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Old 02-20-2020, 09:09 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by moosetags View Post
We had one of the very early 2005 25FB's. These also had the rear-hinged entry door. I towed that trailer about 120,000 miles in eight years. I never had any problem with the door coming open while underway. I did always try to be careful about double locking before starting out. I thought about getting a marine stainless steel slide bolt for the outside of the door, but was concerned about someone come by and locking while I was inside. Therefore I never did anything and it all worked out.

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Same with our Classic.


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Old 02-20-2020, 09:19 AM   #42
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Be eternally grateful for your good fortune, Bob. Would that we were all so lucky!

These forums are filled with his tragic stories of those who were not so lucky and the terrible consequences that ensued when both their door latch and deadbolt failed in transit.

I have yet to hear a good compelling reason for the suicide door design and any alleged benefits that would outweigh the catastrophic damage that results when it fails, nor have I yet heard any good reasons why airstream continues to use this insane door design or what prevents them from modifying the floorplans to eliminate this issue once and for all. I suspect it comes down to laziness, inertia, and cheapness on the part of Thor.
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:35 AM   #43
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Keeps the elephants out too

I always lock the door before taking off for two reasons:


1) Keeps the door from swinging open while moving down the road.
2) Keeps an unwanted hitchhiker from jumping aboard and copping a free ride when you stop for a traffic light or whatever. (This aspect could be a liability problem if you have an accident.)



It doesn't take much effort to lock up before heading out, so I do it as part of my 'pre-flight' checklist.


Happy trails!
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Old 02-20-2020, 09:50 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
Be eternally grateful for your good fortune, Bob. Would that we were all so lucky!

These forums are filled with his tragic stories of those who were not so lucky and the terrible consequences that ensued when both their door latch and deadbolt failed in transit.

I have yet to hear a good compelling reason for the suicide door design and any alleged benefits that would outweigh the catastrophic damage that results when it fails, nor have I yet heard any good reasons why airstream continues to use this insane door design or what prevents them from modifying the floorplans to eliminate this issue once and for all. I suspect it comes down to laziness, inertia, and cheapness on the part of Thor.
Well...it's only 17yrs old so there's still time.
Maybe maintenance & locking the dead has helped, I really can't say.
Wedge it for sure if you don't have a DB or do it anyway.👍
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:14 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
...

I have yet to hear a good compelling reason for the suicide door design and any alleged benefits that would outweigh the catastrophic damage that results when it fails, nor have I yet heard any good reasons why airstream continues to use this insane door design or what prevents them from modifying the floorplans to eliminate this issue once and for all. I suspect it comes down to laziness, inertia, and cheapness on the part of Thor.
How would you suggest fully opening the front door (on a rear bedroom layout) when the awning is extended and the rafter is in the way? I am happy with my door opening rearward.

Anyone who doesn't like this door setup can buy a front bedroom unit with the door at the back that opens towards the front.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:38 AM   #46
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A great idea - simple and effective. Can the wedge shimmy loose?
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:17 PM   #47
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Well, It seems to me that tweaking the floorplans, and awning attachment points would be a relatively simple engineering exercise to eliminate the suicide door.

Here’s a link to a thread that has pictures of what can happen when the latch fails in transit, especially for older model airstreams that do not come with a deadbolt. It also has an interesting history of the suicide door design and the reasons for its initial adoption. Also included are many pictures of the wedge and how it cradles of the handle so it holds the door firmly shot without the danger of slipping out.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f453...ml#post2094093

Every other trailer manufacture has a forward opening door for reasons that are obvious, can airstream possibly be this obtuse?
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #48
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What we did to secure our suicide door was to use three wooden wedges, like you'd use for levelling while woodworking, duct-taped together, with a lanyard loop on the fat end. When we are travelling, the wedge goes through the exterior handhold, over the front of the door. The lanyard gets looped to the ZipDee pole. When we are parked, the whole thing gets taken off and hung on the truck's rear view mirror. That way, nobody can lock me inside in the middle of the night, and I can't forget to put it on the trailer door when I'm starting to pull out of the space.

It amazes me to read people say that suicide doors don't ever open, or haven't ever opened in XX years and therefore it can't happen. History proves that it has happened--to cars, trailers, etc. And history also proves that if something can go wrong, it will. The incidence may be small. But just because it hasn't happened to any one of us, that doesn't mean it will never happen. Since clearly it does happen. Given that the mitigation is as cheap as a piece of scrap wood, it seems like it's a worthwhile investment to mitigate.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:07 AM   #49
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In my opinion this sort of door wedge would vibrate out, only thing I would trust is wood wedge as shown in pics. very easy to make.
It has never vibrated out during the 12 years we've been using it. I tried a wooden one, but prefer the rubber door stop approach. But ... to each his own.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:23 PM   #50
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Any ideas, suggestions, etc. as to how to secure entry door while traveling. My 1986 31' Soverign has rearward opening "suicide door" with nothing except main lock/latch to prevent catastrophic opening.

In ten years I have never had a problem, but always have visions of door flying open while crossing over Bear Tooth Mountains, or on I-80 outside Cheyanne Wy !!

Would like to come up with something, other than hasp type lock, that does not require punching holes in the shiny stuff !!

Thanks in advance for the tips

Oldsalt47
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I have a 73 sovereign. Same thing here with the suicide door. Mine doesn’t shut real well and I have a fear of it flying open while towing it. Hope we find a solution!!!
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:45 AM   #51
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Thumbs up

The door will never fly open w/wood wedge as posted on forums, no gimmicks or rube Goldberg ideas, or holes drilled in skin or door.
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Old 03-05-2020, 10:37 PM   #52
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A link to a forum How-to article on making the wedge:
http://www.airstreamcentral.com/arti...tch/Page1.html


A humorous take on the prophecy of the wedge:
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f48...ge-200171.html
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Old 03-06-2020, 04:13 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by skyguyscott View Post
A link to a forum How-to article on making the wedge:
http://www.airstreamcentral.com/arti...tch/Page1.html
The homemade security wedge in your link is the one we have used since 2011. I made the wedge out of a piece of oak from a local hardware store. I like the insurance against the possibility of extreme damage. Installing the wedge is part of our "pre-flight" check list.
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Old 03-06-2020, 05:53 AM   #54
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Have experienced door coming open while driving...door had hit with enough force to flatten the curve out of door top. The good news was that the glass in door did not break. Was able to reform door after a lot of effort.

My solution was to drill 2 - 1/8" holes in bottom edge of drip over door and use a bunge to span top of door.

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Old 04-14-2020, 11:36 AM   #55
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Not Only an Issue With Suicide Doors

Many years ago the family traveled the country in a '69 Winnebago MH. That RV had a front-hinged door. Can't remember which sibling had the task of locking the deadbolt before we pulled out, but it was forgotten once. The door flew open, swinging full forward with a crash, and latching itself to the hold-open. No damage and we safely pulled over to the shoulder, closed and latched the door, and continued on our way. Albeit, with our hearts pounding still.

So it can happen with forward-hinged doors too. The slipstream when an RV is going down the road at 55+ MPH can create a significant level of suction. Add in a passing big rig and the door can be pulled open if the latch is not engaged or fails.

Why I never thought of a secondary securing device I don't know. But I'll be looking to fabricate something before our next trip.
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Old 04-14-2020, 01:56 PM   #56
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Another thing about wood wedges, if person not handy with tools to shape wedge, just take 6 inch long piece of 1x2 cut notch in edge, slip thru grab handle flat side then turn on edge with handle in notch, when cutting notch cut so fits snug on handle when turned on edge.
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