I need to swap out my Bargman L400 for something NEW. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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I need to swap out my Bargman L400 for something NEW.

I have a boler with a bargman L400 lock and well although it seems ok right now it's on it's way out as it has a crack right in the handle and given that I can't find a new one ANYWHERE that is less than $200 since it is out of production I'm interested in swapping it out for something new. has anyone done this yet? how have you gone about it? is there a lock that you can use that involves no fiberglass work? I'd prefer to have something that either just plugs right into the current hole or something that requires only a little change to make the hole bigger to fit. this is more of a pre-posting before I actually NEED to change things. HELP PLEASE!!!
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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If there was an easy alternative, the new old stock ones would not be $200. I don't think there is any drop in alternative available. Maybe post some pics of the damage, maybe it is fixable. I just took my Bargman apart and gave it a once over and it improved the function considerably.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #3
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Here is one for a buy it now of $150

Bargman L 400 * EXTREMELY RARE * | eBay
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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This may help you fix the problem.

Lightweight Camper Forum ~ View topic - Bargman L-400 details
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Panoz77 View Post
Here is one for a buy it now of $150

Bargman L 400 * EXTREMELY RARE * | eBay
If it were me, and it's not, I'd rather spend the $150 in fiberglass repair and put in a new lockset that's readily available than buy one that's already cracked!
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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If there was an easy alternative, the new old stock ones would not be $200. I don't think there is any drop in alternative available. Maybe post some pics of the damage, maybe it is fixable. I just took my Bargman apart and gave it a once over and it improved the function considerably.

well I figured there was no EASY drop in but figured someone has had to do it and wondered if MAYBE someone found one that only requires a little widening of the hole. If not I"ll definately be paying for the fiberglass work instead of $200 for the elusive Bargman L400. The one listed on craigslist is damaged. I had looked into that one but it's cracked and missing the inside locking system. a little overpriced if you ask me. I did give him an offer that he refused. It just doesn't seem worth the cash to put in another poor locking system that seem to break quite frequently. the damage for now is doable. just the handle itself that is minimally cracked. I may just take it out and sell it since there are 2 keys for it and the lock itself works great! If someone had one with a good outer handle it'd be an easy repair. may just be worth the sale since i'm not as interested in keeping all the "original parts" since i'm going to be re-doing a lot of it anyway. was just curious.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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I didn't see that one was cracked, but when I linked to it, the lock was not sold. In the last 1-2 hours it has sold to someone.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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Have a look at another thread Bargman lock wanted.

It is also my opinion that once we run out of spare parts for Bargman 300 or 400 locks, we are better to get the door modified (about 150$ of material and a new lock) to fit a current lock we can replace again for less than 50$.

The metal used to make the latches is a very brittle zinc pressure casting (it can't be welded, it will melt and separate from the steel part it is attached to). I was in a hurry this summer (just purchased the trailer) and I spent 450$ for a refurbished handle and a rebuild kit, so I have a complete set of spare parts. Now that the season is practically over, my decision would be different: bye bye Bargman ! I would convert my door and sell my spare parts that are worth far more than the conversion job. It takes time I did not have. I only wish I won't have to do that any day soon.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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thanks martin. I guess that's gonna be my plan NOW the question is HOW do I do it. might it be worth the effort to do it myself or should I seek a professional? I am pretty handy but haven't ever worked in fiberglass so I wonder how easy it is.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:07 PM   #10
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I use a Dremel multi-max tool to make accurate surgical cuts in very short time (Multi-Max) and I use a solvent wash to prepare the old fiberglass, roving with epoxy or mat and Polyester resin, often over a backing of thin aluminium I attach with pop rivets. I use methods that are described on sailboat repair manual or in Resin/Epoxy vendors such as West Systems West System Epoxy - YouTube finishing with my favorite product: Interlux watertite epoxy filler Interlux InterProtect Watertite Epoxy Filler and paint

If you have a grinder, an oscillating tool, a pop rivet tool and a drill, you should be able to do the job yourself in a matter of a couple of days (waiting a few hours between each layer to harden). Note that the chemical reaction time is temperature dependent. The hotter, the faster it gets sandable.

Since you are not fixing a boat under the waterline, less expensive products can be used on a RV (such as good old polyester resin and mat fiber), but the steps are the same. Using Bondo on a door would be a bad choice because the bibration and stress is much too high to risk using automotive filler. Use Epoxy which makes a repair about six times tougher.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:13 PM   #11
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Hmmm looks like i"ll be looking for a professional to do it. looks complicated and I don't want to mess it up thanks Martin!!! much appreciated!
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:28 PM   #12
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Hmmm looks like i"ll be looking for a professional to do it. looks complicated and I don't want to mess it up thanks Martin!!! much appreciated!
It is technical but not complicated. The toughest part is to read and follow the instruction manuals from the manufacturer (what 90% of people don't read)

There is a lot of thinking and mind twisting involved but once you have figured it out, you can't really mess it up.

One thing for sure, it takes TIME to a non professional to learn it all. The first body repair I did on my 1st car was horrible. I asked why to a body shop material vendor and my next body repair was near professional, with the right material selection, good prep and a few do and don't. I now owm my second sailboat (1986), which is a little yourger than the first one I bought and repaired (1974). It is all a matter of experience and time.

Time consuming jobs are a potential for huge savings if you dare to learn to do it yourself
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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got a friend who has been repairing a sailboat and I think doing some fiberglass work. i'll see if it's a task he is up to teaching me. I"m HORRIBLE with manuals. I am sure it would be a horrible mess and may be worth the paying someone to do it but we'll see if my buddy ron does this kind of stuff. if so he's a guy that works for a good burger on the grill and beer... good beer.... guinness is his fav... of course only AFTER the job is done so I'd be best off that way THANK YOU THANK YOU for your replies. I very much appreciate it. maybe the NEXT repair I'll take on myself but only after I've at least WATCHED it once.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:36 AM   #14
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Put a Trimark lock that is sturdy. The Bargman locks bust at 30 lbs pressure. A little mod and extension makes it happen.
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