Door Frame & Slide-Out Bunk Issues

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by jaynine89, May 24, 2018.

  1. jaynine89

    jaynine89 Member

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    Mar 19, 2018
    West Central WI
    Alright, so we got out for our first camping trip of the season on the books after 3 weeks of figuring out how to repair the main lifter cable (see here http://popupportal.com/threads/even-worth-it-getting-discouraged.117655/).

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    Checking in at the main office, I had to get a picture of the rig with my fiance. Our daughter is in the passenger seat, a little hard to see, but my fiance and I are both smaller, which means all three of us fit in the cab.

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    We got all set up, which went smooth enough, except I forgot to level side to side. Oops. Luckily the pad wasn't too bad and we just dealt with a slight lean all weekend. We had some errands to run the next day, so my fiance ended up getting her car again. Benefit to camping 4 miles from home to get started!! The next morning, we caught someone looking out the window...

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    Someone enjoys the camper :D

    So far, so good.

    Now come the issues. I've known about them for a while, but I've always just dealt because it's been me and my fiance up until now. I'm wondering if these are worth putting the money into fixing, or if it's new family/new camper time.

    The first issue is the rear bunk slide out. 20180518_142837.jpg 20180518_142850.jpg 20180518_142859.jpg

    Yeesh. This is the bed we usually sleep on, because it's slightly bigger, and the track for the slide-out is completely mangled. Are there replacement tracks to buy? How much would have to come apart to get it back the way it's supposed to be?

    I'll admit, this isn't as pressing of an issue, we don't really notice any difference in sleeping on the bed itself, I just don't want it to become an issue in the future if we do end up hanging onto the unit.

    Next issue is the door...
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  2. jaynine89

    jaynine89 Member

    72
    37
    Mar 19, 2018
    West Central WI
    For a while, the swivel lock (button lock? Correct term??) at the bottom of the door frame wasn't quite on there, and being that the camper was over 35 years old at the time, we also had an issue at the top of the door frame.
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    The screws on the left side are original. The ones on the right are not.

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    And as a result, I don't think they hit any of the backing wood in the roof, and they keep walking out. This is the first thing I need a fix for. Should I shift where I screw the door frame into the roof to find more wood meat? Is there another type of screw I should use? From looking on this site, it seems that these roofs are all just made out of lumber lined with a finishing trim, and that's all that should be behind this trim.

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    Original, good to go, never walked out.

    The next issue comes in that the door itself just does not sit square on the frame anymore.
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    What in the world...

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    Now this is the part that bugs me the most. When everything is set up, the rear portion of the body seems to be pulling apart from itself at the door, kind of like how the Titanic broke up before going down; this is the point where it's going to separate. Sometimes the door swings open on its own at night. We do have a slide-lock for the screen portion, so I usually just lock that, but still. I'd like my door latch to do its job. I've tried shimming the jam with duct-tape.

    In addition to the lower half of the door not being in its jamb correctly and the top of the screen door falling off the roof, whenever I do open the door, I can almost be guaranteed that the two halves of the door will separate.

    As I said on my other thread, I'm not the most creative when it comes to engineering solutions, and this was the best I could come up with at the time, 3 years before I ever found this resource.

    These door issues seem to vary every single time I set it up. Sometimes the door halves stay together all weekend. Sometimes the door latches alright. Other times I'm tempted to get a bungee chord and keep the door shut at night. Is my problem a leveling issue? Is the body from 1981 completely shot and it's time for a new unit? I've read here that using the stabilizers to level is not the correct method, but I just don't know how to bring the two sides of the door frame on the body back together so that the door doesn't swing open. That latch is holding onto the frame by fractions of an inch... And then when we get home, and everything is down, it seems like there aren't any issues with the door whatsoever, aside from the rubber trim on the top of the bottom half needing to be replaced.

    Thanks for reading my novel of a write-up, and any advice would be appreciated. I've already gained a lot from this place already.

    Jayson
     
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  3. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

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    Aug 3, 2017
    Super cool Jay - honest I was hoping for smiley folks camping photos when you got back, but babies smiling are way mo' better! Looks like you kids had a super time.

    I'm using these pictures too much this week! My bunk on the small wall needs support, and that realigned my door once I did this. I've been fighting it for years, every time we used it.
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    On my door, I apply fresh duct tape each time we camp. I prep a strip of tape by folding it 1/3 exposed tape, 2/3 taped to each other to make a "flap". I put the glue side on the door frame, and the door closes against it to shut out the bugs. We also duct tape all 4 ceiling / canvas posts to keep the skeeters out. Duct tape is a required starcraft tool. IF I get mine up in the next couple weeks, I'll take some duct tape pics

    For those end bunk rails, keep you eye on them. You'll tip out if you let them bend away. Take a super plyers / clamps and crush them back in, but not hinder the door slide. You might wanna think about my jack/tongue situation, start sleeping on that side, kidlin in the back.

    Your screws are two halves a piece. I'd first try some glue or caulk on the screw, see if you can make it set. The socket headed ones are right, take those taper wood screws out - you might even have self tap screws on the good side. I don't know if they are stock, mine were painted when I ditched them. If not, larger screws are in your future. Wish my door hung that way, looks better than my setup.
     
  4. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

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    Aug 3, 2017
    Sorry for the sliced pic, but the kid was sticking her tongue out at me for some reason..... She would whoop me for posting her up like that! But, see my duct tape door seal? Brilliant and lazy, as most of my ideas are...

    upload_2018-5-24_14-32-19.png Cheers and congrats on a good trip!
     
  5. jaynine89

    jaynine89 Member

    72
    37
    Mar 19, 2018
    West Central WI
    I may just have to throw a couple rolls of duct tape in the camper for the future trips. Doesn't look the greatest, but short of a complete overhaul, what do you do with an all-original camper that's 37 years old?

    Regarding your bed prop idea, how would that work on the back bunk, where there isn't a trailer tongue to stand up on? Just put it on the ground? Maybe I could build a little prop out of some 2x's and a 4x4...
     
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  6. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

    272
    127
    Aug 3, 2017
  7. jaynine89

    jaynine89 Member

    72
    37
    Mar 19, 2018
    West Central WI
    So I tried your bed prop idea on the back woth just a 1x and my jack, and it helped a little bit, but the stock support bars ended up coming out of their homes on the lower frame. I'm not sure this is the solution I'm looking for.

    My fiance and I are only about 325# together, and I would imagine these campers are designed for at least that much, but maybe 37 years of use has pulled the body apart that much. It all seems fine when it's torn down, and the door seems to catch on the frame enough. But I have it set up now to take everything out and get a true dry weight (still looking at tow vehicles-want to know my starting point), and the door is pulling away.

    I just looked at the slide rail on the inside, and i think I may actually have bent that a little more, too. Im not even sure its going to hold much longer...

    Any ideas? I've got new tires, I've got the lift cable working, but part of me wants to throw in the towel on this unit and just get something nicer and newer. Finances aren't agreeing with that proposition, though...
     

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  8. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    On the rail I would but a block of wood on it and hammer the wood to knock it back down. The door thing is a big repair to do right. It means opening that wall and screwing everything back together. If you dont want to go that route than try using the Stabilizer Jack to lift that corner. Good Luck
     
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  9. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

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    Aug 3, 2017
    You've got a lot more angle than I expected to see. You may need to cut the supports and sleeve with bigger pipe to lengthen them to get back to level. Got to squeeze those bedrails back Maybe a big c clamp? I think you tried to jack back to level. Also why I ponder extending the bed stabilizer. I didn't have that much deflection in our bed- rails on mine don't have any spread.
     
  10. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Active Member

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    May 31, 2018
    Nj
    Make sure it's level. Try the clamp. I think it might be a fix. Maybe try a piece of angle iron wedged into the slide out frame, put it in after you slide it out. I have know idea , just throwing stuff out there to try. You kid looks amazed by the whole world, it's good to see that! Good luck. I'll have other stupid ideas later.....
     
  11. Troy Dalton

    Troy Dalton New Member

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    9
    Jun 20, 2016
    Portsmouth, VA.
    Just spit balling here...

    It looks to me like the angle of the bed supports is too shallow, allowing the bed to droop. A simple fix would be to move the supports closer towards the center of the bed. It's difficult to see from the pictures, but it appears that it might be as easy as drilling and re-positioning the supports. With the camper level, measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the bed rail, do the same on the far end and that will tell you how much the bed is sagging. Throw in a little math and you'll know exactly how far to re-position the supports...or just do what I would do...prop it up, remove the support, eyeball it, drill, re-attach, rinse, repeat for the opposite side.

    The door frame issue could be solved by making sure the front and rear stabilizer are down securely. I know they are not supposed to support the weight of the camper, but it might possible to apply just a wee bit of extra upward pressure to the fore and aft corners to put the door frame in it's proper position when in use.

    Cute baby!
     
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  12. wayoutwest

    wayoutwest Member

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    0
    Aug 23, 2013
    I agree with this, using a wood block to keep from deforming the rail too much. One of the pics shows some holes in the rails, they are probably for roll pins to keep the bed slider from pulling out completely, are the pins still in there? The roll pins should prevent the sliders from leaving the tracks completely. I'd guess at one point someone removed the pins, pulled the slider out and didn't put the supports under it, which bent the tracks like they are now

    And the pic if the bed slider extended and the 'droop', how about measuring the diameter of the supports, I'd guess 3/4-1 inch, get some new EMT from the hardware store and replace it some that are a little bit longer to hold the slider level
     
  13. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    The OP has moved on to a newer pup. If you want something to play with I'm sure they would sell it.
     
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  14. J Starsky

    J Starsky Active Member

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    Aug 3, 2017
    I did think about redrilling after I proposed extending the bunk stabilizers. But, if you extend the leg, you keep the same angle of attack for bunk triangulation. If was in my yard, it could go either way... But, Jay got a new fine campin' rig and perhaps the new owners will stop by here. Perhaps we'll still help someone down the road.
     

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