DIY Guide – Caravan Entrance Doors

Can I replace my RV door and leave the old frame in place?

All our Caravan and RV doors are sold as a complete kit with the frame and packers so it can be setup properly in the factory. And the likelihood of a new door fitting well in an old frame is low. So we recommend you remove the old door and its frame – and then measure the cut-out dimensions you have to select the new door and frame that fits. More info on this can be found below.

When you open the outer door is the inner door still secure?

Generally this is the case. The ATRV DC Range of doors have a separate security door made of 304 grade stainless steel mesh and it is this inner flyscreen/ security door that has the triple lock system on it to keep your van safe at all times. You can open or close the outer door depending on whether you want airflow in your van or not.

The same is true for the Milenco 1750 range of Caravan and RV Doors and the Milenco range of 1850 doors together with the Camec Odyssey Premium Caravan Doors.

I need to replace my RV door – how do I know which one suits?

These steps may help:

  • If you require a door the same as you have now – try to find a plate on it to tell you which make and model it is. If your door is still in production that may be the easiest option. Our whole range of Entrance Doors can be found here.
  • Otherwise try to estimate where the door cut-out starts and measure the door height (mm) and width (mm) and check if it has radius or square corners. If it has radius corners measure the radius. Also consider what the wall thickness is in mm so you can ensure the new door can also fit. Armed with this info you should be able to find a door the same size that will fit the cut-out in your vehicle.
  • Also note if you will require a door with the ADR Approval required for motor-homes as per the Question below. This limits what products are available to you.

Do I need a special door for a Motor-home or Campervan?

Firstly a campervan and a motor-home are much the same thing, in that both refer to vehicles which can be driven and slept in – except motor-homes tend to be larger (using a truck type body) and campervans tend to be smaller (using a van sized body).

The key point is they are motor vehicles and an ADR approved door is required by law if you have rear belted seats. This contrasts with a trailer (ie caravan etc) where ADR approval of the door is not required. Consult your engineer if you are unsure of the rules as they are rather complex.

The ATRV motor-home door is ideal for motor-homes since it has ADR approval.

Can I have my entrance door and locker doors keyed the same?

If you purchase an ATRV DC Caravan door and also some ATRV service doors they do take the same barrel type so can be keyed alike. Once you have all the doors in your possession you can check the code on the DC entrance door lock and purchase new barrels for the Service doors to match it.

If you have several service doors of another ranges such as Thetford these can also be keyed alike by buying lock barrels of the same code to match.

How do I work out the entrance door cut-out size?

All caravan entrance doors have a nominal size in terms of the height (mm) and width (mm), eg 1750 x 622 or 1260 x 575.

Typical Door-Cut out Spec

Each manufacturer also states what size the door cut-out should be. Some brands advise how many mm to add to the nominal size eg ATRV DC doors you add 3mm to the height and 3mm to the width to get the cut-out size. eg for Milenco doors add 1mm to the nominal size (height and width) to get the cut-out size.

Other brands eg Dometic CaraD doors use the actual nominal size as the cut-out size.

You will also need to clarify what shape the corners are in the cut-out too. Some doors are 4 square corners, others are 2 radius corners and a few are 4 radius corners. The specific radius also varies depending on the brand. ed Dometic CaraD doors have a radius of 90mm, Milenco doors have a top radius of 90mm , Camec doors use a radius of 125mm and ATRV DC doors have a radius of 90mm.

How do I choose whether to get a Right or Left Hand Hinge Door?

Firstly, always imagine you are looking at the door from the outside when you specify whether the hinges are to be on the left or right hand side.

Generally customers choose a left hand hinge (LHH) door unless there is a good reason not to. This is because where the door is on the left hand side of the vehicle and when it is towed the wind would close it if it was left open.

However, you also need to also consider where your awning legs are going to be attached and if there are any windows, annex walls etc in the area when the door is opened and attached to the van wall.

Most popular door manufacturers offer a range of LHH and RHH doors.

Do the Entrance Doors come with its own seal for the inside of the caravan?

This really depends on the brand of the door you are interested in. Many doors (eg ATRV DC and Milenco doors)  are generally sold to caravan and RV manufacturers who will use their own trim system depending on the thickness and material of the wall itself and whether the door has radius corners or square corners. Products used for internal trim vary – from plastic or aluminium angle to a rubber seals.

On the other hand the Dometic CaraD doors which are available in 1750mm and 1850mm heights include an assembly kit for the wall width you specify when you order the door. So no additional trim is required.

Dometic CaraD doors come complete with assembly kit to suit wall thickness

Are radius corners better than square corners?

If you are building a project using composite panels arguably the radius corner design may retain more strength in the wall panel when you create the cut-out. But generally customers choose the visual look they prefer and the style that matches the windows and other items like access doors.

The most common door we supply has 2 radius corners at the top and square corners at the bottom. Also note that the actual radius varies depending on the range of doors – always check the installation manual for the radius required for the door.

What is the best way to install my new entrance door?

This will depend on whether you are replacing a door in an old van or doing a new build and the type of wall construction it is going into. And the Installation Manual is an essential read before starting the installation.

Most doors only have a small flange (of 5-10mm) on the external edge of the door frame so this is not enough to form a secure attachment. So there should be a structural member such as timber or aluminium running vertically up each side of the entrance door cut-out that the door can be fixed to. There also needs to be a gap of 1-2mm between the door frame and the cut-out on each side. This gap should be packed carefully to make sure the door is vertical and opens and closes smoothly before the door is secured in place. Using construction adhesive and screws will attach the door in place securely.

Do all entrance doors have vents?

Some popular brands of doors only come with a vent (eg Milenco and DC doors) and other brands allow you to choose whether you require a vent or not.

Vents are a good idea to allow a healthy airflow and reduce condensation. In addition if your caravan or motorhome has a gas appliance installed there are legal Ventilation Requirements in order to comply with Australian Standards and the door vent can be an important part of this compliance.

More customers today are selecting diesel appliances (especially in diesel motorhomes) to reduce the need for vents – especially if dirt roads are part of their travel plans.

Which entrance door is the most secure?

All major brands of RV and caravan entrance doors now include a quality stainless steel mesh (or amplimesh) security door and flyscreen with a 3 or 4 point locking system.

In terms of security there is little to choose between the major brands and the mesh security doors allow excellent air circulation without the insects coming in.

In the composite panel wall where the door is going what do you use to help strengthen to door area?

For your wall panels – all our composite panel manufacturers are able to insert a fibreglass pultrusion each side of the entrance door cut-out for adding strength and providing screw purchase. And in addition panels made with the vacuum bag technique (Panel Kits A and C) also offer the option of alumiunium RHS. The fibreglass pultrusions do not act as a cold bridge but the aluminium option is cheaper.

Insertions added each side of door cut-out for extra strength in composite wall panel

Are all entrance doors carried in stock?

There are so many options available in most brands of caravan entrance doors it is not possible for the Manufacturer or Importer to carry them all in stock. For example the Camec Odyssey and Camec Odyssey Premium doors have over 100 door designs to choose from and many of them are made to order in Australia with a lead time of 6 to 8 weeks.

DIY Caravans will always check the lead time for customers when they complete the order form online.

For customers also designing a new project and buying a composite panel kit, we strongly recommend you purchase the doors and windows you have selected at the same time just in case these products become no longer available.