New Scamp Door latch - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-05-2011, 10:53 PM   #1
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 316
New Scamp Door latch

First off I want to thank Floyd for suggesting this mod and sharing his installation with me. It was a big help in planning mine.

This door latch upgrade is a serious improvement over the Scamp factory latch. It uses a TriMark type RV door latch with an integrated deadbolt. The same type of latch is made by Fastech / FIC. I used the Fastech version as seen here:

RV Door Locks for Trailers on Sale - PPL Motor Homes

The new latch is much stronger and more positive engaging. Unlike the Scamp latch, the paddle on this latch will tell you when the door pall is not fully engaged. My door closes like a vault now! The deadbolt offers a good bit of additional security.

The bad news is that this mod might be more than the average guy can do. You need to fab some parts, and plan very carefully before cutting your door. I cannot give exact dimensions because the doors will vary. You will have to do that yourself. I will try and give an overview so that you can see what lies in store. I was pushed for time so I didn't get as many pics as I should have.

Here is the installed latch. The pall is retracted, sorry.
Attached Thumbnails
latch inside.jpg   finished latch outside.jpg  

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:07 PM   #2
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Cutting the door

You will need to decide where to cut the door for the latch. I chose to cut the hole back far enough that the latch would ride in the thick sandwich of the door. If you get too close to the edge, you will not have the same strength. Getting off the sandwich will make some of the later steps tougher too. You also need to plan where the striker will be in relation to the latch. Don't go any farther back than you have to.

Initially I thought I could cut a rectangular hole for the latch, and work it into the hole sideways. It turns out the lock won't go in that way. You have 2 basic choices. You can cut an oversize rectangle to clear the latch, or you can cut a "T" shaped hole that allows the latch to go straight into the door. I used the T shape because I wanted to have the latch snug in the cutout. Using the oversized rectangle removes supporting material from the door. If you do that, the only thing locating the latch is the clamping force of the plates. My way the latch cannot move even if the screws are loose. Below is the latch sitting in the cutout.
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latch in cutout.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #3
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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trim plate

Since the hole you cut extends outside the flange for the latch, you will have to fashion a trim plate. The trim plate needs to be somewhat ridgid, and not to exceed 1/8" thick. Below is a cardboard mochup of the plate next to the finished installation. The two snap caps cover rivets. The plate measures 5" square outside. I used a piece of Diebond. Diebond is a plastic sheet laminated on both sides with aluminum. It can be had from any sign shop. Plain aluminum or a thin sheet of fiberglass would also work. i had the Diebond on hand. You will need a coat of sealant between the plate and the door, also between the plate and the latch.
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outer template.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:17 PM   #4
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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inside view

Here is a pic of the latch in the rough cut from the inside. I had to trim out some rat fur to get to the area behind the pall. That is where the fiberglass from the sandwich meets. In my case it had to be smoothed to allow clearance for the striker behind it.
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rough cut in inside.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:26 PM   #5
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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door thickness

The next roadblock you will hit is that the latch is designed for a thicker door than the Scamp. You can't simply tighten the sandwich plates. On my door, I needed about a 3/8" spacer. The material I found was a hair thicker but worked fine. I cut it in the shape of the cardboard shown, to fit under the inner flange of the lock. It is hard to even see the installed spacer. After I did a trial fit up, I cut out the rat fur from under the spacer. You want that to sit hard against the fiberglass.
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inner template.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:38 PM   #6
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Striker

Once you have the latch in place, you can locate the striker. You will have to fabricate the striker. I found a hardware bracket close enough and used the cutoff wheel to extract the piece I needed. The striker is 4" x 1-1/2" x 3/16 thick. I couldn't go any thicker on the plate or the striker would not fit behind the pall. You will need to check this on your door. A thinner trim plate will give you more clearance inside. The engagement is 5/8" deep. I ground a radius on the leading edge to make the pall slide over it smoothly. You don't want any sharp edges that will catch your clothes. My striker is set onto a maple base. The base is epoxied and screwed from the back with large washers. The base serves to move the striker out to meet the latch. You will notice that the door lip had to be cut back as well.
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striker 1.jpg  
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:44 PM   #7
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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adjusting the striker

I designed my striker to be adjustable for installation. You will see that I have 4 countersunk screws and one hex drive screw with a washer. The hex screw is used to secure the striker during adjustment. It allows the striker to move up, down, and rotate for a perfect engagement. The single screw can easily secure the striker. With the adjustment screw removed you can see the oversized hole behind (1/2"). Once all the adjustments have been made, you drill and install the 4 screws and the striker is locked.
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striker 2.jpg   striker 3.jpg  

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:51 PM   #8
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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That's it

Well,
That is it. It took me about 8-9 hours to make all the parts and get the latch in. I can't be much more specific with details because every door will be a bit differnt. This basic approach should work well though. Much of what I wrote probably won't make sense until you have the latch in hand. Then it will be obvious. If you are good with tools and able to improvise, then you can do this. Just take your time and think it through before you cut! The end result is very worth the effort.
David
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
Raz
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Vermont
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Good job. I have heard lots of complaints on the scamp door lock. This looks like a big improvement. Raz
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:44 AM   #10
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Name: Floyd
Trailer: 2004 13 ft Scamp Custom Deluxe
IllAnnoy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
Well,
That is it. It took me about 8-9 hours to make all the parts and get the latch in. I can't be much more specific with details because every door will be a bit differnt. This basic approach should work well though. Much of what I wrote probably won't make sense until you have the latch in hand. Then it will be obvious. If you are good with tools and able to improvise, then you can do this. Just take your time and think it through before you cut! The end result is very worth the effort.
David
Wow, David, you got right on it! It looks great, the black was a good choice. It's just a touch daunting, but once you make the first cut...you're commited! Glad to hear that you like the results as much as I did.....Now for those BAL stabilizers!
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #11
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
Good job. I have heard lots of complaints on the scamp door lock. This looks like a big improvement. Raz
Thanks Raz,
I can open a "locked" Scamp door in under 30 secionds with nothing but a screwdriver. At best it is childproof.....assuming your child isn't too bright .

The other probelm is that the pall doesn't always fully engage the striker when you close the door. You will hear a click, but the pall just extends a fraction and barely catches. The first bump you hit pops it open. If you put your hand on the door and give it a hard push you hear a second click. The handle on the Scamp lock gives no clue, since it is not tied to the pall. The handle can also bounce.

It is just so poor I can't believe it's being used honestly.

The Fastec lock has a more positive engagement. If for some reason the pall did not extend, the paddle would be floppy, so you would know. It also has a separate deadbolt which is an absolutely positive engagement. It's all heavy diecast construction.

The Fastec would be much harder to defeat and would require significant damage to open. The striker ties into the closet wall so it is much more tamperproof. The latch assembly goes through the door and sandwiches it. The factory Scamp handle is held by just 2 sheetmetal screws.

From the inside you latch the deadbolt for security. The paddle is also much harder for something like a bear to get ahold of.

It's very big improvement, I just wish it were easier for most to do. I'd hate to see somebody ruin a door trying, so that is why I have laced the thread with cautions.

David
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Name: David
Trailer: 16 foot Scamp
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Wow, David, you got right on it! It looks great, the black was a good choice. It's just a touch daunting, but once you make the first cut...you're commited! Glad to hear that you like the results as much as I did.....Now for those BAL stabilizers!
Yeah Floyd, It came out well, but I had that same moment you did when I approached the door with the cutoff wheel . I don't have a shop or many tools anymore, so I have to be careful about the holes I dig for myself. I appreciate your help in getting started
Feel free to add your pics and comments. I don't think too many have done this.

Yeah, I want the stabilizers too

David
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #13
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Trailer: 2001 13 ft Scamp / 1993 Jeep Cherokee
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Makes sense to me. I've had a white one on hand for several years, right Donna D.

We both purchased the new lockset probably 6 or more years ago after a workshop was conducted at the Oregon gathering.

It was the strike plate that slowed me down. I like what you've done. Maybe this will become a winter mod for me. And, after 11 years I was thinking I had no other mods to do. In fact, I've only added a few minor mods the last 2 years, one being a 12v outlet on the outside and the other a revamp of my clothesline.

A mod to do....yippy
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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Trailer: 2005 13 ft Scamp / 2004 Honda Odyssey
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Hey Floyd,

I'll supply the trailer if you will do a workshop on this at one of the MN gatherings.

Heck we can even work out labor costs.

Nancy.
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