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Old 12-27-2018, 09:23 AM   #1
Dennawayne
 
2015 30' International
On the Road , Washington
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 17
Locked inside my Airstream at Walmart

Well this is an interesting thing that happened to my wife and I on the first day out of the second leg of our travels across the US. We had been in Washington State visiting our kids and grandchildren. We pull into Walmart at Hood river about 5:30 pm and set up for a little shopping and get something to eat. We returned about 7 pm. On entering I closed the door. I heard the familiar 1st click and with grasping the handle firmly I gave the final tug to secure the door and off I went. The entire black entry handle in my hand became completely detached from the door and momemtemly sending towards the street side interior bulkhead. Whoa daddy! My wife and I are now locked in our 30í 2015 International Signature in Walmart. I am confident we will not starve here but I am a tad upset that I was almost launched through a window holding madly on to a door handle. As if that might save me. Mind you I have tools but....they are in the pickup truck. My first thought was I need to get out of here and then open the door and then figure out how this thing works.

I open the window which was fortunately did not rescreened as of yet and I pop my head out and yell, ďhey buddy can you give me a hand?Ē Hey buddy! Heeeeyyyyy budddy. Buddy. Buddy. Iím sure he hears or sees me as he continues checking over his fifth wheel about 75 yards away. Never looks up. Never hears me. Never glances over. Iím still locked in the AS. Well honey Iím going in. Iíll lower myself to the ground through the window, still spry at 66 but geez I wasnít expecting this!

Long story short. I was able to get on line and to the Forum, this has happened before and yes you only need a small straight slot screwdriver to free yourself from the grips of your AS. My post is how to permanently fix that stupidly designed swagged handle. It in my opinion is designed to fail a nut is swagged not welded to th handle. Of course they are of dissimilar metals but they could hatapped the handle and ran a a threaded stew into the handle to secure the plate. Donít worry I have pictures.

That handle gets abused and according to many threads itís happened quite a bit. Jackson Center they just replace the whole door latch mechanism, thatís a lot of mulla. This seemed an easy fix so just bought a tap with a screw to fit the threads and a locking washer and voila, I fixed the newel post honey.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:32 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear this. We had something similar happen to us with out 2018 16RB. We were locked inside at Garner State Park. Like you, my tools were outside, however, I did have a leatherman tool inside the camper. The problem for us was that the screen door frame blocked a couple of the screws to the door latch mechanism. I was only able to take out one screw. After about 30 minutes with the leatherman and a flashlight I was able to figure out how to release the latch mechanism after prying only one side of the mechanism open by about a half inch.



Of course this was a minor problem compared to the leaky door on a brand new Airstream that took months to fix. We think. Maybe. But that's another story.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:39 AM   #3
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an easy fix....buy vintage!
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:45 AM   #4
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I'm planning to add this and stop pulling on the handle.
Kudos to the forum member who posted this.
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:48 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
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It can happen w/vintage AS to. It happened to me at home. Simple fix, screw driver set kept in AS, removed screen opened window reached out pulled out side handle door opened. Found roll pin broken in lock set, replaced now fixed. Only prob have to remove lock set from door, dismantle insert new roll pin, good as new.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:00 AM   #6
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Similar incident happen to me last summer while camped at Penn Wood Airstream Park in Pa. However, my handle did not come off but was loose & wound not reopen from the inside. After exiting through the window in pouring rain, I open the door from the outside & discovered the problem. On that black plate there are 3 little screws that hold it tight to the door. My screws were loose & one completely out causing the plate & lock mechanism to shift & un-engage. From the outside I reset the handle & plate with the three screws. Now I check them screws ever day when the trailer is in use.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:24 AM   #7
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1978 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prairieschooner View Post
an easy fix....buy vintage!
Don't buy anything made by Thor! That's what's wrong with the new AS Thor bought them in 2002 and they have gone downhill ever since!
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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You got to learn two things. 1) where the fire escape window was located & 2) Loctite Blue 242 works wonderfully when applied to screw threads.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:51 AM   #9
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2013 25' FB International
Littleton , Colorado
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Locked inside my Airstream at Walmart

Needless to say, before next time happens carry a scaled down emergency toolset INSIDE your trailer. Not hard to find a place to store some emergency tools.
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:01 AM   #10
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2017 19' International
Tallahassee , Florida
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I got locked in (in my yard, not at Wally World). Handle didn't come off, but locked in, nonetheless.

Twenty minutes of jiggle got it to open.

If I had had a screwdriver handy, what could I have done?
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:02 AM   #11
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
La Pine , Oregon
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WIndow screens

This brings up another point - the window screens. Shortly after I bought my AS, I went out for something or other and the door locked behind me. (The locking "knob" is too close to the handle and being spring loaded, too easily bumped, which locks the door.)

It was @ 10:00 PM and no one was around. Worst of all, my two dogs were locked inside the AS. I finally trudged over to a neighbors and woke them (they weren't too happy) to get a screw driver (I had a set of tools, but they were locked in my truck and the keys were in the AS).

I was able to pry open the lounge window with the screw driver and pushed out the screen so I could crawl into the AS and unlock the door. I haven't replaced that screen yet (it's been about a year now).

So why doesn't someone make a replaceable screen for the AS windows (the "escape" window in the bedroom also requires you to push out the screen to make an exit)?

It would be nice if someone made a screen with Velcro attachments that would allow you to remove the screens without the need to "permanently" re-attach them.
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:05 AM   #12
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev1940 View Post
Don't buy anything made by Thor! That's what's wrong with the new AS Thor bought them in 2002 and they have gone downhill ever since!
oop's...😳that happened in 1980

I secured our handle with 3M 5200....8yrs ago,SFSG

Bob
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:09 AM   #13
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2009 34' Panamerica
Telluride , Colorado
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Did you take pictures as you flew across the Airstream?
Sorry but I think we've all been in a similar situation. Mine was once with the black tank dump valve handle....
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:35 AM   #14
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Gold River , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennawayne View Post
Well this is an interesting thing that happened to my wife and I on the first day out of the second leg of our travels across the US. We had been in Washington State visiting our kids and grandchildren. We pull into Walmart at Hood river about 5:30 pm and set up for a little shopping and get something to eat. We returned about 7 pm. On entering I closed the door. I heard the familiar 1st click and with grasping the handle firmly I gave the final tug to secure the door and off I went. The entire black entry handle in my hand became completely detached from the door and momemtemly sending towards the street side interior bulkhead. Whoa daddy! My wife and I are now locked in our 30í 2015 International Signature in Walmart. I am confident we will not starve here but I am a tad upset that I was almost launched through a window holding madly on to a door handle. As if that might save me. Mind you I have tools but....they are in the pickup truck. My first thought was I need to get out of here and then open the door and then figure out how this thing works.

I open the window which was fortunately did not rescreened as of yet and I pop my head out and yell, ďhey buddy can you give me a hand?Ē Hey buddy! Heeeeyyyyy budddy. Buddy. Buddy. Iím sure he hears or sees me as he continues checking over his fifth wheel about 75 yards away. Never looks up. Never hears me. Never glances over. Iím still locked in the AS. Well honey Iím going in. Iíll lower myself to the ground through the window, still spry at 66 but geez I wasnít expecting this!

Long story short. I was able to get on line and to the Forum, this has happened before and yes you only need a small straight slot screwdriver to free yourself from the grips of your AS. My post is how to permanently fix that stupidly designed swagged handle. It in my opinion is designed to fail a nut is swagged not welded to th handle. Of course they are of dissimilar metals but they could hatapped the handle and ran a a threaded stew into the handle to secure the plate. Donít worry I have pictures.

That handle gets abused and according to many threads itís happened quite a bit. Jackson Center they just replace the whole door latch mechanism, thatís a lot of mulla. This seemed an easy fix so just bought a tap with a screw to fit the threads and a locking washer and voila, I fixed the newel post honey.
Same thing happened to us. Except I had to go out the emergency exit and go around to open the door. Airstream replaced the lock and screen. Airstream is aware of it but has not done anything to fix the problem.

When they were repairing the lock I was able to look at the mechanism and see how to manipulate the post to open with small screw driver. This would be a nice procedure for the owners manual.
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