Bang! Bang! Was that a gunshot?! No, thank goodness! Bang! Is it hammering?! No, it’s not that either. Huh. It stopped. Good! Now I can go back to … Bang! I jump every time I hear it. Bang! Then, realization strikes: Please stop slamming your RV door!
Why do RVers slam their RV doors? The answer is obvious: To shut the door. I’ve done it myself, too many times to count. It seems like RV manufacturers are in cahoots with one another on this topic. We’ve had three different RV brands and none of them offered entry doors that closed easily. We’ve always had to give a mighty push before (bang!) the door shuts completely. But wait a minute! Maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way. Could the annoying bang (gulp) somehow be my fault?
The jarring sound you hear when the RV door slams shut is caused when the door’s latch bolt hits the strike plate. The aptly named strike plate is the metal part fastened inside the door jamb. The door bolt fits into a hole (called an edge bore) in the strike plate to keep the door securely closed.
Turns out, there may be ways to avoid the slam. Here are some suggestions that just might cure the RV door bang.
Level the RV
If your RV is parked on uneven ground, the door can be tweaked out of alignment. This will make it difficult to easily open or close the door. Level your rig. Then see if your door will close more easily.
Lift, hold, and close
Try holding the latch open until the door is in its closed position. Then release the latch bolt, allowing it to slip into the edge bore. This may feel a bit awkward at first but keep trying. With a little practice, it will become more natural. And quieter, too.
Take a closer look at your RV door closure mechanism: the strike plate and the latch bolt. Are there any loose or broken parts in the latch bolt? You may need to tighten/replace them. Does the strike plate and latch bolt properly align? If not, reposition the strike plate on the door jamb. Does the strike plate need to be tightened or straightened? Do so.
Note: Order broken parts online or at your local RV parts store.
Dirty hinges may make it difficult to quietly close your RV door. Rust on the hinges can also produce friction that impedes the door closing. Dirt and rust on the latch bolt mechanism might also be an issue. Tackle these problems with a can of WD-40 Dry Lube. (Caution! Check your owner’s manual before using! If your RV has friction hinges, applying lubricant may negate this feature.)
Shake the can of lube. Keep a paper towel in hand to wipe down any overspray. Apply lube to each hinge. Then move the door back and forth to help the lubricant penetrate.
Next, put dry lube on the latch bolt. Work the bolt open and closed several times to allow the lubricant to seep into the inner workings. Check to see that the edge bore (strike plate hole) is clean, free of debris.
Once all moving parts are lubed, your RV door should close easily—without that annoying bang!
Can you add other suggestions for fixing the (bang!) RV door problem? Do so in the comments, please.
You know, after many years in rvs I’ve found the simplest solution to closing an rv door is to do so slowly, gently. Works every time if your door hasn’t been beat up by slamming.
It’s not rocket science, people.
This rv news feed has gotten ridiculous 🙄
So don’t read it, Steve. Just sayin’. 🙄 Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane at RVtravel.com
Can you use White Lithium Grease?
So glad you posted this! My husband slams our door each and every time. I close it the way it’s supposed to be closed. So far we’ve had two broken latches. He just won’t close it correctly. I appreciate this article! Thank you!
Uggg! Every front door on every trailer that I’ve owned has been super hard to close. It almost seems like the door is bowed out in the middle. On my current (brand new) trailer when closing from the outside, I have to stand on the top step, pull the handle, then lean into the door with my shoulder to get it to shut. The inside handle is so small that I can’t get a good grip so while inside I have to resort to slamming it. More often than not, it pops right back open LOL!
I am probably in the 1 out of a 50 RV’ers that actually practices being respectful of others peace and quiet. I do not lift the bear proof dumpster lids and drop them so that it sounds like a dump truck slamming the tailgate, I lower my garbage into whatever vessel I am using so it doesn’t crash on an empty bottom and disturb the people that are next to it. I don’t watch my “fur baby’s” bark at neighbors walking by and then tell them “If you would stay inside, my “fur baby’s” can’t see you and if my “fur baby’s” can’t see you, they won’t bark at you” another words, OK, it’s my fault (3 times so far) for not staying inside! We all, well maybe most or maybe some of us, like to go for walks without having p*ss poor pet owners “fur baby’s” barking at us. And then you have the person that gets something out of the vehicle, then “honk” 2 minutes later “honk” 15/20 times until they get unloaded. “Don’t want to get robbed in the few minutes to take in a hand full of stuff”, I guess!
I always ‘lift, hold, close’. And I don’t use slam latch doors as such either. Don’t know why others don’t do the same, especially at night. Maybe I’m too aware of my neighbours’ enjoyment. lol
I’ve found that it’s the people who slam their cabinets shut as well as the baggage doors that make the most noise! All hours of the day and night- very annoying.
We have a 2020 motorhome and have to slam the door when the outside temperature drops below 40+/- degrees. Using some white out on the dead bolt I found that it was not closing enough for it to make the hole. I filed the hole a little wider and it helped a lot but it still took a little more effort to engage it. I tried silicone on the seals several times with no difference so when we get home from Florida I’m going to change the seals to a thinner profile. Hopefully this will work otherwise we may eventually break the door glass.
Cool. Thanks, Gail! I’ll try your hints. DW routinely says that I slam the doof to our RV. 😎
Slam the doof, Neal? I almost corrected it but then thought maybe you actually meant “doof”. (If not, reply to this comment and I’ll correct it.) Take care. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com
I found the rubber door seals had dried out over the years and after applying CRC dry silicone spray to the seals and contact surfaces the door closed unbelievably easy!! And quietly!!
I occasionally rub the striker plate with wax from an old candle. The door latches more smoothly and it lasts longer than any other lube I’ve tried.
Ours was slammed so much this winter down south the plastic sheeting around the window shattered in several places
I had a issue with the door on my 17 Thor Challenger 37TB rattling while driving. I asked my local RV repair shop
( Bob’s RV Body Shop and Repair Marion, NC) to adjust it. The Tech told me it has a 2 stage lock, and I was only engaging the1st stage which is for Campground closings. When your ready to hit the road, slam the door to engage the 2nd stage for a tighter seal. I did as he suggested, and what ya know, no more RATTLE ! Softly closing while in the Campground is quieter for your neighbors, and causes less wear and tear on door components.