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Old 09-18-2003, 11:15 AM   #15
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My lock just broke for the second time on my '72. I do not have any compartments you could potentially crawl through. This only seems to happen when the trailer's been on the road, so there are never any open windows!

I have perfected a technique to be in the trailer in under 5 minutes!

Take a flat strip of metal about 12" long and just thick enough to give you some pushing force. Slip it between the window frame and under the gasket and pass it towards the window latch on any window (I chose the one right next to the door on the slim hope that the inside handle would work--BTW, I almost never so lucky!). I choose a point on the vertical portion of the frame, almost directly even or slightly above so I could get some leverage to press it down.

As you slide the thin piece of metal through the opening start to bend it in an arc little by little until you make are able to push on the latch.

Go ahead and push the latch. On my '72 they were fairly easy to push out of engagement (YMMV).

Repeat above with the other latch.

Open the window and slit the screen or push it out and voila! You are inside.

Now try the inside latch. Still no luck? Try locking and unlocking on the inside. Still no luck? OK. Step two. Take the screw from the stem holding the handle on. Take the handle off. Unscrew the lock 'pin'. Now unscrew each of the 3 or 4 screws hold the lock in place. Once they are out, you can reach around the outside of the trailer through your open window (long arms!) and pull the lock out of it's inset space. The bolt will disengage from the frame and you'll have an open door. Whew! Glad that's over!

Save the now perfectly formed (bent) metal and it'll be even quicker to get in next time.
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Old 09-18-2003, 04:23 PM   #16
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Someone broke into our AS, broke the latch and handle to the right of the door. $600 for new assy and after new one installed we got locked in !!!!
After much fiddling around we somehow got the lock to work again. Took the latch completely apart checked everything but found no reason for the failure. Have not had the problem again but am not real comfortable knowing it will hapen again.

Garry
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Old 09-19-2003, 09:52 AM   #17
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I have a 72 International with a lock that works, but very sloppy key cylinder.

Has anyone come up with a way to user a different door handle / lock mechinism.

I don't know what I will do if mine breaks, $600.00 is outragous.

Steve
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:08 PM   #18
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$600

If I understand correctly, the $600 cost is because the original manufacturer of that paddle handle door lock assembly went out of business, therefore it has become hard to locate a replacement. There apparently are replacement parts for some (all?) of it, cause Charlie said once we get in and get the assembly off the door, we can get it fixed. I just want to get in and then not have this happen again!!!!! The Window Breakin detailed above may end up being a 2nd option if the door hingepin deal does not work. Thanks for the explanation. Will keep you updated on our progress, altho Charlie said don't worry about mouse, so my husband hasn't indicated when we will get to this. Good Grief Charlie Brown!!!!! Leigh
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:50 PM   #19
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The $600.00 replacement lock is for a 1970 to 1977 trailer, only.

In 1978 Airstream used a lock mad by Keeler Brass. They are no longer in business.

A replacement lock kit is available that fits the 1978 to 1991 trailers.

It's cost is less than $150.00.

As per Airstream, a small modification to the door is necessary.

Total installation time is 1 hour or less.

Not something everyone can do, but most certainly by the person that has a few basic tools and a little mechanical moxie.

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Old 09-19-2003, 04:36 PM   #20
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So what your telling us that we can upgrade our locks with the lesser expensive one? If this is true there sure will be a lot of happier people when the time comes that the lock has to be replaced due to failure or breakage.
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:58 PM   #21
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Greg.

Your correct for 1978 to 1991.

1970 to 1977 trailer entrance door locks, such as you have, is the 'BIG" one.

Can you update a 1970 to 1977?

Sure can. But........

You must plate the exterior and interior of the door, and drill new holes.

About a 4 hour plus job, by the time your done.

Replacing the striker pocket, is also a must.

Andy
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Old 09-20-2003, 01:23 AM   #22
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Had the same thing happen to my Overlander right as I was doing a buyer inspection. The handle has a shaft with a cam at the top of it, it decided to break off just as the previous owner pulled on it to show me the insides. The poor guy, I still remember the look on his face, He must have known how much a lock really costs. I did manage to get in but can tell you the lock was the first thing on that trailer that I fixed. Got the cam welded back on with no problems and it still works fine to this day. Good thing I didn't know then what I do know now in regards to those $600 door latches or else I would have !@#$ a brick!!

Chas
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Old 03-07-2004, 02:20 PM   #23
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Update

Thought I would post now that we have gotten our trailer back from Buena Vista to fix the door problem (Could not get in as paddle handle just flopped back and forth). We were successful in removing the hinge pins from the door. We used a very small diameter drill pick on the underneath side of the hinge pin assembly and then tapped and slowly pulled the hinge pin(s) out, being careful not to lose the washers. There was some difficulty after we removed the hinge pins with getting the door past the hinge assembly attached to the outside of the trailer. We had to carefully pry the hinge attached to the door around the (there will be some touch up painting to do) hinge assembly attached to the trailer, but it did pop around with minimal damage and the door came off easily after that. It also went back on easily! Our lock was not broken - the spring inside somehow had moved (been forced) beyond a little bent pin and then the pin wouldn't allow the spring back. We feel very fortunate and glad we called Charlie in Idaho as this turned out to be a minor mishap. YEA!
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Old 03-07-2004, 04:44 PM   #24
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At the computer rally this last week, we had to evacuate a couple from an early 90s 34-footer when the door latch went south; both the inside and outside handles just flopped without resistance. We evacuated them the people through the rear escape window.

We got the door off the hinges and crippled the lock so that it couldn't latch again. They still had an operable dead bolt to get them home.
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:18 AM   #25
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new numbers lock

Don't really know how to call the new lock unit that uses pre-chosen numbers to open the lock- but can that be put on a 1971 31" sov.? my family makes jokes about how easily I loose keys, but I come back with the 2 times my husband lost car keys while snorkeling WAAAAY out.

Are those units reliable? If the 1971 locking mechanism is as unreliable as it sounds, I'd rather address the problem right away.
silver suz
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Old 03-11-2004, 09:38 AM   #26
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Your lock is called "KT."

They were used from 1970 to 1977.

They can be repaired, not cheaply, as all the parts for it are expensive.

Airstreams price for that lock is $600.67.

Modifying the door for a different type lock, requires some sheet metal work, and perhaps a stiffner within the door. The type striker pocket with a different lock may also hinder the attempt.

Andy
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:23 AM   #27
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Question locks

I have seen Airstreams for sale that mention proudly that they have this type of combo button lock. Aren't they still available?

as for sheet metal work- that's considered "fun" by my older son, he would just have to know what and where to reinforce.

Also are dead bolts available for old 1971 airstreams- it can be a new dead bolt- I'm not a purist. I want to feel safe.

By the way do you know what I would have to do to get internetall the time in my trailer? Like satillite?

Thanks, silver suz, in TX too, but disabled and unable to drive.
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Old 03-11-2004, 10:28 AM   #28
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"DO NOT" cut or make any holes in the "cast" metal door frtame. To do so will severely weaken it.

Adding a dead bolt, will weaken that frame.

Are you talking about the electronic lock that has a key pad?

Andyi
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