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Old 07-02-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
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Difficult Door Latch?

Any suggestions welcome - have taken to dealer but no help there (yet).

Problem: It's impossible to unlatch the door handle with one hand on our Ace 27.1.

To get into the RV we must put whatever we have in one hand down, and then using both hands push hard on the door and tug violently outward on the latch handle. The push & tug must be timed perfectly. Similar deal on inside trying to get out only it's a pull and then push. My wife cannot hardly do it at all.

We had same latch on previous RV w/no issues. This one appears to close up a bit too tightly so am thinking it's excessive pressure on the retractable tongue portion of the latch that is causing the hang-up. The latch handle works the retractable tongue very easily both in and out if not engaged in the door.

There does not appear to be any in or out adjustment to the door side of the latch and only a slight up & down adjustment to the jam side.

Only thing I have tried is filing the retractable tongue latch hole in the jam but to no avail as no room to operate a hand file. Maybe get a Drimmel & metal bit into the opening and take out more material??

Thanks!
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:23 PM   #2
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Could you possibly post a picture of your particular latch. We at times have a problem on our coach as well. Not a fuzzy feeling for sure. Can you loosen and adjust the position of the stem in the door jam?? Again this is if you have one. Different type of latches out there. A pic would really help of both the latch and the door jam area where it attaches.
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:29 PM   #3
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I think I'd be pushing hard on dealer/manufacturer. Not being able to,get out is a fire hazard!
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millwind View Post
Any suggestions welcome - have taken to dealer but no help there (yet).

Problem: It's impossible to unlatch the door handle with one hand on our Ace 27.1.
We are having the same issue with our door lock/latch, my wife can never get it open and thinks I locked it so she turns the locks and it still won't open. You have to pull really hard sometimes!
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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Difficult Door Latch?

Having a problem opening door from inside, have to put my hip to it . Afraid I might fall out door. This is a replacement lock. The first one broke in a Montreal and had it replaced there. Of course , we live on the Gulf Coast so can't take it back to him for rework.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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It looks like the ACE coaches use a Trimark 060-1650 latch assy:

As far as I know there is no horizontal striker adjustment, I would look at the seal and see if there might be a thinner version you could use. I don't have one to look at (yet), but that is where I would start. You might also look at the hinge side to make sure the hinges haven't been sprung out of position.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve N Sal View Post
Could you possibly post a picture of your particular latch.
It's the one in post #6 above.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rivraton View Post
As far as I know there is no horizontal striker adjustment,
You are right, it's only slightly vertically adjustable.
I would look at the seal and see if there might be a thinner version you could use.
Good suggestion! Have looked and will research that one.

I don't have one to look at (yet), but that is where I would start.

You might also look at the hinge side to make sure the hinges haven't been sprung out of position.
They look OK and thanks for all the input! Am sure others will benefit from your suggestions.
I really don't think the striker tongue receptacle needs more that about an 1/16th or so of material taken off the outboard side of the latch hole in order to relieve enough pressure on the advanced latch tongue. Of course, the strikers lock receptacle would likely need opening up also.

If I stumble upon a fix, or changing the door seal item works, I will certainly post it for the others having same issue.

Thanks!!
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:32 AM   #9
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I've been having an issue with my challenger door as well. My door was rubbing on the frame so I filed the frame down a little where it was rubbing. Also the screen door is suppose to open with the main door. I don't understand the way they are made because it pulls the door instead of pushing down on the lever to ope screen door. I took the screen door striker mount that is on the door frame and trimmed it a bit so I could move it forward and the screen latch doesn't catch it so hard. It improved but not 100 %. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-06-2014, 01:24 PM   #10
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Fixed!

Just as I thought, it turned out all we had to do was file down the 2nd (inside) metal layer of the striker's latch hole (not the lock hole) about 3/32" of an inch. Once fully engaged, that inside metal layer (offset inward from the outside edge of the latch opening) was putting too much pressure on the tongue for it to release & operate smoothly. Maybe necessarily so, there is no in/out adjustment of the striker - just a little up & down.

Problem was that I lacked a power rotary file, and hand filing was not possible with the striker installed in the jam a/c there was no room behind the striker to adequately stroke a file. Plus the striker metal is made of very stout stuff - it's configured in two 1/8" layers sandwiched together w/lots 'o carbon in the mix I suspect.

So working from the inside of the RV:

Removed the inside door molding,

Removed the 2 screws holding the door frame above & below the striker,

Removed the 2 striker anchoring screws,

and with just enough room to pry the door frame a bit outward, was able to sneak the striker assembly out from it's mounting area btw. wall & door frame. (In our unit there was a 1' section of self adhesive rubber striping behind the inside door molding that provides a landing place for the door side edge of the door molding - this also had to also be removed - easy enough to re-stick it later.)

Secured the removed striker in a vise and after some vigorous filing and a couple re-installs to check progress (don't want to file too much or other problems are likely), we were good to go.

So a couple hours is all it took. With a power rotary file, a couple minutes would have sufficed.

Must say that I feel much better since the wife can actually open the door, and those safety/injury/convenience related concerns are now relieved. Just wish our dealer had been equally concerned. They just who-hawed the whole thing ('we tried but...'). Typical.

Hope this helps those with a similar problem,
and Thanks for all the input!!

1st pic (below left) shows striker after being reinstalled - you can just barely make out the exposed outside edge of the inside 2nd layer of metal in the biggest square hole - that's the edge we filed down.

The pic to the right shows to stiker screws and door frame screws that were removed.

The lower pic shows the inside door molding that was removed - also visible is one of the "beauty caps" concealing the 4 molding screws that were necessary to remove. In our 27.1, only the lower 4' of molding had to be taken out.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:12 AM   #11
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I've had the same issue on mine and CW has been repeatedly fixing it or adjusting. I refuse to take apart a brand new RV and file it myself regardless if I can or not. That is poor. The frame was bent where the two arms would hit the frame and stick rather than closing and passing by without hitting. You did a nice fix...filing down should allow it to move cleanly. As long as i have other items for CW to fix under warranty I'll have them adjust. Sorry and glad to see it isn't just mine that was ridiculously hard to close and would stick.

Anyone have major problems with the screen door not seating properly? Mine hits the bottom first and then rubs at the top...it never closed properly without a slam and push almost. Seems silly but it should work better than that.

I would expect things to 'get' faulty or misaligned but this damn thing is new...
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H3OHIO View Post
We are having the same issue with our door lock/latch, my wife can never get it open and thinks I locked it so she turns the locks and it still won't open. You have to pull really hard sometimes!
This may be way TMI for such a minor item but.....

As I mentioned earlier, I had some relief by filing down the striker plate edge where the latch tongue rests against that edge when closed. But then it slowly started getting hard to operate again.

Exasperated once more, I loosened the striker sufficient to push it back out of the way so I could file two slots in the jam adjacent to the two screws that hold the striker in place - thus giving me some outward striker adjustment. However, even at this most relaxed position, it seemed that just the little bit of pressure now bearing against the closed movable tongue still caused the latch to hang up enough to make it very difficult to operate.

What finally worked well (& is still working albeit w/fingers crossed) is a spray flooding of the interior of the latch with lubricant in every available orifice - both on the inside & outside all the while working the latch mechanism vigorously. I used Corrosion X followed by a silicone lube. It progressively began to free up. Am thinking there was a rough metal edge on interfacing part(s) that is now starting to get 'lapped in'. Anyway, maybe worth a try less getting a new latch and giving that a go.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:16 AM   #13
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I had a door issue a couple of weeks ago, the screen door handle latch on the coach door evidently moved and the screen door latch was holding the coach door, if you pushed really hard the screen door latch would give and the door would open. I re-adjusted the little plastic piece on the door downward about 1/8" and it's OK now, if you have a sticky door you might check this.
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Old 08-31-2014, 09:29 AM   #14
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I had a door issue a couple of weeks ago, the screen door handle latch on the coach door evidently moved and the screen door latch was holding the coach door...., if you have a sticky door you might check this.
Checked & all is OK w/screen latch/door.
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