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Old 10-23-2020, 03:31 PM   #1
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Outside Door Latch Problem (Part2)

Last weekend I went over to the RV storage lot to get something out of the RV and was not able to open the door latch. I thought it was something I was doing wrong or possibly the key but nothing worked. I drove it home got out the tools and found that the latch bolt had broken in half. Obviously not a good thing but fortunately I have two other doors that I could use to get in and out of the RV. After some research in this forum and on the internet it looks like this is a common problem with this model of TriMark door handle that uses a softer zinc based metal for the striker bolt. Given all the issues I have had with the door shutting properly since I've owned it, it's now easy to see why this part breaks. In part due to the use of soft metal and also in part due to poor door installation/alignment. If fact this problem is so common that one industrious individual created a replacement STEEL part and even applied for a patent!

https://www.cartcollapse.com/copy-of-rv-door-handle-kit

So tomorrow I will install it and hopefully it works. If all goes well, this $45 solution would be better than spending $150-$200 for a whole new door handle
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:56 AM   #2
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The replacement piece installed easily enough, now we'll give it a good workout on our upcoming trip.
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:00 PM   #3
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Nice work and a very viable solution.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing the information. I had my entry door replaced recently after a tree stump ran into it...that's another story. It came with a new lock. I checked the new lock and it is the pot metal type of plunger. I ordered this replacement and will swap it out so I won't get locked out (or in).
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rgthoma View Post
Thanks for sharing the information. I had my entry door replaced recently after a tree stump ran into it...that's another story. It came with a new lock. I checked the new lock and it is the pot metal type of plunger. I ordered this replacement and will swap it out so I won't get locked out (or in).
Never even thought of being locked in. How about a gas leak or a fire in your unit. Just another case of Forest River living up to its poor standards.
But one will say, you cant blame Forest River you have to blame the manufacturer of the part. Crap, Forest River is choosing to put these low quality parts in our units, so no one is to blame but Forest River.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #6
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Sweet !!!
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:05 PM   #7
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I replaced my old trimark 600 with the 650 in 2015. Although the lock is working well, I Just ordered the kit. Thanks guys.
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:17 PM   #8
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I am a retired locksmith with 50 years of experience. The main thing I learned is that how the door was installed and how everything fits is the most important part of hardware working well for a long time. Unfortunately, many people slam the door to make the lock work. Also the lock not working is frequently because the door does not fit perfectly in the opening. This commonly has more to do with the hinges than the lock.

I think you should be able to close and latch a door with one finger. All RV locks I have seen have been made out of diecast metal. There was a time that I po-poed diecast metal being used in locks. I gradually saw old diecast locks that still worked well. What I did see then was how the complete system worked not just the lock. When you push harder on the lock to get the door closed the lock breaks. But it's not the locks fault it's you that abused the lock because the door didn't fit in the frame.
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Old 10-26-2020, 07:47 AM   #9
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I am a retired locksmith with 50 years of experience. The main thing I learned is that how the door was installed and how everything fits is the most important part of hardware working well for a long time. Unfortunately, many people slam the door to make the lock work. Also the lock not working is frequently because the door does not fit perfectly in the opening. This commonly has more to do with the hinges than the lock.

I think you should be able to close and latch a door with one finger. All RV locks I have seen have been made out of diecast metal. There was a time that I po-poed diecast metal being used in locks. I gradually saw old diecast locks that still worked well. What I did see then was how the complete system worked not just the lock. When you push harder on the lock to get the door closed the lock breaks. But it's not the locks fault it's you that abused the lock because the door didn't fit in the frame.
I agree. The primary reason for the locks failing is due to poor door installation. I.e.. the striker plate installation never really aligned well with the striker bolt since day one and the wear and tear of couple years of hard closing took it's toll.

Finally when my wife starting complaining that she could not close the door anymore I spent some time analyzing and researching the problem and was able to fix it but the damage had already been done. On a positive note it looks like the design of the new replacement part has a much smaller flat surface than the orginal (see attached). The new bolt seems to have a slope almost to the surface of the door side or is shorter, not sure, so the door more easily closes than with the old bolt.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:10 AM   #10
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Angry The RV industry is just plain LAZY!

Sorry, but your post hit a nerve.

Many years ago we owned a 1973 Cruise Air Class A motorhome which had a Bargman door lock that never worked smoothly and was always hard to close and latch. And the cab slider windows made by Hehr rattled and banged furiously at road speed.

Now we own a 2015 Forest River Georgetown 270SSF and Guess What: It has the EXACT SAME CRAPPY CAB WINDOWS AND DOOR LOCK as the ancient Cruise Air. In 42 years the industry did NOTHING to fix those problems!

Shame on me for not immediately recognizing these inexcusably poorly engineered components and walking away from the sale. But it had been 40 years...

Shame on the industry for this deplorable complacency.

And shame on all us buyers for accepting this laziness from the industry.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:48 AM   #11
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Sorry, but your post hit a nerve.

Many years ago we owned a 1973 Cruise Air Class A motorhome which had a Bargman door lock that never worked smoothly and was always hard to close and latch. And the cab slider windows made by Hehr rattled and banged furiously at road speed.

Now we own a 2015 Forest River Georgetown 270SSF and Guess What: It has the EXACT SAME CRAPPY CAB WINDOWS AND DOOR LOCK as the ancient Cruise Air. In 42 years the industry did NOTHING to fix those problems!

Shame on me for not immediately recognizing these inexcusably poorly engineered components and walking away from the sale. But it had been 40 years...

Shame on the industry for this deplorable complacency.

And shame on all us buyers for accepting this laziness from the industry.



EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID. SICK AND TIRED OF THE SAME CRAP INSTALLED AT A PREMIUM PRICE. ARE YOU LISTENING FOREST RIVER, ARE YOU LISTENING?
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:01 PM   #12
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EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID. SICK AND TIRED OF THE SAME CRAP INSTALLED AT A PREMIUM PRICE. ARE YOU LISTENING FOREST RIVER, ARE YOU LISTENING?
But I'm betting you guys still buy them
When group camping I'm always amazed at how many folks never maintain their doors or locks. I will see them slamming doors or cussing a lock and offer assistance in the form of adjustment, dry lube, or graphite. They are always amazed how easy it works after that (usually).
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:50 PM   #13
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But I'm betting you guys still buy them
When group camping I'm always amazed at how many folks never maintain their doors or locks. I will see them slamming doors or cussing a lock and offer assistance in the form of adjustment, dry lube, or graphite. They are always amazed how easy it works after that (usually).

Just checked mine and I do not have that style of lock. Whew.
Yes I offer assistance with wd 40 usually.



Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-26-2020, 02:16 PM   #14
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I may be alone in this but after my first lock mechanism broke, I stopped slamming the door shut. Been on my replacement door lock for almost 10 years now.

Probably a hard habit to break for kids though.

At $200+ a pop for a new door lock, I fugure I save enough to rebuild my electric steps every 3 years.
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Old 10-26-2020, 09:27 PM   #15
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Thank you so much for posting this, I ordered mine today. We were so close to breaking a window out to get back in the last camping trip. Thankfully my husband left his cab door unlocked so we could get in. We didn't even lock it, just shut the door. I will say finishing our camping trip climbing in and out of the cab was a PIA. However I was so happy we didn't have to sleep with a knocked out window.

This is not our first issue with the lock but the first time just required a minor adjustment.

I was always planning on hiding a key outside, but hadn't done so yet. Lesson learned leave a truck key.

Mine is still under warranty however I would rather spend $45 than deal with them. How sad it that? With what you spend on a warranty.
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:29 PM   #16
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Just wanted to provide a follow up on my install of the replacement plunger to my door handle. Turns out if your latch is not broken, one will need tp break it before installing the new latch. I called Bob at cartcollapse.com and he walked me through a very easy process to break the pot metal latch. What a great service this guy provides. I highly recommend his product. I now have one less thing to worry about, one less surprise in my 2012 3010DS. After breaking the latch, and removing the debris, the install went just as advertised.
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