Modify Scamp door lock for more security - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2016, 12:44 PM   #1
SRF
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Name: Sue
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Modify Scamp door lock for more security

Hi, I joined this site last fall after my husband and I picked up our 16' Scamp in Canada and had the learning experience of driving back to the Midwest through Ontario, NY, PA, OH. Wonderful trip but a lot to learn about the Scamp and towing!
We are towing with a 2013 Volvo XC 60. This is the first experience either of us have had with owning or towing a camper and this site has been a valuable resource.

I will be traveling alone sometimes and the lock on the door is not what I would like it to be: it's only a small nail-sized peg on a string that drops through the handle lock. I'd like the door to feel more secure when I'm alone.
Has anybody replaced or modified their Scamp door lock system for the purpose of feeling more secure?
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:07 PM   #2
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Hi Sue, I hope I can alleviate some of your fears when it comes to that door lock. If the handle can't be pushed down (which the peg stops), the door can't be opened. Yes, you can put a different lock system in, but the door "frame" is fiberglass and if someone wants in, all they really need to do is give the door a big ole yank, or even take out the door hinge bolts which can happen quickly.


The safest thing you can do is be aware of your surroundings. If you pull into a campground and the hair on the back of your neck (or any other female intuition) is ringing... keep going don't plan on camping there. I've traveled alone for the past 15 years or so, and feeling safe and secure is more than a door lock.


Wishing you well, truly.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #3
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Sue, we replaced our lock with a more conventional RV lock/latch system when our stock handle wore out, but if you look at how the door hinges are held in place, you can see that by removing a few bolts from the outside, the door could easily be removed. I think that a couple of dead bolts (one on the left & right side of the door) on the inside could keep the door from being removed.
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
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Here are a few pictures.
Attached Thumbnails
DSC01212.jpg   DSC01306.jpg  

DSC01305.jpg  
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #5
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And here's a link to mine...one more mod. This one includes a quick vid clip I took because I wanted to demo something I didnt expect and that's the ability to close the door by just giving it a push and it closing/latching itself without having to turn (pull on the new lock) the handle!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57643963773193
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:13 PM   #6
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The two bolts that go through the hinges allow removing the door with a pair of wrenches very quickly. I found this out when I left that little pin on a string in the hole and allowed the door to shut. It latched and I could not open the latch from the outside. I could take the door right off in a minute or two.

To build on what Donna said trust your intuition, if it feels "wrong" it probably is. You may not even be able to articulate why but your brain picked up something, even if unconsciously and that something signaled danger. Deer thinks it smells a wolf it boogies, without thought or hesitation. Humans tend to over think it, might be a wolf but..... I already pulled in, don't want to offend the desk person, not sure where else to stay around here or whatever. Skip that thinking and just leave, even if you have to break camp to do it. When I was younger at 200 lbs. and 6'1" and making my living feeding 100's of 60 lb. pieces of steel to presses for 8 hrs. I still broke camp and left rather than stay where drunk, rowdy young men were camping and arguing with neighbors. Could handle trouble but most times best handling is to avoid it.

Pepper spray in an enclosed space is probably a poor idea, those horns that run off of a can of compressed air sold for small boat horns are really loud and will attract attention from other campers, and aimed in someone's face are unpleasant and distracting.

There are also portable sirens that can be placed on a door, made for motel rooms but would work to give warning that someone opened the door, no matter how they did it.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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I've camped in tents, no shelter, in my trailer for around 60+ years. There's no lock on the tent, none on the sleeping bag thrown on the ground and after replacing the door latch on the trailer no locking from the inside. No bathroom so that late night trip has to be done outside with no locks.
As has been said if you don't feel comfortable leave. I've also done that. The first place I intended to camp after I bought my trailer I drove through and left. It just didn't feel right. My wife has agreed with every time I've done that.
It may sound funny but I've found the most comfortable and feeling safe is in National Parks, National Forest campgounds, BLM campground, National Forest Dispersed sites and BLM dispersed sites. The most uncomfortable I've camped at is any State Park. Seems like there's more thefts in State Parks than the others, not stealing trailers but other things left outside.
Others will sing the praises of State Parks, but I avoid them if possible.
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:39 PM   #8
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Personal Safety while Traveling

Hi, Sue;
You've brought up a good issue and are getting lots of great suggestions. I've traveled alone for business, backpacking. car tent camping, and currently solo Scamp traveling.

State parks are really good for single women, too. They generally have one or more campground hosts. In Oregon, State Police patrol state parks. While solo backpacking, the safest spot was well away from other campers. While car/tent camping in empty campgrounds, I sometimes slept in the car if I felt uncomfortable. I have used my car alarm button to shoo away a curious bear. One night while traveling with my grandkids, we stopped at a wayside campground along a river - we left in the middle of the night because a drunk camper started shooting. Last year in a Washington State Park campground, my door handle rattled in the middle of the night. I grabbed my pepper spray, ready to do battle....with some pesky raccoons.

Drive through your intended campground. If you spot campers drinking, keep on going. If the campground is totally empty, has no campground host, your element of risk is higher (safety, medical emergency, mechanical problems, no cell phone service), I avoid camping near hunters during hunting season...alcohol and guns don't mix.

I travel with wasp spray, pepper spray, a 3-cell flashlight, tire iron, and my pit bull who warns me if something is near the trailer. Her growl/bark is scary to anyone outside. Taking some self-defense instruction helps build confidence, too.

Traveling alone is enjoyable, once you get the hang of backing up your trailer successfully. You meet some wonderful folks along the way. Read John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, In Search of America (he knew how to bookdock!) I love camping in western US and Canada's Provencial Parks.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:32 PM   #9
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"If you spot campers drinking, keep on going."

?????

Not every camper who drinks alcoholic beverages is going to present a problem. That statement is like saying if it is a women behind the wheel, watch out, because women drivers are bad. It just isn't true. Furthermore, I haven't camped in many places where people were not drinking, and that includes every fiberglass rally I have ever attended. And while alcohol and guns are not a good mix, not every gun owner or hunter is irresponsible.




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Old 04-20-2016, 10:41 PM   #10
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Sorry you misunderstood my comments, Carl. Besides, you're a guy, not a single woman traveling alone for the first time. There is nothing wrong with campers drinking...I enjoy a drink or two in the evening and have enjoyed the company of others at rallys. And there is nothing wrong with gun owners or hunters. I own a gun. 99% of campers are great folks, nice neighbors. But as a single woman camping next to a loud, unruly group of overly intoxicated, belligerant male drunks, things can get uncomfortable...I've had a few experiences where I had to either move for safety reasons, or intervene on behalf of small children trying to sleep. It's very difficult to negotiate with a drunk.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:32 AM   #11
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Marilyn- I agree with you 100% and dont see where you owe anyone an apology. Personally I dont drink and the wife and I were raised around enough "drunks" to know we wont tolerate it. Life's too short and we buried our young boss a couple of years ago with liver damage caused by his alcoholic addiction. What a person does within their confines is strictly their business! But when they bring it outside- especially at a campground where you go to get away and enjoy some peace- then they make it EVERYBODY'S business.

Then, you add that's "there's a single female" in the area... well, I do NOT blame Sue and understand you AND her taking EVERY precaution. With a nice strong lock, I dont think you're going to have to worry about a drunk being able to remove your hinge bolts! So SUE? Go for it!

The generally-found "NIC" locks are prevalent at every decent RV retail store and/or on Amazon from which I had mine delivered for $27. It's not an easy install, but I'm sure you can find someone that can use our provided information and help you out. If not, check back here with us that's understands your needs and we'll help you.


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Sorry you misunderstood my comments, Carl. Besides, you're a guy, not a single woman traveling alone for the first time. There is nothing wrong with campers drinking...I enjoy a drink or two in the evening and have enjoyed the company of others at rallys. And there is nothing wrong with gun owners or hunters. I own a gun. 99% of campers are great folks, nice neighbors. But as a single woman camping next to a loud, unruly group of overly intoxicated, belligerant male drunks, things can get uncomfortable...I've had a few experiences where I had to either move for safety reasons, or intervene on behalf of small children trying to sleep. It's very difficult to negotiate with a drunk.
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:29 AM   #12
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Just to be clear, the doors are not going to keep anyone bent on misdeeds out. The hinge bolts are two (2) 7/16 inch bolts. They can be removed in less than a minute each, pulled and the door lifted off. The door and walls that are being latched are fiberglass. Any decent pry bar will open them. You know a slang name for a 4 ft. crow bar? Universal door key. It will open a wood core, steel clad door, installed with dead bolt lock into the wall of a house. Even a good sticky trailer door is no match for force and a lever.

Just a guess but I would think most camper doors would open if you stuck the blade of an axe in the crack by the lock and just pried with the handle. So how to make the door safer is not going to make a substantial difference. Outside of a false sense of security.

Best defense is awareness of the situation coupled with thoughtful preparation on how to handle a situation that does come up. It is the thinking you put in before a situation requiring critical decisions that determines outcomes more often than not.

Having a fire extinguisher does not make you much safer. Having thought about how you would exit in the event of a fire, reading and understanding the directions on the fire extinguisher, watching some YouTube videos on using a fire extinguisher does.

Same for a first aid kit, knowing basic first aid and thinking ahead on how you would handle something more extensive prevents panic. Knowing what poison ivy looks like and keeping an eye out for it is much more effective at having a "safe" time in the woods than having calamine lotion along. And a bigger bottle of calamine lotion is not really any better, same as a bigger lock isn't.

Make it a habit to check if there is decent cell phone service so you know if dialing 911 and hitting speaker is an option. Works for medical as well as miscreants situations. Have whatever means of defense you are comfortable with learning how to use and are willing to use. Fumbling with pepper spray safety nozzle or shotgun safety in the dark are both not good.

Never have a weapon that you do not know how to use and are not willing to use. This is not really the place to debate the pro and con of firearms but they are a deadly force, they are not "threats" or "deterrents" and use requires skill, knowledge, and practice. Do not consider them unless you are comfortable with that whole process. As far as I'm concerned the same applies to pepper spray, buy two and practice with one. Hornet stream spray is really effective at a fairly good distance, I think someone mentioned they take that along. Buy two, target practice with one.

If weapons are not something you are comfortable with then sirens, air horns, whistles that will attract attention are options. Camp where there are at least a few people around to hear and you should be reasonably safe. You know I think more people probably have a medical emergency while camping than a criminal attack, don't know statistics but I know I have heard of more injuries and illness than attacks by 2 footed or 4 footed predators.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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As a female who regularly travels on her own I agree with Donna the reality is that the doors are pretty easy to get open no matter what lock set is on them. That little pin that Scamp uses to stop the door handle from being moved on the outside actually does work.

I keep the keys for my car on the counter by the bed ..... that way I can hit the panic button to set off the car alarm if I were wanting to scare someone out of my campsite or get other campers attention.

I also agree if the comments of Marylyn as well, its best to avoid putting yourself in certain situations to start with. If you pull into a campground and your gut tells you that something is off then just leave.

I have only moved on from a spot I had been looking forward to camping at once - a lot of guys around a campfire drinking by noon and then they started doing some target practice ... guns and booze are never a good combo.

I have camped on my own at BML's, private camp grounds and state parks. The State parks are where I feel most comfortable camping when on my own.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:52 AM   #14
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Opinions on here never fail to crack me up. And Byron says the "State parks" are where he feels the LEAST safest.

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......I have camped on my own at BML's, private camp grounds and state parks. The State parks are where I feel most comfortable camping when on my own.
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