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Old 08-03-2020, 05:51 AM   #1
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2020 GB 27FBT Freezer Door Wonít Open

These new fridges in the GB 27 are just cheap, plastic shelves, etc. Now my freezer door wonít open. It was getting tougher to open over time and I discovered that it was likely due to ice buildup in the latching mechanism. This morning, true to form, the door would not unlatch but there was a distinct pop when attempting to open. Based on build quality of the rest of the unit I feel the latching mechanism probably has some plastic parts and something broke. Does anyone know how to get in to the freezer if latch wonít work?
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:06 AM   #2
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I’ve seen two posts somewhere regarding just the freezer latch. It was either here or on the FB Globetrotter page. I believe you need to order the replacement parts. I’m thinking I should just go ahead and order a replacement latch.
I don’t think there’s a better replacement or permanent fix. If so, I hope someone responds here. Mine has been fine, but we don’t full time.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:30 AM   #3
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The freezer door latch on my 2018 GT also broke. I had it replaced under warranty. It must be a poor design.

Sorry you had the same problem!
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Old 08-05-2020, 01:21 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Reaffirmed my thoughts on the GT fridge. I was never able to get the freezer door open. I found how to get to the mechanism and confirmed my suspicions about the plastic latch parts. The rocker lever appears broken. I called Airstream and they said its a Dometic issue and to take it to an AS dealer or to a Dometic dealer to have it fixed. Less than sympathetic but I guess thereís nothing they could reasonably do anyway. Frustrating tho since someone at AS had to approve the use of this model fridge. I made a video and sent it to Southland. They showed the video to Dometic and Dometic said with the plastic rocker arm broken there was no way to open the freezer w/o breaking the door. Southland has ordered a new freezer door for me. When it comes in Iíll take it to them for repair. Until then Iím without a freezer.

The video. Excuse the minor rant.
https://youtu.be/zUz6w64mMrU
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:22 AM   #5
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Thereís been a few more reports of this failure over on the FB AS pages. I just saw a video that seems helpful. The author was able to lift up hard enough on the freezer door to open it. Then he slid a plastic piece thatís actually made for this, and part of the latch, into place that keeps the freezer latch in the ďupĒ position. They leave the latch up, and the door closes tightly and works fine. When traveling they lower the plastic slide.
This obviously doesnít solve the cheap plastic latch problem, but helps prolong its life. The author had been through four latches on his freezer door. Heís a fulltimer.
We are actually pretty happy with the fridge. Six or seven weeks use since we bought in Feb. The food is always the right temp and frozen stuff stays frozen. Iím going to start using the plastic slide on the freezer latch in the future. No doubt the latch will fail, but that should help it last longer. I wish there was an easy fix for the powered awning..
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:33 PM   #6
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My apologies if this is something you're already aware of but I thought I'd mention it.

There's a tab on the side of the latch receiver for both the freezer and refrigerator doors. It slides forward to extend two plastic pieces. The purpose of this mechanism is to allow the doors to latch but not close all the way thus allowing some airflow and helping to prevent mold when the unit is not in use. The tab must be slid backward again to allow the doors to close all the way, latch completely and seal.

If someone was unaware of this feature (it's not at all obvious), and the tab was in the forward position they might try to close the door to seal it and the door could become stuck or very hard to open. Eventually, I'm sure the latch would break.

This may not be the problem at all but wanted to throw the info out there. FWIW, so far we've had no problems with the refrigerator doors on our 2020 GT. Keeping fingers crossed....
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Old 08-07-2020, 04:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
My apologies if this is something you're already aware of but I thought I'd mention it.

There's a tab on the side of the latch receiver for both the freezer and refrigerator doors. It slides forward to extend two plastic pieces. The purpose of this mechanism is to allow the doors to latch but not close all the way thus allowing some airflow and helping to prevent mold when the unit is not in use. The tab must be slid backward again to allow the doors to close all the way, latch completely and seal.

If someone was unaware of this feature (it's not at all obvious), and the tab was in the forward position they might try to close the door to seal it and the door could become stuck or very hard to open. Eventually, I'm sure the latch would break.

This may not be the problem at all but wanted to throw the info out there. FWIW, so far we've had no problems with the refrigerator doors on our 2020 GT. Keeping fingers crossed....


I appreciate the information on the tab. I know about the tab and its use, however. This was definitely ice buildup over time in the latch resulting in the plastic latch actuation rocker lever breaking.
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Old 08-07-2020, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
I appreciate the information on the tab. I know about the tab and its use, however. This was definitely ice buildup over time in the latch resulting in the plastic latch actuation rocker lever breaking.
Do you run the refrigerator/freezer full time or for extended periods? Just curious as I intend to watch for the problem now and would like to have an idea of how long I can go before having to begin worrying about it. Thanks and good luck with your repair.
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Old 08-07-2020, 02:54 PM   #9
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Do you run the refrigerator/freezer full time or for extended periods? Just curious as I intend to watch for the problem now and would like to have an idea of how long I can go before having to begin worrying about it. Thanks and good luck with your repair.


We donít do full time but we will have it on for several weeks at a time between defrosts. It starts maybe two or three weeks in, getting harder to open over time. This time it had just started getting a little harder to open about two weeks in and snap. You could tell the plastic lever broke. In retrospect it would have been prudent to blast the inside of the latch with a hair dryer a couple of times a week. Itís just absurd that on a $100k premium trailer youíd even have to consider doing that. Itís a poor design, a freezer that the latch freezes on. Not sure how Airstream approved the use of this fridge.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:07 AM   #10
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Warning: Rant - Just wanted to give a status on this problem. Itís still a problem, a month later I still canít get into my freezer. Apparently the administrative processes put in place by Airstream corporate are so cumbersome that they canít even get a new refrigerator door approved and shipped from Dometic in a monthís time. Just a bit frustrated here. The dealer has been responsive, but they are apparently constrained by administrative processes required to get the refrigerator door approved to be ordered from Dometic by AS corporate. Mind boggling. I had problems with my Grey Wolf, stove, ac, and awning, but never had to wait more than a week on repair parts, let alone approval to get the parts from corporate. Really starting to think I made a mistake with this AS purchase. I love the AS idea but the realty of poor execution / quality in some areas taints the whole experience, especially considering the price of entry. I read the complaints from others before I purchased and rationalized that those were isolated cases and my experience would be better. Not so much.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:28 AM   #11
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Our trailer had been at the dealer since June 22, waiting on parts in addition to the other repairs. One of the approved repairs is replacing the door seals on fridge and freezer since they leaked and terms would not hold. So possibly another Dometic parts process issue.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
Warning: Rant - Just wanted to give a status on this problem. Itís still a problem, a month later I still canít get into my freezer. Apparently the administrative processes put in place by Airstream corporate are so cumbersome that they canít even get a new refrigerator door approved and shipped from Dometic in a monthís time. Just a bit frustrated here. The dealer has been responsive, but they are apparently constrained by administrative processes required to get the refrigerator door approved to be ordered from Dometic by AS corporate. Mind boggling. I had problems with my Grey Wolf, stove, ac, and awning, but never had to wait more than a week on repair parts, let alone approval to get the parts from corporate. Really starting to think I made a mistake with this AS purchase. I love the AS idea but the realty of poor execution / quality in some areas taints the whole experience, especially considering the price of entry. I read the complaints from others before I purchased and rationalized that those were isolated cases and my experience would be better. Not so much.
Lamar, I imagine youíve already considered this, but have you looked into paying up front, and just hoping AS gets their act together and reimburses you? I hate to think of what the cost of the door is, but if it was holding me back from a trip, Iíd just order it. It pretty much has to be covered eventually, correct?
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by GettinAway View Post
Lamar, I imagine youíve already considered this, but have you looked into paying up front, and just hoping AS gets their act together and reimburses you? I hate to think of what the cost of the door is, but if it was holding me back from a trip, Iíd just order it. It pretty much has to be covered eventually, correct?
There is a lot of precedence for this. This is primarily how I get around the we-can't-schedule-your-service-appointment-for-another-3-months backlog at my local underwhelming Airstream dealer / service shop. A quick call to the Airstream service line before spending any money gets the ball rolling so you can be "pre-approved" for submitting an invoice for reimbursement at a later date.
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Old 09-03-2020, 07:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
There is a lot of precedence for this. This is primarily how I get around the we-can't-schedule-your-service-appointment-for-another-3-months backlog at my local underwhelming Airstream dealer / service shop. A quick call to the Airstream service line before spending any money gets the ball rolling so you can be "pre-approved" for submitting an invoice for reimbursement at a later date.
Thatís what I was thinking. I know the principle is to get AS to just do the right thing right away, as they should.. I just canít see myself missing a trip while waiting on repairs. Unless of course itís something way beyond my capabilities. Which Iím sure isnít that hard to find.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
Warning: Rant - Just wanted to give a status on this problem. It’s still a problem, a month later I still can’t get into my freezer. Apparently the administrative processes put in place by Airstream corporate are so cumbersome that they can’t even get a new refrigerator door approved and shipped from Dometic in a month’s time. Just a bit frustrated here. The dealer has been responsive, but they are apparently constrained by administrative processes required to get the refrigerator door approved to be ordered from Dometic by AS corporate.
This will be no consolation but it may provide some insight. The Dometic oven in our prior Classic required a new thermocouple which, as it turned out, was not the problem but that's another story. In any event, Dometic is a Swedish company and my replacement oven part had to come from Europe. Apparently, they don't routinely air ship parts so in addition to whatever administrative issues were involved there was also about a 3 week shipping interval to get the part here by boat. In all, it took 6 weeks for the thermocouple to arrive.

Not attempting in any way to justify their customer service process or parts supply chain management, but perhaps an explanation for the delay you are experiencing.
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Old 10-04-2020, 10:43 AM   #16
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Update: The dealer finally got the door in and itís been replaced. Not much more to say really other than trying to figure out a door latch de-icing schedule and looking for a metal latch actuation mechanism to replace the plastic one Dometic uses...... Thanks to all for the replies!!
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