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16' Casita Door Handle/Latches


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#1 Chris Roe

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:14 PM

I called Casita a few days ago to find out if I could purchase the srings that go inside my door latch mechanism. Well of course I was told no and the whole assembly is $45.00. Well the search was on and I went to Home depot and found some springs the diameter of what I needed, but about an inch too long. I bought them and took them home and cut the long spring to the length I needed twice. (The only problem I had was the door latch would not retract.) Replaced the old broken springs with new ones, greased the inside of the assembly well and put it back together and placed it back on the door. I think I have about a hour invested in time and less than $1.00 maintenance cost. Just wanted to share this with those that may have or have had the same issue. huh.gif

#2 Sue and Sandy

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:58 PM

Thanks Chris!

We have a 16' that has behaved itself very well so far, but you never know when something might break.

Susan and Sandy

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#3 dfltil

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 03:28 PM

We have a 1995 16'SD and have had several door handle problems.

The first time was at a campground in Salt Lake City on a very hot Saturday night. I spent an hour taking the assembly apart and going to Home Depot to find a replacement spring. Nowhere else was open so I had to find something that worked. Had to leave the door open because the handle was broken. Finally adapted some non-casita part and it worked for a year or so.

Second time the handle just broke off at night when we were camping at Tunica and were in a casino campground. Fortunately I found someone to take me to as rv dealer the next morning and I was able to buy a replacement handle. Only problem is the replacement handle opens up instead of down and the insides would not work on the Casita. So I used the old Casita lock parts in the new handle and it worked for a couple years.

Third time handle broke off again when we tried to enter the camper late at night after out walking around the rv park. Fortunately there was still someone up that had a phillip screwdriver. I took the lock off and used a screwdriver to open the door. Ended up staying up half the night with parts all over the table but I re-built that handle and had to add spacers to make it work right. I made the spacer out of 1/2 pvc pipe.

Knock on wood... that's been 3 years ago and its still working fine.

don
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#4 Palmer M

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:01 PM

A while back, I noticed the door wasn't latching as securely as it once did. (One spring broken)
Then, earlier this year, I tried to close the door, and...nothing. Wouldn't latch. (Both springs broken)

I took the inside mechanism off and drilled the rivets out of it, and inside discovered the two
broken springs. I roped a bungy cord from the door to the cabinets, climbed out the emergency exit
window, and set off for the parts. I found the exact replacement springs at the local DoItBest hardware store...
Spencer's Hardware in Marion, NC, has great service if you're ever passing through...I didn't even have to look for them myself!
They were about 15 cents each.

It was late in the day, and I was hell-bent to make it down to a state park a couple hours away. After I got in
and registered, I used a pair of needle nose pliers to put the new springs in, and after putting it all back together, it's as good as new.
I will probably keep a couple of these springs on hand in case they break again.

It's good to know that it is pretty easy to go in and out of the emergency window, but it sure ain't graceful!!!
This is how you wind up going in, winding up on the floor after a full somersault from dinette to floor:
cool.gif blink.gif ohmy.gif lol.gif anim_rofl2.gif
The campground hosts weren't sure if they should be concerned or entertained!

Here's a picture of the old springs; note that both should have loop ends on each end - that's what breaks after time.

casita_door_latch_springs.jpg

Hope this helps! I sure wouldn't pay 45 bucks for something that cost less than a dollar to repair, just because Casita or anybody else tells you the parts aren't available!

P

ps I used to close the door by slamming it, but eventually learned to close it securely by leaning
firmly against it with my shoulder, near the level of the latch, where I can hear it "click". These springs
should last much longer than the originals, with this change of practice.

Edited by Palmer M, 05 September 2007 - 11:26 PM.

Palmer McCall
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#5 Chris Roe

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 05:27 AM

When my latch broke I was able to open the window in the door to latch my dead bolt to travel until I got it fixed. I exchanged a window out of a 1988 model SD and put it in my 1995 SD. The one thing I did notice while repairing mine was that the mechanism seemed to be very dry. I was very generous witht the grease. Thanks for sharing your tales. rolleyes.gif

#6 Palmer M

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 09:47 PM

Foggy memory mistake here! I went and bought 2 new springs today, to keep in
case of emergency, and they were $1.15/each, not the $.15 I stated earlier.
Still a lot better than replacing the whole latch!
I've got a fixed door window, so there wasn't really any alternative to the
acrobatics when mine broke (other than leaving the trailer, getting the parts,
then coming back for the trailer; like I said, that day I was on a schedule.)
P
Palmer McCall
North Carolina
05 Casita 16 SD "micronaut"
96 Dodge Dakota 4x4 V6
full-timing since 09/04

#7 friz

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 07:14 PM

If you get caught short with a broken spring in the lock, get out the needle nose pliers.
Half way around on the end that broke, bend it at a right angle to make a hook.
You have one less turn, but you can look for the right spring at your convenience.

Last time I talked to Casita, they would sell the inside part of the latch for $25.

The tongue part of the latch seems to wear a groove in it, haven't found a source for one of those.

I'm thinking about installing a deadbolt latch (with outside key) with the interlocking fingers, need some hints.

... friz

Edited by friz, 10 September 2007 - 08:08 PM.


#8 Chris Roe

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 10:16 AM

I have a slide bolt that can only be used on the inside. I use the key on the outside of the door for locking purposes. I took two of the screws out at the bottom of the door latch mechanism and place the top of the slide bolt frame there and placed the screws back in the same holes. However, the bottom of the slide bolt frame I drilled two small pilot holes and put two screws in and they tighten down great. When the door is closed the slide bolt uses the frame of the doorway to lock. It works very well for me. Hope this helps.