Riotravelers

Locked Out, Broken Lock

35 posts in this topic

My side entry door lock broke internally locking my wife inside. The lock is a Trimark 60-650.

I was able to remove the inside plate then drill multiple holes in the casting around the broken keeper operating bar. I was then able to tap the keeper back into retracted position to get the door open. I have attached pictures of the lock and broken parts as well.

I am interested to know if anyone else has had this problem as I am considering notifying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create a recall. I know of at least two other failures of this same type of lock on different brand motorhomes.

If you have had this problem please respond with Make, Model, Year of M/H and month and year lock failed.

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I have a 2004 Gulfstream Sun voyager with the same lock.

About 3 years ago we were in TN and left the motor home to check on our laundry at the wash house. When we returned to the Motor home and I put the key in the lock it turned as if it was unlocking but nothing. I finally found a younger lady who was camping near by and she was able to get into the motor home by way of a small window that I was able to unlock. She then tried to get the door open from the inside but could not so she unlocked one of the larger windows and I crawled into the motor home and got some tools and took off the inside part of the lock. I still was unable to get it open. I then with a lot of help from other campers started drilling into the lock to see if I could pull back the broken latch. After about an hour we finally got it open.

I contacted Trimark and they did not even return my call. I don't know what we would have done if it weren't for the other campers that helped us out. Every since I have left at least one window unlocked where I could get in and get the dog. I guess if it happened at night we would have to either sleep in the car or try to find a motel somewhere. The latch is made of white medal and should be constructed of a better material.

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This same thing happened to me, a few months ago. I was locked inside my RV and had to climb in and out of a side window. I do not recall the make of the lock though. I have a 09 Damon Challenger 371.

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The same thing just happened to us on our Thor ACE 30.1. I'm not sure if I have the same make and model of door handle assembly, but it looks like it. The complete description of the event and the solution process is on my blog (http://blog.skiprd.com), but here's the short version:

While on the way home from the FMCA convention in Indianapolis, at a gas stop, the outside door handle seemed unusually hard to open (it was always a little sticky--that should have been a clue), and then WHAM!--the handle sprang outwards, a small white plastic part went flying across the parking lot, and the door was thoroughly and stubbornly positioned in the closed position. The door handle would flop freely, but had no effect, and the door would not budge. Fortunately, there were no grandchildren or dogs inside, so I was just temporarily stranded at the fuel island.

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Good Sam roadside assistance eventually sent a wrecker to the scene (which was definitely not what I needed), but we were able to figure out that the broken part rotated clockwise to retract the latch. I couldn't get the tool on the broken part with enough force to move it, but the driver of the wrecker could. (Thank goodness for young, strong men who have a calling to drive wreckers--once again, providence at work.) He had enough hand strength (which is to say, a lot) to force the top of the broken part forward to spring the catch! The door was now open! From there, I retrieved my keys, got my toolbox, and we were able to disassemble the handle from the inside. We removed the spring-loaded latch and determined we could use the deadbolt as a make-shift door lock, which would hold the door securely closed until we could get home. (It was not apparent whether the inside handle would have worked, but I wasn't about to chance it.)

To my way of thinking, this is a very serious defect. Had there been people or dogs inside the coach, it could have been life-threatening, and I would have borrowed a sledge hammer and broken the door, a window, or whatever to get inside. Had there been a fire and we had been trapped inside (like one of the incidents above), the consequences could have been fatal. I intend to contact Thor, report the problem, and consider whether a report to NHTSA is appropriate. I'm going to be reluctant to replace the door handle assembly with the same unit unless the defect has been corrected. Otherwise, I'm going to have to figure out how to install a different make or model.

Thanks for starting this post, and please keep us informed of further developments.

Skip

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You might want to take a look HERE this is a Jan 2011 thread with info on how to drill the lock to open a Trimark lock.

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Skip,

You should have emergency fire exits in your motor home. We have one window in the living area, it has two red handles and pulling those up will allow a quick if not graceful exit out a window. We have the same in the bedroom. I check them periodically to ensure they open easily. Everyone should have these in their motor home and knowing where they are and checking them frequently to ensure proper operation should help put them in the front of your mind if there is ever a fire when you are in the motor home. The operation of these windows is one of the first things we do when we travel with our grandchildren in our motor home. They have all opened the window by themselves before we start any trip with them.

We have also had door latch problems. Ours is simply worn out after 10+ years of full time travel. We are scheduled to have the whole works replaced this month. Last year when the problem surfaced we had the door serviced. The first thing I did when we turned the motor home over to the repair shop was pop one of the fire exit windows open just in case someone got locked in or out. I told the tech who was working on the door latch so he wouldn't panic. No need to break a window if you provide an emergency exit.

This of course won't help if you have pets inside and won't allow you to get inside if you haven't opened the fire escape window. It is an important safety feature that could be used when working on a door latch as an alternate means of getting into or out of the coach if the latch becomes completely inoperative while working on it or testing it.

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You should have emergency fire exits in your motor home. <snip, snip>

Tom -- We do indeed have an emergency exit. (In addition, after reviewing the fire safety materials at the FMCA convention, we ended up so alerted to the danger that we not only made sure the window was functioning, we actually practiced an exit! As you point out, it was not graceful, but better than the alternative.)

But that really doesn't solve the safety issue of a defective door latch unless one assumes that any fire will be courteous enough to break out somewhere other than between you and the exit. If we were sitting on the settee, for example, and a fire started in the kitchen, we may not be able to get to the emergency exit in the bedroom. That would render the defective door handle now a life-threatening defect.

Skip

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You might want to take a look HERE this is a Jan 2011 thread with info on how to drill the lock to open a Trimark lock.

Clay (WA5NMR) -- thanks. I hope I never need it, but at least I now know where to drill.

73 Skip (K4EAK)

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Since this is a topic on door latches let me relate a problem with our dead bolt on our Dynasty. We pulled in to get fuel, on our way to Rockport and for some reason the dead bolt was locked. When I tried to open the door the dead bolt knob would turn but not the bolt. So I had to go out the window. Now to get out of the window I went out feet first and was doing fine until I got my belly over the window ledge. At that point it was not very graceful. Now back to the door. I was able to pull back the trim on the door and was able to see the dead bolt. I got my pocket knife and was able to push the bolt back and got the door open. What happened was the dead bolt was modified at the factory to add length so the lock could be placed further back then in a standard door. The bolt was pinned with a roll pin and the roll pin broke. I was able to get a new pin and repaired the dead bolt. I hope this helps anyone that may have this problem, hope you don't.

Herman

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Interesting update: last weekend, I sent an e-mail to Thor relaying my story of the broken lock. Tuesday morning a rep from Thor called my office. He stated that he had received the e-mail and had immediately contacted the manufacturer of the door (Dexter Door, I think he said) who had incorporated the Trimark unit at issue. Dexter reported that they had not seen any significant number of problems, certainly nothing to indicate a problem in the design of the latch. The Thor rep speculated that the failure could have been due either to a problem in installation or a random manufacturing problem not spotted in the inspection process. Whatever the cause, though, my account was flagged so that when the dealer get's OK for the replacement under warranty, he'll see an instruction to FedEx the latch assembly to Dexter for analysis. The Thor rep said he'd call me back once he had a report from Dexter.

I worked as an engineer at a manufacturing company for several years, and Thor's response actually feels right to me, both in terms of the responsible way to handle such an incident and in guessing (that's all it is right now) as to the possible causes. In any event, I'll report back once I hear from Thor with the final conclusion on the problem.

Skip

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I have a 2009 Four Winds Class C with the same model lock. 2 years ago I packed the RV in the morning and had no problem getting in and out the door. When I left for FL later, I stopped at a rest area and found I couldn't get my door open from the inside or outside. At each additional stop and when I stopped for the night I still couldn't get the door open, so I just used the drivers door. The next morning I was ready to take the dog out the drivers door, and I decided to try the door again, and it opened. I tightened the screws on the door and sprayed it with silicone, and it worked the rest of the trip. I just took a cross country trip and back and I had a problem with it being hard to open. At one stop, the door wouldn't close, another RV'er tried to help and we finally got the door to close, he said it was the lock. After reading the post of other people having problems with the lock it concerns me that if there was a fire or you had to get out quickly this creates a dangerous situation. I think it should be reported to NHSTA as a safety concern.

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Another update: I got a reply from Trimark that said, among other things: "I believe it was just a random incident." There was no stated basis for the conclusion, so I can't evaluate whether it's reasonable or not. Just passing it along. Further info will follow...

Skip

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You don't need to fix lock by yourself, if you have no more ideas or experience in it.

Just call a lock smith and hire its services to get rid of this common problem.

I'm saying that because my lock did same problem like that.

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This won't help the folks having a lock out problem, but, I thought if I posted this here, it would be useful information.

I have a 2000 Southwind with a Trimark 030-0900 entry lock. It has both a flip lever for the "dead bolt" and a moveable rod for the door catch. I wanted to take it apart because I was having trouble with the key lock. I asked several different RV shops here in Florida how to get the small lever off? I was told "it's a bear" "it's very difficult" and "you have to break it off", So I'll pass this along. Trimark, who apparently seals all aspects of there door lock mechanisms and does not sell any parts just mechanism sides (inside/outside) for more then the whole assembly is worth, doesn't tell you that the small lever comes off with the inside piece and is NOT fastened to the rod that it is controlling. I assume this is not news to many of you, BUT, I could not find it anywhere. the small lever is held to the inside plate with an "inside" star washer and is easily removed with the plate. I was afraid to remove this because of the statements from RV mechanics, but after I examined it, I cautiously pulled and almost fell over backwards when it slide off easily.

I searched the internet for any hint of how this was removed, because it appears to be fastened with a circlip (the star washer) and I thought someone might be in the same fix.

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The entry side door lock on my 2001 Forest River Windsong has broken and we are locked inside with our dogs (Newfoundlands 180 and 140 lbs) outside and my husband has gone in and out the drivers door, thank God for that door or we would be locked in with me disabled and not able to climb out the emergency window. There needs to be a recall on all these locks that break and strand owners in or out of their motorhomes with pets and or grandchildren inside or out.

This is a National Safety Hazard for thousands of motorhome and RV owners with these defective locks. We have been talking with the service facility of a Forest River dealer in the Sacramento area trying to find a way to get the lock open and replaced. Hopefully with another better locking mechanism. I think I will give this off to my congressman to have this type of lock recalled if possible as they definitely are defective.

We have had to replace all of the underneath compartment locks when the cheap pot metal latches broke off in them and could not be accessed until we spent repair dollars and had a RV repair dealer who had made a special tool that we copied to get in to the others that broke and then made and replaced all the other pot metal pieces with our own latches my husband made out of a better quality material . Very poor materials and locks. LOTS of comments on line about this type of lock and now it is time to remove this hazard from our lives. We have enough to worry about without wondering how we would get out in case of a fire and get our pets or others out a window or side door without good mobility when getting the door lock in this broken mess.

My husband finally was able to dismantle the lock by taking off the plate and getting the broken piece out and then removing the molding from the side of the door inside and getting the lock pushed back to get the door open. Now we are going to have to figure out how to keep the door locked when traveling to get another lock installed. At least we are able to use the deadbolt for now and it seems to work to lock the vehicle up. This is very hazardous and needs to be addressed by as many as possible and if there is a list of how many of these locks are or have gone bad the NHTSA can be given a report and not try to have the company describe it as a one off manufacturing issue.

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Happened to us last year. We have a 2005 Infinity by Four Winds. Took the mechanism apart, opned the door and went to Charlotte RV in Port Charlotte Florida and was surprised to learn they had a box full of new replacements. Actually was a fairly easy fix.

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This past Saturday of Mother's Day weekend my 5 year old Grandson and I were locked inside our 2008 Damon 378 platinum edition motorhome due to a malfunction in theTrimark door lock. He immediately panicked and my neighbor came to his rescue with a ladder. After more than 3 hours the door locking assembly was disassembled, pried and cut by a grinder before finally opening. We are seasonal campers in southern New Jersey. If it weren't for our wonderful neighbors and friends the door might still be locked. I have a fear of heights and ladders so it took me 2 hours before I finally braved the sliding window and ladder to free myself. After reading all these posts I find it unbelievable that Trimark doesn't want to accept responsibility for their locks. I'm thankful that my 90 lb. German Shepherd was not inside when this happened. I raise puppies for The Seeing Eye and had to hand my 50 lb. puppy out the window and down a ladder. My door, trim and screen door are all damaged.

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This past Saturday of Mother's Day weekend my 5 year old Grandson and I were locked inside our 2008 Damon 378 platinum edition motorhome due to a malfunction in theTrimark door lock. ... After reading all these posts I find it unbelievable that Trimark doesn't want to accept responsibility for their locks. ...

For a while I was toying with the idea of contacting NHTSA and asking them to conduct an investigation to determine if the issue warrants a recall. As I mentioned in my post above, back in 2012 when my door handle failed, I contacted Trimark and asked, "I’m wondering what to do? If this was just a random problem in manufacturing or installation, then I should be able to install the identical model and not worry about it. On the other hand, if this kind of thing is happening regularly, then I’ve got to figure out a solution involving something other than the same unit." In response, the customer service agent said, "I believe it was just a random incident."

I'm not sure exactly what model lock I had, but in plinking around on the Trimark website, I see that, assuming I'm looking at the right item, Trimark has come out with a new version, recommending against the use of the old version: http://www.trimarkcorp.com/en/zPlatform.aspx?platformid=25&categoryid=-1. (A similar-looking unit has an identical warning.)

So, maybe with the issues continuing to pop up, and with Trimark replacing at least some units, a notice to NHTSA might in fact be in order?

What do you think?

Skip

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I also had a problem with the door handle. I called Fleetwood customer service, they emailed me a drawing of what I needed to do, I repaired it and moved on.

Yes, it was an inconvenience, but I don't need another government agency involved in my day to day life.

This is strictly my opinion and others can totally disagree.

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I have a 2004 Fourwinds Chateau Class C motorhome.

My parents and I took a trip from Texas to Michigan October 2015. On one of our stops we returned to the RV to find we could not get the door opened.

I entered thru the cab door, and tried to open cabin door but not able to do so. We continued on our trip using the passenger door to get my parents into the Cabin, which was a hardship for my Dad, as he was not as mobile as Mom and myself.

While visiting my son and family in Michigan, he and I worked at trying to get the door open. We finally took off the interior door molding, and pushed the pin back to open the door. Son took off the plate cover to find the pin had snapped in two, not allowing the pull latch pull the pin back.

We were able to enter and exit thru the door again, just had to use the deadbolt lock to keep door closed.

I went to a local RV dealer/parts store and purchased a new door latch/lock but it was too small for the space made for the old lock. They said it was the only size with deadbolt available. So decided to wait till we returned home.

I googled to find a replacement, found a link to this post, and since I have joined FMCA was glad to be able to read the posts. It is concerning that so many have also had problems with the Trimark latch. I will be checking into other brand of lock/latch, and may also contact Fourwinds.

Grammygrams

Texas

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Grammygrams,

Welcome to FMCA and to the Forum.

Maybe your Door Latch assembly could be rebuild. Go to your local lock smith. He may be able to repair it. if so it may give you time to find a replacement.

You might also check with a mobile home service center. Some of the doors in RVs are the same as mobile homes.

What part of Texas are you in? My wife and I are members of the Lone Star Chapter of FMCA and would like for you to join us at one of our Rallies. If you would like, you may send me a Personal Message from here. Just click on my name and then click "Send Personal Message".

Herman

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I, also was locked out of my 2014 Forest River Sunseeker that has a Trimark 060-0650 lock on the side door.  I was 1/4 way through my trip when this happened.  Had to use vehicle doors the remainder of the trip.  Upon returning home I took it to my "authorized" dealer with "certified" mechanics.  They started using a crowbar on the door frame and then asked for permission to remove the door and frame at my expense (approximately $1800) and then a new custom paint job on top of that.  I told them to halt all work, picked up the RV and now have someone else replacing only the lock at a material cost of approximately $100 and installation.  If NTSB does get contacted regarding this obvious safety hazard please include me.

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21 minutes ago, deckersj12@yahoo.com said:

I, also was locked out of my 2014 Forest River Sunseeker that has a Trimark 060-0650 lock on the side door.  I was 1/4 way through my trip when this happened.  Had to use vehicle doors the remainder of the trip.  Upon returning home I took it to my "authorized" dealer with "certified" mechanics.  They started using a crowbar on the door frame and then asked for permission to remove the door and frame at my expense (approximately $1800) and then a new custom paint job on top of that.  I told them to halt all work, picked up the RV and now have someone else replacing only the lock at a material cost of approximately $100 and installation.  If NTSB does get contacted regarding this obvious safety hazard please include me.

Got to wounder if the dealer has ever worked on or install a door lock and handle. As long as they could get inside coach, removing the screws and disassembling the unit, the door should open as soon as the pin is pulled out of the striker plate.

The door lock systems do fail, but we tend to forget to remove the parts and keep the internal mechanism lubricated. Not an item placed on the periodic maintenance list. Should the latch pin be made of plastic, there is always a greater possibility of them braking.

How often do people remove and lubricate there house door locks, not often if ever and the new combination locks for homes do require new batteries and they always run out of power when one does not have the key ring with the house key!

Rich. 

 

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