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Locked Out and Locked Up

RV Door LockAs many of you may have heard, there was a recall a couple years ago on certain RV door locks that were failing to unlock if the key was turned the wrong way in them. My lock was one of those though I was not experiencing that particular problem. I actually had a different problem. While it would lock, just about ANY key would unlock it. Oops! Something was broken or stuck. Can’t have that. So, I replaced the lock which was extremely easy to do with just a few screws to remove. Still, I managed to get locked out one time after that when the awning rod I was keeping next to the door fell and lodged itself in the door handle so I couldn’t pull it to open the door from outside. With some brainstorming, recent experience, and a bit of luck I managed to get in the rig to get the rod out of the way. I won’t tell you how for security reasons. I no longer keep the rod near the door. Be sure to check what you are keeping near your door and what it might be capable of doing. Also check on possible entries into your RV should you get locked out. For simple key issues such as losing your key while you are out or leaving your key inside with a spouse who then decides to go somewhere and locks up, having a hide-a-key can be priceless. You may also want to let your next of kin know where it is just in case. I use a key vault myself. Not only do they need to know where it is hidden, they need the access code.

Most recently, I got locked in! I knew something wasn’t right when closing the door or locking the deadbolt because it seemed harder to close and way too easy to lock the deadbolt with no resistance. It then failed and locked me in. I unscrewed the inside lock plate and saw the deadbolt was disconnected and blocking the door from opening. I could see a screw that holds a separate plate over the deadbolt had fallen out and allowed the deadbolt actuator rod to also fall out. Attempts to pull the deadbolt back in just pushed it farther out though I can see now how it MAY have been possible to get the rod back in it in the first position it was in. With some effort, I was able to push the whole lock assembly out to open the door. Be aware that it is connected to a plate on the side of the door that you can’t get at when the door is closed. I lucked out and was able to still push it out while only slightly bending the plate. I picked up the pieces then had to slightly pull back the door jam molding to retrieve the deadbolt which had fallen down inside the wall. Putting it back in was easy and now it all feels right again. Whew! I’m free again!

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