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Old 01-09-2020, 02:41 PM   #1
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Entry door handle broke.

I was recently locked inside my motor home and could not get out. Climbed out the window and handle outside didn't work either. Long story short I kicked the handle and door until I could get a screwdriver in and move the part that was keeping it locked. I know all about the reason why it did this and how it's a known problem... I'm looking for some help with fixing the door and suggestions see photos.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-09-2020, 03:15 PM   #2
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Oooh, that looks bad. As a rule with fiberglass, any splintered portions must be removed and repaneled. As pictured, the repair of damage to that extent is best left up to a fiberglass fab shop such as a boat shop. The biggest feat of the repair will be to get it right so as to ensure delamination does not occur down the road.The striker edge of the door is mangled pretty good. The door may have to be completely rebuilt or replaced.

Fiberglass fab shops have worked wonders with Corvettes, but the cost is staggering. I wish you luck.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuschini View Post
I was recently locked inside my motor home and could not get out. Climbed out the window and handle outside didn't work either. Long story short I kicked the handle and door until I could get a screwdriver in and move the part that was keeping it locked. I know all about the reason why it did this and how it's a known problem... I'm looking for some help with fixing the door and suggestions see photos.Attachment 221627Attachment 221628Attachment 221629Attachment 221630
Why would you destroy the door like that?
I've read many many stories about locks breaking but nobody did that to their door, you could have drilled out the lock as a last resort and replaced the entire mechanism.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:54 PM   #4
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And since you were able to get out through an exit or egress window you could have climbed back inside with a screwdriver and removed the entire lock mechanism without any damage to the door itself. Probably going to need a new door now and an expensive paint job. Ouch.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:08 PM   #5
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I did go back in and removed the inside cover and had no access to sliding the bolt/spring back. And that's in the past.
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Originally Posted by R time soon View Post
And since you were able to get out through an exit or egress window you could have climbed back inside with a screwdriver and removed the entire lock mechanism without any damage to the door itself. Probably going to need a new door now and an expensive paint job. Ouch.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:50 PM   #6
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To late now for any suggestions other than you need to replace the whole door, screen, frame and have it repainted to match the rig.

Someone had to replace the whole thing because it was sprung from swinging open and I think it cost them $3,000 plus repainting.

Sorry and like other said DAM you sure destroyed the door.

MY SUGGESTIONS... If anyone has this happen to them try this.

1. Climb out the emergency windows with the door keys.

2. Pushe the door in from the outside until you hear the latch click

3. Then using both keys lock and unlock each lock to see if it opens or not.

4. If this doesn't work call a local locksmith to try and get in.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:41 PM   #7
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Sometimes you have to be smarter than the door
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:08 AM   #8
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The people next to us in a fifth wheel had the same thing happen and the wife was locked in. The husband went in through a window but could not get the door opened. They called an RV mobile tech who got it open for them. So that's another option to try for people who have not had this happen yet.

I keep an 8.5' telescoping ladder in the bedroom mainly for use with the fire escape window but it would help get in and out easier in a situation like this. I have a longer one underneath.

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Old 01-10-2020, 10:56 AM   #9
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Sometimes you have to be smarter than the door
LOL, sad but true! I still cant believe what he did, absolutely insane!
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:04 AM   #10
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Could we please stop the non-productive posts? As the OP noted, it's in the past.

One benefit of these forums is we get a chance to learn from what happened to others. As the OP noted, apparently this is not an uncommon problem so if his experience gets others to dig into their door handle and fix a problem before it occurs that's good in my opinion.

When my neighbor had their problem I took a close look at my door handle and to my horror found three of the four inside screws very loose with one backed out several threads. I then checked the screws that hold the latch bolt to the door itself and they both were very loose and the latch bolt could move vertically and side to side. I think that was on our sixth trip.

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Old 01-10-2020, 12:51 PM   #11
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Could we please stop the non-productive posts? As the OP noted, it's in the past.

One benefit of these forums is we get a chance to learn from what happened to others. As the OP noted, apparently this is not an uncommon problem so if his experience gets others to dig into their door handle and fix a problem before it occurs that's good in my opinion.

When my neighbor had their problem I took a close look at my door handle and to my horror found three of the four inside screws very loose with one backed out several threads. I then checked the screws that hold the latch bolt to the door itself and they both were very loose and the latch bolt could move vertically and side to side. I think that was on our sixth trip.

Ray
Granted, but this thread is not about causation. It's about repairing the door.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Iggy View Post
To late now for any suggestions other than you need to replace the whole door, screen, frame and have it repainted to match the rig.

Someone had to replace the whole thing because it was sprung from swinging open and I think it cost them $3,000 plus repainting.

Sorry and like other said DAM you sure destroyed the door.

MY SUGGESTIONS... If anyone has this happen to them try this.

1. Climb out the emergency windows with the door keys.

2. Pushe the door in from the outside until you hear the latch click

3. Then using both keys lock and unlock each lock to see if it opens or not.

4. If this doesn't work call a local locksmith to try and get in.
That reply is WAY to reasonable and common sense for me............Besides it would deprive me of working out my frustrations with my foot by kicking the door in.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:15 PM   #13
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Door handle broke

My DW and I were locked inside our FR3 30DS
Thanksgiving day 2019, I also had to go out
the front window and fall 6.5 ft to the ground
on my butt and back to get out. I had a ladder
in the storage are in a back compartment that
I used to get my wife out, and we were able
to get a lock smith from about 40 miles away
on overtime to come and help us, but he was
unable to open the door from the outside so
we climbed back in thru the window, and took
apart the lock from the inside and was able to
get the door open without damage. I reassembled the lock and used the dead bolt
to keep the door closed when needed. I purchased a new lock online for 93 dollars
and I installed it which was a simple job.
I know carry a hole saw and drill motor in-case
it happens again and I am outside and can't get in I will cut the lock up from outside the coach. If locked inside I will know go out the
emergency window in the back and won't have to fall out the front window. The only damage I ended up with was to my Butt.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:46 PM   #14
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Had same happen to me. Locked out but fortunately for me from window was not locked so I got in.

OP did not say what kind of lock but the Trimark brand is famous for the plunger part that goes into the striker plate breaking because it is made of pot metal and no way will door open when it breaks. You can remove inside plate and with needle nose pliers pull back spring loaded plunger (not sure if that is the right terminology) and door will open. Believe it may be called the bolt and it slides into the striker plate?

The new improved lock is made of steel and door actually opens easier. A costly repair for sure and for anyone replacing the lock unit make sure you get the newer steel upgraded one.

Trimark and all the RV manufactures know of this problem. Can you imagine being locked in and had to get out fast or just wanting to get in. Not a good scenario.

To test yours to see if striker is pot metal just hold a magnet to it and if it doesn’t stick it is pot metal and I would recommend replacing whole unit. Amazon sells them and I found they had best price.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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Looks like someone backed into you when you were not there, or better still, maybe someone tried to break in (no deductible), in fact, someone did breakin, better call the cops and then the insurance.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:34 PM   #16
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... in case it happens again and I am outside and can't get in I will cut the lock up from outside the coach. If locked inside I will know go out the emergency window in the back and won't have to fall out the front window. The only damage I ended up with was to my Butt.
You might want to consider keeping one of the windows up front unlocked. Someone would need to see that and have a ladder to exploit it and also not have the neighbors see them in order for that to become a big risk. One of the few advantages of having windows 8' off the ground.

Ray
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:38 PM   #17
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To test yours to see if striker is pot metal just hold a magnet to it and if it doesnt stick it is pot metal and I would recommend replacing whole unit.
Nice. I just checked and a magnet sticks. Now all I need is for the screws to stay tight.

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Old 01-10-2020, 05:57 PM   #18
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I've had the misfortune of having 2 locks break on me. Both of them were Trimark and they break with no warning at all.

Guess what brand I don't have now.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:16 PM   #19
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I've had the misfortune of having 2 locks break on me. Both of them were Trimark and they break with no warning at all.

Guess what brand I don't have now.
I'd like to know what brand you do use now.
Is it that push button lock with FOB?
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:09 PM   #20
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I'm surprised that no one has mentioned reporting this to the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency! In the event of a fire or accident, this could be deadly. We had the lock fail when we had a 2015 GT. The internal mechanism detached and blocked the return path of the bolt. Trimark replaced the lock for free, but they should have had a recall. It's easy to file a complaint with the NHTSA. Just go to their web site. The form and instructions are right there and easy to use.
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