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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:07 am
by Arroga
To build or not to build that is the question. :? I see alot of regrets on building the doors. I don't see any that are happy with building their own. Let me know what ya think. :thinking: Which way should people go?

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:16 am
by KennethW
It is all about cost and the easy of the build. If you buy doors they have a lot better chance of not leaking. But if you do a simple door without the bought trim it can be a lot lower in cost. It's a trade off!!

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:48 pm
by kayakdlk
Arroga wrote: I see alot of regrets on building the doors. I don't see any that are happy with building their own

Not sure you have looked very hard. There are lots of folks that built their own doors and are happy with them. Maybe since they are happy with them I guess they don't complain about them so you don't hear about them.

I am perfectly happy building my own doors. Originally I was going to buy them them but after much research and testing a cardboard template of my cabin I decided to use Steve Fredericks method of building and sealing my doors.

1. I wanted a wider door than you can buy (My doors are 30" wide x 36" tall)
2. I wanted a window that would open for fresh air and can be left open when raining. (The premade doors I was looking at had sliding windows that opened on the lower portion. The mattress and sleeping bag would partially block the opening reducing the effect. Rain would blow in on sliders. My crank out windows open up for a good cross breeze. The are always open and never leak when it rains)
3. I wanted my doors to match my exterior and interior (Outside same paint color as body, interior same wood stain, classic door handles with locks)
4. I didn't want to roll next to a cold alum door at night. (My wood doors are warmer on a chilly night than cold aluminum)
5. I wanted a quiet soft closing door (My wood doors with foam core makes little to no sound when opening and closing, less tinny feel, I have no metal trim on my doors which saves weight)
6. Wanted a more classic look
7. I didn't want any alum trim on my doors (My doors are all wood, epoxy and paint)

My doors have a seal and the only time they leak a little bit is at the car wash when I use the power sprayer in the seams (same thing happens to my car sometimes).

With Steve Fredericks sandwich method of construction it prevents the warpage and his door seals keep the rain and dust out very well. Just a few weeks ago I went camping and it was raining/spitting snow and and I had to go down several miles of dirt/gravel road to a camping site (all the others were closed). I had about an inch of silt/mud on the front of the teardrop and tongue box, it was all over the fenders, door hinges and handle and splashed up on the door. I used my water jug to rinse some of it off on the door handle and hinge and when I opened the doors none of the mud etc. had gotten inside. The hinge was gritty but I was able to clean it out when I got home with some spray lubricant.

I do not think one method (premade vs make you own) is better that the other. I think you have to decide how confident you are in your skills, how much time you have, and what method you are using to make the door/seals will determine on how successful you will be.


Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:04 pm
by dales133
Could you please supply links to these two sealing methods as I prefer the handmade door look but was going to buy them due in confidence in sealing.
Would save me a small fortune in exchange rates and shipping

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:00 am
by Strop
Dale, have a look at dave's build thread Atmar Travelear. (viewtopic.php?f=50&t=35081). How he builds his boor was what I was thinking of. I was going to go down this route but when I looked at the price of good quality windows, the availability of suitable trim (bendy aluminium) for the roof and surrounds, as well as the door furniture (hinges & handles) I decided to go fir the purchase route.

You might also want to look at this link to see how a bloke does his doors. His are all straight edges though.


Re: Doors

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:08 am
by dales133
Thanks Laurie. I'm a pretty confident guy in any medium of constructing anything out of anything and it usually works but the variables between a compression seal working or not is I reversible. Lol

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:10 pm
by Arroga
This is why I asked. I checked out alot of the post if you could do over wnat would you change and quite a few said doors. I do appreaciate the input on those who have built their own and have been happy with it.

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:15 am
by rowerwet
It took me four tries, but my final door design is perfect. Of course if i had bought the recommended build manuals, or studied more build threads I would not have reinvented the wheel, my doors also use the inside seal idea, and I love the shape.
I never like the look of square doors on a tear.

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:11 am
by Ron Dickey
If you buy them you need to get them before you cut out the doors so they will fit.
If you make them you use the cut outs as the door skin and add lumber between and buy a window that will fit that door or build a Wiley window.
You have to think about hinges too. Many use piano hinges, I use commercial hinges that can not have the pin removed.
Door knob and hinges. My first one had no real guts and was locked on the inside by a slider lock and locked on the outside with a padlock hasp looked ugly but it worked and no one bothered it. my window was a gunport with screen and inside flap.
My second door on that unit used metal screen door lockable door latches. I bought windows from Grant.
My new trailer sill being built but getting close to the end. The door knob, I bought from Steve B. who did not leave his door on the ground but leaned them on a wall, so they warped in time. (he is buying a prebuilt door) I am building Wiley windows big enough so if they fail I can put in Grants windows.
Read up on doors go to search at top of this page.

thats all :lol: Ron

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 7:38 am
by daveesl77
I built both of mine. During the initial wall design/build phase I knew where I wanted both the doors and the windows in the rear, so both of those areas were solid wood laminations. The inner ply on the doors was some I had in my shop and it had been in the garage for over 8 years so it had fully adjusted to heat/cold/humidity. It did have a very slight bow which worked out perfectly as that is where I mounted the door handle/latch. The bow then pulled the door absolutely tight against the wood framing. Once the walls were fully lamintated, including the cedar strips I just cut them out. My doors are really weird sized and the door windows are wiley windows cut in the shape of a large scallop shell.


Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 10:01 am
by Glenn Butcher
I just bought one, to go on the back of my 'sleeping box'. I did so because 1) I wanted as much window in the door as possible to entice my claustrophobic wife to climb into the thing; 2) I'm not finding the time to build a 'real' teardrop, so I've made some design choices to maximize my chances of camping at least once this season; 3) If I'm careful with installing the door, I'd intend to use it in a subsequent construction of a 'real' teardrop camper.

If I were to build doors, I'd probably use Steve Fredrick's method.

Re: Doors

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:53 pm
by FM82
I feel like it depends heavily on the builder. Things like, their budget, skill, patience, and overall personal preference with appearance for their particular build.

Just my opinion, but I would have this as my pros and cons.

Built Doors
- Endless shaping possibilities! (Best of them all)
- "Sturdier" feel when closing, and more quiet.
- Can be made to "take a beating" so to speak.

- Not a simple drop-in setup like the premade doors/time consuming design-to-completion process.(Biggest con of them all)
- Possibly much heavier, depending on the materials and tools available.
- More difficult to seal, and keep sealed. Depending on materials and tools available, as well as the skill of the builder.

Prefab Doors
- Much easier, drop-in setup.
- Simple, all-in-one kit. Saves a lot of time.
- Very little to no worries with seals.
- Possibly lighter in weight.

- The cookie cutter styles available can greatly limit the personalization of the build, and may reduce the entrance size for larger people.
- Possibly having less of a "sturdy" feel, compared to building your own.
- Appearance. This one I see has being a personal preference, and may not visually "fit" the design of the camper.

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Re: Doors

PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 9:57 pm
by Modstock
Has anyone converted thier "built doors" over to the (pre fab) units.
After reading this, I may change to pre fab.
The previous owner built mine and it looks bent from the side dosent seal well at the top.

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