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Old 07-29-2022, 01:41 AM   #1
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Side door latch/lock won't close without assist...

On my 2013 23' Coachman Leprechaun 210QB, the side door lock/latch has developed a problem. It is a TriMark brand lock assembly. Here is a photo:




The correct operation of "closing the door" is to simply push (or pull) it shut and then it self latches closed (but not locked). Recently, when I did that (pushed it shut) it didn't automatically latch and instead it "rejected" the attempt. Imagine if you accidentally had the deadbolt in the lock position (extended) while the door was open, and then you pushed/slammed the door shut. It would make a loud "thud" and sort of bounce back open because it cannot possible close with the deadbolt sticking out. That is sort of what it is like, however it isn't the deadbolt causing the issue, it is the springy door latch part (circled in red in the photo) that is supposed to compress and then latch when the door closes. It is as if the springy part is extended out a little too far and then when the door tries to close it catches on the flat part of the springy part and not the slanted part of the springy part (which would then force it to spring inward and allow the door to close).


LOL....yes I realize "springy part" is obviously not the right name for that part. It is the part that (with the door open) you can push it in and then it will spring back once you remove the tension. It is similar to most standard door latches in your home. It's this part:



So....who here has had a similar problem? Is it possible/easy to open up the Trimark lock assembly and make some sort of adjustment? Thought I'd ask here first to see if anyone has any experience with these.


Thanks!
Chris
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Old 07-29-2022, 03:39 AM   #2
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It needs a little lubrication on the face of the "springy part". A little WD40, Silicone Spray, bacon grease, olive oil, axle grease, graphite key lubricant, you get the idea and it will work as before.

Not told to you by anyone to date is that this is a part that slides against another part! It needs a little lubrication from time to time!

I usually use the silicone spray. It might not last as long as axle grease but it isn't as messy either.

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Old 07-29-2022, 08:35 AM   #3
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Here is a good chart for the OP.
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Old 07-30-2022, 03:48 PM   #4
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These latches are notorious for breaking. Last I heard about $135 on Amazon but you the get the same latch that's just as likely to break. The images shows the pot-metal piece that breaks.

My nephew made a replacement piece out of aircraft aluminum in his machine shop garage. If this is indeed your problem, pm me.
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Old 08-08-2022, 06:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
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These latches are notorious for breaking. Last I heard about $135 on Amazon but you the get the same latch that's just as likely to break. The images shows the pot-metal piece that breaks.

My nephew made a replacement piece out of aircraft aluminum in his machine shop garage. If this is indeed your problem, pm me.

I finally got around to opening up the lock to take a look.



First, this is NOT a lubrication issue. The springy part compresses and springs back perfectly fine. The issue is that the latch part that sticks out actually sticks out TOO FAR. Here is a photo:





Because there is a flat part (circled in Yellow) sticking out, it hits the door jam when closing the door and the springy part doesn't get a chance to compress to allow it to close. It should look more like this photos:

where the slanted part of the latch will be the first thing to hit the door jam and therefore it will compress that latch and allow the door to close (and then spring back open to latch the door).


I took the door latch apart. Here is what it looked like:



I could see that there was a little plastic piece kind of floating around in the innards (by the springy part). I was able to get it out and it looks like this:



DFord: It looks like what you have in the picture in your post.


Is this something that broke? Does anyone know where this piece is supposed to go? My guess is that when this piece is in place wherever it is supposed to be it prevents the springy part from extending out too far.


Any thoughts/suggestions?


If this piece is broken and requires a completely new latch, I do think I see what might be another solution... In its "resting position" the latch guts inside the mechanism looks like this:



If I manually compress the latch that is sticking out to be at a better resting position (such that only the sloping part sticks out and then when the door closes it will compress and work correctly), the latch guts look like this:




If I cannot find the proper way to fix the lock/latch, I think I could probably glue a small metal block (~1/8th inch x 1/8th inch) on the latch in that space to prevent it from sliding out too far. Does that make sense?


Let me know if you have repaired such a lock and if that small piece I found floating around is something that is broken or just out of place.


Thanks!
Chris
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Old 08-08-2022, 08:14 PM   #6
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I'd have to say you're on to the problem. The part that fell out must have prevented the latch from extending too far.

Sorry I can't offer a fix.

For what they cost, they ought to hold up much better than they do.
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:45 AM   #7
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I ordered a new latch/lock just like the one you are showing. It had the problem where the tongue stuck out too far.

I got my small angle grinder out and rec-contoured the face of the latch so that it did not hang up on the flat before the face angle begins.

I also readjusted the position of the striker plate to relieve some of the pressure on the latch. Hopefully that will keep it from breaking!
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Old 08-09-2022, 12:40 PM   #8
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I got my small angle grinder out and rec-contoured the face of the latch so that it did not hang up on the flat before the face angle begins.

I like your approach!


Unfortunately for me, I don't have such a grinder and I think it is sticking out too far to do what you did.


-Chris
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Old 08-09-2022, 12:49 PM   #9
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Anyone out there with this similar TriMark lock want to take a picture of the internals on their RV so I can maybe see where this little plastic part is supposed to be?





Here is a picture of the TriMark lock version I have (it is pretty common):



It is VERY easy to remove the cover from the inside of the door. It is 3 screws that come out very easily and when you take them out and the interior plate off, it comes off clean and easy with no internal parts that move around or anything (so it is also simple to put back on). My hope is that someone can post a picture of the inside like this one so that I can hopefully see where the little plastic piece is supposed to go:



If I could see where it is actually supposed to go (the little plastic piece), I might be able to put it back into position and/or understand if/how the latch is broken.


Thanks in advance!
Chris
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Old 08-09-2022, 07:19 PM   #10
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Watch this YT video approx 1 min in, he shows that piece.

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Old 08-09-2022, 11:43 PM   #11
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Watch this YT video approx 1 min in, he shows that piece.


PERFECT! It actually does show exactly where it goes. And I can envision how it would hold the bolt such that it doesn't extend too far. BUT, I have no idea (yet without looking) what actually holds it in place. Perhaps when the door plate is screwed back in it will press against it and hold it in place. I'll check it out on my RV tomorrow and report back.


Thanks!
Chris
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Old 08-12-2022, 03:29 PM   #12
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After watching the video above, I went to my RV to take a look at the door latch. What I realized is that my slider bolt is NOT broken (as in the video) and therefore I didn't need a new slider bolt. The issue is that the bolt just doesn't stop extending where it should (it goes about 1/8th of an inch too far extended) and therefore when it hits the door jam it is not on the slanted part of the bolt and therefore it doesn't compress.


So I had an idea to glue in a tiny piece of metal on the bolt (in the yellow circle on the top rail) in the photo here:



After giving it plenty of time to dry I tried it out. The opening mechanism/arm immediately popped my little piece of metal out and therefore the solution didn't work. Out of a bit of annoyance/frustration, I decided to try putting a ziptie around it as someone above had mentioned. I wasn't happy with the idea is it isn't very elegant (and I don't know how long it would last for), but I tried it anyway. It does in fact hold back the bolt from extending too far.





Honestly, I was surprised I was even able to get the lock plate screwed back together and in place as I thought the large part of the ziptie would get in the way. But I was able to. And I know that if this doesn't work (or breaks), I can always remove it later. Low and behold, it works! (for now at least). I'll try this out for a few months and see if there are any issues.


Reminder: One of the reasons I'm willing to "play around" with such a solution is because my latch bolt is NOT broken and the door does allow itself to open and close even without this bandaid fix. There has never been an issue of not being able to open the door, fear of getting stuck inside/outside, etc.


If there are any updates in the future I'll let you know!


-Chris
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Old 08-12-2022, 03:55 PM   #13
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That is a pretty elegant solution. It might last for a very long time. Those zip ties are pretty tough and because they are relatively soft they don't tend to break.

The potential drawback I see is the possibility of the zip breaking and jamming up the works so the latch will neither latch or un-latch. If it jams in the latched position with the door closed getting it open from the inside shouldn't be too bad if you have the tools inside. Getting it open from the outside might be a problem.

I might use your solution. I have a driver's side door so I can still get in and out.

I still think I might want to cut the face of the latch back. You can buy a cheap angle grinder from Harbor Freight for about $15. It won't hold up for a professional but for an occasional use like yours it might be just the ticket.
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Old 08-12-2022, 03:58 PM   #14
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SJ-Chris

"After watching the video above, I went to my RV to take a look at the door latch. What I realized is that my slider bolt is NOT broken (as in the video) and therefore I didn't need a new slider bolt."

Were you able to find a source for a replacement slider bolt? That's the weakest part of the chain here and of course a replacement from Trimark wouldn't be any better than the original but it would be good to know if that part is available as opposed to the entire lock mechanism.
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