When you are travelling full time, one thing that cops an absolute hiding is your Caravan door. This is amplified considerably if you have kids, and if they are young and barely know how to use it then its even worse.
We’ve had two things go wrong with our Camec Door on the Reconn R2 so far, and have just clocked over the third issue now.
Broken latch between the inner and outer door
After arriving at Cheela Plains, I could feel that the door was closing differently to normal, and found the top hook that connects both doors together had broken. After some staring at it, I realised I could just install some big washers and put it back together, and its been that way for the better part of a year.
To be fair, I reckon this was poorly put together, and could have been much stronger, but my washers are doing the trick just fine.
Broken door handle
Not too long into our trip and our door handle started to feel very loose, and not long after it completely fell out. Luckily we could still use it, and I ordered two more and replaced the Camec door handle (and kept one as a spare.
These break all the time apparently, and if you aren’t careful you can be paying mega money (like $150) for a new one. You should know you can order genuine Camec ones on eBay for about $39, and non genuine ones (or possibly, but you never know) for $17 each.
Our most recent issue though, is the door sagging down. I noticed a while back that the door wasn’t shutting as well as it used to, and eventually picked up that the felt running along the bottom had sand and other muck in it. Cleaning this made it better, but it got worse again, and I could see that the door was sitting down lower than normal in the 3 hinges.
My first intuition was that the door hinges had actually worn and allowed it to drop, but when my Dad suggested maybe the actual aluminium pieces holding the door in place had dropped, I started to wonder. They’re only held on with a rivet and a screw, and they certainly didn’t look square.
One day, after struggling to shut the door I had enough, and grabbed a hammer and punch and knocked them, noting that they all went up about 1.5mm, which resolved the door issue. Not sure how to keep it in place, I hunted through my nut and bolt supply and found some tiny M5 stainless washers, which I knocked into place under the bottom hinge.
With some black silicon in place to stop them falling out, the door now has much more support and seems to be resolved, until something else plays up.
Ultimately the 4WD tracks we’ve done would have caused this (and a door that’s not overly amazing), but hopefully this will solve it for the time being!
EDIT – This has sagged again, and my next bush fix was to get some 100lb fishing line, and to tie it around the hinge bolt to lift the lighter screen door up, on each hinge. This has been on for quite some time now, and has hardly worn, which I’m very pleased about.
I don’t rate the Camec Door
Camec is a big manufacturer in the caravan industry, and they do a reasonable job on lots of different products. Their doors, in my opinion could be much, much better, and I have no doubt that its to do with making a product that suits most people, at a price conscious level.
To be fair, its been reasonable at keeping dust out after the previous owners installed felt, but they aren’t the most quality thing out there, and for something that gets absolutely hammered day in day out when you are living on the road its one of the weaker parts of the Lifestyle Reconn R2 camper.
I note that Rhinomax make their own doors in house now, because they weren’t happy with any of the solutions on the market, and that’s probably a pretty fair statement to make. We live with it, but if I could bolt a better door on easily I’d be more than happy to do so.
No doubt its a balance between price and what’s acceptable, but I’d rather pay for a much better quality door if I could!
You’re always fixing things
Things often go wrong on the road, and being able to do basic bush fixes is hugely helpful. We’ve met plenty of travellers who wouldn’t know how what end of a screw driver to hold, and I count it a great privilege to have a pretty decent mechanical understanding!
If you can fix things, you learn and know the job is done well. If you can’t, you are always inconvenienced and you often have to pay a small fortune for simple jobs.