The last step is to shut the camper door, and then you can start camping. It can be very unpleasant when the door of your travel trailer or camper won’t shut without slamming. The same holds true if your camper door frequently pops open.
What can you do then? Of course, you want that door to stay closed and secure, so what’s causing this annoying door problem?
The most typical faults that prevent a camper door from closing are described here, along with instructions on how to resolve them.
- An Out of Position Strike Plate
- Issues with the Latch
- Broken locks
- Rusted Components
Why Is My Pop-Up Camper Door Not Closing?
Your camper may not be level, the door or frame may be twisted, screws may be loose, the strike plate may be misaligned, or the door parts may be rusted if your camper door is extremely difficult to close.
For a thorough breakdown of each potential contributing factor, advice on how to solve the issue, and helpful camper door maintenance hints, continue reading.
It’s possible that your camper’s door will fall out of alignment as a result of the frequent rocking and swaying that occurs when you move across various terrains. Be aware that a camper door’s alignment can be off in several places, including its sides and corners.
Additionally, slamming or pushing the door forcefully might damage the assembly further and damage the paint work of the car.
Screws on the striker plate can be loosened but not removed. Afterward, modify the striker plate in accordance with your earlier evaluation of the circumstance. To prevent stripping, tighten the screws but be careful not to overtighten. To see if the issue continues, shut the door.
2. Camper Being Unlevel
Gravity will start to work if the camper is tipped to the side where the door is. That door will eventually fall open due to gravity, especially if the latching system is subpar.
You’ll need to slam the door shut especially hard if the camper is leaning on the side where the door is. Checking to verify if the camper is level should therefore be your initial action.
Stop using your leveling jacks right once if you hear any form of screeching or squeaking noise while doing so, as that sound indicates something is bending.
3. The Door or The Frame Is Damaged or Twisted
You won’t be able to close the door properly if the door and the door frame don’t line up, especially the latch and the strike plate.
The door or frame may actually bend if the leveling jacks are used too vigorously and supported with too much weight.
To bend them back into place, you’ll need the proper tools. Most likely, you’ll need to take them out first, and then you can use a hammer or another tool to bend the parts back into place.
Having said that, if the warping or damage is too significant, you may just need to replace the door, the frame, or both. Realistically, you’ll probably need to replace the door, the frame, or both in any case.
4. Loose Screws
Loose screws, especially on the door and door handle, could be the cause of your door not closing properly. It will be impossible for the door to close if the latching mechanism’s screws are loose or not in their proper locations.
Check to see if the screws are loose if your camper door is hinged. Along with the hinges detaching from their fasteners, the irregular movements of the vehicle could also cause the screws to wiggle out of their holes.
It just takes a few minutes to check the screws, but doing so will help avoid this problem.
Use something like a Loctite thread locker to hold the screws in place after you have screwed them back in if they keep coming away.
The screws should be regularly tightened to prevent them from moving too much and creating this problem.
5. An Out of Position Strike Plate
The latch won’t actually engage with the strike plate if it is not in the appropriate position. You’ll likely need to use considerable force if the latch can enter it. In light of this, the strike plate could also have a loose screw, just like the door handle.
This issue will also arise if the latch and strike plate are misaligned.
This striking plate might move over time. Try very slowly closing the door to see if the latch position on the door handle aligns with the strike plate.
The strike plate must be removed and reinstalled in the appropriate location if the latch and strike plate don’t line up, or the screws must be tightened if they are loose.
6. Issues with the Latch
There is a spring behind that door latch, that tiny device that emerges through the door. This spring could be rusty, old, or broken.
The latch won’t be able to lock into the strike plate if it is jammed back in the door handle or does not protrude out of the handle far enough.
Check the little latch very closely to determine whether it fits into the door handle easily. You will probably need to replace the small latch if it doesn’t open all the way, doesn’t open as far as it should, or doesn’t open at all.
Although it’s likely that the spring is the problem, you might be able to grease that latch. The latch can always be lubricated to see if it helps, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to replace the door handle or that latch.
7. Broken Locks
If you can close the door but it won’t remain closed, it’s possible that the locks are broken. Look for any evidence of damage on the locks. Perhaps someone recently broke into your camper. It might also indicate that the lock deteriorated because it lacked sufficient weather protection.
To assist you with this operation, you might need to contact the manufacturer or the owner’s manual for your camper. It’s because the removal and replacement of the door locks on your pop-up camper may call for certain procedures.
8. Rusted Components
The latch won’t be able to fully pop out and enter the strike plate if it is rusty. The outcome is essentially the same if the door handle is rusty.
Therefore, use rust remover first, followed by high-quality lubricant, if you notice anything is rusty. You probably won’t be able to remove severely severe rust or corrosion, though. All rusted parts must be taken out and replaced if this is the situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is A strike plate?
The latch of the door handle locks into the strike plate, a small rectangular object with a rectangular hole on the door frame.
Why is it necessary to use spray to unlock a stuck travel trailer door latch?
Spray lubricant made of silicone on your latch mechanism. Repeatedly closing and opening the latch will help the lubricant penetrate. This will make sure the door locks against the latch mechanism smoothly.
Now that you are aware of the precise cause of your camper door issues, you can take steps to resolve the problem and avoid it in the future.
Before beginning any repair or replacement processes, keep in mind to troubleshoot your camper door first. Ask for assistance if you need it, especially if you have to carry large items—like a replacement door—to finish the task. Don’t forget to test the door’s operation after you’re done to make sure it closes securely.