So today, 4 August, while driving east out of Marquette, Michigan on Route 28, (Coordinates 46°26’08.4″N 86°49’19.4″W) the wind was gusting fairly strong out of the north across the Gitche Gumee, often putting a heavy spray of water onto Route 28. The gusts were maybe 40-50 mph and we were about 40 miles east of Marquette along one particularly narrow stretch of roadway right along the water. Imagine my surprise when I look at my passenger side camera and notice our second from the front, basement door on the passenger-side (the largest one) is standing wide open. I’m driving 55mph and somehow the door is standing straight out from the coach.
So I turned on my hazard lights and slowly eased to the shoulder while maneuvering the door between the reflector poles, just enough to barely get our coach off the roadway. We took a quick look and the door was clearly sprung, I believed the hinges were twisted out of shape. Because of the narrow roadway and heavy traffic, we were unable to access our driver’s side basement doors where my tools are located. (Note to self: I need to rethink that location.) With not much else to work with, we grabbed a couple bungee cords from inside the coach and got the door closed enough to get us moving and eventually off the side of the busy highway. We slowly drove about two miles east on Route 28 and into the parking lot of Foggy’s Steakhouse in Christmas, Michigan.
The parking lot was empty and we were now able to get to the driver’s side of the coach and retrieve some tools and adjust the hinges enough to get the door to reluctantly latch and it stayed latched for the next 200 miles. Just to be clear, we are religious about checking the doors before we depart, and we did that day. The door stayed latched for the first 40 miles, I think the wind gusts and perhaps a faulty latch helped release the door.
A phone call to REV (American Coach) parts department and they provided this part number 0089580 for $69.85 each + shipping. A quick Google search revealed the actual manufacturer of the hinge was Wiley Metals, phone 765-671-7865, their part # is N036075 and a price of $25.00 each + shipping. So I placed my order for the Wiley hinges. I also thought that some of the plastic door latches might need to be replaced so I ordered a new and improved aluminum version manufactured by RB Machining, from Great RV Products.
All the parts arrived in about 5 working days and I installed them while we were at Lakeside Park Campground.
After installing the new hinges and latches, the door required a few adjustments, however, the door now aligns and latches better than it ever has. I’m going to work on adjusting and replacing some of my other less than great hinges and latches, so we won’t see a repeat of this exciting event.