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Old 05-28-2005, 11:38 AM   #1
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2005 25' Safari
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Locked out of '71 Safari

I am having a problem getting into my 1971 Safari. The last few weeks the lock was sticking and I had to lean in on the door to release the catch bar. Now that no longer works and I can't get in at all. I have read the threads about lock problems but haven't found a solution. I know the early 70's had alot of lock problems. If I could get in the rig I think I can remove the lock and take it to someone to try to repair. Any suggestions??

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Old 05-28-2005, 01:27 PM   #2
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If all else fails you might be able to drive the hinge pin out and take the door off. Some of them have a locking pin to retain the hing pin. I havent messed with a coach as new as yours to make comment if the retaining pin is accessible with the door closed.

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Old 05-28-2005, 03:42 PM   #3
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Hi, Larry71,

Do auto parts stores in your area carry a penetrant product called "PB Blaster?" If so, I'd try spraying a little bit in the key hole and around where the striker fits in the door. Then I'd give it an hour or so and try again. I think WD 40 would also be worth a try.
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Old 05-29-2005, 07:47 AM   #4
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When we were at the Airstream factory, the service manager said that if I would send the lock from our 71 Safari to them, they would replace the broken dead bolt part for the cost of the part only. About $25 dollars. No charge for labor. You might check with them about your lock.
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Old 05-29-2005, 07:58 AM   #5
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I'm not familiar with the layout of your model. I have a '71 Avion that has a storage compartment under one of the twin beds that is accessible from an outside door. On the Avion, it's possible to move the mattress enough to send a child through the compartment and into the the TV to open the door.

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Old 05-29-2005, 08:30 AM   #6
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When you try to open the door, does the latch handle pull to the open position without engaging the bolt, or does it meet so much resistance on the bolt that it will not pull to the open position?

If the first case is true, that may be a problem. On my '78 the nub on the bolt subassembly broke off. I was able to use a screwdriver to catch the bolt assembly and slide it backward. If the assembly is visible, that may work. If not, then I am out of airspeed, altitude and ideas.

If the latter is true, then the WD40, Silicone spray or Liquid Wrench might loosen it. Do not try to force it open with more than normal pressure. If you break the nub off the bolt subassembly, then you are in a fix. To replace the lock is pricey. For a 1977 it is over $700.
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:48 AM   #7
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I had the lock fail twice on my '72--it's probably the same lock as you have on your '71. Each time it failed it resulted in the bolt being unable to retract with pulling on the handle outside or turning the handle inside. The handle seemed to just wiggle in place but the bolt didn't move. The only way I could fix it was to break into my own trailer! I slipped a thin metal strip past the window gasket and forced the window locks down and broke through the screen. You can remove the lock from the door by getting inside, loosening the three screws that hold the lock in and removing the door lock pin (unscrews) and the door knob (set screw). Push the entire lockset mechanism outward from the inside. Once you have the lockset in your hands it's pretty easy to figure out. Once it was a bent part that retracted the bolt and I bent it back into shape, the other other time a hinge-piece broke. You can get new parts to replace anything that's broken. An entirely new lock is very expensive. I still had to do a little grinding on my one replacement part to get it to work properly, though.

It sounds like you were having problems with the bolt to start with. The bolt may have a groove worn into it where it rests against the outermost surface of the bolt pocket on the door frame. As the trailer goes down the road there is a lot of flexion at the door and it likes to rub a groove into the bolt. You can keep the area lubricated and I've also heard it's a good idea to place a covering of a softer metal such as brass over the bolt pocket where it rubs.

The lockset design is very fragile. Someone pulling hard on the outside latch when it is locked will likely cause something to bend or break. I am very wary with this and keep it unlocked most of the time unless traveling. Having a deadbolt installed would be a very good idea.

Good luck with your lock!
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Old 05-29-2005, 04:55 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. My problem is that the latch handle does pull out to the open position but it does not engage the bolt. If feels like the the latch handle tries to engage but them slips and nothing is engaged. I decided to try to take out the hing pin but have not been successful. There is a horizontal slot for a locking pin halfway down the hinge that appears to be for an allen wrench. I tried all the allen wrench sizes I have but none will remove the locking pin, I'm not even sure it uses an allen wrench, I can't see into the slot to see what type of tool is needed to back out the retaining pin. I don't want to break one of the screens to get in because I'm not sure I can repair the lock myself. I think I will have to take the rig back to the local camper repair shop and see what they can come up with. Thanks again. Happy Memorial Day.
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Old 06-11-2005, 07:14 PM   #9
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Does your door have a sliding bar that you use to lock the door from the inside? If so like mine the bar moved durig a trip and locked me out. My solution was to park the trailer on a steep hill so the bar woulld move back using gravity. I only had to shake the door five or six times before the slider moved and I was able to open the door. Good luck.
I have now installed a sheet metal screw and rubber band to keep the bar back
until I need it.
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Old 06-12-2005, 06:10 PM   #10
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Locked out

HI Larry,
I was locked out of my 67. I removed the hinge pin & got in. On mine the lock pin just needs to be driven out with a punch or nail. then drive out the hinge pin with a punch. Pretty easy.
This may arrive after you have taken in for repair.

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Old 06-12-2005, 06:55 PM   #11
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Angry lLocked out

Originally Posted by stagecoachbill
Does your door have a sliding bar that you use to lock the door from the inside? If so like mine the bar moved durig a trip and locked me out.
I thought I was smart when I put a small sliding deadbolt on my screen door so it would not catch the wind and swing open and I could lock it from the inside.
It didn't take too long before I closed the front door which locked to the screen door and locked myself out. Duhhh. I now have a Z shaped piece of coat hanger stashed for the next lock out which does the job.
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Old 06-13-2005, 09:35 AM   #12
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There is another way to gain entry, very easily.

DO NOT attempt to remove the hinge pin.

Since a thief would love to know how, I will not post it here.

Call me at 800-8777311 and I will tell you how.


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