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Old 08-15-2019, 09:23 AM   #29
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This happened to us a year or so ago in a remote campground. The handle broke off on the inside, and we didn't want to break out the emergency window screen, so we called the closed visitors' center, and it rang through to 911. When a sheriff eventually arrived, he knocked, and asked what was our emergency? I yelled back, "Just open the door!"

After this embarrassing event, I removed the door mechanism, and intuited the fix described here, posting the brief description in the Air Forums.

Since then, we always close the door with the screen handle. When we recently spent some time at Jackson Center for repairs, I mentioned this event to the repair team and service writer. They sheepishly grinned, having seen the issue numerous times, and said, "That's why there's a handle on the screen." I responded, "Airstream puts so much sales hype about the quality and time spent building its doors, why knowingly leave such a weak link in its design?!" Their response is noted above.

Solution? Airstream should build into its culture a proactive QC (quality control) team to follow up with customers regularly, post purchase. What needs repairs, including improvements, and suggestions for future design. As it stands, this information comes to them from the costly cart driving the horse: Airstreams in their repair bays!

What we're discussing here is a corporate blind spot, that if recognized, will save them enough money to pay for that new million square foot production plant being erected a half mile away!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:54 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ondaroadagin View Post
Since then, we always close the door with the screen handle. When we recently spent some time at Jackson Center for repairs, I mentioned this event to the repair team and service writer. They sheepishly grinned, having seen the issue numerous times, and said, "That's why there's a handle on the screen."
On my trailer and others I have seen, the screen door handle has a very narrow opening. At a rally, I heard mention that a person actually broke one of their fingers when it got caught in the handle. Any big box home improvement or hardware store has a selection of replacement handles with a more friendly opening. Make sure you select one that is 3” between screws. Pictured is my replacement.


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Old 08-22-2019, 11:35 AM   #31
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Many Thanks

Thanks again for a great post accompanied by excellent photos. I did this modification today with no issues at all, and based on the materials and construct I found when I took the face plate off, I'd urge pretty much everyone who hasn't already done this to get started. My humble opinion, a failed latch isn't an 'if', it's a 'when'.

Only thing I'd add for those folks who may be concerned about getting the plate back on once it's off is that, while it isn't intuitively obvious while looking at it, simply orient the handle to be parallel to the ground and when you've screwed it back on it'll work like a charm.
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:02 PM   #32
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I’ve seen all the pics - even the video Rob posted last year - I still don’t feel confident doing this repair myself (and I don’t have a tap or plan to buy one...). Anyone in the New England area interested in doing this for 2 AS doors for whatever reasonable fee you’d charge? PM me if so.... thanks!

Congrats to all who’ve braved it yourselves!
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:07 PM   #33
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Steve, I too worry about getting some project half done and finding out that I am in over my head. I have been meaning to get around to joining WBCCI and to going to more forum rallies for both the friendships and the help people so generously offer. I am going to stop procrastinating and join the WBCCI (tomorrow. ).
Frankly, everyone who is NOT mechanically talented, experienced or who just doesn't have lots of tools should join. I do learn by watching, and would have a lot more confidence doing more if I had backup people who could bail me out... and share a laugh or two.

Note to self, buy some gift cards for thank you. Starbucks, Harbor Freight, Camping World, Home Despot?
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:32 PM   #34
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Steve, I too worry about getting some project half done and finding out that I am in over my head. I have been meaning to get around to joining WBCCI and to going to more forum rallies for both the friendships and the help people so generously offer. I am going to stop procrastinating and join the WBCCI (tomorrow. ).
Frankly, everyone who is NOT mechanically talented, experienced or who just doesn't have lots of tools should join. I do learn by watching, and would have a lot more confidence doing more if I had backup people who could bail me out... and share a laugh or two.

Note to self, buy some gift cards for thank you. Starbucks, Harbor Freight, Camping World, Home Despot?


You know - you’re giving me an idea - our unit hasn’t (to my knowledge) done a “maintenance” or “trailer hacks” rally. That would be a good one to do! How to use a rivet gun - torquing your lug nuts (after replacing them with solid chrome ones) - dump hacks - fix these dang doors once and for all - etc. now I just need to know who in my unit knows these things! I’m going to drop an email to our newsletter peeps and ask the gang if something like that makes sense and see who knows what they can share!

I have gotten tons of tips on set up, maneuvering the trailer, cooking tips (including Dutch oven mastery) and so forth but man this would be a great category!

In fact - if anyone who has done this would like to join a New England rally - let me know

For that matter - anyone who knows how to do this and would be willing for me to record it over Zoom to share with others - let me know! Maybe that’s a good way to eat started!
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:41 PM   #35
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The international is in Colorado next year. Airstream should set up a spot where those who want this mod done could get it done. Much like Easystart does installs at the big rallies.

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Old 08-22-2019, 06:32 PM   #36
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Entry door handle upgrade

GMFL, Mollysdad and all the other fine contributors......Just completed the door handle upgrade, including the extra pull handle and matching one on screen door, also the emergency escape hole in the door frame just in case. Performed this on our 2019 FC 25 RBT. The Air Forums site has got to be one of the best places for anyone to go to for intelligent upgrades. What a great group of folks to have access to. Thanks much and we will sleep better knowing we have made some modifications to our AS to make it even better. Happy travels.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:40 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
You know - you’re giving me an idea - our unit hasn’t (to my knowledge) done a “maintenance” or “trailer hacks” rally. That would be a good one to do! How to use a rivet gun - torquing your lug nuts (after replacing them with solid chrome ones) - dump hacks - fix these dang doors once and for all - etc. now I just need to know who in my unit knows these things! I’m going to drop an email to our newsletter peeps and ask the gang if something like that makes sense and see who knows what they can share!

I have gotten tons of tips on set up, maneuvering the trailer, cooking tips (including Dutch oven mastery) and so forth but man this would be a great category!

In fact - if anyone who has done this would like to join a New England rally - let me know

For that matter - anyone who knows how to do this and would be willing for me to record it over Zoom to share with others - let me know! Maybe that’s a good way to eat started!
I would be more than happy to perform this MOD for anyone willing to come close to me. It can be done on the Road and in just a few minutes. If anyone is close hit me up. You never know.......
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:43 PM   #38
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After reading this thread, I gathered the parts I needed for this fix from my extensive selection of nuts, bolts, screws, etc.

I didn’t really want to take the time and effort to carve out the inside of a washer and thought there had to be a better approach. I struck gold (or rather zinc plated steel) at my favorite hardware store with extensive supply of miscellaneous drawers in the fastener section.

What I found was in a drawer labeled machine bushings. Not the tubular ones used for axles and the like but flat bushings. Think of a fender washer with a very large center hole.

What fit my need was a 9/16 x 1 x 18 gauge machine bushing, $0.99 for a pack of three. The 9/16” inside diameter was a perfect fit around the square portion and the 1” outside diameter perfectly matched the outside diameter of the fender washer stacked on top. It’s not necessary to have a matching square opening for the bottom washer/bushing in the stack, it’s the top washer that does all the work.

At my store, they also had the same size bushing in a thicker 14 gauge (yes, like wire, as the number decreases, the thickness increases).

Given how the handles are manufactured and assembled, I doubt there is much consistency in the tolerance of how much the square portion extends beyond the plate. Best to bring the handle in and ask to break open a pack of each thickness so you can feel with your finger to see which one aligns the best with the square portion. It is better to have the square portion slightly below the top surface of the bushing rather than extend beyond it. Those more fanatical with precision might want to bring a depth gauge and straight edge. Or you could just get the thinner one (18 gauge), put it in place and use it as a guide to file the square portion down to match the bushing.


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Old 08-23-2019, 10:36 PM   #39
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Great job! When I did this MOD I just used what I had laying around.
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:16 PM   #40
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Working on my door handle to prevent the problem many of you have had previously. But now I can’t get the handle assembly back on! I know I need to align the notch on the backside of the handle - I just can’t identify “what” it aligns with. Really need some help with this one.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:03 AM   #41
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Realignment for Reassembly

CanonFan -- That's exactly what I was talking about in my earlier post. I, too, couldn't identify anything that would the notch would fit into, and kept searching for some obvious connection.

There isn't one.

Simply hold the door handle parallel to the ground (the metal rotating piece on the back of the plate that has the square "notch" in it should be pointing down at the 6 o'clock position), and screw the plate back in. You'll find it works perfectly.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:18 AM   #42
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Don't be concerned about the notch. It doesn't do anything or fit anything. What operates the latch is the forward edge of the lever, ahead of the notch.

As others have said, just level the handle and it'll go right back on and work properly.
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