Originally Posted by ddarcy
Perhaps there is a trick of which I am unaware, but our large side compartment door is very difficult for me to open. We typically leave the side door open a bit when we are stopped and camping due to my dependence upon my husband to get it open for me. Can anyone lend some advice? Do I need to push on it while I am using both interior and exterior handles? Thanks for your tip in advance.
The sliding side door on a Sprinter van is very heavy compared to a smaller van, and it takes a bit of force to open or close. Nothing to be done about that.
It is possible for either the outside door handle or the inside door handle to come loose from the latching mechanism— it has happened with the inside handle on mine— but since your husband can operate the door and you can't, I don't think that's your problem.
When opening the door from inside, it can help to press outward on the middle of the door with your right hand while operating the door handle with your left.
When closing the door from inside, grabbing the handle with both hands and twisting your torso while slamming the door shut can give you better leverage. And when shutting the door, always
slam it. Trust me, the door can take it.
When opening the door from outside, pull out and to the left while standing to the left of the handle, so you're pulling the door toward you. That gives you the best leverage by taking advantage of your body weight.
When closing the door from outside, stand in front of the opening so that you're pulling the door toward you, and as the door comes close to the closed position, also use your left hand to press on the middle of the door to push it into position. Again, always slam it shut.
For someone who is not very strong, opening and closing the sliding door will always require both hands.