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Old 06-22-2024, 04:27 PM   #1
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2024 20' Caravel
Westerville , Ohio
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Deadbolt will not lock

2025 Caravel 20FB - deadbolt worked fine until today. Now, when I try to lock it, it will not go into the lock position. When door is open, deadbolt moves fine, but when I shut the door and try to lock it, it will not lock. Per my dealer, I give the door a good slam, and I push in the door when I turn the deadbolt. But now it’s not working. Any ideas?
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:01 PM   #2
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Some times an Airstream will sit crooked on a site, or maybe the stabilizers are down too tight....so the doors not quite sitting in the frame square. These things have some flex. Check the latch too, make sure it hasn't been damaged, loose, or moved around.

Smear some grease on the deadbolt, close the door, twist the deadbolt to lock, then open. Open the door and see where the grease hit the door jamb....or use some other marker in such manner to get an idea how far off the deadbolt is from the latch plate.

And then there's grease. I always have a wee dab of grease on the door latch post, the latching mechanism, edges of the deadbolt latch plate etc.

Edit to say....check the main door hinges too, make sure they're not loose.
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopyPirate View Post
2025 Caravel 20FB - deadbolt worked fine until today. Now, when I try to lock it, it will not go into the lock position. When door is open, deadbolt moves fine, but when I shut the door and try to lock it, it will not lock. Per my dealer, I give the door a good slam, and I push in the door when I turn the deadbolt. But now it’s not working. Any ideas?
So what happened with mine is that repeated “slamming” of the door with the deadbolt out possibly causes the deadbolt mechanism (a stamped and tabbed box) to push the tabs apart and the actual dead bolt gets slop in it and degrades the in/out movement of the dead bolt.

A couple of large head rivet removals and you can pull the dead bolt actuator out (includes that box with tabs) and tap the tabs back together (actually I tacked the tabs too with weld tacks) to tighten up the dead bolt actuator….or…..just buy a new dead bolt actuator and install that to your current keyed deadbolt so no keys have to change. I’ll check to see if I have pictures of what I am describing above. It’s easy to damage that actuator with some accidental door slams with dead bolt out partially.

That’s what mine was..
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:16 PM   #4
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When you close the door from the outside, pushing firmly with your palm on the deadbolt, do you hear one click or two? If one, the door is not fully home and the deadbolt will not work. Try pushing hard, so you hear two clicks. In theory, you should not have to slam an Airstream door.
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Old 06-22-2024, 05:25 PM   #5
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https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...errerid=151937

Try this thread…this is what happened to mine.
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Old 06-22-2024, 09:06 PM   #6
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Mine wouldn’t close either when I first got it. Just had to work it back and forth with some lube on it. Now it works fine.
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Old 06-23-2024, 07:37 AM   #7
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Ours suffers from deadbolt and other door close failures all the time. It’s so far been all warranty repairs. Now that my trailer is over a year old, I am expecting push back - we did discuss lemon law with the dealer since that particular thing has been fixed no less than 6 times since the trailer was new.

I know this doesn’t help solve your problem, but at least you know that you are not alone.
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Old 06-23-2024, 10:16 AM   #8
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The screws holding the deadbolt in the door will loosen over time, which will affect its alignment. Make sure they are nice and tight. If it used to work, that should make it work again, unless it was damaged.
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Old 06-23-2024, 11:13 AM   #9
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Repair Video

Here is a Video of a repair like the one in the link in post #5 above.

I saved this for future reference, it is very well done.

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Old 06-23-2024, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO NOIZE View Post
Here is a Video of a repair like the one in the link in post #5 above.

I saved this for future reference, it is very well done.
This really is the right way to fix it and likely what’s wrong. All it takes is one time slamming the door with the deadbolt accidentally extended and it will need repairing.

I needed to fix this on the road and didn’t know how to take the door apart (I do now.) My field repair to to make a little 1/8”-3/16” thick “T” shaped shim out of plastic (lexan/acrylic) that slid in on the right hand side next to the deadbolt to take up that extra play that developed and convince the deadbolt to go back where it’s supposed to be. It works fine but not as classy as doing it right like this video shows.
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Old 06-23-2024, 02:23 PM   #11
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When setting up stabilizers make sure the frame is not twisted because you have them too tight. Back off on the tension a little. You should not have to slam the door to close it. If you do then the door needs to be adjusted. Ronnie from Airstream Nuts and Bolts demonstrated how the door should close with two clicks. If the door doesn't completely close the first try you just push it gently to get the second click.
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Old 06-23-2024, 07:21 PM   #12
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Lots of great information in this post. Thanks for the additional thread and video.
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Old 06-24-2024, 08:03 AM   #13
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If your stabilizers are tightly pressed to the ground raise them a bit and see if the lock works. Also, it's not necessary - despite the ubiquitous advice of AS dealers everywhere - to slam your door shut. In fact, if the deadbolt is unintentionally left extended, slamming the door could really do some damage.
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Old 06-24-2024, 08:06 AM   #14
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MRA - you have a 3-year warranty. If your travels take you anywhere close to Jackson Center, stop in at the factory to see if they can permanently fix your problem with the door. After all, they make the doors, in-house.
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Old 07-03-2024, 05:09 AM   #15
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Deadbolt Pictures

I just completed repairing the deadbolt. Using my endoscopic camera I took a picture of the damaged deadbolt, in the door, before I removed it. Getting it out was a challenge due to the damage.

Name:   Lock (broken) inside door.jpeg
Views: 72
Size:  8.0 KB

Here is the deadbolt assembly after it has been removed and repaired.

Name:   Lock (repaired).jpeg
Views: 71
Size:  10.7 KB

The re-instillation was very easy.
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Old 07-07-2024, 09:31 AM   #16
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I had this issue with my Classic last year. The ground where I was parked was soft so that when I lowered the stabilizers it kind of torqued the frame causing the deadbolt to not release. Everything turned out fine when I raised the legs.

Now my wife is scared to set the deadbolt under any conditions :-)
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Old 07-07-2024, 10:10 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopyPirate View Post
2025 Caravel 20FB - deadbolt worked fine until today. Now, when I try to lock it, it will not go into the lock position. When door is open, deadbolt moves fine, but when I shut the door and try to lock it, it will not lock. Per my dealer, I give the door a good slam, and I push in the door when I turn the deadbolt. But now it’s not working. Any ideas?
****
When you close the door and inside the trailer... have you tried to use the manual lock? If it works and easy, that is good. New Airstreams have unused door gaskets that actually seal well. That will change over time.

Pull the handle inside hard enough to close and lock, the pot metal handle can break and you become a mechanic.

Break the key off in the mechanism, fiddling on the outside... you become a mechanic.

We do LOCK the DOOR while moving and towing to secure. In the event you have the door up front that could open and rip off onto the highway. The Rear door model hinge swings opposite, so not as big a deal.

There is no slop in the locking mechanism itself. It is the mounting screws job to fiddle around. If you have to push the door a bit to lock it with a key outside... that is GOOD.

The door seals will keep dust getting into the trailer, if ever on a dirt road. Even not, that is GOOD.

Why lock the door while parked? Someone can open it with a crow bar and take something out of your trailer? Expensive door damage by a thief. Not worth locking up tight and then cannot even close the door with all of the damage?

PUSH the door at the edge, snug against the flexible gaskets, twist the key. Snug is good. When unlocking, PUSH at the edge of the door, unlock. Snug is good.

Once you start fiddling with the two big screws on the outside edge and the three holding the lock assembly... you are up a Creek without a Padlock.

After 18 years never locking our trailers... nobody likes any of the contents we carry. A Travel Trailer is not like a RV where they can hot wire it and drive off. But where do the bad guys go? Not too far.
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Old 07-07-2024, 03:27 PM   #18
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The deadbolt on our 2023 FC would only fully engage if we leaned against the door. Our old Bambi never had that issue. QC is the issue, IMO. If it were my Airstream, it'd be back at the dealer for a warranty repair.
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Old 07-07-2024, 05:10 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The deadbolt on our 2023 FC would only fully engage if we leaned against the door.
This has started happening with our 2017 19-footer. Worked fine until recently.

Anyone have ideas on how to adjist?
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Old 07-08-2024, 07:15 PM   #20
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Deadbolt will not lock

With my first and second airstream, I never had a problem with the deadbolt. With our new 2023, 28ft international I think we were just lucky it never happened before. On the first trailer, I was told you always need to slam the door to make sure it latches properly. NOT TRUE. On the second trailer, it closed more easily. 2 clicks. On my current trailer, the service department was close to closing during delivery of the trailer and brought it out of the shop and slammed the door with the deadbolt extended. Once you do, it is very likely that it will push the bolt inside the slide, away from the trailer. Always check to insure visually the deadbolt is retracted… then open your door and look at how the deadbolt travels while you extend it by using the key. If it comes out straight, it’s probably just a matter of pressing the door firmly and hearing 2 clicks before locking. If it comes out towards you slightly away from the trailer at an angle, you either have to take it out and try to repair it or have the lock replaced. If you’ve never done it before, it can be a pain in the butt. The new lock cost somewhere around $95 plus tax if it is beyond repair. There is a video online that makes it look easy, but it doesn’t actually show you what you’re doing after you take it out to repair it.

In my case, the dealer had to fix it so I didn’t take delivery until they did. I picked it up in North Carolina where I live. And I drove to Florida and had a problem in Jacksonville., Fl. I called a guy named Phil Enoch in Cape Canaveral and on the way to Tampa to make the repair to the current deadbolt. Literally, a few months later, my wife slammed the door. I walked over and looked at the lock, and it was bent again. I removed it to fix it because I had watched Phil do the repair. But repairing it twice was not gonna happen so I had to buy a new deadbolt lock.
Lesson learned: if you’re traveling with the wife or Significant other, Visually show them exactly what you want them to do to make sure they don’t slam the door with the deadbolt extended. Make them actually turn the key so they have a visual of what happens to bend the deadbolt. LoL
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