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Old 08-07-2019, 08:11 PM   #1
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Bulletproof the modern inside door handle

This has been done before, but I thought I would document the process for reference sake.
We have all heard the horror stories of the inside door handle breaking off in ones hand helplessly locking the person inside their trailer.
Some of us have done the door pick MOD involving strategical drilling a hole in the screen door that allows you to “pick” the latch and exit the trailer in the event the door handle does break off in your hand. Here’s a link to that thread.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...od-150277.html
Now let’s look at why the door handle breaks and how to help prevent it.
Why? Because it is cheap potmetal casting
How? The door handle and metal “trip mechanism are held together with a with a swaged joint, in which a square end of the handle is inserted into a square hole of the mechanism and swaged or flared to hold everything together. Overtime the use of the door handle to open and close the door causes this swaged joint to become loose and eventually break.

Solution:
By drilling and tapping the end on the door handle you can add a washer and machine screw to the end of the handle significantly increasing the strength of the joint between the door handle and trip mechanism. This machine screw and washer prevent the handle from wiggling which will prevent the degradation of the swag joint.
I drilled and tapped my handle for a 10-24 x3/4” machine screw and used a couple of washers ( one to fit over the handle end and one to hold everything nice and tight. I also added a few drops of loctite to the machine screw to prevent it from loosening over time.
See photos below.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:25 PM   #2
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This is something I should do on mine. Thanks for the description and photos!
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:27 PM   #3
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Welcome.
This hole is already there just needs to be drilled out to proper size and tapped.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:43 AM   #4
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Here is the correct link to Rob’s (RFP) door pick MOD.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...od-150277.html
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:36 AM   #5
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i tried that , but the head of any screw i tried i too proud of the surface.
it then interferes when i try to re install the plate

i tried to grind the screw head, still to proud.
your door must have more clearance than the one on my as 22fb bambi
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
This has been done before, but I thought I would document the process for reference sake.
See photos below.
Thanks for the fantastic photos!
I see how it goes together now. I also looked at the black casting part of the lock assembly. It looks like it's made so it can be used either right or left.
There's plenty of room to add an additional grab handle. I'll credit 'sheriff1' with the idea. Most cabinet handles have 3" spacing on the screws. A cabinet pull plus some small washers make a pull that will clear the screen and give you an additional pull instead of the stock lever.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:31 AM   #7
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Sad that such a mod is even necessary. Especially when a case could be made for it being a safety hazard which warrants a recall.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the information. I should do this.


But can we please call it something other than "bullet proofing." There are too many reminders. . . .
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Thanks for the information. I should do this.


But can we please call it something other than "bullet proofing." There are too many reminders. . . .
Ok well......
Maybe we could make a list of “bullet points” to come up with a better name?

Gees, Really?
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:02 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Ok well......
Maybe we could make a list of “bullet points” to come up with a better name?

Gees, Really?

How about calling it a ruggedized door handle?
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowiebowie View Post
Sad that such a mod is even necessary. Especially when a case could be made for it being a safety hazard which warrants a recall.
Well, such a recall would involve a lot of trailers. Our 2002 19' has exactly the same construction of the inside door handle. We never had a problem with it, but, several years ago, I made the same modification GMFL shows. Just a little insurance.

Tim
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMFL View Post
Ok well......
Maybe we could make a list of “bullet points” to come up with a better name?

Gees, Really?
The term bulletproofing in this usage had nothing to do with what is going on in this world now.
We stop using this terminology, then the next (such as sex describing pins in a connector) etc and soon we will have to come up with a new vocabulary. Some one will always be insulted, inflamed or bothered by what is said.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
This is something I should do on mine. Thanks for the description and photos!
I was the victim of the door handle early in my Airstream experience. That was five years ago. I am not smart enough to have made any of the simple fixes which is short sighted but indicative of the procrastination that has hampered a number of my projects.

Good article though, and it is well photographed. Thanks, it should help many folks who otherwise would fall victim to the door!
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:28 AM   #14
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GMFL, good implementation. I just did mine this morning. I only had a stainless steel fender washer on hand, so the longest part of the project was machining the middle square hole. (It looks like yours was brass?) The hole in the handle was already drilled a bit oversize for a 10-24 tap, so I only had to tap. I also had plenty of depth for a 1" machine screw.

I have a 2019 23FB and there was no interference with the height of the washer and a Phillips pan head screw.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by J-K Georgia View Post
The term bulletproofing in this usage had nothing to do with what is going on in this world now.
We stop using this terminology, then the next (such as sex describing pins in a connector) etc and soon we will have to come up with a new vocabulary. Some one will always be insulted, inflamed or bothered by what is said.

Just asking for a little sensitivity. If you aren't the kind type, never mind.
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Old 08-08-2019, 11:49 AM   #16
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I'm with RowieBowie: Recall the damn thing and fix it for good. So many folks out there who may not be able to fix this for themselves. Imagine the handle coming off when you need to escape in a hurry? We just had the "kill switch" for the automatic awning installed when we heard about the main power awning deploying on its own at 60mph. When will Airstream Inc listen to these forums, and stop building these trailers with cheap stuff?
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:25 PM   #17
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Interesting title!

Almost didn't log on. Who in there right mind would bulletproof their door when the whole trailer is made of aluminum? Anyway, my question would be, "Why not replace the whole locking mechanism? I am thinking about a regular door handle with a deadbolt for when you are home.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by delongj View Post
Almost didn't log on. Who in there right mind would bulletproof their door when the whole trailer is made of aluminum?

Funny how the mind comes to a conclusion, but I see what you're saying.



Anyway, my question would be, "Why not replace the whole locking mechanism? I am thinking about a regular door handle with a deadbolt for when you are home.


I'm sure someone has developed their own replacement. My earlier point is they shouldn't have to in the first place. But we do have people of ingenuity on this forum.




Need to have enough characters to post.
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:34 PM   #19
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Nice update.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-10-2019, 01:08 PM   #20
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Thanks for the heads up, detail and pics. Just completed the mod threading the hole and adding the washers today.
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