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Old 06-30-2020, 07:48 AM   #1
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Door Latch Lubrication

Hey all. First time lubing my AS. Used AGS graphite powder in the key hole of the door latch. Noticed an immediate improvement. What about the latch mechanism itself? AS manual says paraffin or grease. Would you recommend that of graphite powered again? And if grease, would lithium grease be fine and how exactly do you apply it? Would I just stick some in the pocket opening? Thanks.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:25 AM   #2
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There's a wax stick that's made for door bolts. etc.
Before grease where I'd end up with it on my sleeve, I'd try the wax.
(wax is the wrong scientific term, but that's what it feels like)
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:49 AM   #3
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If your latch and key seem to be too tight or snug in turning... push on the door... and if the key locking latch is smooth immediately... do it that way. Each door on any Airstream have their own personalities.

Each door is handmade and bent to fit your trailer... maybe. Maybe not.

What you experience as a smooth working bolt today, may require some door lock changing behavior. Much like those at your home. Do you add gook and crap to make them operate smoother? No.

The more gook and crap you put onto the system... the less reliable and more difficult it could become. You want it to lock and be secure? Before adding 'lipstick' to this lock... apply pressure. If it works smooth. Repeat for tomorrow and twenty years from now.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
If your latch and key seem to be too tight or snug in turning... push on the door... and if the key locking latch is smooth immediately... do it that way. Each door on any Airstream have their own personalities.

Each door is handmade and bent to fit your trailer... maybe. Maybe not.

What you experience as a smooth working bolt today, may require some door lock changing behavior. Much like those at your home. Do you add gook and crap to make them operate smoother? No.

The more gook and crap you put onto the system... the less reliable and more difficult it could become. You want it to lock and be secure? Before adding 'lipstick' to this lock... apply pressure. If it works smooth. Repeat for tomorrow and twenty years from now.
Latch is working fine. Purely preemptive maintenance. So your advice is don't do anything until you absolutely need to?
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:02 AM   #5
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always use a dry lubricate like graphite powder
wet ones will get sticky and gummy over time and jam/bind keys
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:34 PM   #6
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always use a dry lubricate like graphite powder
wet ones will get sticky and gummy over time and jam/bind keys
I buy that. AS does suggest 'a little paraffin or grease to the striker pockets' though. That's the actual language in the manual.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:51 PM   #7
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Latch is working fine. Purely preemptive maintenance. So your advice is don't do anything until you absolutely need to?
*****
I never lubed the latches from 2006 to now. Each door is hand fitted and can be tight or easy.

Don't use WD40 or some dust attracting oil. It will cause more trouble over time. It is the fit of the hinges to the frame of the door that make each Airstream different. My advice would not make everyone happy.

There is a Thread with a person at Airstream BENDING the door to fit each trailer as it moves down the line. A real inspiration to watch handy work at its best!

We had an upper door hinge failure on this last Off the Grid 4,373 miles. It may have been from the factory and only ONE bolt held the top hinge. The other was loose and no nut to tighten behind the frame.

It is a long story how I did a temporary fix it to finish our trip by experimenting how I imagined the door was attached... but in two weeks, Las Vegas Airstream is fixing it and I will understand more.

The lower screen door had worn spot from the beginning at the bottom edge rubbing against the frame of the door. Probably a misfitted door and damaged hardware from the beginning. I will know soon enough.

The dead bolt needed pressure pushing into the door to get it to smoothly lock the trailer to close and then to unlock. That was a FIRST CLUE, but never imagined hinge issues. The dead bolt was smooth when aligned to the frame slot.

The access to OTG Repair is not even possible. With some thinking and making what we had... work... the locking mechanism is snug, as it always has been, but the door is not 100%.

YOU may want to see if your door hinge bolts are snug. They are behind the adhesive cover that peals off, but can be replaced. I know more about doors, hinges and the dead bolt lock now that I wanted. In several weeks... an expert of sorts.

Good luck on whatever you need to do and get what you want to happen. Check the hinge screws. Takes a lot of torque to secure the bolts and the hardware is... well SUCKS. We found it on the floor and had to pull back the aluminum to find the loose nut... but found the entire bracket came loose and fell between the wall.

So a tight dead bolt is not much of an issue. There ARE nastier things lurking out there and after 14 years of Airstreaming... found this one and it was a doozie.
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:58 PM   #8
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There are indeed. Or that it would be super nasty but turns out I put a very small amount of lithium grease on the striker parts as per AS. As I did that, I notice the two right screws of the latch plate (see photo) on the side of the door were popping out by almost 1/4 inch. Screwed them back in. Had never noticed before. Normal after about 10 trips with a new AS? And how tight should I screw them back in?
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