Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave discusses the RV door deadbolt.
I have a 2018 Wildcat 4 season trailer. I have an issue with the deadbolt lock. The door handle lock works, but the deadbolt will not. How do I adjust the lock? —Michael
I have had this situation happen on several vehicle including a very expensive Super C! Typically what has happened in those situation is the door frame has either settled or twisted, and in some cases the door actually warped slightly. In the case of the misaligned door, we used a 2×4 placed across the door and physically bent it back. Seems rather crude; however, this is how Winnebago adjusted doors on the line and I assume still are doing it the same.
Start by marking where the deadbolt hits the strike plate
I would start by putting a color chalk mark on the deadbolt and then close the door and try the lock. The color chalk should show you where it is hitting on the strike plate. You can also leave the deadbolt extended and see where it hits while standing inside the rig and marking the top and bottom.
Also try leveling the rig and see if it makes a difference. We did several demonstrations while conducting Winnebago training sessions showing how much a chassis can twist. We built a 1-foot ramp and drove one wheel up on several other brands. As the rig twisted, the entrance door swung open as well as several storage compartments.
If your deadbolt aligns with the opening in the strike plate but does not go in far enough, then take a look at how straight your door is. Run a 4-foot level up and down to see if it is bowed. It could need adjustment in the middle. In that case, I would place a 2×4 across the top and bottom of the door opening. Push the door against them by pushing in the middle to bring that part in.
You can also use a file and make the hole in the strike plate larger to accommodate the deadbolt. My guess is the deadbolt is just slightly off center and you should be able to adjust the door or make the hole larger.
Read more from Dave here.
Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?
Ask it here. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response.