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Replace broken Door Latch

During a trip to Death Valley our door latch broke making it impossible to open the door to our trailer. After cutting a screen on an open window we were able to gain entry to the trailer. Little did we know that our door latch was all but dead.
And let me tell you that breaking in to your own trailer at 10:00 in the evening is scary at best. It felt like everybody was going to notice that you were breaking into a trailer under a nearly full moon lit sky. Fortunately, we got away with it and were able to get inside without breaking any windows. The last place you want to discover your door latch doesn't work is in the middle of the desert. But that is exactly what happened to us after returining from a hot dinner date at the Death Valley Inn in Death Valley. This will ahve to wait 'til we get home to fix. Good thing we had one window open on the trailer so we could gain access inside. We simply cut the screen and climbed in and opened the door from the inside.
After that experience we left one window to open it from the inside by reaching through the window next to the door. We hoped nobody noticed we were breaking in to our own trailer. So much for security on the road.

Broken Latch

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The offending latch no longer responding to human touch after being broken - the outside lever now swings free.

Latch Swings Free

Like the wind...

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The out door latch handle swings free like the breeze.

Breaking In...

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Like the wind... This was the only way to gain access to the trailer with the outside lever no longer working. I had to reach through the window next to the door to operate the handle inside.

Door open, Handle removed...

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At home with the door now open I start to remove the handle by unscrewing the inside handle ftom the latch mechanism. This handle is plastic and looking like it is ready to break on it's own. Note that the inside locking lever is missing and the door can not be locked from the inside. This is the beginning of the end of the door latch because without that lever, the internal locking mechanism will cease to operate properly. This is the the problem that locks out of our own trailer in the first place.

Redmove Screws

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With the inside handle removed I remove the screws holding the door larch mechanism to the door frame. There should be 4 screws holding the latch in place but I only find 3. it becomes quite evident that this latch has been removed once before.

Removing the latch

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The latch is removed by removing the screws holding it in place (normally 4 screws) and breaking the seal of Vulkem around the latch mechanism. With it free I slide it back a little towards the center of the door. I push in on the latch with a screwdriver to release the latch mechanism and then wiggle the entitr component free of the door.
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Latch removed...

Problem revealed...

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At the bottom of the door latch chamber the operating cam which is supposed to open the door can be seen laying at the bottom of the latch chamber. It is quite evident that the cam came un-welded from the operating arm thus rendering the outside lever inoperable.
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All Contents and images Copyright 2012 ArchNevada Design unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.