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Old 02-20-2016, 08:26 AM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Flamborough , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 3
Locked Out

So.... I pick up my 'new to me' 1976 Sovereign yesterday. I lock the door to trailer it home. Following the 6 hour ride, I get it neatly parked in my driveway. I'm excited to have another look at the interior and I attempt to unlock the door. Nothing happens! The key rolls around in the tumbler, the latch does nothing but click. I'm beyond frustrated and disappointed, and Im completely at a loss. The lock was working when I picked it up. I'm using the same key... but without the same result.

I would welcome any ideas or suggestions with appreciation!



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Old 02-20-2016, 08:42 AM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,356
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Unfortunately you need to break in and access the interior locking pin to get the door open so you can fix it.

Are there any windows you can get open?

If not, and you have to break a window I recommend the back window or the front window because the glass is flat.

A glass company can cut the glass for these in house.

The front glass will have square corners... I think I would break that one if all things are equal.

My back glass was plexiglass when I got the trailer, so I would break that one in my case.

Brevi tempore!

The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 02-20-2016, 08:52 AM   #3
3 Rivet Member
1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 214
Locked out.

First try to lube the lock with wd40 or pb blaster and let soak an hour or so. Also try to push gently on the door while trying and try gently prying out also if pushing doesnt work. The doors get sprung sometimes. If none of this doesn't work pull it to a lock Smith. Any attempt to force the lock could damage it and all most impossible to replace. We had the door lock break on our 86 and we got a neighbor kid to crawl thru under the rear bed.we had the bins out to load for a trip and he unlocked the rear window. Went in that way and removed lock from inside. Good luck.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:07 AM   #4
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1990 32' Excella
jonesboro , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 214
Should have asked dead bolt or door lock. Helped with one trailor and we did not want to break glass. Took a dremel and cut the door flange over latch and then cut the latch with a side grinder. Had to replace the bolt assy and had a welding shop build the alum flange back
Up . could not tell it had ever been cut. Since than I don't ever lock the door only the dead bolt.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:18 AM   #5
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1976 31' Sovereign
Flamborough , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks folks... all good ideas! I appreciate the help. I'm not even sure if it's the dead bolt or door lock. In fact, I've not even seen the locking mechanism closely from the inside. It's all new to me. I'm about to head out and try some of the suggestions. I'll try the least intrusive/potentially damaging first. I'll let you know the end result.
Cheers! Here's to trying...
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:25 AM   #6
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1973 Argosy 24
Kitchener , Ontario
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No offence intended but are you turning the key in the right direction? The tumbler will turn both ways but only one of them works. key slot at 6 o'clock iss locked. turn past 9 t0 12 o'clock to open / unlock. There is a pin on the end of the tumbler that engages a slot in the locking pin at 9 o'clock and misses it at 3.
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Old 02-20-2016, 09:36 AM   #7
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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Sounds like the same thing which happened to me. It is likely a small drift pin in the lock which is an easy fix, but that doesn't get you in. Before you go bustin stuff take a butter knife and see if you can open a window by sliding open the window latch mechanisms. I agree with breaking a flat window before a curved window. But first I would call a locksmith.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:08 AM   #8
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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I have had both the dead bolt an the door latch fail at different times.

The dead bolt it was the flat spring had broken and allowed the bolt to vibrate into the locked position.

The door latch the slide plate within the lock assemble broke.

In both cases I had to open a window and work from the inside. Luckily I had removed the door before the latch broke and i could remove the door from the inside.

One picture shows where the latch plate had broken. The tie wrap show the brake.

The second picture shows where I had to cut into the door hinges to remove the door.

The hole are now covered with 2x4 blank white electrical covers and ready for the next event.

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2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 02-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #9
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1976 31' Sovereign
Oswego , Illinois
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On 76 sov. there isn't a dead bolt unless po. installed one. I can explain easy way to get in and what is prob. with lock. send me email at bill73r1@gmail with your ph # & I will call you asap. I am leaving for 2 hrs. [3 pm cst] and no computer after that time until Mon after 6 PM so won't get emails during this time. The reason for call is baddies would be alerted to way to get in. Bill
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Old 02-20-2016, 01:54 PM   #10
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1976 31' Sovereign
Flamborough , Ontario
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 3
I'm in!!! Thanks to each of you for your terrific suggestions. It was a combination of your suggestions and a bit of my ingenuity that did the trick. Here's what I did (it may help someone in future); First, I found that one of the widows had only one latch engaged, so I used it as my entry point. Second, using the butter knife suggestion I very gingerly inserted a butter knife on one side of the window latch and then another on the opposite side of the latch as well. Next I took about five feet of 1/8 inch aircraft cable and tied a loop in the middle of it. I inserted the aircraft cable and the loop in the opening created with the first butter knife. I oriented the cable so that a piece of it was sitting over the second opening created by the second butter knife. In the opening created by the second butter knife, I inserted a piece of copper 14-2 bare ground wire with a hook fashioned on the end of it. With the hook of the copper I snared the aircraft cable and pulled it back through the opening. Now I had the two ends of the cable outside the window with the loop sitting inside the window. I could then move the aircraft cable and loop from side to side over the latch. I managed to slide the loop of the aircraft cable over the latch. Once I had the loop firmly in place over the latch, it was a simple matter of sliding the cable loop and moving the latch to the open position... bingo!... the window popped open! I'll see if I can attached a picture to give you an idea of how it worked.

I did have to slice open the screen to gain entry but it will be an easy fix. Once inside I was able to open the door from the inside, but it is clear that there is something awry with the lock. Bill, I will take you up on the offer of a conversation to determine the problem. For now, I'm going to leave the unit unlocked with the striker lodged in the open position.

Thanks again to all of you for your very helpful ideas. Your ideas certainly gave me the push to take on what seemed like an impossible task when I started.


Richard (I can't seem to get the picture to post... I'll try in another message.)

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