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Old 11-13-2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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1973 21' Globetrotter
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Door latch extreme makeover--need peer review

Got tired of the chrome plating peeling off of my miserable KT lock on my '73. Tried removing it and scraping off the chrome to try and paint/replate/shine it up, but it seems like a lost cause. When I see how much a new one costs, I grind my teeth. So I decided to bit the bullet and replace with a more commonly available lock made by Tri-Mark. This will not fit nicely into the hole from the original lock, and will require a patch. So I decided to just reskin the door, as I had the aluminum handy anyway, and I am a glutton for punishment. I am now at the point where I need to cut the hole in the new skin for the replacement lock, and have encountered a new issue.

In the original lock assembly (on the left in the picture below), the striker sticks out of the bottom of the assembly. In the Tri-Mark, it sticks out of the middle. I can move the bent metal assembly that stiffens the door from inside and houses the latch (see other picture) down about 1/4" and not interfere with the line of rivets that joins the upper and lower door skins. In this way, I can avoid having a hole in the door frame three times the size I need, it will only be slightly larger. My replacement lock will also be closer to the edge of the door than the original (since I don't have a big, long extended striker, but both strikers travel about 1/2", so I should be functionally OK). The only problem I see with this is that there won't be room on the edge of the door for the mate to the latch that holds the door fully open. I think I can get around this by modifying the latch on the side of the trailer to grab the edge of the door rather than the mating part.

I realize that I will be weakening the door frame and the jamb by enlarging the holes, but I figure I would be doing the same thing if I added a deadbolt (the Tri-Mark has a deadbolt built in). So, I will be splicing in some interior bracing.

Am I missing anything?
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Are you going to use the stock striker in the stock location? I just use the edge of the door to catch and engage the door holdopener (is that the correct name).
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:14 PM   #3
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Yes, I was planning on using the Tri-Mark latch assembly right out of the box. Since its striker is so much shorter than the KT design, it necessitates moving it closer to the edge of the door, thus leaving no space for the mating part of the door holdopener (yes, I believe this is the technical term).
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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Kip,

I took a look through your full monte posts and saw that you did a similar makeover of your door. I was reluctant to drop my handle any lower, as it would then cover part of the line of rivets across the door. It looks like that is the direction you went, though. Did you countersinc the part of the rivet line that is covered by the handle, or go some other route? I got some good ideas looking at how you rebuilt the interior door support. Your handle looks like the same Tri-Mark made handle I have--does yours have an extended strike and deadbolt?

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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What are you going to do with your original KT lock? Want to sell it?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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The latch goes completely through the door frame, as seen on the first pic of post 250. I then installed a 1/8" thick doubler on the exterior of the frame that the latch actually screws onto (see post 251). The latch does not have an extended plunger on it. This was the only way I could get the latch to protrude into the striker plate far enough. Do you have the Cast aluminum door frame like mine, it caused me alot of brief as it was about 1/2" thick at the latch. You will also find out you will have to modify the screen door by cutting one of the frames and moving it to clear the latch. I have not done this yet as we may just go with a magnetic screen that Velcros on.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
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My frame seems to be extruded, and of fairly uniform (thin) thickness. I'm still deciding what to do with my screen door. I took it off a little while Back as it was bent and keeping the door from closing properly. Having it gone means that the main door opens and closes without all that annoying clatter and rattle. Since I gave up installing a window in the door, expect I will want to open the door and enjoy a bug-free breeze at some point. Still pondering.

Also holding onto the old latch until I have completed this rebuild. It offers me a little security to think I might be able to go back the other way if all else fails. It is a popular item though.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #8
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Making progress. The exterior of the door is reskinned, and the new lock is in place. Strangely, the door hasn't changed shape, and I have been doing all the work on jigs that match the shape of the door frame. BUT, I rehung it (there isn't much wiggle room at the points where the hinges mount to the door and to the trailer), and it is hanging up on the bottom of the door frame on the latch side of the door. I might end up filing out the mounting holes to try to affect the trajectory of the door...
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