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Old 01-11-2020, 07:50 PM   #1
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Dripping springs , Texas
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KT Lock for 1975 Airstream Overlander

Hi there - I recently purchased a 1975 Airstream Overlander and the exterior door lock has stopped working - I'm locked out!

I spoke to a locksmith who said they might be able to get me in but they cannot guarantee they won't destroy the lock.

I'm wary about going that route because it appears the KT Lock 1970 - 1977 was once available (just the cylinder / tumbler OR the whole locking mechanism) on Vintage Trailer Supply, Inland RV, High Sky RV Parts and Out of Doors Mart....however, they all seem to be "out of stock" which makes me think they may not be manufactured anymore.

Does anyone know if those parts are still available anywhere?

Or have any suggestions as to how I might want to proceed?
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:42 AM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
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Does the *lever* on your door still work (pull open)? I am embarrassed to admit that a couple years ago I thought I was locked out of my trailer for a full week before I realized I could push in on the door, *then* pull the handle to get it open. Years of wear and vibration had worn a groove in the steel latch, and that would "lock" the handle unless you pushed it in to release it.

Thought it might be worth checking.

Otherwise, yes, that lock has become a difficult part to source, and as such, they sometimes go for up to $1,000 on eBay (crazy, I know). Its often cheaper to buy a whole door rather than just the lock!
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
Does the *lever* on your door still work (pull open)? I am embarrassed to admit that a couple years ago I thought I was locked out of my trailer for a full week before I realized I could push in on the door, *then* pull the handle to get it open. Years of wear and vibration had worn a groove in the steel latch, and that would "lock" the handle unless you pushed it in to release it.

Thought it might be worth checking.

Otherwise, yes, that lock has become a difficult part to source, and as such, they sometimes go for up to $1,000 on eBay (crazy, I know). Its often cheaper to buy a whole door rather than just the lock!

Thanks for the response and suggestion.

I just gave that a try and unfortunately, no luck.
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:23 AM   #4
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Are any of your hatches or storage compartments open? If they are keyed the same as your entry door, then you ought to be able to take them into the locksmith, and they should be able to produce a key without too much trouble. Similarly, I would think that any locksmith worth the title would be able to pick the lock without destroying it.

Then again, destroying it might be what you need to do to encourage you to throw the piece of junk away and replace it with something more modern and reliable. Granted, there are no simple, plug-and-play options, but you will end up with a much better, more replaceable lock.

good luck!
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:34 AM   #5
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Thanks for the response and suggestion. I've tried the other keys - unfortunately they don't work.

I may end up going the locksmith route. Ideally, I want to keep the lock assembly itself intact even if it ends up not functional as a locking mechanism.

I think I'm going to have a deadbolt installed lower down on the door and then just use the original assembly to open / close / latch the door.

I'll definitely post an update with the results of this ordeal!
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:22 PM   #6
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
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Here is a post I wrote when my KT failed (broke off in my hand at 11pm in sub-zero temps). It may contain some other useful information when deciding how to solve your issue.


http://beahmstream.com/1972-airstrea...lock-vts-1318/
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:37 PM   #7
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I can tell you how to get in through a window, if you are willing to sacrifice a screen. Send me a PM.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:03 PM   #8
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Same thing happened to me. I took the lock out and disassembled it then welded the latch lever where it had broke. It seems to be a week spot in the design. BTW I used a hanger wire to get in through the window nest to the lock.
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Old 01-14-2020, 02:35 PM   #9
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I replaced the KT with a newer style on my cast door frame 71. Major mods to the door frame and new inner and outer skins.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:32 PM   #10
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The door is open! It took a putty knife and someone who knows more about Airstreams than me. Definitely not a "high security" lock.

The original KT Lock is non-functional. Something broke internally.

Now I'm deciding between trying to get the KT Lock rebuilt and use it OR get the update kit from Inland RV for a modern lock.

I'm also considering installing a deadbolt lower down on the door with the striker going from the body into the door (not the door into the body).
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:52 PM   #11
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When my KT lock quit working, it was just the roll pin that the exterior lever grabs on the latch shaft, it had worn through, I punched it out and put a new 1/8" by 1/2" roll pin and I was back in business.

the interior handle uses a separate roll pin to actuate the latch, that one was fine. although as I see on the forums here, they fail in many different ways
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Old 01-18-2020, 07:15 PM   #12
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The latch I used had a built in dead bolt and the stock striker plate was utilized. It’s all outlined in my 71 GT full Monte thread below.
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