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Old 05-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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'73 door difficulties - KT Latch

Second glaring red flag that this weekend wasn't going to be the smoothest trip ever....

Awoke to find that I was unable to open my door from the inside. I had not locked it but all my must at pulling up on the KT interior latch handle did nothing. Routinely I have to nudge the lower front corner with my foot (read "quick kick") and it flies open. Saturday nothing worked and I had to crawl out the back window to get outside - where it openned effortlessly. Subsequent tests at opening from the inside still resulted in a "no go". So I just barely pulled the door *to* and crossed my fingers that the racoons wouldn't try to open it up for a midnight visit. By the end of the trip though, even opening from the outside became difficult. Of course, if I apply a little pressure to the door near the opening, just above the latch, it works easily.

What the heck is going on? I thought maybe this was caused by the Silver Olive being somewhat unlevel (left-to-right and front-to-back) but upon arrival home, I still had to apply pressure to the outside to get the door to open (i.e. to get the latch to release fully).

Ideas being graciously accepted.

Laura
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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Is your door hinge worn out so that the door sags on the striker?
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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Does the door set in the opening with space pretty much even all the way around?
Does your door have 2 hinges? One at the top and one at the bottom.
Do you have to push on the door in to get it to latch?
With the door open. When you pick up on the bottom edge of the door; Is there play in the hinges?
Does the latch mechanism work freely when the door is open?
You haven't by chance installed a new gasket on the door?
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #4
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Make sure the lock rod next to the interior door handle isnt partially engaged.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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Looks like I have some homework. Will give the door a good inspection and report back! Thanks for feedback.

Laura
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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So, I finally got back to the trailer to start investigating this issueÖ This is what I found and I still canít disengage the latch using the interior handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerowood View Post
Is your door hinge worn out so that the door sags on the striker?
The hinges appear to be solid Ė no corrosion or other obvious deterioration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Does the door set in the opening with space pretty much even all the way around?
Does your door have 2 hinges? One at the top and one at the bottom.
Do you have to push on the door in to get it to latch?
With the door open. When you pick up on the bottom edge of the door; Is there play in the hinges?
Does the latch mechanism work freely when the door is open?
You haven't by chance installed a new gasket on the door?
The space around the perimeter of the door looks even. However, the door looks *bowed*. It obviously pitches out near the center more than at the top/bottom.
Yes, there are two hinges as you describe. There isnít any noticeable movement in the door created by worn hinges.
I donít have to push on it to open from the outside, though I do sometimes have to push on it to open it (but didnít have to yesterday???).
The latching mechanism does work freely when the door is open by operating the inside and outside handle. I cannot see any difference in *throw* or *retract* of latch when I operate it via either handle.
I replaced the gasket 1+ yr ago. I did notice the gasket is crushed/misshapen at the top and it will not return to the original shape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oleschool View Post
Make sure the lock rod next to the interior door handle isnít partially engaged.
It moves firmly up/down and appears to be operating correctly.

Anyone have any ideas what might be the cause? I guess I can move forward with replacing the gasket material again and see if that sets the door better and helps with inside latch operation. I tried applying pressure to the center of the door from the outside to see if I could manipulate the *bow* with no success. However, I believe it has always looked this way (bowed) and it didnít affect the operation of the latch previously. ThoughÖ. I have always assisted opening of the door via a quick kick of the bottom of the door.


Laura
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #7
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Is there a groove worn in the plunger like mine? That cold case the door to bind.
I'm going to weld it over and grind it smooth.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Is there a groove worn in the plunger like mine? That cold case the door to bind.
I'm going to weld it over and grind it smooth.
There is some grooving - not as much as yours. I found this pic from when the latch was broken previously. It's hard to discern the groove, but it's there. I don't have access to any welding work but do have a grinder. I presume using the grinder to smooth/transition the groove is not advisable. (and could likely exacerbate the problem) ???

Laura
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
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There is some grooving - not as much as yours. I found this pic from when the latch was broken previously. It's hard to discern the groove, but it's there. I don't have access to any welding work but do have a grinder. I presume using the grinder to smooth/transition the groove is not advisable. (and could likely exacerbate the problem) ???

Laura
The problem is the groove in the striker bolt.

That is caused by not having the brass shim installed, which without it allows the soft striker bolt to ride on the cast stainless steel striker pocket.

That issue is also agravated by not having the running gear properly balanced.

Replacing the striker bolt and the brass shim in the striker pocket will fix the problem.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
The problem is the groove in the striker bolt.

That is caused by not having the brass shim installed, which without it allows the soft striker bolt to ride on the cast stainless steel striker pocket.

That issue is also agravated by not having the running gear properly balanced.

Replacing the striker bolt and the brass shim in the striker pocket will fix the problem.

Andy
I am pretty sure I can make those replacements/changes as I've had the latch removed previously for roll pin repair.

I am hoping my running gear is balanced... but will look into it this year! The list continues to grow. When I chose RV over Boat, I thought the maintenance would be less. ha. Well, it probably is less but it doesn't feel like it - especially in this heat and being away from the water.

Laura
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
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I am pretty sure I can make those replacements/changes as I've had the latch removed previously for roll pin repair.

I am hoping my running gear is balanced... but will look into it this year! The list continues to grow. When I chose RV over Boat, I thought the maintenance would be less. ha. Well, it probably is less but it doesn't feel like it - especially in this heat and being away from the water.

Laura
Well Laura, the good news about an Airstream when it leaks, (maintenance) you only have to replace the floor.

But when a boat leaks, it sinks.

Andy
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:10 PM   #12
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If you think the problem is with the grove in the bolt. You can get a new bolt at "Out Of Doors Mart".
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:46 PM   #13
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Door working but squeeking LOUDLY

So, not long after I started this thread I headed across the country for a new job. The journey has continued and I've towed the Silver Olive back and forth across the country three times. I have worked on her now-and-again but, mostly, she's been just "waiting". Waiting for me to give her proper attention, waiting to go camping and see the splendid places that I dream of....

I finally have some time, and a place, to work on her. There are several things at the top of my priority list so that I can boondock. Getting the door to work properly is the TOP PRIORITY.

I was shocked to find that I can now, easily open and close the door using the latch. Maybe the years of having a block inserted under the adjacent r handle (securing the suicide door closed) caused some change in dynamics?

Or caused my new "issue". The door creaks LOUDLY when opening/closing. It seems to be at the upper hinge. I've used a variety of lubricants and nothing is easing the sound - or the feel. There is noticeable friction in the movement. Like a slight ratcheting feeling. I cannot lift the door up in the hinges, or observe any change in the door curvature. There is more gap/bowing in some places than others (i.e. the edge is not flush with the trailer on the open/non-hinge side).

Any ideas?

Laura
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:51 PM   #14
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Another interesting observation....

The plastic catch that usually secures the screen door to the main door has pulled loose again (popped the outboard rivet). This is the second time it's happened. I previously popped open the catch and re-riveted it to the main door.

Could this be associated - and indication of an underlying problem?
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