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Old 05-12-2022, 07:44 PM   #1
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Locked out of our MH! Do I break a window?

Ok, so the title isn't exactly accurate.... But I can't get into our MH all the same!

And sorry for the repeat post. I posted a version of this message to the Tiffin forum, hoping someone knew how to fix or remove my door latch from the outside.

Also posting here, to as wider audience, in case anyone knows a way, other than breaking a window, to get into a MH when the door latch mechanism is broken.

Door is unlocked, but something inside the mechanism is broken so it won't disengage the latch. Handle swings out freely when pulled, door does not unlatch.

FWIW, our door handle is the type with a vertical bar, roughly 5"x1", attached near the top and bottom. You pull the handle outward, while rotating it rearward, to unlatch and pull door open.

FWIW #2, the door handle had been difficult to open for the last year or so, requiring an increased amount of force to get it to unlatch.

I can't figure out a way to open the door now.

How do I get in, other than breaking a window? None of the windows are unlatched. We are scheduled to go off on vacation in 2 1/2 weeks. Getting parts alone will be a nightmare.

Thanks in advance for timely replies.

B
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:49 PM   #2
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We had this problem just recently, but thankfully, we're in a TH with a 2nd door in the rear. Found out it was our deadbolt and the way our RV was angled JUSSSTTTT right that it wouldn't release. Our handle opened freely, but the door itself wouldn't budge.

We thankfully had remote access to our rig and were able to adjust the jacks to take pressure off the deadbolt to release. RV Windows are hard to get and $$$ ... I was in the glass business and the last thing I would want to do is break a window.

I'd almost pay a good locksmith his hourly wage to see if there is anything he can do prior to going the glass breakage route. If the lock was already hard to open prior, it could be something as simple as a jack/stabilizer adjustment to take weight of that specific locking point.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:55 PM   #3
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This is an absolute last resort, but if you have the cheap roof vents and want to upgrade. Break or remove the roof vent and send a small child through lol last resort I know.

Even if they can get in and use the emergency window, at least you have access. But this whole idea is a bad one.
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Old 05-12-2022, 07:58 PM   #4
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Don't think a locksmith will be able to help you with a unlocked door, and broken / failed linkage.
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Old 05-12-2022, 08:17 PM   #5
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I agree with the roof vent approach over a window.
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Old 05-12-2022, 09:33 PM   #6
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Do you have a skylight that could be removed?

Do you have a cracked windshield, or a hammer?
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:03 PM   #7
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I vote pass through. Any of the compartments under something inconspicuous? I know one of ours is under a bed with a sheet of plywood on it. Get in there and use the pry bar around the edges and push up on it get your self in. Heck even our outside kitchen is under a rear bunk. Take out the fridge and do the same. Worst case you spend 30 bucks and 30min of your time to rip it and replace it.
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:06 PM   #8
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This video is fantastic. Same rig as yours. Apparently it’s a common problem.
https://youtu.be/8AXWS2_I7Ek
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:22 PM   #9
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After looking at your model I dunno if my first suggestion would apply, before you brake anything I would be more so inclined to get a 4 inch putty knife and try and wedge it under the lock on a slider window?

Worst case if i where in your boat, order a new latch and get destructive with the old one. Run a 1-1/2 hole saw in the center of the latch under the lever( after you brake it off) stick your finger in there and feel the screws. drill again where the screws are with a 1/4 bit. If you buy the same lock you can guess pretty accurately and hit the screws then you could manipulate the lock mech out of the door.

A lock is easy and universal to get. A window is most definitely not and harder to replace.
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:52 PM   #10
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When it happened to us a couple months ago I tried the locksmith route to get door open (no success)
What worked was a mobile RV technician that has been working on RV’s 20+ years, with a saw, a drill and lots of practice. Took him over an hour to get in. Total of about two hours, had new latch installed and adjusted.
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Old 05-12-2022, 10:55 PM   #11
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Another lockout story.

My friend had an older motorhome (National RV Surfside) where the door lock stopped working. We had just parked at the check-in office at an RV park in South Fork Colorado. We borrowed a ladder and were able to get into a window without breaking the glass. Once inside the RV, the lock would NOT open from the inside either.

He had a full set of tools and drill. We ended up destroying the lock from the inside to get it open. It took over 2 hours to get in. We used the dead bolt to keep the door shut on the way home to Texas.

Sending a kid in through the roof, might not work. Be sure he could get back out the way he got in...

Regards,

Jerry
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Old 05-13-2022, 03:39 AM   #12
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As mentioned above, it would be helpful to determine whether your issue is the lock mechanism or the door frame sticking. You noted that the door had been getting harder to open over the last year or so. Could you tell if the door opened freely once the latch was operated or was the door dragging on the frame even after the latch was operated?


Three possibilities come to mind:


1. The door is stuck in the coach opening, due to misalignment, so it will not open even if latch is functioning.
2, the latch bolt is stuck in the door frame due to misalignment and the latch can not be operated.
3. The latch bolt is engaged in the door frame but the latch will not release the bolt even when operated normally.


In cases 1 and 2, I would place a small bottle jack under the hinge side of the door and raise the wall slightly (1/4 to 1/2") see if the door frees up. If not place it under the latch side and do the same.


In case number 3. I would check availability of replacement lock, order it if possible. Call the lock manufacturer and ask for drilling instructions. If no instruction available then drill baby drill. Drill a 3/8" hole at where you think the bolt is located in the lock, back from the lock edge about 1 1/2".
If you can see the bolt with a flashlight, stick an awl, pick, or screw driver in the hole, hard against the bolt and swing the tool toward the door latch side. You want to move the bolt away from the latch side of the door. You may have to drill several holes to find the bolt. If all this fails use a hole saw suitable for metal and drill the lock out until you can remove it.


I have replaced a couple of Trimark latches, different than yours. The "drill out" took a couple of hours, a few broken bits, a little blood and foul language, but was successful in the end.


I would not remove any part of the coach or break windows. Even if you do these things the latch will still be an issue.
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Old 05-13-2022, 04:48 AM   #13
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Interesting conversation here.
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triplewide View Post
As mentioned above, it would be helpful to determine whether your issue is the lock mechanism or the door frame sticking. You noted that the door had been getting harder to open over the last year or so. Could you tell if the door opened freely once the latch was operated or was the door dragging on the frame even after the latch was operated?


Three possibilities come to mind:


1. The door is stuck in the coach opening, due to misalignment, so it will not open even if latch is functioning.
2, the latch bolt is stuck in the door frame due to misalignment and the latch can not be operated.
3. The latch bolt is engaged in the door frame but the latch will not release the bolt even when operated normally.


In cases 1 and 2, I would place a small bottle jack under the hinge side of the door and raise the wall slightly (1/4 to 1/2") see if the door frees up. If not place it under the latch side and do the same.


In case number 3. I would check availability of replacement lock, order it if possible. Call the lock manufacturer and ask for drilling instructions. If no instruction available then drill baby drill. Drill a 3/8" hole at where you think the bolt is located in the lock, back from the lock edge about 1 1/2".
If you can see the bolt with a flashlight, stick an awl, pick, or screw driver in the hole, hard against the bolt and swing the tool toward the door latch side. You want to move the bolt away from the latch side of the door. You may have to drill several holes to find the bolt. If all this fails use a hole saw suitable for metal and drill the lock out until you can remove it.


I have replaced a couple of Trimark latches, different than yours. The "drill out" took a couple of hours, a few broken bits, a little blood and foul language, but was successful in the end.


I would not remove any part of the coach or break windows. Even if you do these things the latch will still be an issue.
Last sentence tells it all. Good logical and sound advice!
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