Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Close the Door

One of the "features" of Scamp trailers that many people find inadequate is the door latch. It has several functional drawbacks and has been known to fail internally, locking people in or out of the trailer.

Several people on the Scampers Yahoo Group have replaced their door latch with one from Fastec Industries. I ended up using one that looks the same but was made by Bauer Products and distributed by AP Products since it was available at my local RV parts store.

While I was cutting other holes in the trailer, I cut a hole for the new style latch assembly and removed the old striker plate.

The hole clearances were tight enough that I had to disassemble the deadlock function of the assembly in order to rotate the latch assembly into position in the door. Both the plate and the deadbolt shaft had to removed temporarily.

With the deadbolt parts out the way temporarily, the latch assembly slips into place.

With the latch assembly in plate, the deadbolt parts and the flat plate that retains them in position were reinstalled.

I knew that the latch was designed for a thicker door, so I started out making a spacer from 1/4" Baltic birch. It wasn't thick enough, so I made a second one and stacked them but it still was not quite tight enough. The third version was made from a piece of Baltic birch plywood that was about 11/16" thick.
The spacer has some fancy curves since I didn't get it right the first time, but you can't see them after it is all assembled. I won't tell if you don't.

Since I had some epoxy left over from the last boat project, I coated the spacer with a coat of epoxy to seal it and did the same to the edges of the cutout in the door. This way, if the sealant under the flange of the door latch should fail, any moisture will not be absorbed by the OSB incorporated into the core of the door.

I applied a bead of Dicor non-sag sealant to the latch flange before inserting it into the door for the last time.

The screws were replaced with stainless screws that were 1/4" longer to allow for the thick spacer. The AP Products latch uses a plastic pull plate. It appears that some of the Fastec Industries latches use a nicer metal pull plate. If I were to do the project again, I'd order a Fastec latch but I'm comfortable that the AP assembly will serve us well.

The new striker plate was fabricated from a piece of 1-1/4" x 1/8" stainless strap that I then painted black. The washer-head screws screw through the cabinet wall into a backer block of Baltic birch. I still have to touch up the door flange and paint the screw heads.

For Scamp owners that review this one closely, you'll note that our door seal is mounted to the door itself instead of glued to the trailer body in the factory stock manner. When I did the seal swap several years ago, the seal was available locally. I've never seen a source for it on line, and I don't know if the T-2 seal is still available at Space Age Paints or not.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, nice fix! My design is not as good but for now, it seems to work ok.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9Lzzwd2FkI