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Old 07-09-2018, 09:32 PM   #1
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38RE basement door latches and strikers

Have any of you with the Legacy 38RE basement doors experienced looseness of fasteners, misalignment of the door latches, and striker plates coming loose?

I started having problems with the rear basement door on the street side (under the living room) when loading the cavity just before leaving on a 2600 mile trip. The door latch would not unlock! Had to remove everything from the full width cavity from the curb side, then reach across with a long handled device to unlatch it from the inside. Turns out the plant installed screws with tapered heads (I believe similar to a Phillips flat head machine screw but with a tapered head to the threads; see picture below). These screws were mostly all loose on all four doors, allowing the latch to move around and come out of adjustment on the problem door. IMHO they did not provide enough seating surface against the latch housing to stay tight.

I replaced the tapered screws with Philips pan head SS screws and used thread lock (nobody uses the term Loc-tite in the big box stores) to keep them tight.

I then realized that the plant installed three different types of latches on all the basement doors. One design was used on the rear basement doors (those were all loose, so I replaced all the fasteners). The side basement doors had another design latch with pan head square recess fasteners with a flat seating surface. The front basement latches were still another design but did have the pan head square recess screws!

It looks to me that the plant ran out of intended screws when they were assembling, and used whatever else they could find with the right length and thread count.

You may want to check your latch fasteners for tightness and design consistency. These latches seem to be very sensitive to adjustment for proper latching.

I now have one rear basement door striker plate that is loose from its mount. The striker plates are riveted in place so may have to have that done under warranty. That particular door will not latch properly, but can be locked by slightly moving the latch handle and then turning the key.

So, my questions to other 38RE users:

1. Do you have the same design fasteners in all of your basement doors?
2. If so, are they the pan head square recess fasteners that you would normally see in the RV industry?
3. Do you have the same design door latches on all your basement doors? (I have some with slots, some without, and some with a different design slots).

Sorry for the long post.
Noel
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:08 AM   #2
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Noel,

I do not have the issues with the latches on our 38FB2 you describe, I checked them just before we moved last week. However I did find that all of the screws holding the gas struts to the baggage doors were very loose. So loose in fact that a strut separated from the door mounted plate. After looking more closely there are 2 screws are driven into the outer metal trim of the door into the composite material and 1 screw in the center that only goes into the plate and into the door. These doors are heavy and the gas struts are putting too much pressure on these weak mounting fasteners. My solution was to remove all the door mounted brackets and apply 3M 5200 Marine adhesive sealant to the screws and to the brackets. I removed one side at a time and let the sealant cure for 24 hours before reattaching the gas strut to the bracket. Took a couple of days to do the 3 doors but now the mounts are rock solid. If anyone has any questions just let me know.

Pete
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:37 AM   #3
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38MB owner here and we had one strut break loose off the end with the round nub, factory replaced all our struts at last years FROG Rally because they started to use a lesser strength rods, I always felt the originals were to strong, as the door would come up so fast I didn't want the wife to open them for fear if caught in the chin and get knocked out I would get the blame
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dblr View Post
38MB owner here and we had one strut break loose off the end with the round nub, factory replaced all our struts at last years FROG Rally because they started to use a lesser strength rods, I always felt the originals were to strong, as the door would come up so fast I didn't want the wife to open them for fear if caught in the chin and get knocked out I would get the blame
Are you saying that the strut broke the end of the mounting plate off? Or just that the strut came off of the tab?

Good idea changing to lesser strength gas struts, wonder if the factory would send replacements out so that I can change them myself?

Pete
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fishrsafe View Post
Are you saying that the strut broke the end of the mounting plate off? Or just that the strut came off of the tab?

Good idea changing to lesser strength gas struts, wonder if the factory would send replacements out so that I can change them myself?

Pete
Just came off the tab. I believe they went down to 40lb struts ours were 60lb, I figured they would have to switch both on the door in question but ended up doing all 3 bays.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:26 AM   #6
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I just walked around the coach with a screwdriver, everything is tight. I noticed they used flathead screws on some latches and panhead screws on others, should have been all panhead IMO.
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Old 07-10-2018, 01:35 PM   #7
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Upholstery head?

I believe the screws you illustrated are intended for use with what I call "upholstery washers." A Google search using the phrase machine screws with upholstery washers finds them. See the images I've included.

As to your conjecture as to whether they should have been used, or should have been used with the washers, I haven't a clue. I suppose it would have been better had your post included images of the three different types of latches.

Larry
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
I believe the screws you illustrated are intended for use with what I call "upholstery washers." A Google search using the phrase machine screws with upholstery washers finds them. See the images I've included.

As to your conjecture as to whether they should have been used, or should have been used with the washers, I haven't a clue. I suppose it would have been better had your post included images of the three different types of latches.

Larry
Here are the two different types of latches (but they all have the same type of housing where the #8-32 screws go but note the different slots and internal mechanisms). The first and the last picture still have the original screws installed (note the boogered Phillips heads). The second picture shows the SS pan head screws I installed. The last picture attempts to show how little contact there is between the flat head Phillips screws (the factory installed) and the latch housing.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:58 PM   #9
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Pan heads are a good choice

I agree. Pan heads are a better choice.

Larry
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:02 AM   #10
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Just came off the tab. I believe they went down to 40lb struts ours were 60lb, I figured they would have to switch both on the door in question but ended up doing all 3 bays.
Thanks for the heads up on switching to 40lb struts. Changed out the factory 60lb for 40lb this weekend, much smoother and less stress on the mounting plates.

Pete
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