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Old 12-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #1
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1978 31' Sovereign
Euless , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 13
Can't get door to open

I purchased a 31" 1978 Sovereign International yesterday and moved it to an RV Park. I went to open the door to get the tool for lowering jack stands and the door will not open. It appears to be binding at the top and door will not open. Any suggestions how to get the door open?

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Old 12-11-2014, 02:45 PM   #2
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2012 28' Flying Cloud
Avila Beach , California
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I shared this in an earlier post but I had a problem where the screws that hold the deadbolt on both walked out during a trip and I could not get the door open without some careful prying. I don't know if this is your problem but I suggest to everyone that Locktite Blue be put on these screws as there are not lock washers from the factory installed nor is there room to do so.

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Old 12-11-2014, 03:11 PM   #3
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
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Estancia , New Mexico
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Can you open a window and get in by sacrificing a screen? If the window is locked you may be able to work a shim in to open the latch. A locksmith or a good thief can do this in seconds.
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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2008 27' International FB
Venice , Florida
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I agree with "Lumatic". Before I took a chance on damaging the door, door lock etc.

I had to do the exact same going into the AS by the way of the rear window. Takes time but doable with a stiff wire. My problem was the deadbolt (only operable from inside) slid closed upon slamming the door shut, bummer. We now tape the deadbolt when we leave the AS. Patience is key!
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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1998 31' Excella 1000
Bellevue , Nebraska
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 41
We recently experienced an issue and learned a lot about our front door. Ours would not latch, just the opposite of whats happening to you. But may be for the same reasons. We had just backed into our site and the door sounded like steel on steel not the quiet quality latching sound of a Packard or Hudson or Airstream. I looked it over, a friend gave me his opinion and we agreed the spring had broken on the bottom locking mechanism. Wrong! 2 days later I re-positioned the trailer after dumping. and low and behold everything was fine. There was enough Flex in the frame or not level enough to create the strain and make everything off kilter. Check your screws holding the door to the hinges, my top 2 were not screwed into anything. Good Luck.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
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1978 31' Excella 500
Barrie , Ontario
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I also have a 78 31' Airstream and alltho in 12 years and a few thousand miles I've never had problem with deadbolt sliding in transit but just in case I will try to remember to fasten it before heading out.
My tv is a 1999 GMC Sierra 1500 that I bought new, it towed my as to Cordova Al 2 yrs ago and this past summer all the way to Whitehorse YK with no problems at all.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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Morrill , Nebraska
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If you are using the stabilizers to level the trailer. They will torque the trailer to where the door won't open.
Release the stabilizers. Then see if the door will open.
Use blocks under the tires for leveling.

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Old 12-12-2014, 05:23 PM   #8
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Miami , Florida
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This may be too simple a solution but, occasionally, my door appears to be stuck shut but if I really jerk on the handle, it opens. I don't pry the door or lock. Just pull HARD on the door handle.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:50 PM   #9
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 599
I would hesitate rough handling initially. Do You have the Keeler latch on yours? If the handle pulls freely, without resistance through its arc of travel, the latch may have broken with the latch in the extended position. I agree with a previous post, get a window open and ( borrow a very small airstreamer, with parental permission of course. After getting them through the opening, maybe they can open it from the inside.
A very small person could fit into the stowage space and lift the bed up , if you have the center twin model.
After you get it open you will then be able to figure it out.
There is a kit available at several vendors to replace the original Keeler Lock. I have had problems with mine, a 78 Sovereign also, and if I cant find the lock guts, will have to go that route.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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I person on the donor the side of the door handle rom outside.. not enough to 'dent' or flex the aluminum...Just to relieve pressure on the Latch pin...

If the door happens to lock up, I can enter through the rear hatch.. of course I am 6'2" and 260#... so, may not be able to squeeze in with my winter jacket...then just lift the bed and I am inside...

Peace and Blessings..
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