Doors. Build or Buy?

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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby Kim Armstrong » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:13 pm

Let us know what you find out.
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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby Sparksalot » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:42 pm

I built my own. Mainly because I could choose the shape, and not be limited to a rectangle.
Done? Surely you jest. A teardrop is never "done".

The Compass Rose build thread: viewtopic.php?t=23213

Inspiration: http://tnttt.com/Design_Library/Trailer%20for%20Two.htm

It's got a cop motor, a 5.3 LS plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. ~ Elwood Blues
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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby VORSHEER Trailers » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:18 am

I think doors are so critical and so prone to leaking that spending the money on manufactured doors makes the most sense.

From what I've seen all the major manufacturers of teardrop style trailers buy their doors. These are shops that are dedicated to building trailers. Even with the resources of a shop they still choose to purchase manufactured doors.

Probably the biggest distributor of teardrop doors is Challenger Doors: https://www.challengerdoor.com/teardrop-trailer-doors/

I would highly recommend purchasing doors as water damage is probably the most common issue with teardrop trailers.
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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby Louisd75 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:31 pm

VORSHEER Trailers wrote:I think doors are so critical and so prone to leaking that spending the money on manufactured doors makes the most sense.

From what I've seen all the major manufacturers of teardrop style trailers buy their doors. These are shops that are dedicated to building trailers. Even with the resources of a shop they still choose to purchase manufactured doors.

Probably the biggest distributor of teardrop doors is Challenger Doors: https://www.challengerdoor.com/teardrop-trailer-doors/

I would highly recommend purchasing doors as water damage is probably the most common issue with teardrop trailers.


I dunno...

So Cal Teardrops makes their own doors.
Camp Inn makes their own doors.
Oregon Trailer makes their own doors (though they also do pre-made for some models)
Vistabule makes their own doors.

I'm sure there are others, those are just the first four that popped into my head.

I would argue that it's more of a convenience thing. It's definitely more time consuming to build a door vs just plopping one in. It's not really any more work making a water tight door than it is to make a watertight galley hatch.

For me personally, I'm not a fan of how the pre-made doors look. To me they often look like an afterthought.
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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby KTM_Guy » Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Louisd75 wrote:
VORSHEER Trailers wrote:I think doors are so critical and so prone to leaking that spending the money on manufactured doors makes the most sense.

From what I've seen all the major manufacturers of teardrop style trailers buy their doors. These are shops that are dedicated to building trailers. Even with the resources of a shop they still choose to purchase manufactured doors.

Probably the biggest distributor of teardrop doors is Challenger Doors: https://www.challengerdoor.com/teardrop-trailer-doors/

I would highly recommend purchasing doors as water damage is probably the most common issue with teardrop trailers.


I dunno...

So Cal Teardrops makes their own doors.
Camp Inn makes their own doors.
Oregon Trailer makes their own doors (though they also do pre-made for some models)
Vistabule makes their own doors.

I'm sure there are others, those are just the first four that popped into my head.

I would argue that it's more of a convenience thing. It's definitely more time consuming to build a door vs just plopping one in. It's not really any more work making a water tight door than it is to make a watertight galley hatch.

For me personally, I'm not a fan of how the pre-made doors look. To me they often look like an afterthought.


I bet all those companies have an area and people that just build doors. With custom jigs and tooling. Out of the scope of a one off builder. When I did my build I went back of forth, build or buy. I cut the door openings for an off the shelf door so I had both options. When it came down to it I bought, I have about 30 minutes total time in my doors. Couldn't say that if I built.

One day I was driving to Flagstaff AZ and the skies were getting darker as I headed north. I made a stop at a rest area and saw a guy with a real nice home built teardrop. He was working on something on the other side of the camper from me. I went over to see if he needed anything. He was duct taping the doors to keep the rain out. He said he was on a three week trip and is was the 5th time he had to do it. After the first bad rain had two days to dry out the mattress.

My advice would be cut your door opening to a stock size. Then when it comes time for doors, look at your build, are you in your time frame to complete? Is the build harder or easier than you thought? How about the budget, did you totally blow that? Do you just want to be done and go out camping? Then you’ll know to build or buy.

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Re: Doors. Build or Buy?

Postby Louisd75 » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:20 pm

KTM_Guy wrote:
I bet all those companies have an area and people that just build doors. With custom jigs and tooling. Out of the scope of a one off builder. When I did my build I went back of forth, build or buy. I cut the door openings for an off the shelf door so I had both options. When it came down to it I bought, I have about 30 minutes total time in my doors. Couldn't say that if I built.

One day I was driving to Flagstaff AZ and the skies were getting darker as I headed north. I made a stop at a rest area and saw a guy with a real nice home built teardrop. He was working on something on the other side of the camper from me. I went over to see if he needed anything. He was duct taping the doors to keep the rain out. He said he was on a three week trip and is was the 5th time he had to do it. After the first bad rain had two days to dry out the mattress.

My advice would be cut your door opening to a stock size. Then when it comes time for doors, look at your build, are you in your time frame to complete? Is the build harder or easier than you thought? How about the budget, did you totally blow that? Do you just want to be done and go out camping? Then you’ll know to build or buy.

Todd


I respectfully disagree :) Oregon Trail'r, for example, is just two brothers. Custom jigs, sure. In fact I'd be shocked if builders didn't use jigs. Heck, Camp Inn has a rotisserie for varnishing the trailer. Tooling would be no different than the other tools needed to build the trailer. I used a plunge router and a pattern when I cut my doors out. It was the same pattern that I used for making the walls and insulation cutouts. My experience is that the door wasn't any tricker than any other part of the project. I spent far more time on my front windows than the doors.

Now, are my doors perfect? Absolutely not. I may end up rebuilding the passenger one at some point since I had to stop my project before I got the layers of plywood screwed and glue together. They developed a slight twist that didn't go away during the assembly process and I can see it if I look close. Most people probably wouldn't notice. But they still seal, passing the hose test with no problem and then the real world test of 4" of rain while freeway driving on our maiden trip (I did have a leak on the front window and in the galley that we found that voyage).

If you're building and really have your heart set on a certain look or style for your trailer then off the shelf doors may not work. If you have a plunge router and a drill bit then your door is mostly done when you cut the opening out of the wall :)
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