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Old 08-13-2014, 10:38 PM   #1
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1968 26' Overlander
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locked rear ext compartment door

Hello All,

I am new to the Airstream world, and am turning a 1968 Overlander into basically a tiny house. I'm at the point where I'm re-sealing all the windows and discovering how everything works. Unfortunately I don't have the key to the rear exterior compartment and it's locked. I live in a rural area and would rather figure out how to do this on my own (so as to avoid the cost of a locksmith driving all the way out here). Any tips on getting this lock opened? The "line" at my local hardware store is that "I need a locksmith because they can't tell me how to break into my own trailer."

Also, advice on what to use to re-seal leaky areas..... I've been told silicone, but then I've also read not to use silicone and go with a polyurethane. Thoughts?

Thanks for the help! Apologies if this info exists already somewhere on this forum. I just couldn't wade through all the posts.
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Old 08-13-2014, 10:43 PM   #2
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If you can see the inside of the compartment door....or just feel it....use a small (short) phillips screwdriver on the screw holding the lock lever on. Remove the screw and lever, the door will fall open. Replace the lock with one you can get for a few dollars. I would not get it at the same hardware store which would not help you with this simple fix.
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Old 08-14-2014, 06:07 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Melody Ranch View Post
If you can see the inside of the compartment door....or just feel it....use a small (short) phillips screwdriver on the screw holding the lock lever on. Remove the screw and lever, the door will fall open. Replace the lock with one you can get for a few dollars. I would not get it at the same hardware store which would not help you with this simple fix.
If you can't access the inside of the closed compartment to remove the Phillips screw, plan on replacing the lock. Drive a flat screwdriver into the key slot, and give it a good twist. The tumbler pins are small and easy to break. Then once it's open, you can remove the Phillips screw on the back and replace the lock.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:50 PM   #4
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1968 26' Overlander
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Thanks for the advice all! Unfortunately I can't access the back via the inside of the trailer, so I went the flat head screw driver route . . . but to no avail. I really drove the flat head in there too, but the lock isn't budging. Any other thoughts out there? Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice all! Unfortunately I can't access the back via the inside of the trailer, so I went the flat head screw driver route . . . but to no avail. I really drove the flat head in there too, but the lock isn't budging. Any other thoughts out there? Thanks!
With the screwdriver stuck in (you've already ruined the lock) grip the shank or handle of the screwdriver with a pair of slip-joint pliers to get more turning force.

Engineering axiom #3 if force isn't solving your propblem, you're not using enough of it!
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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Use a cordless drill with a 1/4" steel bit to drill the center of the lock. Continue to use larger bits until it turns free. Less chance of damage to the door this way.
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