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Old 02-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #1
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Chandler , Arizona
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2018 Globetrotter Battery Box Thumb Latch Modification

Our 2018 Globetrotter came equipped with a solar charging systems and associated AGM batteries. In addition to leaving our AS at campsites while we explore, we park our TT at a covered rental storage business. Batteries are expensive, particularly the AGM variety, so I wanted a bit more piece of mind than that offered by the battery box thumb latch (thumb operated cam lock), so I replaced it with a key lock (key operated cam lock).

It is really quite simple to replace the thumb latch with a key lock - in my opinion, the most difficult part was finding a suitable key lock. It turns out that once you know what you're looking for, they're available everywhere.

In my case, I used a Prime-Line U-9941 5/8" cabinet and drawer lock, which includes a number of hardware bits in addition to two keys. It took longer to find the lock in Home Depot than it took to install it :

Here's a link to the locking latch that I used: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Prime-Li...9941/100173693

Before you start, I recommend putting some non-conductive material over the batteries to prevent a disaster should a metal tool fall from your grip and end up shorting across two battery terminals - I used a sheet of cardboard.

The installation is quite simple - remove the nut holding the twist lock in place, on the back side of the battery compartment lid. Insert the cabinet lock into the top side of the door. Replace the lock nut on the back side of the battery door.

Note that the battery compartment lid latch hole that the lock is inserted into is keyed - there are two flat sides that the lock will need to be aligned to before it will slide in - just rotate the lock until it lines up and slides in. Also note that you'll have to ensure that the lock tab is facing the correct direction when the key is removed when in the locked position, which might require that you use a Phillips or flat blade screw driver to remove the screw holding the latch in place to the lock such that you can rotate its position to the correct locked orientation.

The lock that I installed will at best slow someone down - articles have been published elsewhere about how to better secure the battery box if that is a concern that you have.

Ciao Duncan
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:40 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting. I just started looking for the same lock.
I am still in the "shake down" phase of ownership: 2018 GT.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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Chandler , Arizona
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Originally Posted by sheinzer View Post
Thanks for posting. I just started looking for the same lock.
I am still in the "shake down" phase of ownership: 2018 GT.
Congratulations! I hope you like your hotel on wheels as much as we do :-)
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:28 PM   #4
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Its a cool mod, but if youve ever removed both batteries it takes a solid 5 minutes to wrench out the rats nest of wires and pull them. Anyone with that much dedication isnt going to hesitate to punch the lock / drill it out
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Old 02-11-2018, 06:42 PM   #5
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Chandler , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattskav View Post
Its a cool mod, but if youve ever removed both batteries it takes a solid 5 minutes to wrench out the rats nest of wires and pull them. Anyone with that much dedication isnt going to hesitate to punch the lock / drill it out
Thanks mattskav - I agree with your comment which is why I wrote:
The lock that I installed will at best slow someone down - articles have been published elsewhere about how to better secure the battery box if that is a concern that you have.
I just discovered an article entitled "Security Concerns With Your Airstream", which describes two other methods of securing your battery box: https://issuu.com/wallybyamairstream...vember-2017/34

Ciao... Duncan
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:23 PM   #6
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2018 25' Flying Cloud
2007 25' International CCD FB
2006 23' Safari SE
Cave Creek , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrg View Post
Our 2018 Globetrotter came equipped with a solar charging systems and associated AGM batteries. In addition to leaving our AS at campsites while we explore, we park our TT at a covered rental storage business. Batteries are expensive, particularly the AGM variety, so I wanted a bit more piece of mind than that offered by the battery box thumb latch (thumb operated cam lock), so I replaced it with a key lock (key operated cam lock).

It is really quite simple to replace the thumb latch with a key lock - in my opinion, the most difficult part was finding a suitable key lock. It turns out that once you know what you're looking for, they're available everywhere.

In my case, I used a Prime-Line U-9941 5/8" cabinet and drawer lock, which includes a number of hardware bits in addition to two keys. It took longer to find the lock in Home Depot than it took to install it :

Here's a link to the locking latch that I used: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Prime-Li...9941/100173693

Before you start, I recommend putting some non-conductive material over the batteries to prevent a disaster should a metal tool fall from your grip and end up shorting across two battery terminals - I used a sheet of cardboard.

The installation is quite simple - remove the nut holding the twist lock in place, on the back side of the battery compartment lid. Insert the cabinet lock into the top side of the door. Replace the lock nut on the back side of the battery door.

Note that the battery compartment lid latch hole that the lock is inserted into is keyed - there are two flat sides that the lock will need to be aligned to before it will slide in - just rotate the lock until it lines up and slides in. Also note that you'll have to ensure that the lock tab is facing the correct direction when the key is removed when in the locked position, which might require that you use a Phillips or flat blade screw driver to remove the screw holding the latch in place to the lock such that you can rotate its position to the correct locked orientation.

The lock that I installed will at best slow someone down - articles have been published elsewhere about how to better secure the battery box if that is a concern that you have.

Ciao Duncan
Colonial Airstream provides a battery compartment lock with all the new Airstreams they sell. It is keyed the same as the outside locking storage compartments. Very handy.
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:32 PM   #7
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I just worry about water getting into the lock and rusting / gumming up the lock assembly. Now if the lock assembly had a weatherproof cover that would be a different story.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:03 PM   #8
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Pequot Lakes , Minnesota
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Thanks! It’s now on the list of mods for our Globetrotter arriving in late April.
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Old 02-12-2018, 03:41 PM   #9
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Suwanee , Georgia
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Made a run to Home Depot, got the suggested lock, and installed it this afternoon. Now just need something to keep the water out of the lock. Maybe I can find a suction cup that covers it...

Thanks for the detailed post - having the latch info made it easier at HD.
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Old 02-12-2018, 09:29 PM   #10
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Chandler , Arizona
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Originally Posted by KWN306 View Post
I just worry about water getting into the lock and rusting / gumming up the lock assembly. Now if the lock assembly had a weatherproof cover that would be a different story.
I must confess, I hadn't thought of weather issues until reading your post as rain isn't something we see often in AZ.

I discovered a cam lock cover: https://padlocks4less.com/cam-lock-cap/, as well as a weather resistant cam lock: https://padlocks4less.com/outdoor-cam-locks/.

Ciao... Duncan
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Old 02-13-2018, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrg View Post
I must confess, I hadn't thought of weather issues until reading your post as rain isn't something we see often in AZ.

I discovered a cam lock cover: https://padlocks4less.com/cam-lock-cap/, as well as a weather resistant cam lock: https://padlocks4less.com/outdoor-cam-locks/.

Ciao... Duncan
My aluminum motorcycle saddle bags have that cam lock cover over the lock assemblies. You will still need to keep the lock assemblies well lubricated.
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