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Old 05-04-2016, 03:20 PM   #1
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Broken Door Handle? Be Prepared With This Simple Mod

OK, I'm a worrier. When I saw this thread about the entrance/exit door handle breaking off, it got my attention: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...ht-133974.html

Having no interest at all in crawling out the "emergency exit" of our 23D, I started checking the latch mechanism to see if there is a way to get it open even with a totally-broken-off-handle.

As it turns out, there is.

In the attached photos, you will see a little "tab" inside the door latch mechanism. Lifting "UP" on this tab will release the latch... exactly what happens when you turn the handle.
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So, a few minutes work with a file to create a "notch" in my screen door frame, and drilling a small hole in the door frame allows me to "trip" the latch with a small Phillips screwdriver (now residing in my inside-the-trailer tool kit).
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I bought some fuzzy-side Velcro and made new pads for the door frame. I cut a "X" where the hole is drilled in the frame, and, sure 'nuff, the screwdriver goes right through and with about 5-seconds of hunting for exactly the right place, "POP" my door is open.
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I plan on buying a new handle assembly (they are only just over twenty bucks) and carry it as a "spare." This level of preparedness should ensure my handle never breaks!

"Spare" door handle here: http://airstreamsupply.com/New-Airst...e-lh-381547-02

Rob
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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When it happened to me, I didn't have to crawl out the emergency exit. Luckily I was in the driveway. I called and woke up my wife (11pm) to open the door . Next time I will crawl out the window. Or wok on creating the "notch"
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:04 PM   #3
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I hadn't seen the thread about the door handle breaking off and getting stuck inside. We've (well, my wife) locked ourselves out. I wasn't at the campground at the time but she managed to crawl through the outside, under bed storage (luckily unlocked) opening to get inside.

I'll have to look at my door to find the magic catch.

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Old 05-18-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
I hadn't seen the thread about the door handle breaking off and getting stuck inside. We've (well, my wife) locked ourselves out. I wasn't at the campground at the time but she managed to crawl through the outside, under bed storage (luckily unlocked) opening to get inside.

I'll have to look at my door to find the magic catch.

Kelvin
Kelvin,

This little "mod" will be a piece-of-cake for you! Of course, now that I've don the "mod," it's a certainty that my door handle will never break. This is such a super-easy preventive step, I thought a lot of Airstreamers would have shown interest. As for me, I just had a life size mental picture of trying to crawl out the minuscule Emergency Exit window... yuk! Hence, the fix. No acrobatics for this old guy.
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"The Black Swan": https://www.flickr.com/photos/rfpd30...57648991024725
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:52 PM   #5
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Door handle broke off on me, thanks for the instructions. I was able to slide a knife in to catch the black tab without modifying anything. I'll do your mod soon to make exiting easier.

It is really sad to see how cheap the internals are of this mechanism. The door handle is literally just crimped onto the latch plate inside and will eventually fail for everyone given enough time. Nothing surprises me anymore though with Airstream.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:33 AM   #6
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I noticed the screen door of my 99 Excella had a notch cut in it and an added piece of Velcro on the inside, but did not know why the previous owner had done this. All I have to do is find a small screw driver!

Thanks for posting this!
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:16 PM   #7
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you da man! Super clear and helpful.

Moderators, give this thread a sticky!!!!
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:33 PM   #8
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I noticed on the other tread about door handles that the mechanism was made by TriMark. About that time, 2014 or so, TriMark made door handles for many motor homes that would fail in the locked position and were under a Federal Recall to replace them. I had to replace the handle on a friends, 75 year old single woman that got locked in her motor home, under the recall. TriMark tried to wiggle out of it but when I quoted the recall number they quickly sent newly designed door assembly.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:41 PM   #9
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Thanks for reviving this thread. Just checked my door handle today. It is very loose, so I will be ordering a new one.
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