I forgot to mention the reason we have to strap the door closed was the fact that the dead bolt spring had broken before we left and i had no other way to keep the door closed.
As for the dead bolt spring you can cut a piece of hack saw blade to fit the space and put a slight bend in it to replace the spring. It is just a toggle so you only need the slightest offset on the spring to work.
To get access and remove the door handle you will have to cut small holes in the interior skin. These can be covered when done with blank off white 2x4 electrical plates. Almost unseen when done.
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles