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Old 10-21-2015, 01:12 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Auburn, CA, Havasu, AZ & Mulege, BCS
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PM your Door Latch

More than once we've been at a rally when somebody's front door latch broke. They are made of pot metal. Once the door becomes hard to open, the natural reaction is to pull harder, employ some form of leverage, use two hands, etc. That treats the symptom, not the disease, and in fact makes the disease worse by bending the pot metal over time.

If you get the linkage problem adjusted so the handle works easily again, you are back in business. If not, somewhere down the road you may be locked out of your rig, or locked in.

PTL Engineering (www.ptlengineering.com)has replacement door handle parts if needed, give them your Alpine Coach year and they should be able to match the hardware. Here is a photo of the current door handle that covers most Alpine model years (not the 08+ rigs w/the non-hard-latching-open door):

New design is slightly rounded at top & bottom, not as square looking as the original, but fits in the original cutout on this '04 coach. Jim Archer missed the dinner cruise on Lake Powell to "fix" his door so it wouldn't lock him in (Steph made the cruise so it wasn't a disaster, happy wife...).
Parts were about $80 delivered for this outer handle. Doesn't include the inner one which is separate.
Moral of this story- don't miss the dinner cruise!

Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 10-21-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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Posts: 1,270
Better to miss the dinner cruise than have to climb in a window after the dinner cruise in the dark!

In installing the new paddle handle, it appeared that the adjustment of the strike bolt on the frame, which I had to remove to allow me to get in and out of the door while the handle was broken, appears to have a lot to do with how easy the door is to open. Not so much the linkage adjustment.

Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
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Old 10-22-2015, 06:56 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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O have a 2001 HR that the door latch is hard to pull you can snap it and it open or push on the door and it works. As it should what adjustment do you think it needs? Thanks ken
Raving is a hobby hobbies cost money
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Old 10-22-2015, 09:00 AM   #4
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Location: So Cal
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Mike & Jim,

Mine is getting to be difficult to open. Can the problem be fixed by removing the handle and lubing or tightening the internal mechanism? Is it better to just be proactive and replace the whole thing. $80 isn't much to pay to avoid a PITA at the most inopportune time.

2005 Alpine
Alpine Coach........That's how Jaguar would've done it!
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:38 AM   #5
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I tried lubing the handle and adjusting the linkage 6-9 months ago with little change in how much force it took to open the door. If the door is open and you move the latch manually to the latched position, it releases easily with the handle.

PTL Engineering didn't have any procedure for adjusting the latch bolt. When you close and latch the door, that bolt determines how tight the door is held against the seals. If it helps to push on the door, and it is easier to release, that tells me it might be latching too tightly. But I am not an expert at it!! (As EngineerMike indirectly pointed out.)

Terry, I agree, $80 is not much to pay to avoid what I went through. It can't hurt!! If I had known the cost and how easy it was to do, I would have changed it a year ago.

PTL Engineering was great to work with. Don't be afraid to call them.
Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
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Old 10-22-2015, 12:21 PM   #6
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Terry W - Mine was very stiff and I took it apart and adjusted the internal linkage and lubed it. Did this three years ago and it is still working fine. Cost = $0.

'01 Alpine 36 FDDS
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