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Old 10-24-2007, 10:31 PM   #1
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Entrance Door won't shut!

Greetings!

My family and I purchased a new 2007 Safari SE (25') this past summer and were able to use it about 8 times with a few minor glitches here and there. We did have the door lock on us once with the 3 year old inside...we blamed the three year old but I now realize that it might have locked itself. We had an extra set of keys in the truck and the three year old didn't even realize she was locked in. I will be sending for my free lock part fix kit tomorrow...thanks Andy & Inland RV Center, Inc.!

Ok...here is my problem. I recently brought my Airstream back from the local RV center for winterization (the nearest Airstream AD is nearly three hours drive). Everything was fine upon arriving home but I decided to take one last look inside before closing down for the winter. As I was leaving I closed the door and it "clunked". I could tell right away it didn't close...so I tried again. Same thing.

The outside door will not close enough to even lock the door with the deadbolt. The screen door will close by itself with no problem. The outside door doesn't seem to be hitting on anything. The Airstream is level and the stabilizer bars are "lightly" touching the ground. The latching mechanism seems to be the problem.

(excuse the less than technical description to follow...)

The claws of the latch will not close by themselves once they hit the post on the door frame. I can get them to move/close with my fingers but the post does not engage them to the point that they close thereby securing the door. The door handle is not locked and the deadbolt is not engaged.

Any ideas before I remove the locking mechanism cover to see if anything is broken?

I suppose if I can't fix this myself and will have to duct tape the door to seal it from rain and snow over the winter until I can get it back to the AD.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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Can't say about the lock, but I urge caution with duct tape or any tape. It will leave sticky residue and may damage the finish. Find another way. Consider tha plastic stuff they use to band pallets of boxes and cover boats prior to sale. They sell it at mailbox type stores. You could go all the way around the trailer.

Welcome to the forums - sorry about the circumstance.
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Old 10-24-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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Hi, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you can get the double catch to close by pushing it with your finger, it should close around the post in your door jamb. Close the door slowly and look in with a flashlight. The post should be centered on the two catches on the door. If it is off center, you can loosen the post with a 3/4" socket. It can be adjusted slightly and retightened.

Brian
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:19 PM   #4
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hi kelly and welcome to the forums...

have you got a photo of the latching mechanism?

it reads like the mechanicals moved to the closed position before grabbing the post.

IF this has happened the door won't close.

using the key, UNLOCK the door and the pull open the outer handle and twist the inside handle.

the grabbers should return to the open position now.

IF the latch mechanicals are broken and you cannot get this repaired properly,

i'd use blue or purple painters tape (several layers) around the door/trailer opening, NOT duct tape.

a photo would really help.

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:34 AM   #5
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My only suggestion is to take the stabilizers up, my trailer has gotten in a bind more than once that made it impossible to open the door, when the stabalizers were down. As far as tape...if you decide to go that route, I would suggest the pure aluminum tape that is used for duct work. The adhesive is a bit less agressive and won't leave as much residue as duct tape. It also has the advantage that it is UV stable and won't deteriorate and leave a gummy mess like the Duct tape will. Not sure how it will affect the clear coat. I don't have enough clear coat left to worry about

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:54 AM   #6
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I find when closing the doors (screen + outer) on mine, I must make sure the screen and outer door are snapped together before the pair of them will close. Sometimes we have the screen closed and then shut the outer door on top of it. I find it almost always makes a funny clunk and does not really shut. I then open the screen door, snap the two of them together and then the pair of them shuts without much problem.

I believe silicon spray on the door latch was suggested by Andy. It makes a huge difference in how easily the door closes.

I would hesitate using any tape on the trailer. Even painter's tape after 6 months is going to leave a residue or damage the clearcoat.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjboswell
I believe silicon spray on the door latch was suggested by Andy. It makes a huge difference in how easily the door closes.
Hi -- "Andy" reporting in here. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...ing-27193.html and http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...oor-36890.html.

Detroit Lakes? Welcome to the Forums! Nice area! We used to do a lot of X-C skiing at Maplelag (Callaway) when the kids were at home.

FWIW -- Mineral spirits and steady rubbing did not remove all the duct tape adhesive from my Argosy days. I shudder to think about the possibilities with clearcoat issues.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
Can't say about the lock, but I urge caution with duct tape or any tape. It will leave sticky residue and may damage the finish. Find another way. Consider tha plastic stuff they use to band pallets of boxes and cover boats prior to sale. They sell it at mailbox type stores. You could go all the way around the trailer.

Welcome to the forums - sorry about the circumstance.
Your thoughts about duct tape are duly noted.

I thought about painters tape but I doubt that it would survive (stick) for 4-6 months in a Minnesota winter. Plastic wrap around the Airstream would likely seal in water where I don't want water to be for 4-6 months.

I may need to visit Menard's to look for another solution.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags
Hi, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

If you can get the double catch to close by pushing it with your finger, it should close around the post in your door jamb. Close the door slowly and look in with a flashlight. The post should be centered on the two catches on the door. If it is off center, you can loosen the post with a 3/4" socket. It can be adjusted slightly and retightened.

Brian
I will have to try this...thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
My only suggestion is to take the stabilizers up, my trailer has gotten in a bind more than once that made it impossible to open the door, when the stabalizers were down. As far as tape...if you decide to go that route, I would suggest the pure aluminum tape that is used for duct work. The adhesive is a bit less agressive and won't leave as much residue as duct tape. It also has the advantage that it is UV stable and won't deteriorate and leave a gummy mess like the Duct tape will. Not sure how it will affect the clear coat. I don't have enough clear coat left to worry about

Aaron
I already tried bringing up the rear (not front) stabilizers with no improvement.

I will try it again with both rear and front.

Thanks for the aluminum tape suggestion!
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjboswell
I find when closing the doors (screen + outer) on mine, I must make sure the screen and outer door are snapped together before the pair of them will close. Sometimes we have the screen closed and then shut the outer door on top of it. I find it almost always makes a funny clunk and does not really shut. I then open the screen door, snap the two of them together and then the pair of them shuts without much problem.

I believe silicon spray on the door latch was suggested by Andy. It makes a huge difference in how easily the door closes.

I would hesitate using any tape on the trailer. Even painter's tape after 6 months is going to leave a residue or damage the clearcoat.
In my situation...it doesn't seem to matter whether the screen door is shut first or snapped to the outer door.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:07 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Give this a try

Kelly Green,
Greetings..Just curious..How hard are you shutting the door?
If I may say, try this.. Slam it really hard several times and, see if that helps.
Listen, it won't hurt it..They are made to be slam'd..
Just be sure that the screen door is latched first to the outer door.
I know we all love our A/S and, treat it like its one of the family but, honestly..it's made to be used. The door of an Airstream is one of the best made on the market.
ciao
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
Hi -- "Andy" reporting in here. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...ing-27193.html and http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...oor-36890.html.

Detroit Lakes? Welcome to the Forums! Nice area! We used to do a lot of X-C skiing at Maplelag (Callaway) when the kids were at home.

FWIW -- Mineral spirits and steady rubbing did not remove all the duct tape adhesive from my Argosy days. I shudder to think about the possibilities with clearcoat issues.
Duct tape is apparently a no-no.

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Old 10-25-2007, 09:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53flyingcloud
Kelly Green,
Greetings..Just curious..How hard are you shutting the door?
If I may say, try this.. Slam it really hard several times and, see if that helps.
Listen, it won't hurt it..They are made to be slam'd..
Just be sure that the screen door is latched first to the outer door.
I know we all love our A/S and, treat it like its one of the family but, honestly..it's made to be used. The door of an Airstream is one of the best made on the market.
ciao
53FC
Trust me...lack of force is not the problem.
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