How To Build A Teardrop Trailer/Assembling the Doors

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Assembling the Doors[edit]

Its time to find the door blanks that you cut out for the door openings. We will use these blanks for the actual door.

There are two issues with making doors. One was discussed previously.

Door Seal[edit]

Door seal configurations
Teardrop door open.jpg
Teardrop door closed.jpg

You need to figure out how you are going to seal the door from outside water intrusion and construct some form of sealing surface around the door perimeter.

There are several thoughts on this and their availability depend on the shape of the door you chose:

Inside Seal[edit]

You can add moulding around the inside of the door opening (on the body,inside)and place the seal on this moulding facing out. On the upside, this allows the outside of the door to be completely flush with the outside of the sidewall, and the path which water would have to take to get to the seal is inherently difficult. The downside is that the interior moulding takes away slightly from the already narrow interior cabin space and any imperfections of your door opening cut are completely visible and may need to be sanded with a belt sander.

Outside Seal[edit]

Photo from inside showing door spaced and held in place for drilling of hinge bolt holes.

You can alternatively add moulding around the outside on the door itself and place the seal on this moulding facing in. On the upside, it hides imperfections of your door opening cut and allows the interior cabin space to remain free of anything you might rub against in the night. On the downside, the seal will be directly exposed to driving rain (you'll need to put a barrier moulding around the outside of the door on the body itself to block this. And unless you have a curve-free (straight) hinge side on the door (with square corners), you'll be forced to use gate hinges instead of piano or house door hinges.

Info icon.svg If you're confused about the photos apparently showing the style of door that is most problematic - the author learned the hard way on the doors. I decided to use an outside moulding as described above, however I decided to cut out a single piece of luan to cover the door and have it extend about an inch beyond the door. This forced the use of gate hinges because the pivot point had to be at the edge of the overhang (i.e. the screw holes for any other type hinge would not reach the 3/4" plywood part of the door). Mistake number 2 was that I read that using polyurethane glue on the edge of plywood was a good way to seal it so I put polyurethane glue on the door edges. Weatherstrip glue does not stick to polyurethane glue - don't put it on the door edges like I mistakenly did! Mistake number 3 was thinking I could lighten the door by cutting out some holes in the 3/4" wood. As you can see, my holes are awful looking. I planned on putting paneling over them but later decided against it.



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