Enlarging Storage Hatch

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by stevec, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    We've ben looking for a French bed MH with a decent sized external storage door but don't seem to have much luck (apart from a new Nexxo). I've seen a few with shallow doors (e.g.Pilote Avantage P670) which appear to have clear storage space under the bed (i.e no gas locker or heater). I was wondering if it is possible to enlarge such a door given that there was room to do so. Has anyone tried? And what would be involved. I will try to contact Pilote via their main importers (Hayes) but am not sure whether they will be willing to divulge the design info of their walls, assuming they still have it for a four year old van.
     
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    My previous van did not have a door on the offside which I missed having on an earlier van..
    Bought a frame from www.caktanks.com and Dave Newell fitted it for me..
    NOTE.... The problem will be that the section you cut out from the van, fits inside the frame to make it complete..
    In your case you are not going to have a complete piece of panel to fit in a bigger frame.. :(
     
  3. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Yes I realise that I'll need a complete new door. Maybe I'll need one making up especially.
     
  4. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    If you do go down the route of enlarging the door go for a frame and door complete and cut hole correspondingly rather than the other way round.
     
  5. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    This is how they come.. Just the framework... the original side of the van wall is cut and makes the door area.
    That way it all matches the original van... The door / hatch does not come complete as a solid item..
    Hope that helps...
    service-door-5.jpg
     
  6. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    You can get the door panel as well. Well I did for previous caravan. Never fitted and sold it with the van.
     
  7. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Oh right,,, never knew..
    Thought it would be a bit awkward as colour matching may be an issue..
    I STAND CORRECTED :)
     
  8. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    I thought the colour matching would be a problem as well with the van being a couple of years old and a discontinued model. However, it was a very fair match with the difference probably being "fading" on the caravan rather than a problem with the door.
     
  9. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Thanks for the input. Where can I source the frame Tonka? I reckon it needs to be between 80-100cm square. If I can get a hatch frame and panel as well I'll be happy. A paint match should be the least of my problems.
     
  10. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Rather than buy new are there any caravan \ motorhome breakers near you? Might be worth a look?
     
  11. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    http://www.leisurelines.net/thetford-door-6-white--80--1038h-x-460w-1277-p.asp
    This looks to be the new online website for caktanks that i mentioned above.. There are a few sizes listed..
    As Gellyneck say maybe do a websearch for caravan breakers,,
     
  12. musson

    musson Funster

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    I was going to have my MH fitted with a larger door the guy that was going to do it was Mark at central services from Coventry with the bigger door and fitting at the time wanted about £400 (i purchased a new MH so did not have it done )
     
  13. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    Instead of actually putting a larger door in where the orignal one is, would there be room for a second door in another location (at the rear or next to if for example?).

    Another option could be having a Beeny box fitted (large outside drawer) to put your bits and bobs in that won't go inside ... depends on course on what you want to store!
     
  14. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    Well French beds lift up, so if you can't get it in from outside, you have another chance. We have a Pilote Reference, and it hasn't beaten us, yet - though I have to say - I'm a total wimp so I can't get to the stud at the back from outside, and if it's on top, it's far easier to get at it from inside anyway. You have to work out how to stash things depending on where you want to access them from - ie box of shoes - inside towards the back of the locker (van inside edge of bed). Hook up cables, hosepipe, ramps - front of locker to access from outside. Sort of thing.
     
  15. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Sedge, our ideal van would be a 2010 Pilote Reference P680. Has a large enough door and plenty of storage under the bed. They have one at our local dealers but it has some water damage...possibly a leaking waste tank. Still looking for another one.
    Putting our bikes in from inside wouldn't be practical. Possible damage to van getting them in and out. At 18kg each it would get tiring lifting them up over the bed side.

    Minxy...good idea about an auxiliary hatch. Not thought about that. Could go in rear panel depending on construction. Dont want to compromise it's strength.
     
  16. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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    I agree ref putting bikes in/out from inside the van ... we used to do this with a couple of folding ones and it was a pain, same with inflatable canoe which was too big, even when well packed, to go in through the hatch in the Rapido 709F we had at the time.
     
  17. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

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  18. stevec

    stevec Funster

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    Yes Minxy it is. I think you might call this "damp". It has a double floor and this was tucked away at the back of the "garage". I think the waste tank is behind that "wall" on the right. But it's unknown what caused it. You can see why I'm avoiding that one but it's the only one we've found in three months of looking. But it has enormous storage under for a French bed model.
     

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