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justin1
mobile home trailer door
justin1

yes i have a mobile home and it use to be my dads before he passed away and he put a new door that would be put in a house instead of a trailer but since the trailer shifts drastically in the winter the door shifts in the frame and it either does not want to shut without dead bolting the door or it shifts and leaves a half to 1 inch gap at the bottom and really hard to shut and open if anyone has any ideas on how i can fix this it would be very helpful

A. Spruce
Re: mobile home trailer door
A. Spruce

I've encountered the very same exact thing with the factory front door.

The thing is, unless you can arrest the movement, no matter what you do you're going to have issues. If you can open the door when it's swollen with high humidity/moisture, then you're going to have huge gaps when it dries out. If you have acceptable gaps when it's dry, it's going to bind when the humidity/moisture season returns.

My door is not as severe as yours, though it does drag/bind a bit at the handset latch in during the winter. I have the same exact issue with the security door, it binds in the winter and won't latch in the summer, I've added another strike plate to cure this issue, and just take the added plate off when it's not needed. The front door hasn't been enough of a problem to do anything with, and yes, there is daylight that comes in around the edge when it shrinks in the summer.

Mastercarpentry
Re: mobile home trailer door
Mastercarpentry

Sounds like frost heave may be at work shifting the trailer piers unevenly. If the trailer could be set up on a slab at least the heaving would be consistent but that's a pretty big job all things considered. When I has the skin off my 1960 model to rewire it, I added diagonal strap bracing to prevent this kind of 'racking'. The factory had put in their version of this- metal strap banding like you see on a skid of lumber, stapled in several places- but I wouldn't trust it. Maybe you could do this, or add 1/2" CDX plywood sheathing to that side of the trailer under the skin or siding as the best fix.

Alternately you could try adding some piers on both sides of the door area; I would aim for about halfway between the existing ones. It there is a pier very close to the center of the door, put those new piers about 1/4 of the distance from the door to the next pier and knock out the shimming on the pier aligned with the door after the new ones are tightened. It could be any pier on that side shifting causing this and about the only way you could discover which one(s) are the problem would be to pull a string line from end to end and studying the straightness as the door moves. Moving the piers around is the usual fix for things like this if adjusting the shimming doesn't resolve the issue but it's a lot of try-it-and-see; it can't really be engineered. And that can take many tries till you hit the right spots.

All in all, it might be easier to simply pour a small slab in front of the door and building an entry foyer on it, then removing the offending no longer needed door. You'll need to check local codes to do that but as far as I know you can add piers and remain code-compliant. Trailers and their foundations are designed to be barely enough for a good situation which leaves you with odd problems like this when it's not so good. It can be quite frustrating, but that's a trailer for you!

Phil

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