I recently had the misfortune of my pocket door coming off its track. To be more accurate, the track was bent and one of the pocket door trolleys was also bent and fell through the gap. I'm not sure if the track was bent when I took delivery two years ago, or it bent sometime after that. Either way, the door would never work again the way it was.
|Original track and trolley, both bent out of
Picture taken while original track was still inside the pocket.
I called Keystone and the dealer that I bought the unit from. Both told me that the unit was no longer under warrantee and that the "only" way to fix the problem was to cut a whole in the cabinet near the door so that the old track could be removed with a screwdriver and replaced.
They were right about one thing, there was no way to reach your hand inside the pocket door opening to reach the screws at the far end of the track. But, I was not about to cut a hole in my somewhat new palace on wheels, so I put my brain cells to work and came up with the following idea.
First I went to Home Depot and asked if they had some kind or screwdriver attachment that would angle the driver bit by 90-degrees. The person I talked to said "no", but that didn't stop me. I went back to their tool coral and found exactly what I was looking for.
|Off-set screwdriver power head!|
The item I found bent the driver angle by about 80-degrees and had an adjustable tab on the opposing side that could be used for stabilization.
I already had one 12-inch drill bit extender, so I bought a second 12-inch extender. Combining the two extenders I could now reach inside the door pocket a little over 24 inches. Since I only needed to reach in about 21 or 22 inches, this would work out fine.
|Here's the final drill assembly and a 2 x 3 notched out for the extensions, widened at the end for the power head, with a deeper notch for the stabilization tab.|
Next I got a 2 x 3 and cut 24 inches off the end. The remaining 6 feet would be used to brace my new extender so I could get leverage on the screws.
I used a radial arm saw to cut a groove in the edge of the 2 x 3 to accommodate the drill bit extenders. I widened the groove at the far end to make room for the 80-degree angle adapter and cut a deeper groove under the adapter to accommodate the adjustable tab for stability.
I pushed the angle adapter into the groove at the end of the 2 x 3, attached a drill bit to one end and attached the 2 extensions to the other end. The last extension stuck out the back of the 2 x 3 by about 1 inch. I put a 2-inch extension on my drill making it easy to slide the drill on and off the larger extensions. My "Rube Goldberg" pocket door extension bit was complete.
|You can see where the driver extends beyond the left side and the driver bit extends upward on the right side!|
I used the universal tool, duct tape, to attach my "pocket door extension" to the remaining 6 feet of 2 x 3 creating a "T". I slide the assembly into the pocket door slot. Used a flashlight to position the drill bit into the screw at the far end of the track, pulled down on the "T" to ensure that the bit would not slip out, pushed my drill onto the end of the extender and slowly backed the screw out. I repeated the process for the other two screws that were inside the slot. The remaining screws were simple.
|Here it is pushed inside the door pocket. If you look close you can see the driver shaft extending out of the left side.|
I got the replacement track and trolleys from http://jhusa.net/100pd.aspx. I got the heavy-duty 48-inch set, part number 100481HD. I realize that the door is nowhere near 200 lbs, but I figured that the stress of bouncing down the road would warrant the extra strength, and it only increased the cost from $26.16 to $38.84 plus shipping. A small price for peace of mind, and I sure don't want to go through this again.
|Note the flimsy bent aluminum frame used by the manufacturer vs. the heavy-duty cast aluminum frame that I got from Johnson Hardware.|
The first thing I did was to push the trolleys into the track and push a napkin into the track in front of and behind the trolleys to hold them in place, I didn't want to get the new track in place then figure out how to reach inside the pocket to insert the trolleys! I attached the external part of the track to the overhead frame and once it was secure I used my handy dandy pocket door drill bit extension with a drill bit guide to install the internal screws.
Now for the second part of the problem: The pocket for the door is about 3 feet deep, and the door track extends less than 24 inches into the pocket. The Everest plant solved this problem by putting a screw into the side of the track so the trolley couldn't fall of the end. The damage to the trolley cause by banging into the screw each time you closed the door was minor, so the system wouldn't fall apart until well after the one-year warrantee, so this was a good solution for them, but not necessarily for me! We are hoping to keep our mobile palace for more than another year, so a more permanent solution had to be found. At least this solution was a lot easier than replacing the track.
|The manufacturer's idea of a doorstop was to let the trolley bang up against a screw driven into the side of door track. I wonder why the whole thing fell apart shortly after the warrantee was expired?|
|When you look inside the pocket you can see that the track stops
about a foot before the outside wall of the RV. My first thought was to
get a piece of 2 x 12 and push it back into the pocket to take up the
extra space, but when I picked one up at Home Depot I could see that it
would add a lot of weight.
My solution was to get a couple of 2 x 2's, cut them up and screw them together to make an empty frame that would weigh a lot less that the solid piece of wood. I also cut up an old piece of foam rubber that I had into strips and attached them to the leading edge of the 2 x 2 frame to act as a cushioned door stop. Since the pocket was about 2 inches wide, I made the strips about 2½-inches wide so that the foam would gently wedge itself into the back of the pocket and stay put without the need for glue. I attached two more of the foam strips at the back, inside the frame, to keep the back end from moving as we traveled.
|Here is the final backstop before I took it into the RV and pushed it into the pocket.|
After sliding the doorstop into the pocket, it was time to re-attach the door to the track. The trim was already removed from the bedroom side of the pocket door. I giggled the door into position and slid the leading edge back into the pocket. I removed the napkin that was holding the trolleys in place and slide the first trolley into a position where I could attach it the door hanger.
|Trolley pin and retaining clip. The retaining clip is in the open position.|
I pulled the retaining clip open then lifted the door so that the trolley pin inserted itself into the retaining clip. I then rotated the clip back until it clicked into the closed position. I repeated the same procedure for the second trolley.
|Door hanging on both clips.|
The final step was to adjust the door. I closed the door and took note of how it fit against the wall and also how the latch met up with the catch that was mounted on the wall. I used the tool that was supplied by Johnson hardware to turn the hex nuts that are part of the trolley to adjust the door height and angle.
|Adjustment tool.||Hex Nut for adjustment.|
Finally, I reattached the molding Done!
Back to our 343L Modification Page