Here I’ll show you how I fixed the door hinges on our Jayco Swan camper trailer
This article should help if you need to:
- Replace a broken hinge, or
- If the hinges pull through the back of the door trim
(this is what happened to us after the door swung back in some high winds)
I’ll show you the ‘camping emergency’ fix I used when our door wouldn’t close and we had limited tools and parts
(and then the more permanent solution)
Let’s get started:
1. Take off the bottom half of the door
This should simply be a case of undoing these 3 screws…
…but you need to remember to support the door while you’re doing it:
It’ll only be attached in 2 spots if the screws of one of the hinges have pulled through the door trim like ours had
(also remember to be careful because the door trim may be weekend at the other hinges too)
2. Remove the door trim (taking care not to break it)
First, there’s a few screws to undo:
Then, run a Stanley knife down the edges to cut the sealant
In our case the top cap and door trim just came straight off…
…but if it doesn’t then you’ll need to get a long thin bit of steel and gently tap it down from the top to cut the sealant
(just be gentle as they can break easily)
You might find some small bits of plastic or metal between the door trim and aluminium frame:
These are shims that’ve been put in to keep the door square and make sure the catch closes properly.
Take note of where these are located so you can make sure they go back in the same spot when you put things back together.
3. Remove, reinforce and replace the door hinges
Here you can see where the hinge screws had pulled through the plastic trim:
The bad news?
When I needed to fix this when I was camping I only had flat washers on hand
(the screws are countersunk which meant they’d stick out and stop the door trim from sitting flush against the door frame)
The good news?
I found a few countersunk washers that I could ‘borrow’ from the top half of the door.
When these washers are placed between the heads of the screws and the door trim the whole thing stays flush
(which means that the door trim can go back onto the frame as before and the door can close properly)
Here’s a picture with the plastic shim that was inside our frame:
(I taped this down so it’d stay in the right place when I re-assembled everything)
But for the more permanent solution?
I fashioned a more sturdy backing-plate out of a piece of a $5.80 piece of aluminium flar bar from Bunnings:
This was 1mm thick, 25mm wide, and 1m long…
…which meant being able to reinforce all 3 hinges at the same time
If your hinges are no good and they need replacing?
Door Hinges: Available here from ouRVan’s eBay store (from Rosebud, Vic)
4. Reseal and reattach the door trim
After scraping off the old sealant then it’s a case of resealing the door trim.
For this I went for a roof and gutter sealant that was neutral cure (non-acid)
After applying a decent amount it oozes out when you attach the door trim back to the frame
(so use some soapy water and a scraper or soapy finger to get a clean finish)
5. Reattach the door to the hinges
Reattaching the door is now a simple case of the 3 main screws
Something to bear in mind though is that sealant usually takes 36 – 72 hours to cure…
… so this was definitely a job for after camping, not the day before!
Summary: Fixing the door hinges on a Jayco camper trailer when they’ve pulled through the door trim
This was how I used the recessed washers to reinforce the hinges when the door wouldn’t close on our Jayco Swan…
…and then a more permanent fix using a backing plate.
Because the hinges are screwed in through the back of the door trim they’re prone to pulling through
(so if you’re replacing a broken hinge it’d be worth doing this at the same time)
UPDATE: Here’s a video version I made for YouTube:
If your door still isn’t closing properly
If you’re just after some more info about your camper then check out our most popular article