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Old 08-14-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Any advice on adding access hatch and how to cut through Fiberglass exterior

I found a great area on my Eagle 31.5 FBHS that is perfect for storing a few more items, but there is really no easy way to access it except by reaching up and over the propane tanks in their enclosed area. I plan to add an extra access door/hatch on the outside of the unit so I can now get access to this hidden area. Wanted to know if anyone has any tips as to how to cut the rectangular hole in the outside of the fiberglass unit. I was thinking of drilling some starter holes with a drill in each corner and then either using a jigsaw or a cutting disc on a small dremel. Not sure if the jigsaw would tend to cause any splintering of the exterior fiberglass or not. Any pointers would be appreciated.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
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To reduce splintering place heavy tape where you plan to cut. While you may have already done so, contact Jayco to get the wall diagram for where you're planning on cutting. This *should* show you what the wall construction is and any support beams. Not sure if it shows wiring or not, but certainly a good idea to do first.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:30 PM   #3
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I am not familiar with your floor plan but is it possible to reach this area with a cut out in the closet floor?
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Looking at pictures of people resealing windows, the cut outs look like they were done with a fine tooth jigsaw.
Looks like most windows and hatch should have about .5-1.0" seal, so if you're within a nice 1/8" you should be golden.

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Old 08-15-2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Fortunately this is in an area where I can completely see and get access to the back side of where I'm going to cut so I don't have to worry about structural features or wiring. I'll post some pictures of the area and the before and after when I'm done.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:52 AM   #6
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Chip, you might want to check with Jayco to see if you void any part of the warranty if you do it yourself and a Jayco dealer doesn't seeing how new your trailer is. Just a thought.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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Use a jigsaw blade that cuts on the downstroke or has teeth pointing straight out that cuts on the up and down stroke. Vermont American makes both.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #8
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My go to tool these days is a mutlitool I have a Fien and a cheap Harbor Frieght version for a back up.
I do remodeling and seem to find a use for it every day.
The fine cutting wood/plastic blades would do a very smooth cut .
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #9
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I store my 2x6 leveling boards in that area, just reach over the propane bottles. I also cut a piece of plywood to floor in front of the propane bottles and 6x6's for perfectly there.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #10
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Might want to consider using a router w/a straight bit. Make a jig to follow, that way you can control your depth of cut, and you don't need any starter holes. Just plunge the router bit in. It'll be a nice smoothe cut.
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