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Old 07-09-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Cabinet Hinges Pulling Out

I bought a new 2013 Crusader 298BHS in April. On our first trip I noticed a few hinge screws seemed loose so I tried to tighten them up with a screwdriver only to find the cabinet frame is not real wood, just particle board, and the screws were loose because they were stripped and pulling out. We have taken two more trips and about half of the cabinets now have loose hinge screws, with the bathroom sink cabinet top hinge screws having pulled right out. We aren't hard or rammy with the cabinets, but it seems like sooner or later all of then will be coming loose. Has anyone else with a Crusader had hinge screws pull out? Is there a way to fix this? I've heard of people using glue and toothpicks to fill the hole and then screwing the hinge back on. I don't understand why they would use press board on the cabinet frame. I'm waiting for my dealer to phone back, but I don't want to have to leave it there for a month waiting to get fixed. I guess as a last resort I could replace the screws with bolts so they can't pull out. I'm a little concerned that the dealer's fix will not be permanent and that I will continue to have these problems.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:58 PM   #2
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I'd use the flat toothpicks with a little carpenters glue. Just try not to over tighten them. As for the use of press board, cheaper than real wood. FR doesn't make their cabinets, they come from an outside vendor. It was Patrick Industries a few years back, might still be. I've done the fix on our old camper the same way with toothpicks and it does work. If they come loose later take it to the dealer during the non-camping season for repair or replacement.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:18 PM   #3
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In my previous TT after a few years this began to happen. Normal wear and tear in that case (definitely not the case in you newer rig), in the end I decided to replace the wood screws with through bolts and acorn nuts on the inside. I spray painted the heads of the bolts I chose to match the cabinetry and took my time. When it was all done it look better than OEM and stood up for a few years before we moved into our Crusader. If we run into the same issue with our 295RST I'll do the same thing.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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My Lacrosse was having similar problems and I'd assumed it was caused by overtorquing the screws into an MDF frame. It turned out that the frames are actually a softwood (like poplar) and the problem was caused by faulty hinges. Almost every hinge in my trailer was so stiff, they couldn't be moved by hand when removed from the door. When the doors were being closed, the hinge was trying to pull the screws out of the frame.

Prime Time replaced ALL the hinges in the trailer with free-moving hinges and the problem is gone.

Incidentally, I repaired the first batch of about 10 hinges by drilling out the stripped threads and glueing in 1/4" oak dowel. I believe the dealer used toothpicks/glue on the ones he repaired.

Bob
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