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Old 01-07-2016, 11:39 AM   #1
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1970 18' Caravel
Lexington , Massachusetts
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KT Door Lock/ Door difficult to close

Hi Everyone,

I am the owner of an 18' 1970 Caravel. I'm in the process of completely restoring it. I completely replaced the subfloor and recently repaired the KT lock. After installing the KT lock I found that in order to get the door to stay shut I had to ram my shoulder into the door. In order to close it from the inside I have to pull the door really hard, which makes a loud slamming sound.

It is very irritating and impractical to have to slam the door in order to close it. I did not make any changes to the door of any kind and understand that it's possible that replacing the floor may have something to do with the door not closing easily.

My questions are as follows:

1) Is anyone able to easily close the main door of his/her 1970-1977 airstream with the KT Lock?

2) Does anyone know how to trouble shoot and/or fix this issue?

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:12 PM   #2
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Check the striker plate and deadbolt for wear, photos would help. Try loosing up the mounting bolts closing the door and then re-tightening. Have you checked for hinge wear? Is the door bent or out of plumb?
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Old 01-07-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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This may sound too easy, but a tiny bit of grease on the angled part of the striker bolt often simply makes the problem go away... until it needs more.

I have had it need more on the road, and then I put a dab of butter on it. LOL.

Of course it can be something much more serious, but I have found it to be the solution for KT locks quite often. Try it anyway.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:17 AM   #4
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1970 18' Caravel
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Hi Lumatic,

Thank you for your response. Striker plate it good, plenty of life left in it. Can't really do the re-tightening suggestion yet because when the 3 mounting screws on the KT are tightened, the sliding bolt doesn't come back out of the door. It's currently working because I have the mounting screws loose. This is a problem I'm going to fix after the door closing issue is resolved. This problem and the door closing problem are not connected.

The door hinge does not look worn. I will take some pictures tomorrow during the day and post them.

I don't believe the door is bent, but the installation of the new floor may have altered the way the door lined up. The deadbolt lock does lock when the door is closed, which leads me to believe that it is lined up.

I tried attaching a couple of pictures, but I'm not sure if it worked. This site is really difficult to upload photos on.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:24 AM   #5
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Perhaps the spring you used for the striker bolt is too stiff? Door looks to be in alignment and in plumb. Silicone spray has worked for me.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:29 AM   #6
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Use your finger get some grease from the hitch and grease the striker bolt . make sure the angled part is done like mentioned earlier. It will be hard to close if it needs greasing.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamy1985 View Post
Hi Lumatic,

Thank you for your response. Striker plate it good, plenty of life left in it. Can't really do the re-tightening suggestion yet because when the 3 mounting screws on the KT are tightened, the sliding bolt doesn't come back out of the door. It's currently working because I have the mounting screws loose. This is a problem I'm going to fix after the door closing issue is resolved. This problem and the door closing problem are not connected.

The door hinge does not look worn. I will take some pictures tomorrow during the day and post them.

I don't believe the door is bent, but the installation of the new floor may have altered the way the door lined up. The deadbolt lock does lock when the door is closed, which leads me to believe that it is lined up.

I tried attaching a couple of pictures, but I'm not sure if it worked. This site is really difficult to upload photos on.
The need to "slam" the entrance door, is not good.

First of all, it can cause the door frame to break in the center of the door, where the lock hole exists.

There are several causes for the need to "slam".

Having the incorrect door gasket, can cause the issue.

Next would be lubing the striker bolt. Use "silicone spray".

Then a bad striker pocket could cause the problem, and/or the brass shim in the 1973 to 1977 models, that use the KT lock.

Checking the striker bolt for a groove in it, is a wise thing to do.

Unbalanced running gear, heavy duty tow vehicles and excessive rated hitch bars, can indeed make the entrance door move up and down, when moving, that in turn, wears a groove in the KT lock striker bolt.

If everything looks OK, then lubing the entrance door gasket with silicone spray, can also eliminate the need to "slam" the door.

All of the above assumes that the entrance door is not damaged, or out of alignment.

Andy
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:07 AM   #8
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1970 18' Caravel
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Hi Idroba,

I will try putting grease on the angled part of the slide bolt, but I'm not sure if that will resolve my issue. It's almost like it's just a tiny bit out of alignment. Just enough to make closing it difficult, but not enough to disrupt it from lining up with the striker plates.

It might be something with the hinge or something too. or maybe the frame that the hinge is mounted on is too far out and needs to be adjusted.

This has been an exhausting renovation. I thought once I finally finished leveling the subfloor and reinstalling the under belly that the restore would go smoother. This stupid door has stopped me right in my tracks. haha

I did get new LED track lighting installed yesterday, so that's something.

Thank you both for your help!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:15 AM   #9
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1971 25' Tradewind
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Does the striker bolt have a groove in it? The angled face should be flat. There is a tendency for wear to form a groove which can look like it is supposed to be there. You can fill the groove in with epoxy putty, which is temporary.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:40 AM   #10
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FYI/ Inland RV does sell a replacement lock which is a lot cheaper than the KT 200
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #11
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Try lubricating the bolt and lock mechanism? Mine gets hard to close periodically and I spray dry lubricant into the keyhole and around the bolt then it closes easily. I have used both silicone spray and graphite spray and clean the exterior afterward with alcohol. I have to do this about every 6 months.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:05 PM   #12
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1970 18' Caravel
Lexington , Massachusetts
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Hi Andy,

I've already used a silicone door lubricant on the slide. It's moving in and out smoothly, I'm sure of that.

I was actually thinking it could be the door gasket. I have not replaced it yet. It currently has the original gasket installed. The original gasket is in terrible condition and some sections are missing. I have the correct replacement gasket, but I have not had time to replace it. I'm not sure if the gasket being in bad condition could cause the door not to shut correctly.

I'm attaching some photos of what the door prior to the floor replacement. Not sure if this helps.

Did you see the 2 photo's I attached in my prior post?

How can I tell if the door is lined up correctly? If the part of the frame that attaches to the floor is slightly out of alignment, couldn't this cause slight difficulty closing the door? When We reinstalled the floor I did my best to make sure the door was lined up correctly. It is possible that I could have not perfectly aligned it when I secured it to the floor. I'm really hoping this is not the case since I have already reinstalled all the wall panels, insulation, and under belly skin. I only just finished the repair of the KT door handle, so it was not possible to test the door closing functionality prior to this week. I also was not given a key to the dead bolt when I bought it, so I could not use the dead bolt as a test either.

I did look at the striker plate last night and it appeared to be in good condition. However, it was dark and I wasn't specifically looking for a groove. It's a very annoying problem because of the small amount the door appears to be off. It makes finding the problem much more difficult.

When I get home from work today I'm going to take all of the gasket off and see if the fixes the problem. I'm also going to check the striker plate and grease the angled part of the slide bolt.

What makes me think it's not the striker plate is when there was no door handle on it, I still needed to push kind of hard on the door in order to get the dead bolt to engage.

How can I tell if the hinge is a problem?

Thanks.

Pete
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:13 PM   #13
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1970 18' Caravel
Lexington , Massachusetts
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Hi Lumatic,

I just read your latest post about the striker bolt having a grove. I believe it does. Where the angled side and flat side meet is rounded a little. I thought it was supposed to look that way. How do I fix this? I have a mounted grinder that I could grind the angled part until the rounded edge is gone.
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Old 01-08-2016, 01:20 PM   #14
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1970 18' Caravel
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Lumatic,

I have seen the Inland RV lock, but I don't want to do the metal patch. I don't have access to a buck riveter, so I don't even know if I could install it.

The KT door lock is relatively functional at this point, so I would rather keep it.
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