Originally Posted by J Mac
Maybe the installers "thought train" is that, a top hinged access door is less likely to attract water run-off, rain etc than a bottom hinged access door.
An interesting point... although the seal is usually the same all the way around, and the hinge is outside of the seal, the hinge on the bottom might keep water from draining away from the seal area properly.
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008
Would the hatch door hang freely in the down open position or would the trailer curvature keep it from doing so? Hypothetically...
The hatches are in flat areas of the lower portion, and the lower portion only curves inward as you go further down, so I don't see how body curvature could interfere with either opening a hatch door 180 degrees, or opening it so it hangs straight down (a bit less than 180 degrees).
I have similar hatches on a trailer (held by the same style of catch as is the subject of this thread). They all open up or to one side, flat against the wall, and would go a bit further than 180 degrees if not for the hatch hitting the catch and the knob of the latch hitting the wall. Swinging down, they would open just as far, but on an Escape the body curving away from any protruding latch handle would let them open even further.
A hinge on the side can be convenient, because it doesn't need a catch to hold it open and typically only needs to be opened 90 degrees to be out of the way. With the construction of these hatches and latches, I would probably only use a side hinge position on a door which is taller than it is wide (like the propane compartment door that I have on that trailer which is hinged on the side).