Friday, February 16, 2007

Pocket Door Problems

Pocket doors are handy but they are also a problem in RVs. If you forget to secure your pocket door it will slam against the opposite wall at each and every turn, damaging the door with abrasions and the opposite wall with gouges. I saw a pocket door the other day at an RV showroom that had stained glass in it. This will not be good when the future owner forgets to secure this door before travel. There are several things you can do to prevent this. The biggest thing is to remember to secure the door before driving off down the road! The other thing you need to do is adjust the door stop. This will in effect prevent the opposite wall from being pounded, but the door latch will still cause gouges in the pocket door as there is nothing to stop it from sliding back and forth in its pocket. As you can see in the above picture the stopping device is located in the pocket door railing and can be adjusted. You simply loosen the retaining screw/bolt and slide the stop to the position where you want the door to stop. I left about a one inch gap between the opposing wall and the door. That way in case the door breaks loose, it can’t reach the wall. This still offers you plenty of privacy. Some 5th wheel models have the pocket door securing device on the bottom of the door. Others, like the Grand Teton have an automatic pocket door retention device. Probably the most popular is a mid door locking device. You don’t have to bend down to lock it. These mid-door devices work great if you remember to secure them before travel. I added a strap as a back-up but it doesn’t work to hold the door when traveling so it was a wasted experiment. I replaced the screws so many times in the pocket door latch that the screw holes stripped out and I ended up having to put on a wooden plate for the retaining hardware. The biggest challenge remains my memory. Even using a checklist I’ve overlooked securing this pocket door. The good thing is that I haven’t had to spend much money on this so I’ve successfully limited my out of POCKET expenses :) Jim


Gil Harding said...

Jim, Thanks for the help. I fixed my door problem. I removed them. Now no more memory problems. Mine would jump off the track. I will reinstall when we trade it in.

Rick & Gail said...

If you can take your doors out, see if you can install some velcro at the back of the door and to the wall on the inside of the slide case. It will hold the doors open, you won't forget it, and it works GREAT! Our MH came with our doors that way.

Anonymous said...

In our 5th wheel the door at the top of the stairs to the bathroom/bedroom is a pocket door. There's a plastic strap that snaps into place to hold the door in the pocket, however, it doesn't always stay snapped so we use an adjustable baby gate to hold the door open while we're on the road. It stores easily in the shower when we're parked.

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