Airstream Lock

Our door lock was looking pretty sad.  It had a big chunk broken off the corner and someone got in there and got all happy with a welder, welding on a stainless paddle with plain old steel or some such.  The vulcum seal around the edge  had dried out and there was a crack in the corner and I was afraid the corner might fall off on the highway somewhere.  It was time to take it off and have a look see.

Cracked LockRemoving the old lock was pretty straight forward.  I had to remove 3 large flat head screws on the inside and then drill out some rivets in the door to get enough clearance.  Seeing the inside of the door was interesting.  There was very old insulation and some wood running strips that went across.  Whats this? Wood? In an Airstream, who would have thunk it.  The inside door panel was looking pretty beat up after years of people screwing around with the door handle, etc…

Here is a picture of the lock mechanism out on the table…

I cleaned everything I could with solvent and used a wire wheel to remove the rust.  I painted silver over the steel bits and re-patched the cracked corner.  For the corner patch I used a small piece of aluminum with JB weld sandwiched between. The slider use to have a locking pin which was broken off in the shaft.  I used a drill press to drill a small hole in the old bolt and then extracted it with this curtain hook.

Next I tackled a new mounting plate for the inside.  I wanted to dress it up a bit and cover over all the old miscellaneous holes.  I designed a plate in RhinoCad and cut it out on the CNC then riveted into place using probably a tad to many rivets 😉

In order to remount the old handle I had to drill it out slightly and make a pin to fit.  Also since I had effectively thickened the door with my new plate I had to file some of the original handle away so the holes lined up.  Fun finicky bits.

Finally I added my new locking pin that fit into the shaft I drilled out earlier.  Its supposed to give you a door lock on the inside of the trailer.

And a final shot of the completed lock.  Sad news is that by adding the plate I added thickness and now the door is harder to shut.  Shakes Head.  It shuts, but you kind of have to slam it.  At least it looks better and I don’t have to worry about it falling off…

After everything was back in place we caulked around the outside with a new seal of vulcum, uhhhmmmmm!!!!! Vulcum.

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