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bobsea43

How Do You Remove Basement Doors?

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I have a long ding/deep scratch on two adjacent basement doors. They are not serious and would be easy to repair except most body shops don't have a paint booth big enough for a 38 ft RV. I have found a shop that will fix the doors if I can get them off bring them to the shop. They are hinged like none I have seen before. There is a strip attached to the RV body that appears to have a small tube as part of it and there is a slit in the tube. The door has a smaller tube that appears to slide into the tube on the body strip. I don't see what controls the forward/backward movement of the doors, e.g. what holds them in place over the basement opening. And, the strip attached to the RV body runs the length of the RV so it would seem you could open the doors and move them up and down the body of the RV, you cannot do that so something is holding them.

Anybody have any experience with removing and reinstalling the doors? Would appreciate some feedback.

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Thanx for the TX ref. It will be a year+ before we are in that area. But, in case it is still and issue then I have made a note about them and your recommendation.

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There is a strip attached to the RV body that appears to have a small tube as part of it and there is a slit in the tube. The door has a smaller tube that appears to slide into the tube on the body strip.

Just checked our HR. The doors under the slides seem similar except the part of the hinge mounted on the door is more of a "J" shape rather than a tube. Towards the rear, at the very end of the body mounted tube, there is a plug that is pop riveted in place. The tiny pop rivet is clearly visible. Maybe, just maybe if you drill out that rivet and remove the plug, you can slide the door out once you remove the two cylinders mounted on each door???

Had another thought - what if you open the door, remove the two cylinders from where they attach to the door and try gently pushing the door towards the coach. Will it pop out of the body mounted tube? It appears that the two cylinders not only hold the door open but also keep the two parts of the hinge interlocked by putting constant pressure outward on the door.

Did not see anything else along the individual doors that could be holding them in place.

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Thanx ISM 500 I will try that and see what happens. And, I believe your are right about the struts/cylinders holding the doors in place. When I wrote the comment originally, I forgot about the struts being there, I was focused on the hinge!!

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Thanx ISM 500 I will try that and see what happens. And, I believe your are right about the struts/cylinders holding the doors in place. When I wrote the comment originally, I forgot about the struts being there, I was focused on the hinge!!

Post your results. Your findings will undoubtedly come in handy for others and more specifically, yours truly.

And yes, they are called struts. I knew that but why did I call them cylinders?

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Guest Wayne77590

Go back to where the original dings were placed on the door.

Reposition the coach and drive forward and/or backward. Eventually you will get the door off.

I say this with tongue in cheek since I have a long ding on the bottom of one of my doors. Got it on the maiden voyage evacuating from hurricane Ike. It's been two years and my DW has said to let it remain as a reminder. It's time to get it fixed. Like you, I'm going to see if I can take the door off myself and have it repaired. It's only aluminum.

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I've never had any problem finding a body shop able to handle a motor home in the paint booth. I've been in several times for paint/body work on basement doors. Ask at a local RV dealer where they get their paint/body work done and they will be able to tell you who in the area has the shop that will work with your rig. Your insurance company might also be able to recommend a shop that will fit your needs - even if they aren't paying the bill.

We've been in the First Class Fiberglass shop in St. Peters, Missouri several times. They specialize in boats but also do RV's. Our most recent involved two doors which sustained damage when a lawn mower hit rocks in a campground and peppered the doors with debris. Lots of dimples. They removed the doors, took them to a body shop for the metal work then re-installed them and painted them. It was all done in two days.

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I agree with you Tom. However, around here it is several weeks before you can get an appointment with the RV shops (glad their business is doing so well) and the body shop I talked to wanted the whole RV to work on the two doors. We live in it and could not stay in it while they had it and for them to crank up the RV size paint booth was more then the work on the door.

I got tired of the hassle and thought I would try this route instead. Neither of the doors have much damage so this is a very simple inexpensive job if the doors are off the RV.

But, thanx for your input. I may just scrap the whole project until we are somewhere for a few months if the door removal turns out to be a major problem.

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SNIP...

I may just scrap the whole project until we are somewhere for a few months if the door removal turns out to be a major problem.

BUT,,,, BUT,,,, You CAN'T. I for one am waiting for you to teach us how to remove those doors. Probably another bunch lurking who have scrapes and bruises that bring back bad memories and would just LOVE to sneak a door or two into an inconspicuous repair shop. Pretty hard to keep a low profile otherwise. Who wants to hear "Hey, was that your coach I saw when driving past the body shop?" (It's a boy thing.)

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Well two out of three ain't bad. The two doors (sanitary compartment) came off fairly easy. There was a 14" spacer between the front of the forward door and the end of the moulding with the hinge tube. It was a problem getting it off, but once that was done, the two doors slid off. Had to work them loose some but once they started sliding it was pretty easy - sprayed some Tri-flow to help.

the other door had a spacer about 2 ft long and to remove the spacer it appears I would have to remove the door frame so I decided to leave that one for now.

Carsmedics has the two doors and they will be ready tomorrow.

None of the doors would come out of the hinge by opening wide. I had them up against the body of the coach - a 180 degree opening and none of them would budge!!

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Well two out of three ain't bad. The two doors (sanitary compartment) came off fairly easy. There was a 14" spacer between the front of the forward door and the end of the moulding with the hinge tube. It was a problem getting it off, but once that was done, the two doors slid off. Had to work them loose some but once they started sliding it was pretty easy - sprayed some Tri-flow to help.

the other door had a spacer about 2 ft long and to remove the spacer it appears I would have to remove the door frame so I decided to leave that one for now.

Carsmedics has the two doors and they will be ready tomorrow.

None of the doors would come out of the hinge by opening wide. I had them up against the body of the coach - a 180 degree opening and none of them would budge!!

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Well two out of three ain't bad. The two doors (sanitary compartment) came off fairly easy. There was a 14" spacer between the front of the forward door and the end of the moulding with the hinge tube. It was a problem getting it off, but once that was done, the two doors slid off. Had to work them loose some but once they started sliding it was pretty easy - sprayed some Tri-flow to help.

the other door had a spacer about 2 ft long and to remove the spacer it appears I would have to remove the door frame so I decided to leave that one for now.

SNIP......

Can you clarify something for me. Regarding the 14" spacer, was it held in place by any mechanical means or is it just a friction fit?

What makes you feel that the other spacer is different than the one you have removed?

If those spacers are made of any metal other than the aluminum that the hinge appears to be, there will be a galvanic action when two dissimilar metals are in contact so the long one may just be corroded into place. If that is the case, try soaking the spacer with a good penetrating spray along the length and let it soak. You may need to use a small punch and hammer to get it started. If the body moulding where the spacer is located is slotted, try using a small punch and hammer to tap all along the length of the spacer to loosen it up.

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