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Old 10-19-2003, 03:20 PM   #1
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Key Problem

Last week, I opened my battery compartment door and outside access panel to get to my Univolt. The key worked no problem. Now, I can't get it to open any of the access doors. I have only one key that the PO gave me. It is kind of worn, but always worked fine. Anyone have any suggestions?

I know I can remove the key assembly from the inside of the panels behind the fridge, under the bed area, and the rear plumbing access, but the water fill and battery compartment are not easily accessible from behind.

HELP! Thanks!
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:33 PM   #2
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the obvious is need of lube

If the key worked befor, one would think it is a lock mecchanism problem....with an older unit, if not used recently, last use may have introduced something that locked up tumblers...

Many lubes for mechanism available, I would start with powdered graphite, most would use a cleaner lube....your choice....lol...jem
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:38 PM   #3
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New key?

If all the locks are keyed alike, I would remove one and take it to a locksmith, who should be able to make you a new key.

Rog
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:04 PM   #4
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I haven't as yet tried to lube/graphite the locks. Will try that tomorrow. It just seems odd that all of a sudden none of them would work. That leads me to believe it is the key. Unfortunately, I only have the one key.

Well, what's one more project to do on my Airstream? (Rhetorical question, said with a hint of sarcasm.)

Still undaunted!
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Old 10-31-2003, 02:49 PM   #5
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Follow up for those that are interested...

The key the PO gave me, which worked for 2 years, was according to the locksmith not even close to being the right key. He was amazed that I was ever able to open those locks. Go figure! I still think my trailer and I were together in a previous life.

Anyways... he managed to get the one lock that I brought to him apart, and fabricated a new key that now works fine.

Total cost with 5 keys... $22.47 PRICELESS!

Much to my dismay (stupidity) the lock for the water fill is different, and the one key that I have fits, but won't turn. I think I can pull that lock from the inside right where the fresh water fill line comes in. Another day, another project!

Now I'm all keyed up!
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Old 10-31-2003, 03:01 PM   #6
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You may be suprised to find that the water fill is not all that easy to get to to pull the lock.

Time to have a contest!

First forum member that has a key that fits (there are only so many combos) gets ??????

Or take it to a vintage rally and ask the attendees if they would come over and try their keys. Getting a copy made is cheap.

You may be asking why is the water key different...........

It was for saftey sake, as it was explained to me by an elder member. The exterior compartment keys on many years were ALL alike. My keys opened many other owners trailers, but the water doors were from a diffrent vendor, and this meant your key would only fit 1 in ?? trailers. This minimizes the risk of someone contaminating your water supply.
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Old 10-31-2003, 03:15 PM   #7
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Hey! You are in Tampa. Maybe your key will fit mine? LOL Wishful thinking.

Yes, I figured it was a safety thing. I was just out there crawling around under the sink, and I think you are right. It ain't gonna be easy to get to. I've started soaking the lock with WD-40, as the other locks were VERY tight. I'm hoping it will eventually loosen up. The key fits nice, but won't turn. I have only opened the fill maybe once or twice in the last few years, and I am guessing it is just corroded from the humidity, and with some persistance, I will get it to turn... hopefully.

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Old 10-31-2003, 03:24 PM   #8
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The easiest and best thing to do might be simply to drill out the water fill lock and replace it with a lock same as on other compartments so all are keyed alike.

Rog
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Old 10-31-2003, 08:39 PM   #9
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Just to let you know..I have reasons to believe that A/S uses the same lock and key for all A/S units.( for the outside compartment door's locks)
Last year while at the factory, I walked up to the new Bambi half shell used in the lobby and, tried my keys on the still functional side doors..My keys are from a 20 yr old unit..Every one of them worked~!
The only one I can't say for sure is the front door key..
JTULTK..

ciao
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:34 AM   #10
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Key Problem--- Solved!

As it turns out, the water fill lock was merely corroded from not having been opened in a long time. Some heavy soaking of WD-40, in addition to light taps with a hammer, released it. It is all lubed up and working fine.

I learned my lesson about not letting mechanical things go unused for long periods of time. As I get closer to getting my money pit (said with Love of course) rolling, I'm starting a routine of checking all functions. I don't want to hear, "Houston, we have a problem" anymore!

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Old 11-01-2003, 02:51 PM   #11
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WD-40 vs. graphite lube for locks

Sneakinup...

Now that you've got your locks working and free, I'd suggest hitting all of them with carburetor cleaner a couple of times to get all of the WD-40 and other particulate gunk out of them. You can pick up some spray-graphite lube called Lock-Eze at any hardware store. After you've cleaned the locks out with the carb cleaner, spray the Lock-Eze in the keyway and work the key in and out a few times, then turn the lock several times. Sometimes a second squirt is called for.

The liquid carrier in the Lock-Eze evaporates and merely leaves the graphite in the lock as the lubricant. It is my understanding that WD -40, for all it's wonderous properties, will turn to varnish and attracts and traps gunk inside of the lockset; not a good thing to have in a lock.

I'm on my second spray can of Lock-Eze in about 15 years, so the stuff really lasts forever. I use it whenever I have a lock that begins to get stiff. It's great stuff.

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Old 11-02-2003, 06:29 AM   #12
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Unhappy Keys

While on the subject of keys - I've had to contact my dealer for additional keys. I tried every locksmith in town and none could provide the correct TRI/MARK blank for the front door. I'm still waiting for a response. In the meanwhile, I'm carefully guarding my one key!
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:51 AM   #13
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I went to Lowe's last night to get a duplicate key made for the only "one" that I have for the water fill, and they don't do double sided keys that small. Looks like another trip to a real locksmith. Those guys are amazing. Some really cool stuff in their stores. Surveillance cameras and systems, alarms, etc. Makes me want to wire my trailer up for protection.

I may buy one of those small combination or key lock wall safes, and mount in the floor under my couch area where I know I have room below the plywood. Good for storing important papers and such.
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Old 10-11-2006, 06:02 PM   #14
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Interesting information about keys...I have a 69 S airstream...was able to replace the cylinder and replace...now when it comes to the three compartment doors...well that is another story....I have been to (5) locksmiths...the problem is, compartment door keys (the ones on outside of the trailer) to remove, you have to use the key to remove the tumbler...well if I had the key, and it fit, I would not need to remove the tumbler...after all this time I was able to get a locksmith to make a key for the one compartment....but it will not even come close to working on the others...what brain surgeon would make the keys different, other then the main entry door????? The keys I have been looking for is the "Chesler Blank" if anyone has one or any, and wants to part with them, let me know....also what is the name of your lockmith that make you all the keys for $22.47...maybe he can help me?
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