Travel trailers are a great way to get on the open road without leaving the comforts of your home behind. Still, one issue that faces many travel trailer owners is a door that won’t close. Whether the door has to be slammed or it won’t close no matter what, a faulty door is serious business. It could let in bugs, lack of security, or worse, open while you are driving.
What to do if your travel trailer door won’t close?
There are four easy solutions to try if your travel trailer door won’t close that will solve most door closing problems; first, try lubricating the latch, check your travel trailer for level, check your strike plate, or tighten any screws that may have come loose.
Still, there is more to the picture than that. Read on to find out all about what to do if your trailer door won’t close.
How to Fix a Travel Trailer Door that Won’t Close
The most common reasons that a travel trailer door will not close is the trailer being level, loose screws, and a faulty latch mechanism. More than likely, doors that are especially difficult to close are due to a combination of these three factors. So, it may be wise to address all three at the same time.
See if the Trailer is Level To fix your Door Alignment
Begin by determining whether or not your travel trailer is level. Place a level on the door frame. If it is not level, the bubble will be outside the centerpiece. Before you assume that the door was put on incorrectly, an unlevel reading may be because the trailer itself is not level, such as if it is sitting on an incline.
Test the travel trailer level by placing a leveler on the floor or the frame. That will tell you whether or not the angle of the trailer is to blame. Most likely, it has to do with parking on an incline. Either move your trailer or add blocks underneath to make the entire trailer level. When the trailer is level, the door will be too.
Another reason that could cause your door not to close is overusing your leveling jacks. By overusing, I mean by lifting up your trailer to level it. Most travel trailers are designed to only use leveling jacks to hit the ground with little pressure, enough to stop it from moving while you walk, but not enough to lift the trailer.
By lifting up too much on your jacks, you can twist the frame causing the door or windows not to close properly.
Tighten The Screws on your Travel Trailer Latch
Next, inspect the door and handle screws. Make sure all are screwed on correctly and tightly. Loose screws can cause the latch mechanism to not be in its correct placement, preventing the door from closing.
Loose screws can also block the door or latch from closing at all. Never try to slam the door if it is not shutting, always look out as to not break anything.
Spray Your Stuck Travel Trailer Door Latch
Lastly, spray your latch mechanism with a silicone lubricant. Follow up by using the latch several times to work the lubrication in. This will ensure that the door locks smoothly against the latch mechanism.
What If That Doesn’t Work?
Normally, the steps above will fix most latching issues, but you still may be finding it difficult to close your door. If that’s the case, don’t panic.
Inspect Strike Plate
Another common reason for this issue is the strike plate. If the strike plate is not installed at the correct location or has shifted, the door will not close correctly. Inspect the strike plate by slowly closing the door. See if the latch matches the location of the strike plate. If it doesn’t, you will need to remove the strike plate and reinstall it in the correct location.
Add Washers to Latch
You can also try adding washers behind the latch or strike plate. Doing this will force the latch out further, making it easier for it to catch the latching mechanism. Many users of several travel trailer types find this effective, and it is a super cheap fix.
Call the Manufacturer
It may be wise to call the manufacturer of your travel trailer, too. They may have a warranty or guarantee that covers this issue. In that case, they should be able to get down to the bottom of the issue and fix it for you.
Tips for Making Sure Your Door Stays Closed
After you have fixed a travel trailer door that won’t shut, the last thing you want is for the issue to reappear prematurely. Here are some tips that you can implement into your trailer maintenance to ensure that the doors work properly:
1. Be Gentle with the Door
Doors are designed to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but travel trailers simply cannot offer the same durability as a house. Because of this fact, travel trailer doors are more susceptible to breaking, and they need to be treated more gently.
Make sure to not be too forceful when opening or closing your travel trailer door. Though it may be tempting to slam it, slamming the door will loosen the screws and potentially the location of the strike plate more quickly.
It is best to guide the door open and shut instead of slamming it. By guiding it, you can still shut the door forcefully without being too jarring or offsetting the screws.
2. Check Screws Regularly
Before every trip, check the screws. Make sure that they are still screwed securely down. The last thing you want is to lose a screw or for it to loosen and pop open while you are driving. Checking the screws will only take a couple of minutes while helping you to avoid a major headache. Use Loctite on your screws for your latch, this will keep them in place when driving down the road and allow them to be removed for any maintenance.
3. Clean Latching Mechanism
Latching mechanisms get dirty fast, especially on travel trailers since they are exposed to weather and other conditions. Clean the latching mechanism frequently with silicone lubricant and 3-in-1 oil. Doing so will prevent buildup, ensuring that the door closes correctly.
You don’t need to clean the latching mechanism every time you go out on a trip. Cleaning it once a year or so should be adequate. Feel free to do it more often on older travel trailers or doors that tend to be particularly troublesome.
Many travel trailer doors have trouble closing correctly. Obviously, a faulty door poses a huge inconvenience, as well as serious safety risks. So, you will need to handle that issue right away. For most cases, simply leveling your trailer, checking the screws, and applying WD-40 to the latching mechanism will do the trick.
Even if this tip works, you should still call the manufacturer. They may have some additional pieces of advice and tips that can help you prevent this happening in the future for your exact model. If you’re lucky, they may even offer to look at it for free. From there, just be sure to maintain the door so that it continues to close properly.
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