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Old 07-08-2013, 07:58 AM   #1
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1974 31' Excella 500
charlottesville , Virginia
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Exterior door latch broken

Morning, the latch I have on my 1974 excella broke. I checked on replacing that lock, can you believe this one cost almost 500.00??? The rv is old and in need of ::much:: repair, not worth that kind of money investment. Here is what mine looks like KT Lock and I need to take the lock off and see if I can figure out a work around? How hard is it taking the lock off? I am not much on repairs, but have to be able to lock the rv. The way it is now, stored and leaving a window open to climb inside, very hard for a large 62 year old woman to do? Plus it will end up getting ramsacked again, which is why the handle got broken to begin with. I climbed inside to find all my stuff is thrown about. I need to sell it for cheap. But right now you cannot get inside unless you climb into the window and then open the door from inside. Not a good selling point. HELP!!!! PLEASE!!!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:31 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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The latch is pretty easy to remove. From the inside of the door, you have to remove the leaver (it is held in place with a set screw). From there, it is just 4 screws, and the whole thing will lift right out from the outside. You have the following options for repair/replacement:

1) Parts are still available for these assemblies, if you can see what is broken, and have the mechanical skills to take it apart and replace a piece, then this might be a very affordable route. Don't be intimidated, once you see how simple the mechanics are, you will really wonder why the price tag for a new one is so high.

2) The whole assembly can be sent off to be rebuilt. I think Inland RV used to proved this service (and the parts mentioned above). Again, it depends on what got broken. This is likely to be a more expensive route.

3) A modern RV latch is available for less than $40, but it won't fit nicely into the gaping hole left behind by the KT latch. As a result, patches, rivets, and modification to the door are required. This is the most labor intensive and will require the most skill. Kits can be purchased with the latch, patches, and rivets, but someone still needs to do the work.

4) Install a "home" style deadbolt. This option also will require you to cut a hole in the skin of your trailer, mount the deadbolt, and cut holes through the door frame for the bolt to go through. Again, this is labor intensive, but less so than the patching above.

If you are keen to sell the trailer, and are planning to sell on the cheap, as mentioned below, then your best bet might be to just remove the latch so that the door opens and closes, put it up for sale, and let the next owner decide how to fix the latch. You can slide a piece of wood under the "grab" handle to the right of the door to wedge the door shut. A broken latch will detract less from the asking price than a botched repair job (ie., don't install a hasp and padlock)!

good luck!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
~~
4) Install a "home" style deadbolt. This option also will require you to cut a hole in the skin of your trailer, mount the deadbolt, and cut holes through the door frame for the bolt to go through. Again, this is labor intensive, but less so than the patching above.
~~
I have this sort of deadbolt in my '75, and I'm installing one in my '76.

One thing I want to add to what Belegedhel wrote, though, is that you want to MODIFY the deadbolt (or purchase an already-modified one) to minimize the size of the hole that must be made in the door frame and door.

It looks like the PO of my trailer cut down the end of the bolt with a bench grinder. I chose to buy the already-modified one from Vintage Trailer Supply... at $56 it seems pricey for a deadbolt, but it's modified to only require a 3/8" circular hole in the door frame and door, which I like. I'd have to buy or borrow a bench grinder to cut a cheap one down, which would be a bit of false economy for me (never mind the time it would take.)
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:45 PM   #4
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1974 31' Excella 500
charlottesville , Virginia
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Thanks both of you, the Airstream is about 5 hours from me and when I am there, no power or internet. So hopefully I can print these directions and take them back with me. I worry I may take the door latch apart and not be able to re-assemble, that is my forte. I am great and unfettered when it comes to taking things apart, putting them back has added challenges that seem to behoove me. lol Wish me luck!
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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If you have a digital camera or camera on your phone, just take lots of pictures--always helps me! I have a picture of the back side of a KT latch that I can post--again you will be amazed at the simplicity (and fragility) of it.
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