Gremlins open the door? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-12-2005, 08:09 AM   #15
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Hi Nancy; I checked the door handles on the Scamp yesterday. It appears to be possible to flip the outside door handle 180 degrees but the inside has to have it's present orientation so it doesn't hit the inside wall of the trailer. Is this what your husband did? While I was "playing" with the door latch system I noticed that there is enough movement in the locked door latch to retract the door catch more than 1/2 way... a rough road, both handles move down to unlock and gravity could easily cause the door to pop open.

Thanks again
John
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:16 AM   #16
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The shank on the outside door handle is square. When Nancy mentioned flipping the door handle, I believe she meant just pull it off, turn it over and reinsert. You shouldn't have to do anything with the inside door lockset.
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:42 PM   #17
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Hi Donna; I noticed this when I removed the inside latch today. The latch appears to be designed so that it's possible to open from the inside if you are locked in the camper... kinda handy... but, since the door in under tension from the inside, it is forced outward and friction may be keeping the inside latch from returning to the orig. position when jarred (bumpy road) downward. I've made a expansion spring system to provide additional upward force on the handle. I suspect it will work but is not an elegant solution (looks as funky as the original door hardware). I think it would be as workable to put the interior lock pin in during traveling but I wasn't able to talk my wife into riding in the Scamp!

We'll find out at Christmas as our camping is done in our daughter's driveway in Raleigh NC and the Scamp is a wonderful extra bedroom! It is our little peaceful place in the mornings as we have two young grand children (so far we have talked them out of sleeping in Scamp).
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Old 12-12-2005, 05:52 PM   #18
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When I replaced my door handle on my 13ft Boler I went and bought the handle and lock that is used on truck toppers.A few simple modifications and in it went and works great.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:33 AM   #19
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Hi Donna; I noticed this when I removed the inside latch today. The latch appears to be designed so that it's possible to open from the inside if you are locked in the camper... kinda handy...


John I replaced the outside door handle on my Scamp a couple of summers ago because of this exact reason. My daughter and I were camping and the wind caught the door and slammed it shut...my daughter was inside the trailer at the time. The lock was badly worn inside the door handle and it turned inside the cylinder and locked her inside. There is no way to unlock the door from the inside when locked from the outside. It effectively locked her in. Fortunately, I was right outside the door (with the keys in my pocket) and was able to unlock the door and let her out. If we'd both been inside the trailer, one of us would have had to go out the top escape hatch.

When we got home, I took the door handle off and went to a locksmith. There's no way to repair/replace the lock the way the handle is made. I could have purchased a new one from Scamp (<$20), but we were going camping almost right away and didn't want to wait for one to be shipped from Scamp. I ended up replacing the door handle (and lock) from one made for a garage door. It's "T" shaped, but the outside plate was an exact match (including screw holes) and is substantially built. The shank was about 6" too long, but a hack saw took care of that. Took about 2 minutes to replace (put a dab of silicone in the screw holes too). Since that time, we've never had a bit of trouble.

But, I ALWAYS travel with the door locked...that in itself seems like a simple solution to keeping the door from coming open if the lock works properly.
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:17 AM   #20
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Donna>>I also travel with the door locked.

Me, too, Donna. In fact, the only time I lock the door on our trailer is when I'm pulling it down the road.

One of my first 16 footers had a door that used to pop open, in transit, occasionally, but usually because I'd forgotten to lock the door ... or as part of breaking camp, give a little tug on the door to make sure it actually secured.

If I remembered to lock the door ... and double check that I'd actually shut the door tightly ... it didn't happen.

However ... any trailer will flex ... particularly if you pull them down the kinds of roads I do! In the winter ... some of our pot-holes are the size of Texas! You hit one of those just right and your fillings will fall out of your mouth!)

My current rig ... a 17 foot Casita ... has a dead bolt that prevents the door from opening ... provided you lock the dead bolt. I only use the dead bolt lock ... and have never locked the "regular" lock.

Now, as I said. The only time I lock the trailer is when we're towing it.

As most of us know, any trailer door can be easily "popped" open with a crowbar. Since we don't keep anything of value in the trailer (I try to remember to take our jewels with me ... when we go hiking, etc) ... I'd rather someone enter our rig and take a look-see rather than mess up my door frame with a pry bar.
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:38 AM   #21
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I suspect that I will be replacing the door latch but I would like to gain a better understanding of how it's happening. I also discovered a month or so ago that the bathroom door latch can be locked and then the door closed... since the engagement on the door is spring loaded the door will close in the locked position. Since we have a 4 yr. old grandson who loves buttons/knobs/switches this was replaced rather quickly (the door latch also fell apart after a bumpy ride). I was able to use a cast aluminum storm door latch for the door side and left the fixed position engagement on the bathroom side. It's now impossible to close the door when locked... the handle must be turned to close it...the door can be locked from the inside (if someone is inside to do it).

I love our Scamp but some of the fittings sure seem to be needlessly "economical".
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:47 PM   #22
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Donna, we agree getting locked inside our egg is a creepy thing. We experienced this on the return trip from picking up our Scamp in MO. We took refuge inside the trailer to escape the mosquitos, and when we went to exit - oops, locked! Never did quite know how it happened ... the worn & rotating cylinder sounds plausible.

Anyway, I'm pleased to say you can rescue yourself if you have the larger window which slides up/down. The screen is easily removed; we had one set of keys on a long lanyard so just reached out and unlocked that door (HUGE sigh of relief here). Hope this might help other Scamp owners if ever in this predicament. Take care, L 'n D
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:16 PM   #23
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Hi.. We have an 88 Scamp 5wheeler and I too have had the door gremlins open it while in motion.. A heavy duty bungee cord ended that problem for us.. I also worked on the door handle and latch.. No problems since installing the bungee cord on the inside of the trailer from door to bathroom wall.. Works fine
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Old 12-23-2005, 07:42 AM   #24
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Actually, if you get locked inside, it's possible to remove the lockset screws and remove the latch from the inside (a pain but only a few minutes to do). I'm trying a spring system to increase the upward tension on the door handle on the inside to see if this helps... let you know the results.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:03 AM   #25
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Actually, if you get locked inside, it's possible to remove the lockset screws and remove the latch from the inside
If you have the tools inside the trailer. I suppose a kitchen knife would possibly work as a makeshift screwdriver. The heads of the screws (on my Scamp) are Phillips...so it may be a bit more difficult.

I actually purchased a screwdriver/nutdriver set that is very compact just because of this type of problem...it takes up very little space inside the trailer compared to my toolbox which rides in the tug.
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:38 PM   #26
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If you have the tools inside the trailer. I suppose a kitchen knife would possibly work as a makeshift screwdriver. The heads of the screws (on my Scamp) are Phillips...so it may be a bit more difficult.

I actually purchased a screwdriver/nutdriver set that is very compact just because of this type of problem...it takes up very little space inside the trailer compared to my toolbox which rides in the tug.
I always carry a tool set that is specific to the Scamp on the inside like a hammer, pliers, 12V circuit tester, channel locks, a multi-bit screwdriver, adjustable wrench ect. All of the stuff fits in a small tackle box and stores easily in a floor level cabinet. This is stuff I generally wouldn't use for the Durango (kinda like a kitchen drawer tool kit... about the same as I have in the house so I'm not running to the shop for simple repairs). By the way, the additional spring tension on the door seems to be working!
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