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Old 04-05-2015, 06:07 PM   #1
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Gas door prop installed!

I finally finished replacing the old scissors arm with a new gas prop opener!

I'll post some info for others that have coaches similar to mine, hoping to save you a little head-scratching!

Below is the gas prop that I used. Steve Ownby suggested this one and it turned out to be perfect for my coach! I was a little concerned about the pressure, but it's exactly right for my door.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I ordered the brackets below because the mounting flange is only 3/4" wide, and would fit well on the trim around the door and the door frame.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I had planned to mount them with the ball on the door bracket turned up and the ball on the frame bracket turned down. After they came in, I realized that the ball on the door frame bracket would be too low and the prop would hit the top of the door. At this point I had two choices...I could order a different bracket that had the ball mounted on the opposite side of the plate which would be perfect, OR I could drill a hole in the aluminum rain gutter above the door and screw the bracket to the gutter with the ball sticking through. Being the impatient guy that I am, I elected to mount it to the rain gutter. I had to put the bracket in a vise and cut off the back mounting flange so it would not stick up above the gutter. I really wished I had ordered the correct bracket as it would have made a much neater installation, with a LOT less trouble. Below is the bracket I should have used on the door frame.
Amazon.com: JR Products BR-12553 10mm Angled Gas Spring Mounting Bracket: Automotive


This is what the bracket looked like mounted through the gutter. It looks like a mess because of the RV Goop I used to seal around it. Of course, nobody will see that unless they're on a ladder! I put three #10 x 1" stainless-steel screws through the back of the gutter to strengthen it. I used three #10 x 3/4" stainless-steel machine screws with locknuts to secure the bracket to the gutter.



The tricky part of this installation, at least for me, was getting the brackets positioned for the best angle to the door, getting the door to open at least 90 degrees, and having the distance between the brackets for the gas prop to fully close (compress). For my coach, that worked out to be 8" from the latch side of the door to the ball on the door-mounted bracket, and 3" from the top corner of the door on the hinge side to the ball of the bracket mounted through the gutter. This would be different for some doors, since mine is narrower at the top. The gas prop I used is 12" long when closed (compressed). I allowed an extra inch just to have a "fudge-factor".

















I cut some pieces from an old fauxwood venetian blind slat, painted them black, and used RV Goop to stick them over the holes left by the scissors arm.



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Old 04-05-2015, 07:09 PM   #2
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Nice job. Appreciate your posting the info on parts, etc.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CampingCajun View Post
Nice job. Appreciate your posting the info on parts, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:00 AM   #4
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Nice job. Funny how little things like this really get to bug you... and you wonder "why didn't the designer of the coach think of this?"
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:08 AM   #5
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Joe,
It looks like you need 1 bracket of each style, is this correct.

I've been contemplating making this modification. My scissor arms continue to get loose. I tried to repair ~3 years ago but continue to have problems.

Thanks for the post with pictures (which are worth a thousand words).
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:34 AM   #6
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Joe,
It looks like you need 1 bracket of each style, is this correct.

I've been contemplating making this modification. My scissor arms continue to get loose. I tried to repair ~3 years ago but continue to have problems.

Thanks for the post with pictures (which are worth a thousand words).

Hi Jim! Yep, you really need one of each style. That means you will have one of each style left over, since they come in packages of two, but maybe you could give the extras to a friend! I really wish I had done that instead of using the rain gutter. When the door opens you can see the gutter bend a little at the end, although I don't think it will ever be a problem.
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Old 04-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #7
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Keep us posted as to how well the strut keeps the door open when the wind is blowing over the scissor hinge.
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Old 04-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #8
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Keep us posted as to how well the strut keeps the door open when the wind is blowing over the scissor hinge.

My scissors arm would not hold the door open at all! I tried tightening it a couple of times by hammering the rivet in the middle, but it never lasted long. I believe the gas prop will hold it against a pretty stiff wind. You could always use a higher pressure, maybe 20 lbs, if that was a problem. I thought of doing that, but I wanted the door to open and close easily, yet still hold it open against a moderate wind.
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
When the door opens you can see the gutter bend a little at the end
I'm curious why you didn't leave the scissor arm in place to act as a positive end stop so it doesn't open too far and put strain on the strut and bracket? Yes, the scissor arm is mostly useless for holding the door open (hence adding the strut) but it should still be able to do the job of limiting the open distance.
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Old 04-07-2015, 04:50 PM   #10
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I'm curious why you didn't leave the scissor arm in place to act as a positive end stop so it doesn't open too far and put strain on the strut and bracket? Yes, the scissor arm is mostly useless for holding the door open (hence adding the strut) but it should still be able to do the job of limiting the open distance.

Probably not a good reason, but I didn't like the looks of it up there!
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:00 PM   #11
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Hey, that's as good a reason as any!
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:51 PM   #12
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I have to add this to my list. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:19 PM   #13
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I think I am missing something.

I like the strut, but I dont see what the scissor arm has to do with keeping the door open. To shut my door I have to open the door handle a bit to release the door so it can shut. I dont know what the door handle is "catching" on but I have yet to see winds blow it shut.
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Old 04-07-2015, 10:18 PM   #14
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I think I am missing something.

I like the strut, but I dont see what the scissor arm has to do with keeping the door open. To shut my door I have to open the door handle a bit to release the door so it can shut. I dont know what the door handle is "catching" on but I have yet to see winds blow it shut.
That's the way the door works on our coach too. I think it changed in 2000 when Monaco decided to start building their own doors, which did not have an open door locking mechanism and relied on the scissors above the door to do the job. It was a poorly thought out design.

Jim
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