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Old 08-01-2020, 12:08 PM   #1
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It happened to us!

Well, after a year and a half of ownership we finally got locked in our 2019 30' Classic. Got up this morning and couldn't get out to take the dog to relieve herself. Nothing we could do to open it from the inside. Got our neighbor camped next to us to try and open it from the outside, that didn't work either. Finally I climbed out through the emergency window (no small feat being 66 and 20 lbs overweight) to freedom. I tried to open it to no avail for about 10 minutes. Miraculously,it decide to open. We decide to continue our weekend by just pulling the door slightly closed and hopefully getting it fixed when we get back home. Kind of embarrassing camping in a new Airstream and having to ask someone in a pop up to try and get you out.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:13 PM   #2
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There is a thread that talks about how to fix the handle and how to access the latch from the inside as well.

Glad to hear that you were able to escape! I can't imagine climbing out the emergency exit window! Did you get that on video
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:29 PM   #3
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"locked inside" -- https://www.google.com/search?q=lock...=airforums.com

The user RFP posted details in one of the 23' threads as I recall. I will look later.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB_NB View Post
There is a thread that talks about how to fix the handle and how to access the latch from the inside as well.

Glad to hear that you were able to escape! I can't imagine climbing out the emergency exit window! Did you get that on video
I'm sure someone did! We keep expecting it to show up on Facebook.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
"locked inside" -- https://www.google.com/search?q=lock...=airforums.com

The user RFP posted details in one of the 23' threads as I recall




more coming on erdit plrease stand by
The fix threads are all great but the fix requires you to be able to work on the door when it's open. Unfortunately there's nothing on how to get out once it happens to you.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:35 PM   #6
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You went out the only way available without destroying the door/lockset IMO.

Over and out.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlandreth View Post
The fix threads are all great but the fix requires you to be able to work on the door when it's open. Unfortunately there's nothing on how to get out once it happens to you.
The fix is probably more of a between trip fix as it will require some tools. Create a small notch into the screen door to expose the latch and then a small screw driver to flick it open. This one can be done if you can find a way to trim the screen door frame a tiny bit. A file or some snips might do it.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...od-150277.html
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
You went out the only way available without destroying the door/lockset IMO.

Over and out.
I think you are right. I'm not sure why it opened when I went outside and not when my neighbor tried it. Maybe he liked the idea of keeping the guy in the shiny Airstream locked inside to see what he would do.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB_NB View Post
The fix is probably more of a between trip fix as it will require some tools. Create a small notch into the screen door to expose the latch and then a small screw driver to flick it open. This one can be done if you can find a way to trim the screen door frame a tiny bit. A file or some snips might do it.
After reading the earlier threads about the failure of the latch and getting locked in the trailer I went out and took a good look at the door latch mechanism.

I imagine that cutting a notch in the screen door would probably make the procedure a bit easier but I am able to use a thin screwdriver with a 4" shaft to trip the release tab for the latch without having made any modifications to the screen door. I practiced doing it several times so it wasn't a fluke.

I suppose it's possible that the latch on a FB Globetrotter like mine is configured differently than one on a rear bedroom trailer (upside down maybe?) which could somehow make the process more difficult. In any event, that screwdriver now has a special place in my trailer.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
After reading the earlier threads about the failure of the latch and getting locked in the trailer I went out and took a good look at the door latch mechanism.

I imagine that cutting a notch in the screen door would probably make the procedure a bit easier but I am able to use a thin screwdriver with a 4" shaft to trip the release tab for the latch without having made any modifications to the screen door. I practiced doing it several times so it wasn't a fluke.

I suppose it's possible that the latch on a FB Globetrotter like mine is configured differently than one on a rear bedroom trailer (upside down maybe?) which could somehow make the process more difficult. In any event, that screwdriver now has a special place in my trailer.
Hi Mike, I think on the newer trailers, there might a notch trimmed back on the screen door frame as this was a known issue. Sort of an undocumented escape procedure. I think this was discussed in one of the 23 threads on this topic. Now if Airstream included a little handle to pop the latch, that would make complete sense.

I did the door handle fix already but haven't checked the notch on my door. I will do that this weekend while I work on my power systems.
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB_NB View Post
Hi Mike, I think on the newer trailers, there might a notch trimmed back on the screen door frame as this was a known issue. Sort of an undocumented escape procedure. I think this was discussed in one of the 23 threads on this topic. Now if Airstream included a little handle to pop the latch, that would make complete sense.

I did the door handle fix already but haven't checked the notch on my door. I will do that this weekend while I work on my power systems.
Hi Peter, the photos below show my 2020 GT screen door frame. I don't see a notch but maybe the entire frame is thinner than on older models. Does it look different to anyone? You can also clearly see the the release tab which is easily accessible with a thin screwdriver.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:14 PM   #12
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I had a look at mine and it appears that the frame is in the way of the little tab. I would need to trim the frame down a bit so I could reach it with a screw driver.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:18 PM   #13
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I might be able to get to the latch like you show if I had an angled point on the end of the tool
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:27 PM   #14
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I just pulled the spline in the window screen opened the window and reached out and opened the door. Takes all of 10 seconds and another 30 seconds to reinstall the spline.
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Old 08-02-2020, 03:51 AM   #15
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Just to close one circle on the research for this mod --
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
. . .
The user RFP posted details in one of the 23' threads as I recall. I will look later.
The thread linked in the following post is RFP's fix, in that case for the door handle falling off:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB_NB View Post
The fix is probably more of a between trip fix as it will require some tools. Create a small notch into the screen door to expose the latch and then a small screw driver to flick it open. This one can be done if you can find a way to trim the screen door frame a tiny bit. A file or some snips might do it.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...od-150277.html
Thanks Peter for that link. I did not have time yesterday to check it out.

Here is RFP's OP in that thread -- click on the orange arrow in the quote to go directly there and see the attached photos:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFP View Post
OK, I'm a worrier. When I saw this thread about the entrance/exit door handle breaking off, it got my attention: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ht-133974.html

Having no interest at all in crawling out the "emergency exit" of our 23D, I started checking the latch mechanism to see if there is a way to get it open even with a totally-broken-off-handle.

As it turns out, there is.

In the attached photos, you will see a little "tab" inside the door latch mechanism. Lifting "UP" on this tab will release the latch... exactly what happens when you turn the handle.
Attachment 261903

So, a few minutes work with a file to create a "notch" in my screen door frame, and drilling a small hole in the door frame allows me to "trip" the latch with a small Phillips screwdriver (now residing in my inside-the-trailer tool kit).
Attachment 261910

I bought some fuzzy-side Velcro and made new pads for the door frame. I cut a "X" where the hole is drilled in the frame, and, sure 'nuff, the screwdriver goes right through and with about 5-seconds of hunting for exactly the right place, "POP" my door is open.
Attachment 261904
Attachment 261905

I plan on buying a new handle assembly (they are only just over twenty bucks) and carry it as a "spare." This level of preparedness should ensure my handle never breaks!

"Spare" door handle here: http://airstreamsupply.com/New-Airst...e-lh-381547-02

Rob
Thanks Rob!

FWIW another thread to check out:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f45...le-184660.html

Video from one of the "locked inside" threads: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nixfrixshun/41823973780/

Will check out our 2014 FC20 lock today. Apparently this model year may be one of the [sufficient but not necessary] red flags.

Thanks for everyone's input.

Happy trails,
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Old 08-02-2020, 04:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by gator.bigfoot View Post
I just pulled the spline in the window screen opened the window and reached out and opened the door. Takes all of 10 seconds and another 30 seconds to reinstall the spline.
Works only in certain models IMO.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:37 AM   #17
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One of the things to consider, especially since this is a new trailer, is to check your adjustments of the stabilizer jacks. I've noticed over the years with my Classic is that when i lower a jack (and I have the electric jacks) I stop the lowering process when I hear the jack motor change pitch and you will notice a slight rise to the trailer in the area of the jack. At that point i so a quick,slight reverse of the direction and take a little pressure off that jack. I follow the same process with each jack as I extend it.

The fact is you can torque the frame and with that small amount of over torquing, it usually shows up as a harder to close door or a situation that while the handles operate inside and out, the door fails to open. Those of us with the slide outs are particularly susceptible of torquing due to the weight of the slide out. Hence, the fact that you do not extend or retract the slide out without the stabilizer jacks being down. While I'm not discounting the possibility of a defective door latch, understand that similar symptoms can occur if you have a stabilizer jack that is putting a little too much pressure on an area of the frame. In my early days with my trailer I did notice some tendencies of the door not opening due to my applying too much lift on a jack. Once backing off the torque I found the door latch easily operating.

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Old 08-02-2020, 11:20 AM   #18
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I've made the mod to the screen door and frame, only needed a notch rather than a hole, and painted the tab with white nail polish, easier to see with these mature eyes! An old screwdriver sits in the cabinet next to the door.

jcanavera has a good piece of info. It's very easy to torque the frame with the stabilizers or just some uneven ground. It doesn't take much too much.

Sometimes pressing in a little on the outside of the door near the lock will relieve the pressure on the lock allowing the jaws to release a lot easier.
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Old 08-04-2020, 11:44 AM   #19
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Ron showed us this fix the lock and I did mine. Quite easy to do. Not sure if it works on all years, but his AS was newer than mine (mine a 2013) and it worked for me.

https://www.airforums.com/forums/blo...+lock&u=105870

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Old 08-09-2020, 10:40 AM   #20
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Well, after a year and a half of ownership we finally got locked in our 2019 30' Classic. Got up this morning and couldn't get out to take the dog to relieve herself. Nothing we could do to open it from the inside. Got our neighbor camped next to us to try and open it from the outside, that didn't work either. Finally I climbed out through the emergency window (no small feat being 66 and 20 lbs overweight) to freedom. I tried to open it to no avail for about 10 minutes. Miraculously,it decide to open. We decide to continue our weekend by just pulling the door slightly closed and hopefully getting it fixed when we get back home. Kind of embarrassing camping in a new Airstream and having to ask someone in a pop up to try and get you out.
Don’t travel with it partly closed
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