Help - Safety Handle/Grab Bar - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-08-2015, 07:37 PM   #1
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Help - Safety Handle/Grab Bar

Well, I know what my first mod needs to be and unfortunately it means drilling holes into my new baby for a safety handle or grab bar by the door. I have a "new to me" 2005 17B and it must have been built before they started installing the handle.

There's a porch light where the handle appears on the newer models so if I put my handle on the outside, it will have to be placed a bit high. I'm wondering if a better spot would be just inside the door in the section that makes up the frame of the door (there's about 2-3 inches of fiberglass space there before the cabinet for the fridge enclosure starts).

I don't want to create stress fractures in the fiberglass and it's scary for me to just start drilling, not knowing what I'm going to run into on the other side. Should I be using toggle bolts, expansion molly... or this, which seems fabulous but large: MOEN SecureMount Stainless-Steel Grab Bar Anchors in Chrome (2-Pack)-SMA1000CH - The Home Depot

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:43 PM   #2
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Ah, drilling that first hole is always the most difficult.

If you post a photo holding the handle where you're thinking of placing it then forum members that have done similar mods can tell you with some certainty if there are any other considerations about drilling holes in a specific area.

Ron
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:33 PM   #3
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You might want to check with Patandlinda, they had Escape add one. Now it's on a 21', but I'd think it would still apply, direct link. You'll note the information in that top post: Build list for 21' Escape
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:44 PM   #4
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Lowes bath dept. $18.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
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Ron: thankfully Myron ended up posting a photo of what I have in mind.
Donna: thanks. I see there's is a bath grab bar. If I don't figure it out from the info on the forum, I'll contact Reese to see what he says.

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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Lowes bath dept. $18.
Myron: This is the location I was thinking of installing mine - only possibly on the left side of the entry frame, rather than the right as you have done. But, I don't know how you've attached the wood to the frame? What's behind that fiberglass and what sort of screws or mounting did you use? Thanks.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:18 PM   #6
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We used a Moen bar that attaches with suction cups on the inside of the door -- not because we needed support but because we needed a handle to hold the door when the wind is blowing hard.

But we have found the handle to be surprisingly strong, and it might be worth trying to attach it to the side of the trailer for your needs. No need to drill any holes...
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:24 PM   #7
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I just drilled a few holes of my own putting a flashlight holder near the door. Once you're past drilling that first hole the others come easy.

OK, is where I put the "here" label about what you had in mind? There are two situations here. The "here" label is on the hollow fiberglass door frame. To the right is an area of MDF that can also have a handle attached.

Which of those two areas do you have in mind. Both are usable but the process differs.

Ron
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
We used a Moen bar that attaches with suction cups on the inside of the door -- not because we needed support but because we needed a handle to hold the door when the wind is blowing hard.

But we have found the handle to be surprisingly strong, and it might be worth trying to attach it to the side of the trailer for your needs. No need to drill any holes...
Someone else sent me a message with the same idea. I think it's a great thought, but when I looked into the suction cup handles, it says they're to be used for balance and not to bear the weight of someone. I'm concerned about this safety aspect because my dad will be using them (he's elderly and will need them to partially support his weight when climbing in or out).
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I just drilled a few holes of my own putting a flashlight holder near the door. Once you're past drilling that first hole the others come easy.

OK, is where I put the "here" label about what you had in mind? There are two situations here. The "here" label is on the hollow fiberglass door frame. To the right is an area of MDF that can also have a handle attached.

Which of those two areas do you have in mind. Both are usable but the process differs.

Ron
I'd prefer to put it where you have the red "here?" - second picture. So it's hollow?
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
I just drilled a few holes of my own putting a flashlight holder near the door. Once you're past drilling that first hole the others come easy.

OK, is where I put the "here" label about what you had in mind? There are two situations here. The "here" label is on the hollow fiberglass door frame. To the right is an area of MDF that can also have a handle attached.

Which of those two areas do you have in mind. Both are usable but the process differs.

Ron
Actually, I don't really think I care that much about whether it's further in like the top pic or closer to the door opening like the second photo. Which is easier to do?
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