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Author Topic: Locked out of the coach  (Read 10511 times)

Tom

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Locked out of the coach
« on: June 18, 2015, 01:18:46 PM »
At the first stop on our most recent trip (Bakersfiled, CA), Chris was locked out of the coach. Fortunately, I was still inside and able to open the door. The outside latch handle merely flopped around, although the deadbolt worked fine.

I attempted to access the latch mechanism from the inside, but the removable cover on the inside of the door didn't expose all the parts I needed to get to. I spent some time trying to get mobile RV repair shops to respond, but most didn't answer their phones, while others no longer provided mobile service. We decided to press on with our trip, and each time we stopped, we either made sure one of us was in the coach or used something to prevent the door closing. At our destination, we left a window unlocked to access the coach and unlock the door from the inside.

This morning I got to figure out what was going on and fix it. I first had to remove the outer end of the door, the door handle, the 'fake' window frame, the deadbolt, and several other bits and pieces. This allowed me to partially remove the interior door panel, exposing the parts I needed to get to.

There are a couple of adjustments for the latch mechanism. My first suspect was the turnbuckle-style adjustment, but it was rock solid thanks to a couple of locking nuts and couldn't have moved. The culprit was an aircraft style adjustment nut on a 'long' rod, which seems to have worked its way back over the years. This had allowed the part of the latch actuated by the outside handle to move out of position and to no longer be able to unlock the latch.

A simple job to move the part back into position and a few turns on the aircraft nut, and everything works fine. Then replace all the bits and screws I'D removed.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 02:51:34 PM by Tom »
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Rene T

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 01:32:28 PM »
It was probably overdue for a lube job also.   ;D
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 01:40:00 PM »
I can feel that pain!

We had the deadbolt throw itself one day when the door closed behind us. We were only carrying the other lock key and had not installed the remote door locks yet.

Christi, God love her, was able to boost herself through an open window.

Ever since, we carry both keys, the remote, and leave a window unlatched.

The things you learn the hard way!

Kim
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
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2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Taos Monte Bello RV Park, El Prado, NM

Rene T

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 01:52:21 PM »
I can feel that pain!
We had the deadbolt throw itself one day when the door closed behind us. We were only carrying the other lock key and had not installed the remote door locks yet.
Christi, God love her, was able to boost herself through an open window.
Ever since, we carry both keys, the remote, and leave a window unlatched.
The things you learn the hard way!
Kim

Much easier to find a place outside the rig to hide a set of keys.  We have a small compartment door (12" X 12") which gives access to the water pump. The door only has the thumb lock. I just drove a nail in a stud and hung the keys there.  I also have a spare key for my truck. I learnt that the hard way.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 02:05:00 PM »
We all have our ways of coping.  8)
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
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2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Taos Monte Bello RV Park, El Prado, NM

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 02:37:12 PM »
Quote
It was probably overdue for a lube job also.

Nothing to lube.

We have hidden keys around our coach, but they were of no help in our situation. OTOH ...

When we were in the Mid West last Dec/Jan, the wind chill was -30F (aka coooold). We pulled into a rest area and both Chris and I hopped out of the warm Burb wearing flimsy clothing. That's when I realized we were locked out with the engine running. A call to Coach-Net dispatched a tow truck 30 minutes away, but there was no way we could have stood in that cold weather for that long. By chance, the rest area had a "vending building", housing all vending machines, and the glass-fronted building was heated (phew!) So we were able to watch for the tow truck in the warmth.
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Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2015, 02:54:30 PM »
Interestingly, I didn't recall this issue being previously reported here in our forum. However, when I did a google search, I found a number of folks who experienced the same problem. So, be prepared, it can happen to you!
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Molaker

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 02:57:57 PM »
I'm a bit paranoid about getting locked out after getting out of a rental car some years back to clean the windshield, leaving the engine running.  Yep,  A mid 90's GM car.  It locked automatically.  So, when I got my 2014 ERA Sprinter and it happened to me with it (luckily while at home), I started hanging a 2nd key fob around my neck.  My DW made a little fun of it, but I insisted.  Then this last summer while on a trip out west, we pulled into a rest area somewhere out in Montana and spied another ERA just like ours.  We pulled up beside it.  The guy was outside walking his dog and the engine was still running.  Turned out, he had parked to walk his dog, leaving the RV running.  When he came back, it had automatically locked the doors.  They do that after about 20 minutes under those conditions.  We tried, but unfortunately, my key would not work.  He had called a locksmith from an hour or so away, and he was just waiting...engine idling.  My DW quit teasing me about my necklace.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Lou Schneider

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 03:12:07 PM »
I really hate it when car designers think they're smarter than I am.  Someone should take the ERA designer out for a ride and leave him next to a locked coach.   ;)

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 03:23:22 PM »
In the snow....
Kim & Christi Bertram
SKP 106183
FMCA 420913
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2012 Thor Damon Tuscany 42RQ
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesel
Taos Monte Bello RV Park, El Prado, NM

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 03:32:13 PM »
Quote from: Lou Schneider
Someone should take the ERA designer out for a ride and leave him next to a locked coach

Aye Lou, we've often said that about boat designers, and not just about the door locking system..
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Ned

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2015, 04:15:25 PM »
I disabled the auto lock on our truck.  A long time ago I locked not 1, not 2, but 3 sets of keys and fobs in my van, with the alarm set.  It was exciting when a deputy sheriff and I got the doors opened.  Of course my drivers license and registration were also inside :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Frank Hurst

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2015, 07:03:28 PM »
Tom, I had the same thing happen to me two weeks ago, except there was no one in the coach and all the windows were locked. Took a locksmith about 1 1/2 hours to cut the lock out of the door. Destroyed the lock. I now have the hole covered with duck tape and a small rope hanging down so I can open the door from the out side. Can lock and unlock from the inside, but must be careful about locking the door when we leave the MH. You ask how I know...Take the duck tape off and reach up and unlock the door. We are using the dead bolt while we are inside and when we leave the MH. I will have to order another lock but I have been working for the last 8 days. Hope to get that done this weekend.

Frank
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RodgerS

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2015, 08:31:57 PM »
I have dealt with this and similar locking problems on some of the over 400 units I have worked on the last two months.
But, that's that!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 08:34:18 PM by RodgerS »
Gone RVing with Susan
Class B- RV: 2001 Mercedes CLK320 Soft Top

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2015, 08:41:55 PM »
What is an "over 400 unit"?
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RodgerS

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2015, 08:56:48 PM »
I have worked on over 400 units aka motorhomes, and on some of the units aka recreations vehicles I have solved similar problems.

A resource is only a resource when you use it.



Gone RVing with Susan
Class B- RV: 2001 Mercedes CLK320 Soft Top

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2015, 06:53:20 AM »
Quote from: Frank Hurs
I now have the hole covered with duck tape and a small rope hanging down so I can open the door from the out side.

Sounds like a new, foolproof lock design Frank  ;D   Thanks for sharing.
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garyb1st

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2015, 09:53:43 AM »
This is one of the reasons I like the driver side door.

What's an "aircraft nut"?   Did you do anything to keep the problem from recurring? 

We have a small key safe mounted to the floor above our propane tank.  The space between the floor and the ceiling is where we keep the tire chalks and leveling blocks.  It's plainly visible when opening the latch and could probably be whacked off with a good blow of a hammer, but if anyone wants in the motorhome, they don't need a key. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2015, 11:59:58 AM »
Quote
This is one of the reasons I like the driver side door.

It wasn't an option when we purchased the DP, bur we had one on our prior gas coach.

Quote
What's an "aircraft nut"?

A nut with a nylon insert intended to prevent the nut from moving, thereby acting as a kind of lock nut. When I worked with tools for a living, we knew them by the brand name "Nyloc nuts". Here's an image (attached).

Not yet, but I plan to add a couple of lock nuts; Didn't have any at the coach when I worked on it.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:09:53 PM by Tom »
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Rene T

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2015, 12:01:49 PM »
Or self locking nuts.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Lou Schneider

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2015, 02:22:49 PM »
I locked the keys inside my Bronco II at work the other day.  Fortunately, a screwdriver inserted into the driver's door key slot and a little jiggling popped the button up enough to unlock the door.

Rene T

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2015, 02:39:47 PM »
I had a weird situation. I went to the local supermarket a few years ago and I locked my keys in my Dodge caravan. I called my DW and ask her to come and get me and bring me her keys.  While I was standing there waiting for her, a car pulled in and parked behind me but in the next row. It was about 40' away. The lady got out and I saw her click her remote to lock her doors. At the same time, I thought I heard something in my car but I didn't think twice about it. She started walking away, and apparently she had to go back because she forgot something. She approached her car and took out her remote. She clicked it to unlock her door and lo and behold, it also unlocked my doors. That will never happen again.
I talked to the service manager at the local Dodge dealership and he told me that 1 out of evry ????? cars have the same remote. I don't remember what that number was.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Molaker

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2015, 04:56:49 PM »
Or self locking nuts.
Are you describing Tom? :)
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Arch Hoagland

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2015, 05:24:15 PM »
Tom...what brand, make of RV was this problem on?
2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
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2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
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Rene T

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2015, 05:28:34 PM »
Are you describing Tom? :)

Tom, that probably would apply to a lot of us.  ;D :o
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Tom

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2015, 05:33:45 PM »
Quote
.what brand, make of RV was this problem on?

It's a Monaco Camelot, but the latch is one of several that are pretty much standard on a lot of brands.
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garyb1st

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2015, 07:28:27 PM »
Thanks for the pix Tom.  I've seen those.  Actually I tried screwing one on to a bolt once but it wouldn't go on very far.  Apparently they're designed to go on with a fair amount of pressure.  Wish I knew that at the time. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

Ned

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2015, 07:43:40 PM »
Nylon insert nuts do need a wrench to tighten them onto the bolt, but they don't need lock washers and won't vibrate loose.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

thomasamski

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2015, 07:47:28 PM »
An easier alternative is to contact AAA, or perhaps one of the other roadside services. They will open any door in a jiffy and for free! It's part of their program. I also believe that all rigs should have at least two entry doors.
2011 Fleetwood Southwind pulling a 2010 Chevrolet HHR

RoyM

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Re: Locked out of the coach
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2015, 10:54:07 AM »
After stopping for gas, I pulled away from the pump while DW went in for coffee and muffins. Without thinking, I got out leaving the keys in the ignition, dumbdawg got excited and jumped on the door switch which is on top of the armrest. I managed to pop  open the cab slider with a screw driver, those things are not secure, and DW enlisted a skinny kid to crawl through and retrieve the keys. I now carry a spare set tucked away on the vehicle. The current truck has manual locks so if it happens again it's my fault.
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