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Old 02-11-2024, 05:01 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1971 23' Safari
Roxbury , MA
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 14
A day of door trouble

I took the new-to-me 71 Safari from its storage location 45 minutes from my house to a parking lot near my house to meet a guy who is selling an electric trailer mover. The hope is the trailer mover will allow me to get the trailer into my very tight driveway and then into my fairly spacious garage where my tools are so I can actually work on this thing.

Didn't occur to either me or the other guy that old Airstreams don't have their batteries on the tongue. Tried to open the battery door compartment, which was operable when I bought it 9 days and 500 miles ago, but it wouldn't play ball. The key would turn but the mechanism won't disengage. Sprayed some silicon lube in it, didn't help. To get to the battery from inside would require me to disassemble the closet, and I'm not quite ready to do that. I want to make sure I can get the trailer into my garage so I can put things back together before I take everything apart.

So we left without a deal, but if I can figure out how to make it work I still want to try this trailer mover out.

So first question: how do I get this door open? Do I need to drill out the lock? Or is there some trick to it?

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Then on the way back to the storage lot, the main door flew open on the highway and cracked the interior door frame. Ratchet strapped it shut, stopped by home despot and grabbed some foil tape and window gaskets, and did my best to make it somewhat water resistant before the big nor'easter in two days.

So next question is whether the door needs to come off to be fixed or whether a decent aluminum welder can fix it while it's still on the trailer. I'm lucky enough to know a few good welders but it's still a whole new thing to deal with before I can take the family camping as promised this summer.

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Old 02-13-2024, 09:24 PM   #2
4 Rivet Member
Can of beans's Avatar
1972 31' Sovereign
Silverton , Oregon
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 351
Images: 48
For the battery door latch,

that rectangular faceplate around the round key lock pops out as a handle when you unlock the lock. then you can turn that 1/4 turn to unlatch the door. to latch it you turn it back straight, and push it back in.

Your latch might just be stuck on the pop out part. If you stick a slender tool in the gap there, you might be able to gently pry up and pop out the handle after you unlock the round tumbler. The lock is pretty well designed, but there's some little ball bearings that might get stuck.

before you take out the cracked door frame, you might have a welder to a test weld on it. some of those aluminum parts are cast, and they can be made from material that welds poorly. A good welder would know how to possibly anneal it a bit before and slow cool it to prevent cracking again.

Aluminum has very poor qualities after it's been welded though, so they might need to put a patch behind it to strengthen it. That really sucks. Was it the KT lock that let go? i recommend the door wedge until you can get that replaced with something newer like the Kohree that Dave recommend to me.
"Daddy when's the trailer going to be finished?"
It's done. I mean mostly. It works anyway.
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