It appears that our RV’s entry door is not plumb. When the lower left corner of the door is flush with the frame, the door edge of the upper left corner is still 1/2–5/8 inch from the frame. The hinges look tight and consistent/straight. Picture attached. Any ideas on how to correct it? Continuing to slam the door shut does not seem a good solution. —Gary, 2016 Tiffin Allegro 34TGA
Most RV manufacturers purchase their RV’s entry door from a third-party source such as Lippert. You should be able to find a sticker on the frame that gives the company and part number. These doors are made of a similar material construction as the sidewall, which is an aluminum outer skin with either luan or Azdel backer, block foam insulation, and an interior paneling with decorative paper. This is all surrounded by an aluminum extruded frame and there is seldom any other interior framework. It is not uncommon for the frame to get “sprung” or become bent due to road vibration, temperature changes, and just normal shutting and opening of the door.
When I was at Winnebago, we made our own doors out of the cut out of the sidewall, and once in a while we would have a similar situation. There are several components that have a factor in making the door fit flush such as the hinges, door frame, and the frame in the sidewall. It doesn’t take much of a twist in any of these to show a noticeable gap between the door frame and sidewall.
Figuring out what part of the RV’s entry door is unlevel
I first start by using a long piece of steel or a 4’ carpenters level and run it along the two frames to see how straight it is. If it’s the sidewall opening frame, that takes a lot more work to shim and align. However, usually it’s the door frame. Put the level on the bottom and work your way up and you will probably notice the gap. If it is straight and the sidewall frame is straight, then it is the hinges. They can be adjusted with shims or they might need to be bent slightly.
Most of the time we just adjusted the door frame to fit the sidewall frame as you could not tell if it was slightly bent. You can take it to a body shop that will use sophisticated equipment to anchor points of the door and frame to “adjust” it or do a simple trick we used.
Get a few blocks of wood or a couple of 2x4s and use the blocks or longer pieces placed at the bottom with the door open and then slowly push the top of the door. The bottom of the door will hit the wood and you can push or adjust the top as needed! Trust me, it works, just be very careful not to bend the door enough to break the window. Slow pushes work the best doing slight adjustments and then seeing how well it fits. It doesn’t take much to get it looking plumb.
You might also enjoy this from Dave
Quick RV Tech Tip
Furnace runs too long. What’s the problem?
Our furnace runs longer than it should. If it’s an air filter, where is it? —Joy H.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”
Read more from Dave here.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?
We have started a new forum link for Ask Dave. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response. Click to visit Dave’s forum. Or send your inquiries to him using the form below.