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How to Replace and Repair Your RV Door

How to Replace and Repair Your RV Door

Over the life of your rig, your RV door will likely open and close thousands of times. If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll probably reach that number in a single weekend. Like many of the parts on your RV, there’s a chance you’ll need to replace or repair it eventually. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world if you find yourself in this situation.

Over the years we have owned four RVs and rented many more and have had to work on every RV door. Today, we’ll walk you through how to replace and repair your RV door, so you’ll be prepared if that day comes. 

Entry Door Replacement V1

When Should I Replace or Repair My RV Door?

Your RV door will likely experience some bumps and bruises during your adventures, but most RV doors will last the life of the RV. As long as your door does its job, it is not necessary to replace it. However, if your door can’t keep you and your RV safe, you’ll want to consider replacing it.

The costs and work required to replace seals screens and latches on your door are minimal. However, if you’re trying to fix rust or water damage on your RV’s door, the cost and work may not be worth it. You’ll likely be better off replacing the entire door in these situations.

RV parked at campsite with RV door open
Using your RV door multiple times every day can cause major wear and tear over time.

What Are Some Common Repairs for Broken RV Doors?

With so many people going in and out of their RVs, broken RV doors are fairly common. Luckily, many common repairs are pretty straightforward and something that almost anyone with basic DIY skills can complete. Let’s look at some of the most common repairs for broken RV doors.

The Screen Is Broken

Many RVs have screen doors that maximize air circulation while keeping bugs out of your RV. However, the screen material is thin and can easily stretch or rip when put under pressure. Over time the screen on your RV door can break and start letting annoying bugs into your rig. Luckily, you can fix it rather easily, and it doesn’t require a tremendous amount of tools or equipment.

How to Fix It 

Before you can fix the broken screen, you’ll need to gather a few supplies. You’ll need the new screen material, the correct size spline, masking tape, scissors, a box cutter, and a spline tool. These are all readily available at your favorite big-box retailer. 

Once you’ve gathered all the tools and supplies, remove the spline that holds the screen into the door. You’ll notice the screen begins to loosen the more spline you remove. Once you remove the screen, measure the hole in the door and add at least an inch or two to the length and width. You can now cut the screen out of the screen material.

Hole in RV screen door
Keep bugs out of your RV by repairing any holes in your screen door.

Lay the new screen material over the frame and use masking tape on three sides to hold it in place. You can then use the flat side of the spline roller to push the screen into the grooves along the frame. This will cause an indentation on the screen and allow you to place the spline over it. 

Use the grooved side of the spline tool to help press the spline into the groove and secure the screen to the door. Work your way around the edges and use your box cutter to remove any excess screen around the edges of the frame. Hold on to any extra supplies and tools because you never know when you’ll need them again.

Pro Tip: Much like your RV door, your RV window screens will get some wear and tear overtime too. Use these tips on How to Clean, Care for, and Replace Your RV Window Screens to make the repair process easy!

Replacing a Window Screen 5-Steps

Your Lock Doesn’t Work 

The locks that come with RVs are incredibly cheap. They spend almost their entire life exposed to the elements and break from time to time. Whether your lock breaks or you want to upgrade to a better lock, it’s a project you can tackle in five to 10 minutes, and you’ll likely only need a screwdriver. If you’re going through the effort, we recommend replacing the lock on your RV with an RV Lock. They’re not cheap, but they’re worth every penny!

How to Fix It 

Grab a Phillips head screwdriver and open your RV door. Unscrew the four screws inside the door that hold the door handle in place. Once you remove these screws, the door handle assembly will separate and allow you to slide it out of the door. Remove the latch from the door and remove the new door handle from its box.

Just like the old door handle slid out, the new one should slide right back into place. You’ll want to first put the door latch in through the side of the door and then place the outside section of the handle in place. You’ll line up the interior plate with the screw holes and then use your Philip’s head screwdriver to tighten everything down. If everything lines up correctly, you should have a door that opens and closes easily and locks to keep you and your RV safe.

Pro Tip: Want to upgrade your RV door lock? Prevent break-ins by using our guide on how to Install High-Security RV Door Locks.

RVLock Keyless Entry Handle Review | RV Security & Safety | Mortons on the Move

Damaged RV Door Seals 

When the door is closed, RV doors have seals that keep rain and other moisture from penetrating your RV. Unfortunately, these seals can experience wear and tear as they age. Even if you apply seal condition regularly, you may experience a damaged door seal after you’ve used your RV for a few years. Thankfully, addressing the issue is one that just about any RV owner can handle.

How to Fix It

Fixing a damaged RV door seal typically means replacing it. Unlike most parts on an RV, these are inexpensive and readily available. Start by removing the damaged seal and cleaning the entire surface. You’ll want to use a cleaner like 3M Adhesive Remover to get any residue that might remain.

After cleaning the area, let it dry completely. The inside of the door frame is the best place to start applying the sealant. Slowly work your way around the door frame and remove the paper backing as you work your way around the door. You only want to be working with a few inches at a time to prevent the seal from sticking to itself. Make sure to cut at a 45-degree angle on corners. Use super glue to hold the seal in place.

3M Adhesive Remover Citrus Base 6041, Net Wt 18.5...
  • Excellent for removal of adhesive residue
  • Used for cleaning a wide variety of industrial materials
  • Cleans gently, removing tape, label or sticker residue without...

Is Replacing Your RV Door Expensive?

While replacing your RV door may not be difficult, it won’t be cheap. RV doors can cost $500 to around $1000 and will likely come with a costly shipping fee. You may have to go through your manufacturer if you want an identical door. It’s also important to remember that you may also need to purchase decals if the manufacturer installed any on the exterior of your door. However, if you’re trying to save a few bucks, you might be willing to pass on the decals.

Woman smiling out RV door
Replacing your RV door sounds complicated, but can actually be quite simple with the right tools.

How to Replace Your RV Door 

Replacing your RV door may sound like a big project, but luckily it’s not. If you’re able to find an identical door, the project will be a breeze.

Let’s look at how you can replace your RV door!

What You Need

Like many projects, you first want to gather the items you’ll need to replace your RV door. This will be the new door (and its frame), a screwdriver, the hardware that came with the new door, a plastic scraper, and Butyl tape. Once you gather these items, you’ll be able to dive into this project.

Where Can You Get A Replacement Door

Luckily many RV manufacturers use very similar doors from big manufacturers like Lippert and AP products. Because of this finding a replacement door is usually as easy as a google search. Most travel trailers, fifth wheels, and smaller class A motorhomes use these doors.

If however, you are trying to replace a door on a class A diesel motorhome the door is usually specific to your RV frame. This is because many times these coaches use a bus design and will actually use doors from bus manufacturers or build them themselves. If you have a newer one of these coaches you may be able to get a replacement directly from the manufacturer. If however, the manufacturer is out of business you might need to go looking in an RV salvage yard for a used one.

Motorhome door hinge
motorhomes usually have hinges and screws on the inside of the frame compared to other doors where the screws are around the exterior.

The Process

The first step will be to remove the damaged door and the frame. On most doors, this is done by removing the trim around the outside of the door to expose the screws. Once they are exposed you can begin to remove them all. Most of the time the door will still be stuck in place because it will have sealant behind it to keep water out. You will need to use a putty knife or pry bar to get behind the frame and break the door free.

For motorhomes, there is usually a frame that needs to be removed around the exterior, but frequently the screws are in between the door and the wall.

With the old frame removed remove the old butyl tape and replace where the door hinges will attach the door to your RV. This will help create a water-tight seal and avoid any potential issues with water down the road. Line up the holes in the new frame with the holes left behind from the old door frame. 

Tighten down the screws and bolts to hold everything in place. If you got carried away with the Butyl tape and it oozes out, use a plastic scraper to remove any excess. Make sure you check to ensure that the door opens and closes smoothly and that there are no issues with the door latching or locking. If you experience any issues, loosen the screws and bolts to make minor adjustments in the placement of the frame.

Make Your RV More Efficient With a Reliable RV Door

Your RV’s door helps keep you safe and control the climate inside your rig. Don’t settle for an inefficient RV door that’s not getting the job done. Also, don’t be afraid to address the common issues we’ve discussed. There’s a good chance you can quickly and easily fix the problem yourself. You don’t need to haul your RV to a service center or call a mobile technician. You likely have the skills and tools to address most issues and get back to having an efficient and reliable RV door.

Is your RV door in need of repairs or replacing? Tell us in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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