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Old 11-15-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Entry door

I'm door shopping for Moby's entry door. I bought one of these for the partition separating the bathroom from the rest of the box. http://tinyurl.com/clhsdb7

However, the more I look at it it, the more I think one of these prehung door units would be quite suitable for an entry door as well (available either as an inswing or outswing) because it's Energy Star compliant (polystyrene core) and faced in steel, e.g. conventional wood construction 'except' the facing material, instead of being luan or fiberglass, is baked enamel galvanized sheet metal so finishing is easy.

I'm thinking an outswing would suit my needs best (these have security hinges so removing the pin to gain entry isn't an issue). Anyway, it's available with single or dual bore and I'm thinking single bore because I'd install a dead bolt and pull it open using the key itself. This leaves the entire assembly nearly flush with the skin of the box.

Why would it be better to fork over $300+ for a real RV-type lightweight door (either square or rounded corners)? What important factors am I overlooking?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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think about how you are going to mount the door and install the trim inside and out as well as what about a screendoor installation. I,m not tryin to be negative but loking at the dificulties of installing a large house type door, if you could find a source for the aluminum trim/frame extrusions used for RV type doors it would solve alot of issues.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:45 PM   #3
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Personally, it would drive me nuts to have to lock and unlock the door with a key each time, because unless you install self closing hinges the door will not stay closed on its own. going in and out with stuff in your arms would be a pain. Not to mention the likely hood of someone breaking the key off in the lock. Standard house door frames are probably not the best for mobile use as they can be hard to seal around, and mounting and trimming can be a pain depending on the construction type of your box.

There are doors made for mobile home use that have an aluminum frame that screws in through the exterior face similar to a rv door with putty installed between door frame and exterior wall. We use them on many of the mobile construction office trailers we build. Might be a cheaper alternative to an rv door. Available in tons of sizes and with and without screened windows. Kinro is one of the bigger manufactures. They come prehung and drilled for knobs. if you want to stay with the deadbolt you could either install two or install a blank cover over one of the holes. Here is a link to a site that sells them.

34" x 80" Kinro Blank Out-Swing Exterior Door: Mobile Home Parts Store

Another option is one of the many RV surplus stores in Elkhart. They had lots of doors to choose from when I was there in May.

Dave
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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The reason for the deadbolt and key is simply to avoid dealing with a knob, which sticks out, e.g. hanging in the breeze as I drive down the road. A closer might be a good idea, I agree. Anyway, I am not locked into doing this with a house door, it's why I asked. After all, I have the receipt and can simply return it to Lowe's if that's the best move for me. However, with respect to installation, that's pretty easy actually as I can frame out the rough opening, plug it in the prehung door assembly, seal it with caulking, run screws, and presto, it's done. FYI, I'm actually a fairly decent carpenter.

With respect to the Kino mobile home door, thanks for pointing me toward them. I will investigate further.

Regarding screen doors, I also purchased one of these retractable Larson units http://tinyurl.com/c3e2b6t
while I was at Lowe's the other day. This thing is pretty sweet because it folds like cloth blinds into the pocket, and in the case of the oputswing door, fights neatly into the rails and stiles of the prehung door, but on the inside of the box. It would be a very sanitary installation, believe me.

Anyway, I will investigate further, but it seems a polyethelene skin and polyurethane foam door crafted for a mobile home is somewhat flimsy and much less secure than the steel door equipped with deadbolt. Regardless, let me mull over your thoughts and check out these Kino doors.

Many thanks for sharing your ideas!
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Dragonslayer140,

I forgot to mention, cheaper is not so much the criteria for the door though it is a consideration. Basically, I want the better mousetrap and I remain unconvinced an RV door is it.

For example, here's what I've learned about mobile home doors. You can enter if you have a screw gun and a 1/4" nutdriver in your cordless drill. In short, just remove the screws to remove the door and frame and presto, you're inside. Is this a big deal? Well, yes, it can be if you want to safeguard yourself and your possessions because these aren't uncommon tools.

Anyway, how do mobile home doors match up against specialized RV-type entry doors? Any thoughts vice durability, construction, practicality, costs, etc.? I'm all ears because otherwise I'd have already used the sawzsall to create a draft in the box.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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One of the big issues we have had with using a steel door with wood frame on our job shacks is water damage. Unlike a conventional building, there are no overhangs to provide any protection to the door. with an out swing door, the door panel is mounted flush with the outside face of the frame. Water runs down the side of the trailer and gets into the gap at the top of the door. It does not take long for it to start working its way into the top of the door slab. Depending on the brand and construction of the door it causes the wood interior frame to swell which results in the door sticking. Many of the doors are not galvanized so they start to rust along the top and bottom. A lot of this can be prevented by installing a drip cap/gutter above the door, and installing a flush door cap on the door slab itself which will keep the water out of the door blank. Pemko makes these, and they should be available from a local commercial door store for a few bucks. On our mobile office buildings where we want a standard door we are using a galvanized metal door from Curries, that does not contain any wood, all the interior braces and framing are 22ga steel.

The Mobile home doors are defiantly a lighter construction, but most of them seem to hold up fairly well even on trailers at job sites. If you are worried about someone removing the door you can always use security screws similar to what they use in restroom stalls.

Defiantly not trying to send you off in search of a different door, just wanted to let you know what my experiences have been. When the planets finally line up and I can actually start on my conversion, I will be using a RV entry door, mainly because of the flush latch, and built in screen. and the modern ones seem to hold up to the elements well.

I like your idea for a retractable screen, I had been looking at those for my house.

Dave
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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RV entry door versus mobile home entry door?

I wasn't especially wanting a window and RV doors all seem to have them.

Anyway, can you share a source for that gallvanized entry door you mentioned?
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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30" commercial door, all steel with steel frame for $250. Mulling over how to install it. Not easy but doable. This verus an RV or mobile home door, which is easy but less secure and includes window I'm not so fond of. Hmmm.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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We buy ours from a local commercial door company, Our typical standard is a Curries 707 door, ($250 for a commercial door with a steel frame is not bad, especially if it is galvanized.) Most come primed steel unless galvanized is specified. The galvanizing comes in several flavors, with the most typical being Cold Galvanizing G60 or G90 with the G90 being the heavier coating of the two. Top of the line would be a hot dipped galvanized door. The doors come in polystyrene core (R-6) or polyurethane core (R-10).

The frames typically come in two types, Knockdown and welded. Both types wrap around the rough opening, and are ordered to fit the thickness of the wall (finish to finish) Most frames can be ordered in 1/8" increments from about 2" to 13". The knockdown type goes in in three pieces and requires a smaller rough opening, while the welded type is designed to go in in one piece into a larger rough opening and then have the finish materials slipped in from the sides. With a prebuilt truck box the knock down would be much easier as it can be installed over a finished wall. There are lots of different clips and accessories available for installing the frames and making them more secure.

For those with deep pockets they make some cool frames with thermal breaks to prevent cold from transmitting through the frame. A couple of links below on the curries knock down frames (There are lots of other companies that make the same type of doors and frames, this is just the brand we use at my work. and again I would get a flush top cap for the door, and install a drip cap over the frame.

http://www.curries.com/Other/Curries...20Brochure.pdf

http://www.curries.com/Other/Curries...ech%20Data.pdf

you should have no problem getting the door bored with one or two holes, and make sure when you get a commercial door you specify the swing correctly, assuming its going on the curb side and you want the hinges facing the front of the coach, you would want a RHR (right hand reverse) swing which signifies an outswing door.

As far as door knob vs deadbolt, how about this option, get the door bored for both knob and deadbolt, and use a low profile door knob. These knobs are designed for when there is not enough space to install a screen or storm door with out it hitting a standard door knob. They only stick out 1-1/4" from the door, not much more than a deadbolt. I do not know of any that have a lock, so the dead bolt would be needed for the security end of things. Looked on up on line so you can see what I am thinking.

The Hardware Hut - Product #BAI-SALEM-LOW-PROFILE - Brass Accents Salem Low Profile Door Leverset

If you are buying local from a door company, bring along a sketch of how your wall will be built up, and they can help with the frame options to find the best method of attachments.

If buying online you will probably have less options for door frame thickness as most places seem to only carry standard wall thicknesses. The also do not seem to offer door galvanizing as an option.

Dave
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:03 AM   #10
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Dave,

Many thanks for the exhaustive details, it was a great read.

The commerical door offering for $250 is primed, not galvanized, foam core (no clue which) and features a welded frame instead of a knock down frame. I didn't inquire if he'd sell it to me with a knock down frame because I'm still undecided what to do.

Meanwhile, I also stopped by the local mobile home parts dealer to look at their stock. While there I picked up a 36x80 outswing foor for $200 (no window). However, it has a wooden core (like the Lowe's flush steel door) so it'll need a flush top cap for the door and a drip cap for the frame.

I'm having second thoughts about buying the mobile home door because of the wooden core and because it's a lot flimsier than the $116 door from Lowe's (it's a tad shorter then the 84" standard door too). Maybe it'll be a keeper for the bathroom door partition because it's so light (photo of tarp simulating bathroom wall and door strapped to wall for approximate placement).

Meanwhile, yesterday I stopped in and eyeballed a door made for RVs at the local Renegade dealer. It had a flush latch/deadbolt combo with two key sets. Construction still seems flimsy by commercial or home duty steel door standards but it is maybe a bit more robust than the mobile home door.

Unfortunately, it had a window (this was the only door in stock) and he couldn't price it because it dind't appear in his inventory (he'll give me the pricing come Monday but I can surf around and learn what these things go for plus delivery). Regardless, I can wait on learning the price of it because I have no major hurry since the door placement will be just about the last thing I decide.
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