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Old 10-15-2007, 02:20 PM   #1
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Shut the Door?

This may seem to be a silly question, but what is the best way to shut the door on my 2004 International? A couple of weeks ago my family and I went on our first outing in our AS. As kids do, they were in and out of the trailer fairly often. The first thing that I noticed was I had to shut the door hard to get the door to secure. After doing some reading on the site I believe that this was caused by because I did not have the trailer completely level. Please tell me if I am wrong.

The main reason for the thread is to ask the best way to shut the door. When shutting the door from the inside, should I be using the door handle (black handle used to open door) or the handle in the middle of the screen? The reason I asked is I have noticed the door handle had some play in it and thought that it may be caused from the stress of shutting the door. At the same time I did not want to break the screen door latch that secures the screen to the main entry door.

I just want to avoid an expensive repair later, or better yet being stuck in or out of the trainer. Your help and thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks
Ron
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:55 PM   #2
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Je t'adore aussi!

Hello Ron -- Hope you're enjoying the forums!

The door latch mechanism is too lightly lubricated as installed. I would recommend spraying some LPS-1 from several angles into the mechanism. You should find it at your local hardware. Not LPS-3 which is oil based. LPS-1 is silicone-only I believe. See http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...ing-27193.html.

Secondly, the stabilizer jacks are to keep your Airstream from rocking as you walk around the inside and they shouldn't bear much of the trailer weight. I don't use more than a half turn beyond them meeting solid resistance from the ground. If the trailer still rocks you can crank them a bit more. Use leveling blocks instead of the stabilizers to level or else the frame might twist and cause binding.

The third 'watch out' is contained here: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...fix-32012.html
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:01 PM   #3
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Bob really covered all the angles....the latch doors sometime, regarless if lubricated sometimes can use a bit of help. Rather than slam it, I usually place my hand on the exterior of the rivet line (center of the door) by the lock assembly and push it closed. Sometimes, even leveling it properly, the body does tend to flex a bit when you have the hitch jack extended farther than normal.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:03 PM   #4
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Like any structural member (eg, floor joists) an Airstream's frame will flex under load. I have an outside storage compartment at the front of my Safari that is a dickens to open or shut if I'm hitched up and have engaged my WD bars. I've learned to put things away before I hitch up.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I will lube the latch mechanism. As far as shutting the door from the inside which handle should I be pulling on? The screen door or exterior door handle? I am trying to avoid breaking the door handle.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highsidepass
Thanks for the feedback. I will lube the latch mechanism. As far as shutting the door from the inside which handle should I be pulling on? The screen door or exterior door handle? I am trying to avoid breaking the door handle.
Either one. It should close with minimal momentum and little effort.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highsidepass
Thanks for the feedback. I will lube the latch mechanism. As far as shutting the door from the inside which handle should I be pulling on? The screen door or exterior door handle? I am trying to avoid breaking the door handle.
Hi, I firmly pull on the black handle on the inside of the door. I never pull on the screen door handle except to only close the screen door by itself. From the outside I flat hand, slam the door, in the center, on the outer edge by the latch / lock area. I also, when useing the stabilizers, let them hit the ground and only give them another half turn. To level my trailer front to rear, I use my tongue jack. To level my trailer from side to side, I use a bottle jack on the middle of one of the axle brackets. Or if I'm just a little off, side to side, I just leave it as is. Not only flexing is an issue, but temperature is also a factor. Last week in Arizona we had a day time temperature of close to 90 degrees and a night time temperature as low as 33 degrees. I set up my trailer in the after noon, but my door seamed to work easier when it was in the cold mornig.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Hi, I firmly pull on the black handle on the inside of the door. I never pull on the screen door handle except to only close the screen door by itself. From the outside I flat hand, slam the door, in the center, on the outer edge by the latch / lock area.
Yeah. What he said.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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I also pull the black handle when I know the door has shifted ever so slightly due to an uneven surface as described above bring the door to the threshold, then with some umph, pull the door in, rather than slam it, which can also be done.

If I know the door is not binding, then I use the one on the screen and pull lightly as the door doens't need a lot of effort at that point.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:34 PM   #10
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To cut down on all that "opening and shutting" the exterior metal door while you are camping, try this. Not only will it work better but it also lets in the light so you don't feel all closed in behind that metal door.

Take a large piece of paper and make a pattern of the inside screen door insert where the screen attaches to the door for the top and bottom section. Be precise. then go to your local glass dealer and have them cut you two pieces of 1/8" Plexiglas to exactly match your pattern. Then buy some of the small plastic oblong clips that have a screw hole in one end. Mark and drill a small hole inside door frame next to the door frame close to the screen Attach the clips with screws at the top, bottom and sides. Insert the Plexiglas glass and turn the clips to hold the Plexiglas in place. Now you have a screen door with Plexiglas that can be opened and closed very easy. This setup will work fine on the hottest days and not effect the AC. When its cooler just take out the Plexiglas for the screen door effect. It looks goods and works great.

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Old 11-01-2007, 03:01 PM   #11
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My '77 has the plexi inserts and it's great. I just need to find a good storage place inside the trailer when they are not on the screen door.
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