Replace or repair my camper cabinet doors and drawers?

Discussion in 'Camping Community Board' started by musicmama, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. musicmama

    musicmama Now an Irish Dancer's mama

    Oct 30, 2004
    We've got a 1996 Four winds class C that we purchased used. The cabinet doors on 3 of the (dining) storage cabinets are "broken" - for the most part the little inside hinge arms have managed to come out of the wall, leaving a hole where the screw would go. They are the type of doors that open "up" vs side to side. Among other things, this means that the cabinets tend to come open as we're driving and it also makes it difficult to open them while we're camped to get food, etc. in and out.

    What can I do to fix this? Put some kind of putty in the holes and try again? Or am I better off getting new doors with side hinges that would be big enough to hide the original top outside hinge holes? Do they even make those for Class Cs?

    My 2 largest storage drawers - under the stove and under the fridge - are on rails. However, the drawers keep coming off the rails, I think because the rails don't have anything to keep them in place? Any ideas here?

    I'm not the most mechanical (and DH definitely is not mechanical at all) but I can follow simple stuff. Any suggestions are welcomed!
  2. 2goofycampers

    2goofycampers Sounds like something a camping trip could cure! Moderator

    Feb 10, 2008
    If you get hinges with larger screws you should be able to use the same screw holes,the rails probably have come loose or broken, tighten all screws or replace them.
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  4. clkelley

    clkelley <font color=purple>I squealed really loud!!<br><fo

    Mar 26, 2001
    Yep keeping screws tight is the key. I spend a few minutes ever trip with a screwdriver just making sure all the screws inside and outside my little camper stay snugged up.
  5. des1954

    des1954 DIS Veteran

    Aug 10, 2007
    You can do a couple of things to re-use the same holes.

    1) Glue wooden dowels in the holes - let the glue dry thouroughly - then screw the hinges back on.

    2) You can use mollies in the holes and screw the hinges back in place.

    I personally would use the dowels. Make sure you use a strong glue - like Gorilla Glue - and let it dry for at least 24 hours. 48 would be better. Make sure you sand the dowels flush with the side wall. That should make a strong support for you to screw in to.

    They sell small diameter dowels at Home Depot. Take one of the screws with you to make sure you get the right sized diameter dowel. A utility knife will be all you need to cut it.

    Put glue in the hole & on the dowel.

    Put the dowel in the hole.

    Cut the dowel flush with the wall & let dry.

    As far as the drawers might want to replace the slide mechanisms all together. Take the drawer to Home Depot & ask a cabinet associate for recommendations.
  6. Shan-man

    Shan-man ¿sɐɯʇsıɹɥɔ lıʇ, sʎɐp ʎuɐɯ ʍoH

    Aug 12, 2008
    Wow Deb, are you a woodworker? That is great advice. The only hitch might be is if the frames are particle board and the holes are not just stripped screw holes but blown-out craters... the kind made when some of the particle board breaks away with the screws. If the holes are still clean and straight you can even use a few toothpicks and glue. Gorilla glue is a good suggestion, or a good PVA woodworker's glue which doesn't expand and drip all over (Fine Woodworking's labs determined quality PVAs are as strong as GG). If the holes are larger than 3-4 toothpicks, small dowels would be better. If the holes are blown out, the only solution might be to relocate the hinge locations (could be difficult depending on the type of hinge), replace the face frame (very difficult), or replace the doors with side hinged doors (which will require a cabinetmaker since I highly doubt you will find properly sized replacements). May I recommend RVusa? John is an accomplished woodworker... as may be Deb.

    As for the drawers, it sounds like they used flimsy drawer runner hardware and replacing it with beefier hardware would probably do it. That, or you might need to install a vertical board inside the cabinet that help support the runners midway between the back and front o the cabinet.
  7. musicmama

    musicmama Now an Irish Dancer's mama

    Oct 30, 2004
    Wow - I knew you camping gurus would come through with good advice. We don't camp again until Thanksgiving week and I'd like to get this all done before we leave.

    At least one upper cabinet has a "blown-out crater" as well as a broken hinge mechanism, at least I think the hinge is broken. And yes, I think that the units really are covered particle board and not wood. I figure the hinge mechanism is a part that I can get at one of the RV dealers around. Guess I'm looking for the Gorilla Glue and dowels first. If that works on the worst one, then I'll keep going.

    As far as the drawers, the under stove one is the worst as the right-side rail seems to be attached only to the front of the cabinet and it's really really hard to get to - maybe DD can squeeze into the cabinet opening under sink, which is right next to the stove. Because it's not anchored, the side "wheel" constantly comes off and then the drawer goes off track. Where would I put the anchor board for this one - to the "back" or under where the drawer goes?

    The under-fridge one has similar issues, but a much smaller space to anchor in. I'm not even sure I could stand a screwdriver up in the space.
  8. ftwildernessguy

    ftwildernessguy <font color=green>I have a linen closet at home fu

    Mar 16, 2003
    If the holes are too small for dowels, you can also use wooden matches instead of dowels. Just coat them with Elmers glue and put them in the holes, then after the glue dries, break them off flush and drill new holes.

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