When your RV Door Lock malfunctions, here is how to fix the problem


 

My RV door Lock (made by Trimark) recently attacked me.

Well, not exactly attacked, but it did start to mysteriously and randomly lock itself.

Now, this isn’t a problem when you are inside the RV, but when you are outside it quickly becomes a pretty big nuisance.

The Door lock mechanism on my started activating itself, or so it seemed, and I had to get some advice from my peers on a popular RV site called IRV2.

Click on the link below to see how i repaired this problem. I have included several pictures to help those who might have this same problem.

How to repair your RV Door lock

Bamboo_01by Don Bobbitt, June,2015

Bamboo_01

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12 thoughts on “When your RV Door Lock malfunctions, here is how to fix the problem

  1. I have a 2014 Tiffin Phaeton 40. The door most of the time works flawlessly. It is not hard to open/shut, lock/unlock. At random, however, (4 times now and we’ve only owned it since Last Thursday..) the door wont open. In the first case- I thought it was a fluke. The second– we thought somehow it locked with the vibration of going in/out a ton of times. My daughter climbed thru a unlocked window and handed the keys out and my husband unlocked all the locks and the door opened. Mind you.. we didn’t lock the door– but it had been used a ton so we thought.. maybe the house lock vibrated enough to catch. 3rd time– we didn’t have the house lock key (didn’t realize it wasn’t on the set we grabbed) and used the key-less entry to lock as we left. Came back– the door wouldn’t open. We tried everything.. Including calling a locksmith who tried for an hour to get it to open. As he had stepped away to call his boss for advise– we tried to open the door.. it opened. (holy moly…) we were all dumbfounded. 4th time… My husband said he had left it unlocked. Walked away.. Came back– the door wouldn’t open. This time he was clever!! He had ALL the keys. However.. as he tired each one– no of them opened the door. The handle will move just fine.. as it does any other time– he manually locked and unlocked both locks and used the key-less button.. but it still wouldn’t open.. he kept trying each lock, and eventually (by what he thinks is purely coincidence) it opened. The door does not rub, its not hard (when it works) to open or close, and we are at a loss. Please tell me you have an “ah-ha” fix for me!!!

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    1. Nichole – OK, first of all, I don’t know if your door lock system is similar to mine or not, but I do assume you have read my article on my RV lock and how I fixed it. Even though you have a remote lock/unlock option on your door, and seeing that your door operated on and off manually and with the key, I suspect that your problem is similar to mine. My problem was a slightly bent level inside the door lock assembly, as I exhibited in the pictures.
      You see, too many people, especially kids will really tug on an RV door lever if it doesn’t open with the first try. And when this internal lever gets bent, it can make contact intermittently.
      That’s why I suspect your door to have the same problem.
      It’s pretty easy to take the two halves of the door handle/lock assembly by removing just a few screws. And if you do this, you can check if you have this problem.
      Good Luck,
      DON

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    1. Roger – Most motorhomes no longer have driver’s side doors.but, having owned a couple in my past I can give you a few suggestions;
      First, these doors are famous for becoming loose over time and then eventually the latch is no longer aligned properly.
      So, do to your local hardware store and get a piece of their carpenter’s chalk. Place this onto the latch and then close the door. Then, operate the latch several times. Once you open the door, you will se hte chalk transferred to the hole for the latch on the door frame if it is misaligned, and none if the latch is sliding into the receiver hole. If there is shclk on the frame, its location can give you a hint which direction you should re-align your door.
      Of course, if the latch is not operating when the door is open then you have to go into the door and check for a parts problem.
      Good luck,
      DON

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  2. Hi Don, my problem is that it has become harder and harder to open the door, mainly from the outside. We have to yank it hard to get the handle to open. It looks as if something is catching it. It is the same from the inside but it is not as difficult. Also the little red lock inside has gotten loose with time. We have had our MH for only 27 months. How about the stiker bolts could they need adjustment? Of course they wrote on the door that we are not to touch them, they have been factory adjusted??.
    Thanks if you can help.

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    1. Yvan – That red lock is essentially a simple deadbolt lock, and it rarely has problems for people. The most common problem with this lock is if the actual door gets misaligned. As to the door latching mechanism, look at my explanation in the post again. I show the piece that can become bent. It must be straightened properly to solve a problem like I had. I suspect that yours mechanism is only “slightly” bent right now and you will soon have my problem, unless you take care of it now. I have found that as it gets bent, people trying to force the door to open will continue to bend the lever, so check that out soon.
      Ramblingdon

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  3. Thanks for your quick response Don. I attempted to lower the strike plate but the screws go into fixed holes so that didn’t work. I removed the strike plate all together and now it works. Guess I’ll have to live with this solution until I can find a strike plate with a lower hole. Thank you for your assistance!
    Karen

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    1. Karen – Well, that’s good, but remember, that dead bolt did fit at one time, so something has shifted. I would suspect the door itself as one option. Which I know you said seems to fit OK.
      Another option is that your whole door handle and lock assembly sha shifted in the door frame. Because your camper is essentially a house that you drive down the road, hitting potholes and constantly vibrating thing, these kind of “fit” problems are not uncommon.
      So, first make sure your door handle assembly is tightly mounted and check closely around the edges. IF it has shifted even slightly, you will often see a little discoloration or dirt along one edge and not the others.
      Another option is just use the chalk determine where the bolt is hitting the strike-plate, and use a file on the strike plate in that area.
      Ramblingdon

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  4. We have a KZ Spree Escape that is 3 years old and just started having the problem you described in #2. It would work when we were camping and had the slide out but when we out it back into storage, the dead bolt part doesn’t align with the door frame. The door doesn’t appear to have a problem and opens and closes normally. How would I fix this problem without taking it in for service?

    Karen

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    1. Karen – The Dead Bolt is a straight mechanical bolt that is usually unaffected like the door lock part. BUT, the first thing I would do is go to your local hardware store and gt a piece of carpenter’s chalk. Wipe off your door jam area where the dead bolt would fit, and then place a lot of the chalk onto the end of the dead bolt pin itself. Close your door and then firmly activate the dead bolt, several times.
      Once you do this, open the door and check where the chalk has been transferred to the door jam.
      If the chalk transferred is only a small amount, on only one side then you can probably loosen the screws slightly and realign the receptacle and then tighten the screws down.
      Then check if the dead bolt works properly.
      RamblingDon

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    1. Kent – RV Driver doors are famous for not seating well and having water and air leaks when you drive down the road.
      The door latch mechanism is similar to that on the entry door, so first of all I would;
      1- Check that the door closes properly and is seated properly.
      2- Check that the latch mechanism is aligned properly for the door latch to fully envelope the latch pin on the door frame.
      3- Check (and hope) that the door latch mechanism is operating properly with the door open (there should be a metal piece that will slide over the door frame pin when the door is closed.
      4- Check that the mechanical part of the door latch has not been bent to where it does not come down properly.
      These checks should let you know which is your problem.
      DON

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