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Coach Door Won't Open Under Extreme Tempetures


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We have a 2003 Jayco Greyhawk 26 SS (class C) that we bought new. We have had an unusual scenario at times which I can't figure out yet.

The coach door on a hot day, especially if the sun has been beating on it, refuses to open. It creates a situation where we have to enter and exit through the cab doors and could be a safety concern in an emergency. We have tried to open it from inside and out and even while banging on it. Finally if in the shade or tempeture drops it will open and work normally. The locking mechanisms work freely and I have tried oiling the rubber door gasket surfaces and even tried talcum powder on them.

Has anybody had a problem like this?

Would appreciate knowing what might be going on and how to remedy it.


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Most likely the door is expanding due to the heat and is getting wedged in the door frame. Does it happen when the awning is deployed or just when the door is in direct sun exposure?

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I would test it by removing the door latch mechanism and then see if the door opens or not, as that way you will at least know which area is the problem. Does that problem happen suddenly or does it get difficult first, then slowly become worse? Does the latch seem to operate when the door is stuck?


I must say that this is one I can't remember ever hearing of before. If you do find the cause of the problem, please do return and share the information with all of us.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

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A thought. Was it built during the winter, in the north. As you know, metal can expand with heat. If it was built during a cold time, they may have built it with tolerances for cold weather.when the door was "shrunk" due to the cold. Then, when it gets warm it expands to a normal width and the tolerances shrink to freeze and enlarge the door within the frame. The frame, though, can't expand as much for it has the walls to push against, so it would stay at its normal width.


Another aspect to think of: where does it get stuck? on the top, the bottom, on both sides, or just one side.

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Can you tape some Tyvek Paper from Home Depot to the door. Use the door as a template and trim with a small Olfa knife. something white, paper a sheet, something to reflect the light. If it works a graphics firm could use a 3 M or other product to cover the door. Hopefully matching or complementing existing colors. It needn't be white, just something lighter than what you have now.

I doubt being made in the Winter anywhere is a factor. The rig would have in a built in a climate controlled environment.


I was told a very dark 40' trailer can expand as much as 2" in length.

Have you contacted the manufacturer?

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Can you see from the inside or outside the door margins? (the gap between the frame and the door itself) If you can you can look when it is cool and hot to compare the two. Has it opened with difficulty before it stops openning. If so you may find some scrap marks where it is sticking. If the margins are really close it may be really critical to be level. I have 2 doors on my travel trailer and have had a partial problem with the bedroom door sometimes and my rig is white. The spot where it happened I was in direct sun most of the day all the way to sunset. I just thought a couple of key spots to look are at the door corners and also the threshold. On the one I described it tended to catch at a corner first.


I should have read gypsydans post first as I know this is mostly a repeat but may still be usefull.

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On a warm day you can also put white paper in the jamb of the MH and chalk or similar product on the door. Close it slowly & look for transfer in the area where it hits. Dave.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Remember the good old days when you'd always have a sheet or two of carbon paper handy? I haven't seen any for years aside from the stuff the dentist uses to polish fillings.

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  • 5 months later...

I am having the same problem with a door that will not open or close when the rig is in the intense sun light. Today, as suggested by Roger Dickinson, I tried hanging a sheet over the door and it worked. It was a hot 94 degrees here today. So now I am thinking maybe there is a heat resistant clear coat that could be sprayed or painted on top of the dark colored door. I will check out this possibility tomorrow,Monday. There may be no such thing for all I know. I don't know if Tucson tech solved his problem or not.

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Consider a graphics design firm. They can use a 3m vinyl to stick to and cover the door, Make sure they remove all trim, latches, handles door hold backs to the coach body. That way when installed it will be a cleaner fit needing less caulking. In the cabinet business and with corian, less caulk is better.


I'm glad it worked for you.




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