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Old 08-12-2013, 09:24 PM   #1
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Exterior Access Hatch

Has anyone had the access hatch(es) installed upside down (hinge at the bottom) during the build?

If so, how's it working out?
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
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Not a factory fit, but when I enlarged mine and put on a new door, I installed it opening downward. Absolutely love it. Ground clearance is not an issue at all, and the convenience is WAY better than the other way around. I would highly recommend it. I bet that Reace would do it if asked.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim. I always thought it was a better idea than those funky catches I see on monster mohos and 5th wheels!
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Has anyone had the access hatch(es) installed upside down (hinge at the bottom) during the build?

If so, how's it working out?
Both of the exterior access hatches on our 2008 5.0 have the hinge on the bottom and the lock at the top. I never thought anything of it and since we bought it used we never had any option. Seem to work fine...the hatch cover doesn't fall down on your arm that way. Is there some problem with them being installed this way?
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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The only two things I've read, is it's possible to spring the hinge and if the hinge isn't SS, it can rust.

If it's a really good thing, I'm surprised they're not all installed this way. But looking at pics on the Escape Trailer Industries web page... it looks like they're typically installed hinge at the top. Hummmmm.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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Our Chalet LTW had the hatches installed hinge down. While it avoided having to use the clip, we found that in a lot of our wet camping (uh, that's where we actually camp in the rain in Washington not with hookups) we were constantly having to wipe it down because of water landing on or inside. We much prefer having the hatch cover catch any wetness on the outside as we'll as protect the opening. We also like having the ability to have it unlocked but not be wide open. Just our take...
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:24 PM   #7
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Bottom hinge on our 2009...
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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Ditto what techfan says. Doesn't work in the rain and can keep it unlocked but not open for flies or whatever.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:47 AM   #9
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No problem keeping it unlocked and closed, that is what we do all the time. I just latch the non-locking side only.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Both of the exterior access hatches on our 2008 5.0 have the hinge on the bottom and the lock at the top. I never thought anything of it and since we bought it used we never had any option. Seem to work fine...the hatch cover doesn't fall down on your arm that way. Is there some problem with them being installed this way?
I should add that the front exterior hatch (for the propane tanks) has the hinge on top along with the clip to hold it open. Our side hatches are fairly small so we don't keep a lot of things there...mostly stuff we need when setting up and breaking camp. Things we might have carried in the truck bed. If the hatches were larger and we stowed more 'inside' stuff in there perhaps it would be more of an issue for us.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #11
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THANKS to everyone that has responded, truly.

So, after reading everyone's opinons.. I'm thinking anything on the drivers side... that is used for hookups... maybe hinge down.

An access hatch on the passenger side, that maybe used for in/out storage... hinge up? Here in the Pacific NorthWET, rain is a concern. But once hooked up. Shut that hatch down. Under the awning, or a hatch where you might want to in/out stuff... like lawn chairs, etc. hinge UP is a good idea.

Cool, love the opinions and help
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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How about hinge on the side? Stays open without a prop, doesn't tend to fall open, doesn't hit the ground...
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:15 PM   #13
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Hinge top or bottom, not really important to me. My pet peeve is how small it is! We've got this huge storage space under the bed, and this little hatch to access it.

I just bought a new bug screen tent, and had to constrain my selection to one that packs to less than 7.5" tall. I can't carry my little folding side tables in the hatch because they're too wide for it.

If I were building from scratch, I'd have Reace use the largest hatch he could.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #14
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If I were building from scratch, I'd have Reace use the largest hatch he could.
I think you will find that Reace is using the largest hatch that will work with the awning. If the awning was not there, it would likely be possible to go with a somewhat larger opening.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:49 PM   #15
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The awning does restrict the width of the hatch, but not the height. An extra inch of height would be very useful.

Plus, even with the awning on one side and the wheel well on the other it should be possible to get another couple of inches of width.
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Old 08-16-2013, 01:05 AM   #16
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It might be worth asking Reace if during the build he'd put the awning further back, where it used to be on the first couple of years of 19s. Then there is room for a 10"x30" hatch (I put one on my 19 and love it). However, the door won't then open all the way to the side of the trailer when the awning is out and the arm's still attached. Everything's a trade-off. I hold my door open in that case with a strap.

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Old 08-16-2013, 08:35 AM   #17
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I asked, it is as far back as it will be.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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Why can't the awning leg holder be mounted on the hatch door, thus allowing a bigger door? If you needed to access the hatch, just put the awning leg in the carport position. I don't think there would be that much force on the awning leg would there?
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Old 08-16-2013, 10:22 AM   #19
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IMHO, way too much force pushing in when you are opening awning as well as closing.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:00 PM   #20
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Why can't the awning leg holder be mounted on the hatch door, thus allowing a bigger door? If you needed to access the hatch, just put the awning leg in the carport position. I don't think there would be that much force on the awning leg would there?
I think the awning weight combined with some of the wind forces acting on it would be too much for the hatch. Best is to attach the awning leg directly to the body as Escape has done. Also, it would be a real nuisance to have to take the awning leg off the side of the trailer every time you wanted to access the hatch.
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