What Comes with an RV Door?
Replacing an RV entry door is a simple installation that should only take you a couple of hours to complete. Motorhome and travel trailer doors are sold as a complete assembly that includes:
- The outside RV Entry Door with installed window and outside RV door latch
- Inside RV Screen Door with RV screen door latch and RV screen door slide
- RV Door Frame
- RV Door Handle
- RV Door locks
Measuring your RV Door
If your unit is new, you might find a sticker somewhere around the door frame that has, if not the actual size of the door, the door's model number. The size is usually embedded in the model number somewhere. Look for an "X" with a 2-digit number before and after it. This series of numbers will be something like "24X68", "26X72" or similar.
If you find, for example, "24X68" that would mean the door size is 24" wide by 68" high. Note that this is the size of the raw opening (or door "cutout") in the side of the motorhome or trailer.
If you can't find the sticker, you will have to measure the size of the cutout. If you want to know that measurement exactly, you'll have to remove the inside trim so you can see where the RV sidewall ends on either side of the door.
But you probably don't have to go to that trouble, at least not yet. If you measure the inside of the Mainframe and the outside of the trim around the door, the cutout will be somewhere between the two.
For example, if you get a width of 25" inside and 27" outside, it's a safe bet that you need a 26" wide door. Door dimensions are not that close together, so get the closest door height and width to your calculation. For example, common widths are generally 24", 26", 28" and 30", while heights are 68", 70" and 72".
NOTE: when you're measuring the inside of the frame, make sure that you go to the main outside metal, not the flange that the screen door rests against when closed. In other words, not the "air" you can walk through, but the metal where the screws holding the frame to the RV are.
Purchasing an RV Door
Once you have your measurement, the options you have when purchasing an RV entry door are:
- Which side the hinges are on: If the hinges are on the right, the door is referred to as "right-opening". "Left-opening" doors have hinges on the left and the leading edge of the door moves left when opening.
- Whether the top corners of the door are square or round (also referred to as radius)
- Color of the outside laminate on the door. Polar white is most common and is the most likely to be in stock. Doors can also be made to order in a black laminate as special order but will take longer and be more expensive.
- Type of glass in the window: Obscure glass is standard, but tinted glass is also available. IF you have a stock door with an obscure glass panel, it is less expensive to just purchase a tinted glass insert separately.
- Color of the rubber molding around the window and complete door.
Installing your New RV Door
Resources You Will Need
- 1 person, although the second set of hands may be useful at some stages
- A drill or screw gun
- The Drive bits and drill bits to fit your screws and the holes you will need to drill.
- A Utility knife putty knife or a plastic scraper
- A Caulking gun
- RV-specific sealant (we recommend Proflex Clear for this application)
- A roll of putty tape: If you are installing the door on a laminate wall, use 1" wide and a maximum of 1/8" thick. For aluminum siding, you will want 1" wide & a maximum 1/4" thick.
- #8 wood screws (enough for all holes in the frame and they must be long enough to go into the wood frame around the door and under the laminate or siding.
- If you have a motorized unit, use #12 screws, with the same conditions
- Note: Do not use self-tapping screws with a wood frame. Use them only if the underlying frame you are screwing into is metal. If you are replacing screws and going into the same holes, use the same type and size of screw
- In some installations, you will need a door shim and/or alignment kit.
Remove the Old Door
- If installed, remove the drip cap. Remove the drip cap screws and the drip cap will come off. (Fig. 1).
- Remove any snap-on insert trim from the outer aluminum door trim. (Fig. 1).
- Remove all the screws from outer frame.
- Remove the small thin piece of trim (the threshold) that covers the floor at the bottom of the door.
- Remove the outer frame side anchor screws around the entry door lock latch and friction hinges
- Using your knife or scraper, cut the caulking around the frame of the door to release it from the sidewall. Be careful not to damage the side of the RV. Therefore, the plastic tool is recommended, it will not scratch the side wall
- From outside the unit, open the door and pull the door frame towards you. This will break the outer seal of the frame's flange. Be careful with units that have aluminum siding so you do not pull it away from the wood frame with the door..
- Remove the door fully from the side of the RV.
- Clean off any putty or caulking that is left from around the rough opening.
- Your door many include spacer blocks to take up part of the distance between the side of the rough opening and the door frame. If there are, use a little bit of sealant to hold them in the correct place until you get the new door inserted. These are illustrated as parts 237252 and 210599 in Fig. 2
- Ensure that the RV door latch, but not the deadbolt (if equipped), is engaged on the RV lock.
Exterior Frame Installation
Perform Steps 1-9 of the installation with the door closed and Step 10 with the door open.
- Apply the putty tape on the rear side of the frame where the screw holes are. Putty tape should be 1" wide and no more than 1/8" thick for laminate walls and no more than 1/4" thick for aluminum siding. Note: Make sure that there is not an excessive amount of putty remaining in the plunger opening after installation.
- Check that the door is sealed at the bottom on the lip of the opening or the floor edge.
- Unlock your deadbolt, then set the door in place, keeping the bottom flat on the floor and the hinge side tight against the wood frame. This is because if the door is too close to the latch side, your plunger or deadbolt may hit the frame on that side and not latch the door correctly.
- Install a #8 screw in the hole that is closest to the lowest hinge (Fig. 3A). Add a second screw near the bottom of the other side of the door (Fig. 3B).
- Next, confirm that the door bottom is flush with the bottom of the cutout frame and ensure the spacer blocks are present. If not, carefully open the door without tipping it out and reinstall a spacer block. You can continue after closing the door.
- Install a #8 screw in the hole near the top hinge (Fig. 3C). Make sure that the door sets evenly in the frame and that the frame on the latch side maintains a 3/8” gap.
- Install a screw in one of the holes on the latch side near the top (Fig. 3D).
- In alphabetical order (Fig. 3E-H), proceed to screw in the next 4 scores.
- Install all of the remaining screws into the door frame.
- Remove all spacer blocks on the entry door after the door is installed. Don't forget to check for any spacer blocks that have to be removed at the bottom of the door.
Note: Use all the pre-drilled holes in the outer frame, but don't put any more holes or screws in the frame. Screws should be installed as straight as possible, otherwise, you may twist the door frame by putting them in on an angle.
Note: On units with aluminum siding, the first screw in the screws at the ridges of the metal siding first, then in the valleys.
For Doors on Motorized RVs - Interior Frame and Hinge Installation - Motorized Only
- With the entry door in the open position, install four #12 screws in the order indicated (Fig. 5A-D).
- Next, install a screw in the third leaf of each hinge (Fig. 6A).
Note: Once you have the door installed, you may have to adjust the screen door for proper operation.
Snap Trim and Drip Cap Installation
- Install or re-install the snap trim (Fig. 7A). This is installed from the outside in, and you need to match the long legs of the snap trim and door frame.
- Install the drip cap, overlapping onto the snap trim (Fig. 8).
- Secure the drip cap with screws in the pre-drilled holes. Again, make sure the screws are long enough.
- Apply a bead of Proflex on the bottom of the door threshold right across the door. Leave no gaps at the corners (See Fig. 9A and 9B).
- Run a bead of Proflex sealant all around the remaining edges of the door frame. This will completely seal water out.
Friction Hinge Installation
If your motorhome has a friction hinge, install it as follows:
- Attach the hinge leaf A with the frame of the door to the wall stud with a long enough #8 screw (Fig. 10). You can optionally install screws in the first and fifth leaf.
- Repeat steps 1-2 on any remaining friction hinges.
Strut Door Installation
Screw the bracket for the strut (Fig. 11) to the frame with two #8 screws.
RV Door Accessories
If your door does not have a built-in RV door holder you can choose from several styles of door holders to hold the outer door open while just using the screen door.
You might want to consider a lock upgrade to a keyless RV entry lock with a keypad. Some even come with a key fob to remotely lock or unlock your door.
We're here to help
If you have any trouble determining which is the correct door to purchase, contact one of our RV Door parts experts for assistance by phone, email, or chat.
We not only have RV entry doors, but you can also check out our complete line of RV shower doors as well. They are a folding door style that is mold and mildew resistant.