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Author Topic: Any reasons not to use a motorhome entry door on a bus?  (Read 6863 times)
belfert
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« on: June 08, 2007, 01:03:37 PM »

I need a new entry door for my bus.  A local welding shop wil do the job for me.

They have suggested buying a door with frame instead of having them fabricate a door.  Is there any reason not to use a front entry door from a motorhome?  Winnebago Surplus has a number of doors in stock.
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captain ron
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2007, 01:22:56 PM »

Brian, According to the look you want to maintain on your bus there are several ways to do it. I just seen a transit with 2 regular house entry doors on it, looked ok. But you have a very nice bus and I would try and keep the same lines. I would have them fabricate a door frame and hang it then you can skin it and install the glass yourself saving you $$$$. You might be able to reuse the glass from your existing door. I think most rv doors don't have enough glass in them for the view you need for driving. Post a picture of your existing door both opened and closed and I will give you some better thought out advice on the new door.
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tekebird
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2007, 02:21:10 PM »

Brian can't they just fabricate normal hinges for your existing door.
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jjrbus
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2007, 02:31:34 PM »

 It is a big challenge fabricating a door from scratch. I would guess in the $1500 range to have it done! I did it, I watched someone who is a very talented fabrictor do it (Sojourner). If there is any way possible to use an existing door and frame, go for it. George Meyers installed 2 RV type doors and frames on his RTS and it looked fine. You want to use the door and frame.
 I also saw a bus with an opening cut and a house entry door installed, looked like poop.
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 03:10:13 PM »

The existing door is not well enough built to add hinges to it.  Most of the folks who have looked at it just say to put in a new door either custom built or an RV door.  The existing door is also way too tall and is twisted due to problems with it closing.

The quote I got for a custom door is $2195 not including windows.  If I provide a door with frame they will do it for $900.  Another guy didn't really want to do it, but said he charges $3500 just to build a custom door.

I am not looking at one of those cheesy RV doors like you see on a cheap travel trailer or 5th wheel.  The door I am looking at is a real nice door like you see on a $150,000 diesel pusher.  And no, there is no way I will use a house door!

I think $2195 for the door isn't bad, but having to buy windows seperate add a lot to the cost if I have to custom order them.
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tekebird
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 04:02:02 PM »

I don't think that is too bad of a price, providing they do the job right the first time...or stand behind the work.

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jjrbus
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 04:45:40 PM »

I'll do it for $1595 w/ window and stand behind it. Way behind it Grin
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 05:08:44 PM »

I have an AMGeneral Transit that the walls have three slight angles to them.  I kept both the doors, since the rear goes directly into my bathroom. 
For doors, I removed the air powered bifold doors and took it down to the metal frame.  I then framed it in with 1x3 kiln dried fir strips screwed into the metal frame.  Then measured the interior opening of the door and had two custom RV type foam cored doors made.  The front has a large clear window at top and a clear view window at the bottom with a fish eye decal for blind spot.  The rear door has a frosted single window, non opening-but would have it opening if do it again for the bathroom.  Both doors have screen doors. When the doors came, I simply screwed them into the wood frame and made an aluminum piece for the top rounded corners (look better than squared corners).  They are slightly in from the side, and protrude slightly at the top and is even at the bottom.  Also had them painted to match the bus.  Personally, I thought they wouldn't last.  But they've been on since 1996 with no problems, except keeping the screws tight (any door though).  I have the normal combination lock and dead bolt RV lock, and am completely pleased with it.  If I remember right, it was about $1600 for the two.  Good Luck, TomC
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belfert
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2007, 05:34:23 PM »

It seems the only reason not to use a motorhome door would be looks.

I would like to do a custom door, but extra money for windows and time to get windows is a concern.  I'll probably end up with a motorhome door unless I can find someone to create a customer door for a bit less than the price I got already.
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JimG
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 11:10:53 PM »

(George Meyers installed 2 RV type doors and frames on his RTS and it looked fine.)

George Meyers is not a fine looking RTS. His bus is a Gillig which has straight sides and can accomodate the RV type doors.

Jim G. - 1979 RTS-II

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jjrbus
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2007, 02:47:21 AM »

Thanks for pointing out my mistake.
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Ross
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2007, 03:33:18 PM »

It seems the only reason not to use a motorhome door would be looks.

I would like to do a custom door, but extra money for windows and time to get windows is a concern.  I'll probably end up with a motorhome door unless I can find someone to create a customer door for a bit less than the price I got already.

Is the side of your bus straight?  If you put a straight edge from the bottom to the top and there is a crown at the midpint, like on MCI's, even a high dollar door will look like real bad.  They will have to build out either the top, bottom or both to fit the flat door in the crowned opening.  You'll have an RV door + $500 or so to jury rig it to your bus and in the end, that's what it will look like.  It should cost $2000 or less to have a door made from scratch.  If you can't afford it now, I would wait...or convert the air motors on your existing door to electric.  That wouldn't be hard to do. 

BTW...The doors are pretty much all the same from a 30K 5th wheel to a 150K Monaco.  Aluminum with a foam core.  The 150K Monaco just has a nicer paint job. 

Ross
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belfert
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2007, 06:02:33 PM »

Is the side of your bus straight?  If you put a straight edge from the bottom to the top and there is a crown at the midpint, like on MCI's, even a high dollar door will look like real bad.  They will have to build out either the top, bottom or both to fit the flat door in the crowned opening.  You'll have an RV door + $500 or so to jury rig it to your bus and in the end, that's what it will look like.  It should cost $2000 or less to have a door made from scratch.  If you can't afford it now, I would wait...or convert the air motors on your existing door to electric.  That wouldn't be hard to do. 

The side of the bus is not straight.  It goes up about 4 feet straight and then angles in a few degrees at that point.

I don't believe anyone who I've talked to about a custom door intended to do anything but a flat door.  The angle in the side is one of the reasons why it is hard to reuse the current door because someobody can't just throw a piano hinge or similiar on there.
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jjrbus
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2007, 06:30:14 PM »

 The hinge does not have to go the full length of the door.
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2007, 06:46:36 PM »

The hinge does not have to go the full length of the door.

Exactly.  MCI's, at least the older ones, are hinged at the bottom and in the middle where the walls 'tilt' inwards a few degrees.  I've seen pics of where people have made single doors for the RTS to replace the split doors.  I'm sure that wouldn't be a whole lot more difficult than making one for your bus, or modifying what you have now.

David
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