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Old 04-22-2021, 08:30 AM   #1
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1966 22' Safari
1955 22' Flying Cloud
Fredericksburg , Texas
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Do you have a backup plan?

If our door lock malfunctioned while we were inside, we could easily get out through a window. We have spare keys in the tow vehicle, but what if the lock fails when we are outside? Our storage hatches and roof vents are not large enough or too obstructed for emergency entry. Our best plan at this time is to break the fixed window glass to the right of the door which would allow me to reach in and operate the inside handle from the outside OR crawl through the window where I would then have the ability to remove the lockset. The inside skin of the door is riveted, but I have a panel around the lockset attached via rivnuts. It would pain me to break glass, but that particular window is flat and easily replaced. I may start carrying a glass breaker/pinger in the tow vehicle and cut a piece of Lexan sized to the window to store under the back bed just in case I ever need to enact my plan.

Door lock mechanisms can be temperamental in a trailer; especially in the old ones. Any good ideas on how to gain entry without causing damage?
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:20 AM   #2
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I haven't tried it out since fitting the deadbolt in the wall but I used to be able to pop the hinge pins out and just lift the door off.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:42 AM   #3
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I can look at the hinge pins. But they appear to be blunted on both ends of the pin. Almost like both ends were bucked. Thanks, I’ll take a closer look.
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Old 04-22-2021, 09:47 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
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A good topic to review again . . . with other earlier threads here for everyone's information:

https://www.google.com/search?q=entr...=airforums.com

Prevention may be the best cure IMO. The best pane to break in our FC20 would be the flat front one, under the Plexi stone guard IMO.

FYI
FWIW
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:23 AM   #5
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2008 27' International FB
Petaluma , California
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Plan:
Arrival at Camp: Truck keys in the trailer, trailer keys in the truck (we have a Ford with keyless entry code buttons).
Long term plan for lock operation (in place): https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...le-199246.html and lube check lock on a yearly basis.
Plan B: Leave one window unlocked at all times while in camp (not currently in use). _Brad
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:47 AM   #6
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If the lock fails and I have the keys, I can open the rear storage compartment on my Classic. It's opens from the rear over the bumper and is wide. Above that compartment is the queen bed. You can push it up from the bottom and the mattress will raise on its pneumatic tubes.

With many Airstreams the storage compartment or hatch keys are very common across the models.

Jack
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:38 AM   #7
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Compartment entry is not feasible on a 23FB, even if the compartment was unlocked. One owner found herself in this situation and used a thin metal tool, slid between the window glass and seal, to rotate the window latches. Lift the glass, push in the screen, haul herself up, done! Put away that window breaker, son! (I always keep a painter’s five way tool in my truck.)
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetawA-S View Post
Compartment entry is not feasible on a 23FB, even if the compartment was unlocked. One owner found herself in this situation and used a thin metal tool, slid between the window glass and seal, to rotate the window latches. Lift the glass, push in the screen, haul herself up, done! Put away that window breaker, son! (I always keep a painter’s five way tool in my truck.)
Don, from vintage to modern Airstreams, the widow designs changed drastically. We have the Hehr Standard that has not only the center crank bar, but the fixed galvanized screen. I may try and fashion some sort of customized “slim jim” similar tool to fit our door. If I’d thought about this during the rebuild, I may have considered a flush 18” x 18” access panel above the spare tire rack. I guess I’ll be dreaming about this tonight. Thanks
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Old 04-22-2021, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
If the lock fails and I have the keys, I can open the rear storage compartment on my Classic. It's opens from the rear over the bumper and is wide. Above that compartment is the queen bed. You can push it up from the bottom and the mattress will raise on its pneumatic tubes.

With many Airstreams the storage compartment or hatch keys are very common across the models.

Jack
I had to do that a few years ago, in my Excella.
While traveling I had to brake hard/quickly in traffic. When I arrived at the campsite I found the slide bolt had moved into the locked position. I removed all the stuff in the storage area, crawled through the hatch, and lifted the bed. I was in!
However there was another problem I had, it was a tight squeeze getting through the hatch. My pants caught on the latch and frame. The further in I went the further down my pants were on my legs. When I stood up inside my pants were torn and lying on the floor.
There was loud laughter outside from my wife ,,, or was it the onlookers who had gathered?
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Old 04-22-2021, 01:40 PM   #10
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Talking

Good one Alan!

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Old 04-22-2021, 01:58 PM   #11
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I read once that you can generally use a flat tool or strong wire to release the window locks, one on each side, open the window and crawl in that way. You have to sacrifice the screen but they're easy to replace. Check your windows in advance for a suitable window to work on.
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Old 04-22-2021, 02:48 PM   #12
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This is a great topic. Are we talking about any year in particular? I think I will add a sturdy peice of plastic large enough to cover the rear glass in the shower. Also, Enough gorilla tape to tape it all closed. Is there any reason to not use an existing tool like a Hatchett to break the glass?
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Peter417 View Post
This is a great topic. Are we talking about any year in particular? I think I will add a sturdy peice of plastic large enough to cover the rear glass in the shower. Also, Enough gorilla tape to tape it all closed. Is there any reason to not use an existing tool like a Hatchett to break the glass?
Peter, this topic is kinda three-fold. A couple of days ago we stopped and talked to a guy with a 2005 Airstream in a RV park working on his door lock. I asked what the problem was. He said they couldn’t get the door to open. Evidently, some screws had loosened in the lockset and created a bind. He used Locktite and tightened them. That’s what got me to trying figure out a backup plan for our 55. I don’t think I have many options due to the Hehr Standard window design. There are a lot of Streamers currently renovating trailers. I think it would be a good thing during the renovation to consider a back up plan. But I think anyone with an Airstream should consider this. I did order a couple of tempered glass “pingers” today and will place one in each of our TVs. Also, I do have a roll of 55 gallon drum liners in the truck I could lay on the ground to catch the shattered glass. Hope I never have to use any of this stuff. Keep the lockset lubricated. I use Houdini lubricant, the same many locksmiths use.
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Old 04-22-2021, 03:51 PM   #14
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Many "prevention" threads are linked in Post #4 FYI. The front Plexi stone guard is an ~airtight "window" if the front flat glass has be broken. This is the only location with redundancy like this IMO. KISS
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Old 04-22-2021, 04:54 PM   #15
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I read once that you can generally use a flat tool or strong wire to release the window locks, one on each side, open the window and crawl in that way. You have to sacrifice the screen but they're easy to replace. Check your windows in advance for a suitable window to work on.
Been there, done that, and salvaged the screen.

Just punch the screen at the bottom, and the rubber spline will pop out with the screen. Reach inside and grab a bit of the spline and pull up the sides until you can get in.

To replace the spline without stretching it, place the screen carefully over the channel and use anything handy (I used the handle on a table fork to pop the spline back in at about 3 inch intervals, then just went around the edges filling in the gaps. A spline tool is great, but it is easy to stretch the spline... which of course shrinks back over a month or two, and pulls loose at the radiused corners, so even with one it is a good idea to fit it by poking in small sections and then rolling the gaps. A large straight screw driver will work too, just don't be too aggressive and poke holes in the spline.

If your spline is crunchy, it has completely dried out and should be replaced... measure the diameter, or take a sample to the hardware store - there are dozens of choices. Grr!

Paula
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:39 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
If the lock fails and I have the keys, I can open the rear storage compartment on my Classic. It's opens from the rear over the bumper and is wide. Above that compartment is the queen bed. You can push it up from the bottom and the mattress will raise on its pneumatic tubes.

With many Airstreams the storage compartment or hatch keys are very common across the models.

Jack
I’ve been locked out and tried crawling into the storage compartment under the queen bed. Unfortunately, I found it impossible to gain enough leverage to lift the bed.

A handi-bar was our ultimate break-in tool for prying the door open. Minimal damage and Jackson Center fixed the lock for under $200.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:55 AM   #17
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2018 27' Globetrotter
Mooresville , North Carolina
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Many "prevention" threads are linked in Post #4 FYI. The front Plexi stone guard is an ~airtight "window" if the front flat glass has be broken. This is the only location with redundancy like this IMO. KISS
This is a good topic. I have a plan to get out but hadn't thought about getting locked out. In KISS as OTRA15 has noted, how about taking this a step further. In our Globetrotter I think we have the same setup behind our Plexi stone guard. Rather than sacrificing the front glass (behind the Plexi stone guard), how about just leaving that window unlocked when you arrive at camp. If you get locked out, just raise the Plexi stone guard / open the glass window / Follow Foiled Again's method for removing the screen and gain entry without breaking the glass or screen.

I wouldn't trust this method for when I am towing (although it may work if it is really airtight) but I would feel comfortable doing this is a campground and the RV is stationary.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:56 AM   #18
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Assuming Im not out in the middle of nowhere, I would just google "local locksmith". Cheaper than replacing a window.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:05 AM   #19
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I’m all for MacGyver-ing, but my specific plan is to use the hatch on the Eddie Bauer (ok, ok, I just checked the rules in the “home edition” version of this game show and I see that’s cheating...). I do keep my trailer keys in my pocket and the spare set in the truck just in case.

If I was locked in, I’d holler at a passerby, offer them alcohol, unlock my truck from inside the trailer, tell them where the spare keys are and ask them to try unlocking the door from the outside with the keys. The lock cylinder might work even if the inside slide didn’t depending on which lock has jammed.

Failing that, my next move would be to call a mobile locksmith to come and get me out if I was locked in. If I was locked out I would hitch up and tow the trailer to a locksmith to save money unless I had left the good china or a bottle of rare vintage on the counter before the door jammed in which case I’d have him come to me.

Barring that, I’m looking at removing or breaking glass. If I was locked out I’d go for the rear window (which is an operable awning window in the EB) since I can, and do, drive with that one open sometimes. It’s the one I’d miss the least and the cheapest to repair. If I was inside I’d remove the emergency screen in the bedroom window and unscrew the arm attachments (my tool box is in the trailer... just the way MacGyver transports his) so the window could pivot open far enough to let my fat ass out. I’d do my best to roll when I hit the ground to avoid injury. At my age you can’t be too careful and I would hope to continue my trip after bandaging my dignity.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
I had to do that a few years ago, in my Excella.
While traveling I had to brake hard/quickly in traffic. When I arrived at the campsite I found the slide bolt had moved into the locked position. I removed all the stuff in the storage area, crawled through the hatch, and lifted the bed. I was in!
However there was another problem I had, it was a tight squeeze getting through the hatch. My pants caught on the latch and frame. The further in I went the further down my pants were on my legs. When I stood up inside my pants were torn and lying on the floor.
There was loud laughter outside from my wife ,,, or was it the onlookers who had gathered?
Been there! 6’4 and 270 squeezed through that back hatch.
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