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Old 02-24-2019, 08:06 AM   #1
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Door Deadbolt won't engage

I did a search but didn't find anything.

The deadbolt on my 5 year old Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer door deadbolt won't engage when the sun is beating down on it. I know the door is probably swelling due to the heat but the door functions normally with no binding. The problem is the deadbolt.

The way I'm parked in a permanent spot, the sun beats down on the passenger side all afternoon. I can barely get it unlocked from the inside and when I try to re-lock it, it only moves a little and sounds like it's hitting the plate. I can't get a good look at where it's hitting because, well, it only does it when the door is closed. It does it regardless of the temperature outside, only when the sun hits it. I'm sure the door swells in the sun but like I said, the door does not bind, just the deadbolt. I've tried pushing and pulling on the door but that doesn't work.

Has anyone else had this issue? I can probably enlarge the opening a little inside the plate in the door frame if you think that might help but there isn't much extra area to remove. I don't want to get locked in or out of the trailer. The lock assembly is black so I'm sure it's absorbing more heat than a white one would. I was hoping to replace this with an electronic lock but pretty sure it won't work either.

Thank you in advance

Laura
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:31 AM   #2
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Dab some paint on the end of the deadbolt so that it will leave a paint mark where it is hitting the jam lock-plate. Then you can see if you need to adjust it and where.
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedicmark View Post
Dab some paint on the end of the deadbolt so that it will leave a paint mark where it is hitting the jam lock-plate. Then you can see if you need to adjust it and where.
Good idea!

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Old 02-24-2019, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedicmark View Post
Dab some paint on the end of the deadbolt so that it will leave a paint mark where it is hitting the jam lock-plate. Then you can see if you need to adjust it and where.
I thought of that but I don't have any paint. Is there something else I could use?

Thanks,
Laura
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:32 AM   #5
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I've used lipstick instead of paint.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:40 AM   #6
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I didnít think include lipstick in the toolkit.

Guess you just never know.

If you other guys donít have it in your kit, donít tell your wife
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:42 AM   #7
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The paint or lipstick idea is great but if you dont have either, trial and error works too. Is the plate already at any extreme (up, down, forward, backward)? If so, move it away from the extreme. Then, ease up on tightening the screws so if the plate needs to move, it will. Once you've got it in a good spot, tighten them up completely. Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:56 AM   #8
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These are all great suggestions. Thank you!

I'll have to wait until the sun comes out again to try the lipstick idea.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:35 PM   #9
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On our previous trailer, a Rockwood, I had to open up the pocket that the deadbolt slid into to allow it to fully extend. I used a Dremel tool and a burr type bit to grind away a bit of material, and the problem was solved.
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Old 02-24-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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I had to file mine also. Thee is some frame lex. It may leave te factory ok but later eyed to be adjusted.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougarfan View Post
I did a search but didn't find anything.

The deadbolt on my 5 year old Coachmen Freedom Express travel trailer door deadbolt won't engage when the sun is beating down on it. I know the door is probably swelling due to the heat but the door functions normally with no binding. The problem is the deadbolt.

The way I'm parked in a permanent spot, the sun beats down on the passenger side all afternoon. I can barely get it unlocked from the inside and when I try to re-lock it, it only moves a little and sounds like it's hitting the plate. I can't get a good look at where it's hitting because, well, it only does it when the door is closed. It does it regardless of the temperature outside, only when the sun hits it. I'm sure the door swells in the sun but like I said, the door does not bind, just the deadbolt. I've tried pushing and pulling on the door but that doesn't work.

Has anyone else had this issue? I can probably enlarge the opening a little inside the plate in the door frame if you think that might help but there isn't much extra area to remove. I don't want to get locked in or out of the trailer. The lock assembly is black so I'm sure it's absorbing more heat than a white one would. I was hoping to replace this with an electronic lock but pretty sure it won't work either.

Thank you in advance

Laura
I have had the same issue with my Coachman as well for the past few seasons. It does it randomly and I havenít tried to repair it yet. This post reminded me that I should take care of it.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip12 View Post
The paint or lipstick idea is great but if you dont have either, trial and error works too. Is the plate already at any extreme (up, down, forward, backward)? If so, move it away from the extreme. Then, ease up on tightening the screws so if the plate needs to move, it will. Once you've got it in a good spot, tighten them up completely. Good luck.
Agree completely!

This is the correct way to adjust for wear and changes that take place over time.

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Old 02-24-2019, 02:17 PM   #13
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Also Chalk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bleu View Post
I've used lipstick instead of paint.
A bunch of chalk on the striker plate. Use the key to hold the bolt in contact with the striker plate while you slide the door open and closed to rub the chalk.

It's either going to need opening on the bottom or the top. Sometimes you can simply hold a flashlight up to the opening and peek while you hold the bolt in contact and slide the door.

I don't think this will happen on an RV, but wooden residential doors will warp in the winter such that the outside expands. When closing, the top and bottom corners hit first, before the center, where the lockset and deadbolt hit. You don't need to change the striker plate if you just remember to push/pull hard when opening or closing. Incidentally, changing the striker plate for this situation can be tricky. Many have a bent-over tab on the outside vertical edge. You're supposed to be able to remove the plate and bend the tab to change the opening, but it's harder than it looks.

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Old 02-26-2019, 10:50 AM   #14
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Door Deadbolt

I have used toothpaste on deadbolts to mark where it is binking, easy cleanup
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:49 PM   #15
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I find that door latches on my coachmen work fine if I don't put too much pressure on the stabilizers. If I have the stabilizer closest to the door more firm than normal, it flexes the frame enough that it tweaks the door. Its amazing how much frame flex mine has. If I jack up one tire to change it, I basically can't even open the door.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:38 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Cougarfan View Post
I thought of that but I don't have any paint. Is there something else I could use?

Thanks,
Laura
Vasoline, hand lotion, suntan lotion, grease. Any thick bodied substance that will stick to the bolt and transfer to the plate. If the bolt seats when the side is cool, you will hardly see a transfer. You may want to try exposing the bolt and bumping up to the frame and sight it for top/bottom alignment. If it is not top or bottom binding, pull and push on the door to see if the bolt will seat. Rounding off the leading edge of the bolt may help. If it is the outside edge of the plate, I have used a bunt instrument and a hammer to slightly move the plate edge-or a file depending on the plate configuration.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babock View Post
I find that door latches on my coachmen work fine if I don't put too much pressure on the stabilizers. If I have the stabilizer closest to the door more firm than normal, it flexes the frame enough that it tweaks the door. Its amazing how much frame flex mine has. If I jack up one tire to change it, I basically can't even open the door.
Think you nailed it. A slight adjustment would probably solve it.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:02 PM   #18
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I think I solved my issue. The bottom screw from the plate on the door itself was missing. So, when the door swelled from the heat and I closed it, the plate would swing just enough to block the deadbolt from moving. Then, when I opened the door, the plate would swing back. I have no idea how long the screw has been missing. It's fixed now. And I did remember to clean the toothpaste from inside the plate before I installed the new screw LOL

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions. I really love this group because everyone is so helpful!

Laura
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