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Old 09-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #1
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The PTL door lock/latch on my 05 Avalanche is so hard to open sometimes that it seems like it's locked. We've made adjusments to the latch which seems to help some but it always goes back to being very difficult to open. Has anyone else had this problem or replaced this unit with a different door lock/latch system.

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Old 09-18-2008, 11:13 AM   #2
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The PTL door lock/latch on my 05 Avalanche is so hard to open sometimes that it seems like it's locked. We've made adjusments to the latch which seems to help some but it always goes back to being very difficult to open. Has anyone else had this problem or replaced this unit with a different door lock/latch system.

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Old 09-18-2008, 02:16 PM   #3
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I am not sure if our doors are the same, but think so. Here is the information I sent WRV about that issue. For more info PM me.

One of the first complaints to service on the new coach was that my wife
could barely open the entry door due to a very stiff handle. This was
addressed by service 2-3 times then sent to production and then Izzy, an
engineer and myself worked on it for quite a long time. I was told any more
adjustments to it might result in creating wind noise at the door. It was
still not good, but I didn't want any wind noise so I told them to leave it
as is. After I got home I lubed the latch with the lube made for the
electric step making it about 50% better. I then adjusted the linkage
between the mechanism and the handle, beyond the normal allowable
adjustment. The door is now easy to use.

The adjustment to the linkage allows the latch to release without pulling the handle out so far.
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:40 AM   #4
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Here is a link to the handle I think is used.

TriMark

As I remember, it is the same one used on our 2002. I have seen different handles on the mid door coaches and the 2008's.

I also adjusted the cable for the latch that locks the door open. It also required pulling the handle too far out. The handle releases both latches much easier when actuating them sooner in its movement.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
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Dale & all;
I called PTL about the cable release system not knowing our coach has the clip system. First WRV/Monomoy stiffed PTL thousands of dollars, so forget about any warranty.

Some doors have an internal cable feature which keeps the door open. Some doors have a clip system on the bracket at the top of the door. Some early "clip" brackets were not engineered strong enough; the clip breaks and the door won't stay open. This requires a new clip/bracket (the "V" shaped thing on the top of the door). PTL won't fix these under warranty; the new part is around 76 dollars. I cannot speak for the cable feature type system, others have posted information about it, and so it could be searched. I am finally going to dig into my pocket and order the new clip and bracket, because I want the door to stay open when I need it to. Since its heavy, in a strong wind it could close on me or the little lady and hurt one of us.

Dale, can I loosen the door lug (stud sticking out of the frame part of the housing and adjust it in so the door closes tighter. I have some play in the door, not enough to give us wind noise though, and the dead bolt works without having to pull in on the door, so its alignment is good???? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-21-2008, 04:54 AM   #6
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My door was also difficult to open. Required a significant amount of pull on the handle. So, I lubed all the internal parts with silicone spray. Made a big difference. The door was much easier to open.

Unfortunately, the door started poping open one notch while I was driving. This created alot of wind noise and was un-nerving. It did not completely unlock, but enough to get your attention and be very annoying.

So, I cleaned all the areas where I sprayed the silicone and the door stopped poping open. Now it stays closed, and once again, is hard to open.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:06 AM   #7
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The door problem seems to vary from coach to coach. Our 2002 had no problems. While trying to solve the problem at the factory, I checked other coaches that were there and found them to all be OK.

Monty,

You can adjust the lug as necessary to have the door close as you like it. I have mine tight with a solid seal for travel and storage, but usually only close it to the first latch for normal use. Having the door tighter can make the door harder to open.

Ken,

Silicone spray is what I use a lot for misc lubing on the coach. It is what I had used at first to try and cure my problem, didn't solve it. When I used the KwikLube, (from KwiKee, made to lube the steps and others) it was MUCH better. I have used it on a few friends coaches that were having problems and had better success than with silicone spray. I am sure that silicone spray is good for the normal door problems but find the Kwiklube to be better for tough door issues and the step.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:44 PM   #8
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(Not so) glad to see others are having the "door popping open" issue. Mine started that last year. Guess I'll start by just cleaning and re-lubing it. If it still opens, I'll adjust the "lug". Which way? It pops open a bit, but not completely. I just get lots of windnoise.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:54 AM   #9
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The door has two "catch" locks, similiar to the hood of a car. When mine pops open, the primary catch releases, but the second one holds the door closed.

It appears that there is some sort of friction device that holds the primary catch closed. When I sprayed the entire mechanism with silicone, I also lubed that device and it started poping open. After I cleaned the entire mechanism, the latch became harder to open, but the poping stopped.

Some day, I may investigate it further and figure out what is really going on.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:15 AM   #10
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I have the same problem as others reported with the door latch being difficult to open. However, I'm very reluctant to adjust the door lug, since I don't currently have any wind noise (and don't want any). What I discovered through trial and error is the following:

1. If on the outside of the door, then the door latch will open quite easily if I simply push on the door with my left hand while I pull on the latch with my right hand. This seems to release pressure and friction on the door latch.
2. If on the inside of the door, then I pull on the handle with one hand while I release the latch with the other hand.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:58 AM   #11
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I had a conversation w/the engineer @ PTL about the lug that extends from the door frame. It backs to a piece that is spring loaded within a pocket so the lug can "float" a bit. This is by design, so that as coaches flex, the door has some small allowable movement in its frame. Otherwise doors would bind & things would get really stuck or break. You should be able to grab the lug & w/a fair amount of force move it a total of 1/4" more or less.

If the door is hard to open, one source might be the backer piece frozen in place, freezing the lug in place. Removal is easy- just screws. IIWM I'd mark the locations for reassembly. Then clean & lube the setup & reinstall. If door still sticks, this wasn't the culprit
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:02 PM   #12
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Debra Michelz [dmichelz@ptlengineering.com]

http://www.ptlengineering.com/Contact.htm

Their website is under construction but I would think a tel. call would help out and they are very gracious. They even sent out my replacement closer/cable kit BEFORE they had received my payment.

Debra helped me out when I had to replace our broken Pos-A-Lock. I had to "modify" some clamp locations inside the door for the cable and found that the reason the original broke was that Gulfstream did a bad job of cutting the opening in the top of the door for the main mechanism. I have also "adjusted" the double flat-bar arm and check the screws regularly to make sure they are tight.

I too have to gently "push" the door a little further out when trying to close it (either outside or inside) so that the cable latch releases without strain. So far, so good.
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