Installing latches on an RV residential refrigerator to hold the doors closed or open
I’ve just built and installed a latch system for my residential refrigerator that doesn’t require me to drill holes into potentially dangerous places. It also allows me to latch the fridge open to aerate it in storage, or closed while driving.
I recall a similar system in our family trailer in the 1960s or 70s, but I’m not sure whether my Dad bought a kit to do this or designed and built the system himself. Perhaps some old-timers can tell me whether they have seen this before.
I have photos below of the system.
The first photo shows the parts that I built for the latches on my freezer and refrigerator.
The top two parts are 1” by 3” by 1/8” aluminum strips with double-sided tape on the back and an Ikea-style screw cap on the front. The screw cap is fastened to a bolt (not shown) that comes from the back side, and which is threaded to the aluminum and the screw cap. I used Loctite to make this secure. I ground down the bolt head so that it was only about 1/16” thick. I needed to use several strips of double-sided tape to make sure the assembly didn’t bottom out on the bolt head, and grinding the bolt head minimized the number of tape strips that I needed. Note the long backing strip for the double-sided tape. I used the long strip to gradually seat the aluminum on the side of the refrigerator while holding it in the correct place.
The middle two parts are two 1” by 5” by 1/8” aluminum strips with notches cut into them, and an indication of where I will drill the hole for a pivot. The notch closest to the pivot latches the door closed and the one farthest from the pivot latches it open.
The bottom two parts are spacers 1.25” by 1” by 1/8” that I glued to the refrigerator doors, and subsequently drilled to anchor the pivot.
The second photo shows the latches at rest, as if we are camping with food in the fridge. The photo shows the middle and bottom parts noted above, with another Ikea-style screw running between them and into the fridge doors to form the pivot. Since the doors have no wires going into them, I can safely drill into them without damaging anything.
The third photo shows the top part as listed above. It is glued/taped to the side of the refrigerator. Note the tight fit next to the cabinet wood. Some planning is needed her to make this fit without rubbing on the cabinet.
The fourth photo show the latches in use. The top latch is on the freezer, and is holding the freezer door shut. The bottom latch is on the refrigerator and is holding the door open.
Gordon Sick, Calgary
2015 Berkshire 34QS
2005 Acura EL (aka Honda Civic)