Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > COMMUNITY FORUMS > General Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
Senior Member
Golfer Guy's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: out west
Posts: 1,047
Any Knowledgeable Woodworkers Out There?

here's my issue. I have a ten year old Beaver coach with a solid cherry wood bathroom door. In the past it has fit perfectly but now after being in the SW area, Phoenix, for the last seven months it seems to be shrinking. You can now see the toilet through the crack that has grown between the door and door jam. The door catch barely reaches the jam to close. I know wood dry's and swells with humidity but is there any way to create humidity so the door will swell to a more normal fit? Or could something else be happening? I know the walls are not moving that is impossible.
2017 Dutchstar 4369 Spartan Chassis, 2200W Solar, 1200AH Lithium Batteries, Active Air
2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Roadmaster Sterling, AF1
Golfer Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free! RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-01-2016, 05:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 335
Boil a couple pots of water
You could also shim both sides of each hinge to span the gap a little.
2016 Fleetwood Bounder 36E
pchuckie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3,059
Did you check the screws on the hinges where it attaches to the wall. I loose screw or two could cause what you are seeing. I would doubt that it would shrink enough to cause what you are experiencing. When doors are made they are made with wood that has been dried to a very low moisture content. Normally there is not enough moisture to allow dry weather to shrink the door significantly.
Mike & Charlotte
2014 Newmar Canyon Star 3610
Orange County, California
Mike and Cha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 06:11 PM   #4
Senior Member
jacwjames's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 14,025
It's not only the door that expands and contracts, it is also the two opposing walls. What you are describing is not impossible.

You probably have a long piano type hinge that the door swings on. One option would be to remove the door with the hinge attached, make a long shim out of some sort of material, and then reinstall the door. You might have to use a longer screw to make sure you get enough strength. Options for a shim would be a piece of wood stained to about the same color, or you could get a piece of specialty metal of the same type as the hinge, mark the holes and predrill then remount the door. You might just check on a piano hinge and just use it as a shim.
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
jacwjames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 08:16 PM   #5
Senior Member
Denniscw's Avatar
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Cumming, GA
Posts: 414
I am not sure about your MH but most doors are either hollow or made from particle board. If the door is hollow then the skins are plywood and will not be contracting. If particle board because they are glued flakes the same is true. I believe you have some other problem.
2011 Serrano 31X, 2006 CR-V
Denniscw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 08:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 128
Ditto on the above - this may not be a solid door. Solid wood is heavy, and MH manufacturers often use some solid wood on top of a frame, to avoid the weight of solid panels. However, if it is solid moving to a dry environment can cause wood to shrink considerably. By way of example, a solid top mahogany table. about 18" wide I built by hand would shrink by about 1/4 inch. Without seeing some pics of your coach, there may be a couple of relatively simple easy fixes. The first would be to remove and re-install a spacer (literally a strip of wood), over the side where the door latches.

Post some pics of the door and jamb - we may be able to help more.
Keen Family is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 11:46 PM   #7
Senior Member
TR4's Avatar
Join Date: May 2016
Location: St. Maries, Idaho
Posts: 958
If it's a swinging door (not a pocket door), you could remove the existing door stop on the latch side. Bring it to a cabinet maker and have them make a thicker version. They can match the species of cherry and finish it to match the existing color. Install the new stop with finish nails, putty and apply a a couple of coats of urethane. The catch can be shimmed out if needed.

Or bring your coach to a cabinet shop and have them do it.

2003 Country Coach Intrigue 36'
Cummins ISL 400
TR4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 08:33 AM   #8
Senior Member
Pepper2's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Seeing the USA
Posts: 2,646
An old trick to adjust the swing on a door is to add cardboard behind the hinge. Good luck!
Neal and Deb + Mya and Gizmo, the pup's
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30B

May the roads rise up to meet you, May the winds be always at your back...
Pepper2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 08:39 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 102
use a portable humidifier in the MH.
2004 Gulf Stream 8368 37' Workhorse W-22
Koni FSD's Ultra-Trak & Ultra-Power
Acme EZE Tow Kia Soul
kkeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 08:53 AM   #10
Senior Member
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Satsop WA
Posts: 1,619
The problem with changing the hinges and such is when the wood regains moisture it will expand again.
If you provide moisture to only one side of the door, the wood will warp.

I wood ( made a funny here!) suggest taking the door off after finding somewhere like a cabinet shop that knows how to deal with it and have it treated so it won't dry out like that.

Provide moisture, let it swell, stain and seal.
2007 Alpine Limited SE
TMan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2016, 09:23 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 328
I did a quick look on the internet to see if I could determine the type of doors that you had. They look to be very nice solid wood frame doors with interior panels.

You are living in an extremely dry environment. Minnesota, my home, might approach that dry inside in the winter. Some people up here do have humidifiers installed in their homes.

Back to your doors: The door rails (horizontal pieces) will not shrink across their length. The door stiles (vertical pieces) will shrink across their width. A fair estimate of change (humid to dry conditions) would be about 1/16” for every 12” of width. So, if your door contained three 6” stiles, your door could shrink about 3/32”. Is that enough to account for the change that you are seeing?

Remember, wood will swell across the grain when you move to a more humid environment. So, whatever you do, make sure that you take this into account.

If it were me, I would probable shim the door hinges out a little. It looks like you have three hinges. Assuming that the door is sitting square in the frame, I would shim out both sides of each hinge equally. The sides of a heavy plastic jug make a fair shim.

I hope that helps.
JoeSR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2016, 08:47 PM   #12
Senior Member
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 648
I didn't read all the replies, but you can increase the thickness of the stops ,both hinge and latch side, top is not a big factor.

John M
john fran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2016, 10:41 PM   #13
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 21
Have a small woodworking shop up here in Vegas. Know a bit about wood movement.

I tried to look at some pics of coaches like yours on the net, and it does seem like you have a frame and panel door. I would be surprised if the problem is just the door shrinking.

Those types of doors are made of rails (the horizontal pieces at the top and bottom), stiles (the vertical pieces on the left and right side) and a center panel. Very similar to the doors on your typical kitchen cabinet, just beefier.

Wood expands/contracts across the grain, so if you are looking at the flat face of a board it will expand/contract across its width. It wont expand much to be longer or thicker. Since the rails wont expand/contract to become longer or shorter, they kind of limit how much your door could shrink side to side. The stiles could shrink, causing the door to be narrower side to side, but since they aren't that wide they aren't going to shrink enough to cause a significant change in the width of the door. The panel in the center will change the most with changes in humidity, but its usually a floating panel and there is typically extra room built in to allow for this change. The panel shrinking wouldn't cause the side to side dimensions of the door to change.

Unless the door just barely fit in the frame initially, and it only would take a small amount of shrink to expose the gap you are talking about, then I would expect that the shrinkage of the door is not the main problem. I wouldn't expect a frame and panel door to shrink in width more than 1/16 to 1/8". I would be more liable to believe that the lumber framing in the walls may be shrinking and causing the issue, but I'd also expect you to see gaps in your trim pieces around the door frame if that was the case.

I dont think that you are going to gain much by trying to humidify the interior to expand the door. Others have had good suggestions in adding a shim piece behind the hinges . But then if you hit a humid environment you could run into an issue where everything expands again and you can't shut the door.

Alternately you could put in a thicker door stop molding (the small piece of molding that the door rests against when its closed) to cover the gap and then put shims in behind the strike plate so that the door catch seats firmly.

just my .02
ResidentEvil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2016, 10:41 PM   #14
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 29,939
I'll X3 on using a humidifier in the RV while you're there. It's not rational to make permanent changes, only to have to undo them when you leave the area.
If you are staying permanently, then do the necessary modifications to the door and walls.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX,Infantry retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hello! Are there any Winn Spectrum 2000 Owners out there? Beancounter Vintage RV's 4 07-31-2012 11:54 AM
Cabinet Makers/Woodworkers? I need your help!! rf4 General Discussion 3 07-29-2012 09:35 PM
Woodworkers, need your advice LK23 Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 9 04-08-2008 02:05 PM
Are there any other people owned by Westies out there? Duffy's Mom RV'ing with Pets 13 03-28-2008 08:56 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:26 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.