Sticky door lock

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by Snowman, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Snowman

    Snowman Member

    65
    2
    Jul 12, 2017
    Boulder, CO
    Hey Folks,
    On my '98 Santa Fe, the door lock (silver, rectangle that you unlock then twist) is really tricky to operate. When I insert the key, the rectangular lock ejects and then I'm required to twist it to operate the levers that protrude out either side of the door, thus locking into the trailer walls. The levers move quite freely when the door is not engaged but they can be a BEAR when the door is in locked position. Every once in a while, they will lock or unlocked smoothly, but usually its a fight. The side levers don't appear to be misaligned in the camper walls to created friction or blockage, so I'm at a loss. Anyone have this issue before? Any tips/tricks to make this work? I don't want to damage the lock by forcing it, so I'm seeking advice.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Member

    413
    3
    Mar 3, 2004
    Norwalk CT
    With over 40 years as a master locksmith it sounds like it is an alignment issue. The tell tale is that it works fine when the door is not engaged. That it works "every once in a while" also points this direction since unlike a house lock the popup can twist and move depending on how level/stable it is set up. My first suggestion is to lubricate the lock mechanism (I usually use WD40). This will not harm the lock whether it fixes the issue or not and should be done periodically anyways. Another possible fix or at least to alleviate the symptoms would be to file the openings that the locking rods go into to give it a little more play (careful not to go too far and leave the door bouncing in the opening. I have the drop down step door on my Coleman Columbia and sometimes have this issue so I push in on the door to take off any pressure on the locking rods before turning the handle.

    Good luck with it and hope this helps.
     
  3. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Member

    62
    10
    May 22, 2013
    Saint Helens, Oregon
    I have the same issue on my Timberlake (door opens to the side, single rod with T handle on the right side of the frame). I can definitely agree that this is an alignment issue, as I have to raise the door ~1-2 inches to align. Hinge side will need to be rebuilt soon, maybe next year (like I don't have enough projects).
     
  4. Snowman

    Snowman Member

    65
    2
    Jul 12, 2017
    Boulder, CO
    Regarding the WD-40, should I just put a few bursts into the slot where the key goes? Or onto the post where the lock twists? Not sure what you're referring to there.
    I also assumed it was an alignment issue, but I'll lean into the door with all of my weight and it doesn't really make a difference. That's why I'm confused. I'll try the WD-40 when I get your clarification.
    Thanks!
     
  5. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Member

    413
    3
    Mar 3, 2004
    Norwalk CT
    Spray it into the keyhole as well as getting to as much of the mechanism as possible. There are a few parts that pivot off of one another inside the door that may be binding under stress with the door closed. As GrueMaster mentioned check the hinge(s) to make sure the door isn't sagging. If that's the case leaning into the door won't help but possibly lifting up on it will. While it's not what you want to do every time you open the door it will at least give you an idea of where to concentrate your efforts. Good luck.
     
  6. Snowman

    Snowman Member

    65
    2
    Jul 12, 2017
    Boulder, CO
    Problem solved! I sprayed the WD-40 into lock and into mechanism, but it didn't appear to improve it much. So, I shined a light into the slot where the horzontal levers insert into the camper body and the rear looked ok, and the forward looked a little high. Upon opening the door and inspecting I could see that the golden finish on the lever was rubbed off on the top, apparently from rubbing. So, I took a file and milled it down a bit and now the lock turns with just the slightest resistance.
    Thanks for the tips!
     
  7. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Member

    413
    3
    Mar 3, 2004
    Norwalk CT
    Great job, glad you were able to solve it.
     

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