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Old 04-27-2021, 08:54 AM   #1
MVA
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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Adding access hatch

Forum readers:

I would like to add an access hatch to our E19. I have watched the ETI manufacturing video and noted that they have furring strips or plywood on the inside of the shell backing up the window installation to add structural stability. For the hatch access, it does not appear that they add any additional structure. Correct me if you disagree.

The question is for those that have added a hatch, is additional structure required? If so, how did you add structure? One method would be furring strips attached with construction adhesive.

My question stems from an email exchange with ETI on adding a furnace access hatch. For units that do not have a hatch, they stated it cannot be done because structure supports were not added during construction.

Thanks
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Old 04-27-2021, 10:33 AM   #2
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I added on an outdoor shower. Used construction glue for the furring strips. Worked well, so far. Currently ordering an access hatch. Have to admit, cutting through the fibreglass is a bit unnerving. Measure many times before you cut.
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:09 AM   #3
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Did you use a jigsaw or a rotozip to cut the fiberglass?
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Old 04-27-2021, 12:56 PM   #4
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Sawing

A jig saw with a fine tooth blade would work. A Dremel with an abrasive metal cutting wheel is what I used last year to replace and slightly enlarge an opening for the stove vent outlet cover. A rotozip may work...I don't know. The oscillating saws with a fine tooth would likely work also.


Whatever you use, make your cuts over and thru some masking tape or thick packing tape. That will help in reducing chip out of the gel coat. Gel coat is brittle and likes to chip.
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Old 08-18-2021, 11:09 AM   #5
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MVA,
Did you do this? How did it workout for you?
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Old 08-18-2021, 12:15 PM   #6
MVA
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I have not yet. It is on my list after just getting back from a long trip. Need to fix stabilizers, replace 30A socket on trailer first.
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Old 07-06-2022, 09:55 AM   #7
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Furnace hatch

Iíve seen a furnace hatch added but I canít find it in threads I agree that cutting through fiberglass is a bit unnerving but measure twice cut once I was thinking of a marine hatch maybe a 11by 14 ? Iím still deciding but our furnace sometimes works and sometimes not probably sail switch caught of my dogs hair ? If anyone know the where the thread is plz post it thanks JimW
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Old 07-06-2022, 10:32 AM   #8
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Try here.https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post282940
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennykatz View Post
Iíve seen a furnace hatch added but I canít find it in threads I agree that cutting through fiberglass is a bit unnerving but measure twice cut once I was thinking of a marine hatch maybe a 11by 14 ? Iím still deciding but our furnace sometimes works and sometimes not probably sail switch caught of my dogs hair ? If anyone know the where the thread is plz post it thanks JimW
Eggscapes access port is dependent on the sail switch location on the furnace installed.

What model of furnace do you have? My 2017 E19 Atwood AFSAD 12121 unfortunately has the sail switch access under a lower plastic panel where the vent pipe goes through. I have considered purchasing a newer Dometic furnace exterior access panel and position where ETI has located theirs. The idea is to allow furnace replacement if needed. The newer model access panel utilizes overlap of the furnace box flange as the weather seal. Also I have yet to assess vent pipe alignment for the conversion.

On a hatch cutout I used, from old boat repairs, fibreglass strips for furring strips. I also use polyurethane caulk like Sika products.
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Old 07-06-2022, 01:57 PM   #10
MVA
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Given your profile shows you have a "new" E21, I am surprised if you do not already have an access panel (?). I am under the impression that newer trailers have a Dometic furnace that have an integrated external access panel.

Edit - I misread your profile - sorry. New thought:

I would remove your furnace first. I was surprised and disappointed to find out that the sail switch on our furnace is not in the same location as others have posted on their 2017 units. Hence, an external panel will not work for us.
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