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Ask Dave: Our RV’s entry door is not flush with the frame. How can I fix it?

Dear Dave,
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

Dear Gary,
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.


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Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

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Wayne Caldwell
1 month ago

Dave, Interesting photo using wood to “readjust” the door. I have a reproduction repair manual for a 1936 to 1938 Hudson Terraplane that showed and explained that same procedure for readjusting and realigning those doors.

Gordy B
1 month ago
Reply to  Wayne Caldwell

In the late 60’s when I was prepping new cars for delivery we used that same process in door alignment. Also if a door would drop when being opened, we would place a piece of 2×4 under the opened door and jack it up slightly to raise the rear of the door (a little at a time checking in between) until it was aligned with the body. Sometimes simple works best. Happy Trails

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