"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Gettin' it handled

When we purchased our motorhome I knew things would go wrong with it and I knew who would be the one working on it. Moi! The morning we were to leave Indiana I tried to unlock the deadbolt on the front door and the little plastic handle for the lock broke off in my hand. I was able to use a pair of pliers to open the lock so no big deal, there is another lock on the door anyway so we will just use that from now on. Last Saturday we did some running around and when we got back to the rig the door handle would not open the door! The handle felt like it was disconnected from something. Luckily we found the drivers side window unlocked so Rudee volunteered to climb through and was able to open the door from the inside. I got my tools out and took the handle apart figuring a rod had come loose. I got everything off the door and found the outside handle has a sort of "paddle" lever that hooks to the latch mechanism on the inner part of the handle. All the parts were real "loosey goosey" and no way to tighten them up so we needed a new handle. I put everything back together again since we didn't want a 4"x 4"  hole to the outside and headed in to do some research on the internet. I found some information on the iRV2  forums including the name of the manufacturer and a "do it yourself" adjustment procedure. Since it was Saturday and the manufacturer was closed I decided to try and do the adjustment to see if that worked. Back outside I was able to try the adjustment which consisted of tightening a small nut through a hole in the door jamb. I got the handle to work twice then it failed again and would not work no matter what I tried. We ended up just leaving the door unlatched so we could get in and out because Rudee didn't want to climb in the window again and we were afraid the neighbors would begin to stare and point. :-)
Monday I was able to call the manufacturer and they helped identify the handle I needed and placed my order. Friday while we were at the RV show UPS delivered the handle right to our doorstep and I got it unpacked. Since it was dark when we got back I decided to wait until Saturday morning to install it so we only had one more night "locking" the door with a bungee cord. :-)
Saturday morning I removed the old handle and the installation of the new one was pretty easy. The new one fit perfectly in the door and all the screw holes lined up! I got everything tightened down and gave it a try. IT WORKS! The handle was kind of pricey ($160.00) but this is not something you can just pick up at Home Depot either. I did save a bunch by doing the work myself and it only took some basic hand tools and I didn't even need the first aid kit that Rudee had handy, "just in case". :-)
here is the old and the new (excuse the dirty fingerprints).

I'm not sure what my next repair will be but so far I have replaced the water heater thermostat and pressure valve, replaced the hydraulic motor, replaced the door handle, repaired the sliding step cover replaced both the TV's with flat screens, replaced the day night shades and replaced the slide out awnings. Maybe I should open a mobile RV repair business ...... hmmmm. :-) I'll keep you posted.


  1. You're off the cuff comment about becoming a mobile RV repairman is not a bad one. First, you already have the two biggest investments to start that kind of business; a trailer and a truck to pull it. Next you have the basic knowledge of RV systems so with just a little more training/education you could be certified in no time.

    Really the biggest hurdle for you to overcome would be building up an inventory of spare parts (fittings and such) as well as a couple of emergency high dollar items; water heater, furnace and an A/C unit. With that setup you would stay busy at most of the larger RV parks in Florida or Texas.

  2. OK, Phil - you could be on your way to a mobile RV repair business! Dave and I enjoyed reading about your and Rudee's and Jessica and Harry's Amazon experiences. This is something we may consider in the future ourselves.

  3. Wow! You da man! I'd hate to think how much it would cost for repairs if Steve couldn't do it himself! Great job!