, win-win.