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Old 01-30-2019, 08:11 PM   #1
ajk170
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DIY French Door hack for 316RL

Hi everyone- I’ve been thinking about changing my bedroom door on my 2015 316RL and replacing it with a “French Door” modification from a bifold French door. I realize OEM RV doors tend to be a lot shorter than residential style doors due to the venting principal that they use, but the widths tend to be the same and I would have to cut down the bottom and top of the bi-fold door IOT make it fit the OEM height (~74-75"s) so a solid core bi-fod door will be necessary. Since I’m on the road for work and not near my coach, I cannot verify the measurements- but I think either a 24x80 or 30x80 bi-fold door will work if I take off the center hinges and use the non-mortise hinges on the opposite door jam. I could even order a new jam from trekwood to replace the current one that’s been cut for the current door latch. I figure I can use some sort of cabinet style latch at the top of the doors, even if I have to cut a both in the top jam to set the hardware flush with the jam.

What I’m trying to eliminate is the door problems that the 316RL has with the bathroom doors. The main bedroom door can get blocked if the main bathroom door is open and you try to exit the bedroom via the main bedroom door. The bedroom pass-though door can get damaged or damage the bedroom slide if you're not careful when bringing in the bedroom slide. I would do this modification to both bedroom doors with a Glass french bi-folding door and then maybe a regular bi-folding door (non glass) for the pass-though from the bathroom to the bedroom. Effectively installing two "French style doors" that lead into the bedroom.

I think using these bi-fold doors and taking them apart would shorten the length the doors would open and elevate these problems with the door blockage and bedroom slide. I would stain the doors to match the cherry color and put a film over the glass in the main bedroom doors to make it frosted/translucent for privacy. Or maybe take the opportunity to paint the doors white and change the whole bedroom trim/cabinet colors to a washed white look to really brighten the bedroom since the 316RL can be pretty dark due to the small window, second A/C and cherry finish.

Any thought on where the problems might be that I’m not seeing? Thanks!
-Andy
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:55 AM   #2
SummitPond
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I've often thought it odd the way some of the internal doors are hinged to interfere with each other. We saw one trailer where the bedroom door opened to block the ingress/egress door, so if you needed to get out in a hurry and were in the bedroom you'd have to get that bedroom door closed before you could get to the door leading you outside. Crazy!

Have you considered a regular hollow door and just cut a filler block to replace the lower or upper header block you'd eliminate with your trim modification? I would think the weight savings are considerable.

Please post photos of your project when you are done.
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:59 AM   #3
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Have you considered an accordion door? There are some inexpensive ones that will provide privacy but not "block other doors" available. Maybe that would work for you?

Here's one such door: https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Campe.../dp/B00MJV0OMC
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:37 AM   #4
ajk170
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SP- - thanks for the the response and thoughts! I thought the hollow core one for the pass-through to the bedroom would be an option since I Lee really don’t want a door with windows(even if translucent) in the pass through due to the light that would come in if you turn on the light in the bathroom I. The middle of the night, although one benefit would be how a glass French door would help open and brighten that small room and it would match the main bedroom door. I’ll post up picks as I work my way through this idea! -Andy
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:45 AM   #5
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JRJTh- thanks for responding- I did not consider the according style door because I really do not like the look of those things, despite the functionality and lower cost. But I appreciate the thought on how to overcome my small challenges with my doors! Plus, I think, if done well, the French door concept could make the coach look a little better- it will do nothing for resale(may even make it less desirable) but we decided to hold onto this one for the next 5-7 years so we figure we might as well modify it to our liking!
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:39 PM   #6
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So I'm wondering if this is a bad idea because I don't really see this type of modification being done- maybe it's a taste thing(?) and I don't have it? Or there is a fundamental aspect that I'm clearly missing... maybe it doesn't look good or it can't work? As always, I appreciate anybody's thoughts and comments!
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Old 02-06-2019, 02:21 AM   #7
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Can you put some kind of stop on the bathroom door to limit it opening to 90 degrees?
That would eliminate it from blocking the bedroom door.
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Old 02-06-2019, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WNY Bullet View Post
Can you put some kind of stop on the bathroom door to limit it opening to 90 degrees?
That would eliminate it from blocking the bedroom door.
Or possibly put a self closer on it to prevent it from staying open ???
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Old 02-06-2019, 07:29 PM   #9
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I like these ideas- hadn't thought about a self-closer but I did consider one of those blocks that go on the conventional hinges but I didn't think those would work on the non-mortise hinges. I have to admit, I don't know what a self-closer is in this sense. I'll have to do a google or youtube search. Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:58 PM   #10
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So I went out to the TT this weekend to do the A/C vent mods and installed the louvered vents that close and took some measurements of the pass-thru door and main door to the bedroom. Both doors are 24" and 1 3/8" thick. So looking at the french door on-line at the HD and Lowes, I see those are the same thickness. However, I'm wondering if putting two doors that are 1 3/8" in the door frame will make the entrance too narrow to comfortably walk thru. Not to mention maneuvering around two doors inside the small bedroom with the pass-thru door. The current door is bad enough. But, I could reverse the pass thru door if i changed it out - and the door frame via trek wood- and make the door open into the bathroom- that would totally alleviate the door in the bedroom issue. Plus, we're looking to replace the mattress with a queen sleepnumber (despite the elevation issues you have when traveling). We got it free from a family member and the warranty on it is really good so you can replace everything at a fraction of the price compared to a new one. The downside there is it's a full queen so it sucks up another 5 inches over the platform so the already tight bedroom will get even tighter. Changing the direction of the doors and using the french door idea might not be a bad idea!
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