Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Assessing the Damage

While our new hot air balloon door makes a fantastic conversation piece we thought it might be nice to go on our next campout with our vintage door attached to our vintage trailer.   

We had one weekend to either make the repairs or go to a rally with a hot air balloon door.

So, you must be wondering, how bad is the damage to the door? 

This is where the rivets pulled out.  
The holes are bigger now, and raised. 

Are the rivets by the side of the road?  
Nope.  Still attached to the hinges.

Shield your eyes.  
Here comes the gory part.  It's ripped.  It's bent.  It's a mess.

from the side

It's not so pretty underneath the handle either.

Here's the bottom of the door.  It's bent the wrong direction.

Miraculously, there was only a tiny bit of road rash on our door. The other half of the middle rivet is stuck to the pavement somewhere on I-57.

An inside corner of the door was crushed.

There was some damage to the side of the trailer.
Actually, I think this first beauty mark happened in Colorado when the door flew open.

There are some trail marks along the side of the trailer, also.  This picture is a little deceptive; damage from this angle looks dreadful.  When you see it in person it doesn't look as bad.

Ain't nobody got time for this!  There's places to go.

Ultimately the aluminum around the door handle was too stretched out to be flattened. Brian cut out a section of the door and added a new piece of aluminum.

Reattaching the hinges with slightly larger steel rivets.
It looks so easy but there's a bigger story here.

Mine and Brian's conversation went something like this:

     Brian:  "I need to take out the fridge and part of the pantry. Then, I am going to pull back the inside skin so I can get to the back of the hinges.  I want to add some aluminum reinforcement." 

 Me: "Aluminum?  Don't you want something stronger?  Are you sure you have to take the trailer apart?"

Brian: "Yes.  I have to take it apart.  No, I don't want to use something stronger. I want to use aluminum.  That way, if this happens again the door will just come off at the hinges like it did this time.  If I reinforce it too much then the whole side of the trailer could peel open."

Me: [my head full of way too much graphic imagery] "Um.  OK. Yikes! While you do that I'll just go wash my hair, alphabetize my spice rack, or something." Anything.Not.Even.Going.To.Look.Yikes!

For having the whole trailer apart just few short years ago, it's funny how quickly the idea of disassembling it makes me queasy.   I've had this feeling before, while watching one of my kids get stitches. (I always end up with my head between my knees fanning myself so I won't pass out.)  Thank goodness there's no blood.  I think it's pretty clear this trailer is still our baby.

Haven't seen one of these for a while.

What's that?  The backside of a cleco? 

 crushed corner gone

patch attached

Then, there was the not so fantastic business of adding a hasp.

Just like that, we're buttoned up and back in business...

Sitting it our vintage trailer, it's so nice to enjoy the view from our vintage trailer door.
(Sure saves a whole lot of explaining at the rally, too.)