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Old 06-16-2003, 10:12 AM   #1
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Door opening during travel...

How prone are the doors of the '71 vintage to opening suddenly while towing?

I have heard of this problem and the door bends out of shape.

The couple of times we towed I put a bungie across the door to help it incase it pops open but it looks really stupid.

Plus after I polish it this year I don't want to have to do that.

What are some nice clean ways to insure the door stays closed while under way?
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:46 PM   #2
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I have to lock mine. If I leave it unlocked, it will open! Cheers!
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Old 06-17-2003, 10:04 AM   #3
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The door area of any Airstream trailer, is the weakest part of the shell.

If the striker bolt or the striker pocket is worn, the door can fly open in transit, especially if a good bump it hit.

The same is true if the door is no longer aligned correctly.

Striker bolts and pockets wear rapidly, when towing with unbalanced running gear, increasing the chance of the door coming open in transit.

Check to make sure the striker bolt is engaging the striker pocket adequately.


Andy
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Old 06-17-2003, 10:40 AM   #4
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I have a suicide door so I still use one of
those ugly black rubber bungies.
As bad as it looks in transit it
dosen't look as bad as a wrecked door.

Heidi
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Old 06-17-2003, 03:10 PM   #5
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Ours has a deadbolt installed. No worries.
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Old 06-17-2003, 07:28 PM   #6
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Mine too has a deadbolt ! But I think it was added after it flew open once, my door fits really bad , I have tried to straighten it out with no luck.
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:07 AM   #7
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Deadbolts also keeps the thiefs looking for a trailer easier to break in to!!
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Old 06-19-2003, 01:28 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, my door flew open even with the bungy. Once open, it pulled the hinges right out of the skin. Door was found a quarter of a mile down the freeway. Check the striker and striker plate as Andy warns but also check the hinge to skin connection. If your trailer spent any of its life near the ocean, there's a chance the aluminum rivets and skin are corroding under the stainless steel hinge plate.

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Old 06-19-2003, 06:18 AM   #9
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At several of the WBCCI Regional and International Rallies, folks have sold a wooden device that slides through the fixed grab handle on the skin and will hold the door in a closed position. I have followed several folks when their door came open and it is not a pretty sight when it happens.
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Old 06-19-2003, 06:31 AM   #10
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deadbolts

I have installed a deadbolt on every Airstream I've had that didn't have one already installed. I put it on my first one, a '70 Safari because I lived in it and the neighborhood the park was in wasn't the best. However, I soon found out that they are invaluable for keeping the door closed during transit. They are inexpensive, and can be installed in about 30 minutes.

As I recall on the Safari, I installed the lockset in the wall of the hull just forward of the door and let the deadbolt enter the door. I had to do it that way because I didn't feel that the door had enough structure to support the lockset properly, and the only modification required to the door was to drill a hole through the side frame for the deadbolt to slide into. It looked and worked great when I was finished. I've had other trailers that had the traditional setup with the deadbolt in the door, though, so obviously that can be done too.

I can't think of a device that will do the job better or that adds more peace of mind, both from the door flying open, and security perspectives than installing a deadbolt.

Roger
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dwight
At several of the WBCCI Regional and International Rallies, folks have sold a wooden device that slides through the fixed grab handle on the skin and will hold the door in a closed position. .
Any pictures of this device? I would like to see one.
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Old 06-19-2003, 12:13 PM   #12
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I don't have a photo of one. They look like the letter "F". The upper part of the "F" hooks through the fixed grab handle and the bottom part of the "F" slides across the door to keep it closed.
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Old 06-19-2003, 07:06 PM   #13
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I'll have to agree with Roger!

I've always been concerned about the door coming open so I added a dead bolt lock on the last Airstream that I owned. It was difficult but I drilled a hole to mount it on the flange of the door. After checking the measurements several times I finally did it. Every thing went well but the dead bolt was too wide for the door. I then took it to a machine shop and had the bolt cut so it was narrower. It worked fine and I've never had a door to come open on me.

The Airstream we now have already had a dead bolt lock.

Bill

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Old 06-19-2003, 07:08 PM   #14
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When I say difficult in the last post, I mean that it was not easy to want to make a hole in the event that I made a miscalculation!

Bill

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