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Old 06-21-2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

One of the first things I'd like to do now that the bus is finally home, is add a new front door. I went to Lowes today and they had some 32" steel doors that I'm thinking of using. Has anyone else used a regular house exterior door? If so, is it holding up? Does anyone have a "house door" with a window in it? I really liked being able to see traffic through the door as I drove home Saturday.
I was thinking of something that looked like this:

I know I've seen photos of other people with a solid (non-bifold) door on their rigs, but wasn't sure if the door was specially ordered, or if it was an RV door, or if it was just someone's incredibly skilled personal workmanship.
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

My only concern would be to make sure you use safety glass. Here in VA it is a class 4 misdemeanor to operate a motor vehicle with any non-safety glass used for any door or window. Other than that, I think it is a great idea.

I'd love to have a steel and glass door with double or even triple pane safety glass as my door. I agree that the visibility out that door is very important. It helps me avoid hitting curbs.

Hope this helps,
jim
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

several members here have used residential doors and or premium stoem doors, also check the millicent chronicals, elliot reverse engineered a door conversion as well as an extension to the top of the door.
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Old 06-22-2009, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

I have to admit, I originally thought of keeping the regular bi-fold door and just adding angle iron to the back side to keep it from folding. But after taking a closer look at the door last night, I don't know if that will work well for weather proofing. I'll take a second look tonight when I get out to the RV storage place. Hopefully take some pictures too since I was too busy to do that while picking it up this weekend! Gotta have more pictures!!!

If anyone would be so kind as to post links to images of their doors, I'd greatly appreciate it! Yes, I'll go through the gallery too, but there's just SO many pictures that finding a door detail is like looking for a lost bolt in long grass without a magnet.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:06 PM   #5
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

i did some research and found door stuff on the millicent chronicale at page 29 and also found watson1 in the gallery where they converted the door to 1 piece units with the oricinal dot legal glass.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

Thanks Paul for the links to the doors!

My door is regular manual control. Vanguy, I never thought about the bifolds being good, but you bring up a couple of good points. What about weather proofing, though? How leaky will that thing be in the winter time? And how much A/C will I leak in the summer? Lots with the current door as it is missing the runner on the top, which lets the fold flop around. That would definitely have to be fixed before even thinking of using it as a "regular" door. I'd also have to find a way to modify the doorway itself to allow some form of latch... even if it's just a plain padlock.

Hmm... choices, choices!
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #7
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

lots of options for weather striping, Austin hardware online is a supplier to the custom truck body builders. goodyear industrial makes weatherstriping if you can find an industrial dealer, caterpillar has a hardware catalog that has weatherstriping and window seal material by the roll, NAPA, check out a street rod magazine for weather proofing suppliers, go to thomas.net and see what and who they list for suppliers.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:35 AM   #8
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

Picture's worth a thousand words! I was trying to envision what you did, Vanguy... the simplicity of your system is pure genius.

Wonder if there's a way to combine both a bifold door and a traditional lockset?............. hmmm............ gotta to daydream a bit and try to envision what would have to be done to provide a positive lock without loosing the bifold ability.

This is why I love this project. There's so many possibilities and so much creativity involved! Thanks Smitty & Vanguy. I love this forum!
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:49 PM   #9
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

On mine I used a Larson "Secure Elegance" security storm door. The 32" fit the opening perfectly, and the glass is tempered safety glass with a plastic membrane in the middle (like a car windshield) and has what they call a triple locking mechanism ( I call it a double lock as the regular knob locking system ain't crap). But is does have an upper and lower "CLAW" locks, it's a very secure door...

http://www.larsondoors.com/storm_doors/products/349_17



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Old 06-24-2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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Re: New door... would 32" exterior steel or fiberglass work?

I installed a 32" Emco storm on my bus. No cutting required. I did have to add extra latches to hold it closed when going down the road. There's quite a bit of vacuum right there and pulls quite a bit on the door. Even with an extra lock it pulled the top and bottom out while driving. I used window latches as they tighten when latched but you need have them mounted just right. This is what they look like:


I can take photos of how I mounted them if there's interest.

Here's one of the pictures where you can see the door on my:


Chad Urvig
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