Since the day I purchased it, the door on my 1987 Scamp 13 has had a huge gap at the bottom. It is about 3 inches between the bottom of the door and the floor of the camper. I have been told that this is because the fiberglass door relaxes over time, and it can be solved by cutting a series of kerfs into the wood and pouring some epoxy or resin into the kerfs and using straps to reshape the door. So I finally decided that was a thing I could do.
Did I mention that the door lock managed to shake itself loose on my last trip and is somewhere on Route 24 between Boston and Newport?
Luckily Scamp has the door handle available at their online store. Of course I have been down this route before. The inner part of the door lock set rattled itself loose the day I bought the Scamp. That piece is somewhere between Rome and Utica, New York, along with the newly acquired, and required Massachusetts license plate...
Repairing a Scamp Fiberglass door.
1. Remove door
Scamp doors are hung on two part hinges with a brass ball and spring. Remove the brass ball and spring pivot bolt with a wrench and lift the door off the hinges. I suggest you replace the entire hinge. Replacements are available at the SCAMP Web site. Proceed to remove the 8 cap nuts, bolts, and washers that hold the hinges to the door and the scamp. These are #20 by 3/4" and you should buy new stainless steel replacements at the local hardware store.
First off the door hinges were severely worn.
There was enough play in the door hinges to be part of the sagging problem that the door also exhibited. Luckily Scamp hinges are available at their online store.
2. Drain gallons of water from door.
The door should not weigh 50 lbs. When I laid my door on its edge it began leaking gallons of water. Obviously not a good thing. Pressing on the inner shell the door seemed squishy, so instead of just cutting kerfs and applying epoxy, we are on to the major overhaul.
3. Cut Fiberglass inner shell.
The Scamp door consists of a fiberboard insert sandwiched between layers of fiberglass. I did not want to deal with removing and replacing the window, so I only cut the bottom. However the rot extended from the (leaking) window to the bottom of the door. Strip back the rat fur rug, and using a circular saw, cut the inner shell. Leave about 1/2" lip on the sides and bottom.
CAUTION: Make sure the saw's depth will not cut the outer door shell!!!!!!!
I dug deep under the fiberglass to clean out as much of the rotted fiberboard as I could, and blew out the debris with compressed air. When I replaced the fiberboard with new particle board I slid the new board under the fiberglass as close to the window as it would go.
4. Remove soaked and rotted "wood" from door.
No wonder the door lock came loose. These photos show the extent of the rot that was in the fiberglass sandwich.
5. Replace interior wood.
Cut strips of your replacement material. I used chip board because I had it on hand. Cut the strip at doorknob height to be wide enough to mount the lockset without spanning two boards. You can wedge the strips under the remaining lip of fiberglass. I used some construction adhesive under each strip. NOTE: if you do use construction adhesive you will need to move pretty quickly to the next step.
6. Resin and strap.
After laying a series of strips of 3/4" thick wood, now you have to make these strips into a monolithic shape.
Mix and pour fiberglass or epoxy resin and fill the spaces between the boards you placed in step 5. Place a sheet or two of fiberglass matting in the area of the door lock and glass it in for extra strength.
Using some cargo straps hook two of them top and bottom of the door and tighten until you achieve the correction required. You should clamp the middle of the door to a table. Allow a couple of hours for this to set.
I didn't, but you may need to put some weight on the boards to keep them from popping up. If you do this I suggest laying down some Saran Wrap on top of the epoxy before putting the weights on. If the Saran Wrap sticks so be it.
NOTE: Mix only enough resin for this step.
7. Replace inner fiberglass sheet.
Screw the fiberglass inner shell to the new wood, and proceed to mix the remaining resin and fiberglass material to reseal the door sandwich. I left the straps on for this step.
Don't hate me because I reused the original rat fur.
Because I did not remove the window I decided to replace only the bottom rat fur. I had to buy a 6'x8' piece, but it was only $18.00 at the Depot. I used a spray adhesive to attach it, and then reused the original rubber molding. In my case the molding was riveted to the bottom and corners. I cut around the rivets, and used silicone to "glue" the molding in place.
8. Replace hardware.
In addition to new hinges and springs, do yourself a huge favor and go out and buy all new stainless steel nuts and bolts and washers. Get some locktite thread seal, and some white or clear silicon.
What's the point of doing this if you don't fix the source of the problem? The window leaks into the interior of the door. I took several steps to try and abate the leak. I drilled weep holes through the inner fiberglass at the bottom of the window, and the bottom of the door. I removed the old sealant, and re caulked with 100% silicon. The more the better. It was quite obvious that Scamp used a window whose casing wasn't deep enough to accommodate the thickness of the door. There was a 1/8" gap that was sealed with putty which had failed over the years.
Results: About 90% better.
It seems the bottom hinge is a bit out of whack...I reused the original holes. At some point I may try and fix this, but for now the door seals well to the bottom and weighs about 20 pounds less than the wood soaked saggy door.
Notice the odd angle of the hinge on the door. I reused the original holes, so at some point I'll take it off and put in a bit of reinforcement and drill a new hole. The bungie is attached to the Scamp's cover tarp.