One of the points for me to build my own van was utilising space for storage better than what I have seen so far and also the quality of the finish. I don’t really like those plastic doors with these huge frames which get screwed onto the outer walls. With cladding this might be necessary to keep them attached, I guess you need some support underneath, but it is rather difficult to keep them tight without a huge amount of sealant.
A very bad example how to fit doors was my slide-on camper from the US. Ok it was cheap, but still you would expect better from Forest River. It is an appalling finishing job. See image below.
They drilled holes through the face of the frame and look at the smearing of the sealant. What a joke. I have seen other US vans and slide-ons with similar nasty finishing. Mass produced rubbish.
Here is the technique I use to fit my doors. Below is an image of the inner frame of the baggage door.
I put closed cell foam tape towards the inside of the frame to keep a gap for the sealer which goes on top of the tape once fitted.
Next step is a bead of glue on the inside edge of the door. The frame of the door and the panel corners have been wiped with Acetone or Methylated Spirits.
Image below shows the bead of glue.
The door is put in place and is pressed against the panel to compress the foam just slightly and make sure it sits properly all around. This is the second barrier for dust and moisture. The first barrier is the sealant around the edge.
After the glue has cured there is a small gap between the panel and the edge of the door which is filled with a Urethane based sealer, not Silicon based.
And this first barrier with sealer gives me the finish below.
It is a bit of a lengthy process since the glue should cure for at least 24 hours before I remove the clamps to keep the foam compressed and seal it nicely.
By far the most important feature of my baggage doors beside the light weight and less obtrusive frame is the fact that I can use the same key for all doors.