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Old 07-22-2008, 03:15 PM   #1
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1964 17' Bambi II
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Main door lock broken..can't get open

Well, I used the skinny kid (my 11 yr. old nephew) to get into the trailer this morning. He went in through the streetside storage compartment. Luckily, I didn't screw the beds back down when I fixed the floor & frame! Anyhow, he couldn't get the door open from the inside either. He unscrewed the screen in the back & left me an entryway without breaking anything (Sweet!) So, I crawled in the back window & tried myself to open the door....no luck. Something is broken in the mechanism. How in the world do I get the plate off to even see what's going on in there? How do you get the handle off on the inside? I can't get the plate off because the handle is on. There's nothing on the outside to unscrew to take the inside handle off either. I've got a call in to Greg at Inland, but I think he's pretty busy....thought I'd try here. The good news is that I was able to get my husband's pillow out. (he was having withdrawl). I think I'm too old to be crawling in & out of the back window, so if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:42 PM   #2
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I did talk to Greg...I got the handle off & now can see the mechanism. Now what? I think the lock is jammed, but nothing happens if I force it up or down. I have to walk away before I do something I may regret later...like take a screwdriver & break everything in there! I think I'll wait for the patient one to get home!
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:47 PM   #3
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i think you want to try to slide the bolt back out of the door frame until you're free!
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Squirt PB Blaster in the mechanism. Is the trailer sitting level? If not the door could be in a bind. Have you tried pulling on the door from the inside (or pushing (gently!) from the outside) while twisting the knob?

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Old 07-22-2008, 04:27 PM   #5
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You're not the first to have a broken lock. If yours is similar to my 1979, the bolt breaks where it is rivited to the plate. When the handle is turned the plate moves and pulls the bolt out of the striker plate. As I recall you can clamp a pair of vice grips in the square shaft that the handle turns. Then use the vice grips to turn the shaft as if the handle was on there. While holding it "open" try to slide an all or a pick or small screwdriver onto the end of the bolt and slide it out of the striker plate. You might need someone to push against the outside of the door to relieve pressure from the door gasket so the friction is removed from the broken piece of the bolt. I can't remember if you can see the bolt or if you have to remove a plate on the inside of the lock to see the plate. Or, tip the trailer up on end, then turn the vicegrips to pull the bolt, and then whack the door with a rubber mallet till the broken piece from the bolt slides back out of the striker plate by itself. I never tried that but it seems reasonable. Another option is to remove the hinge pins from the door hinges. CharlieE
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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You're on the right track.

Inland fixed mine.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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My husband got it open. He did it just as Charlie said it was done. The bolt is indeed broken where it's riveted to the plate. Now to find out what one I have & if I can get parts. I'll post a picture & see if anyone can identify it! Thanks for your help all....
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by beckybillrae View Post
My husband got it open. He did it just as Charlie said it was done. The bolt is indeed broken where it's riveted to the plate. Now to find out what one I have & if I can get parts. I'll post a picture & see if anyone can identify it! Thanks for your help all....
New parts are not available for your lock.

We have a replacement kit for the entire lock, that uses currect style locks.

Andy
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:55 PM   #9
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Is this lock made by Keeler Brass, or GM (If I should hunt for parts, I would need to know, I guess). My husband has a back up plan to have his retired buddy make new parts. I think a new one may be easier. Thanks, Andy & Greg for your help!
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File Type: bmp broken lock 2.bmp (900.1 KB, 189 views)
File Type: bmp broken lock 3.bmp (900.1 KB, 164 views)
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:02 AM   #10
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I found out that the lock was a Keeler. Called all the salvage places, but no luck. I really didn't want to modify the trailer door w/a new door handle. My husband's friend made me a new plate with the bolt. He also removed the lock mechanism for me (I have a key bolt on the side) so I will never get accidentally locked out! The door handle is back in place & working great! All I had to pay him was a lemon merangue pie! Such a nice guy our friend Harry! Maybe he should start a little business of making door bolts for Airstreams. It sure seems like they all break eventually!
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:01 AM   #11
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That style of lock with the bolt rivited to the plate gets a force in the wrong direction when the door gets slamed. The force is on the side of the bolt which eventually breaks at the plate. I keep mine sprayed with silicone so that it latches with slight pressure against the door with a couple finger tips of push. I once saw an AS parked at the international border crossing in North Dakota. Several hours later he showed up at the pre-rally site in Portage La Prarie. He parked his trailer and walked to back of his trailer to enter thru the rear window. I said "did you come here straight from customs". "Yes" he replied. I told the customs people they couldn't enter the trailer because the door lock was broken. So... they proceeded to spend a long time searching his trailer. Keep them lubricated and don't slam the door.
CharlieE
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:01 PM   #12
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I have the same door lock problem for my 67. Anyone know where to find parts or replacements for the door handle mechanism?

Mike
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #13
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I have the same door lock problem for my 67. Anyone know where to find parts or replacements for the door handle mechanism?

Mike
The only part that is avalble for your lock is the striker bolt, which is now machined instead of cast.

New complete locks are available.

You should also check the striker pockets condition since it's made of nylon.

We have the original Airstream mold for that part.

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