Tip Checking RV basement doors for reliability and locking

Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
780
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 11"
Toad
2017 Chevy Colorado
As a Newmar owner we've experienced issues with basement doors such as the pull cable coming out of the torque screw connector therefore rendering the pull handle useless and your basement door potentially stuck closed. There have been a lot of lessons learned among Newmar owners but most importantly that every RV owner should inspect your basement doors so you don't end up in a situation like some of our fellow RVers that couldn't get a basement door such as the Wet bay door opened.

Before getting into the latch discussion I'd first like to offer that everyone should inspect the locking of your basement doors. For those with electrical locks the actuators are cheap and the plastic parts break far too easily. Your first test should be to lock your basements and then once you pushed your lock button in the coach go around and see if any are actually NOT locked. This is how I found two of my basement doors had broken actuators. The actuators are easy to fix, finding them will be your biggest challenge. For my coach and other Newmars you'll need to google "Trimark Compact Style Power Lock Actuator 550-0100" and I found mine on eBay. As usual I fail to pay attention as to how many are included and end up with contractor packs or higher quantity than expected.

Now that you've inspected the locking of your basement doors comes the less fun part but not hard at all. It just takes time. Open all of your basement doors and go through and remove the black plastic cover plates, for my coach it's about six self tapping screws. For Newmar owners you should buy this bit. You will then find the pull cables and secure each door. Now if you want to install an emergency release mechanism you can do so by using something like fishing line and a ring taped to the bottom of the door that when pulled it pulls the latch to the open position. Nothing cosmic has to be invented here.

RV's require frequent inspections and due diligence. There are ways to get basement doors opened as RV mobile techs should know such as removing the pins on the hinge side of the door if you're unlucky and cannot access the latch from within another basement entry. Don't wait to have this happen to you, many Newmar owners inspected their basement doors after hearing of this incident and many if not all of us found loose wire cable connections.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Peachtree City, Georgia
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Coachmen
RV Model
Catalina Class A Motorhome
RV Length
34'
Toad
Honda Pilot
I don't know anything about Newmar. I have had a problem with my basement doors opening due to the latch "blade" not being long enough and unlocking as the RV flexes going down the road. I have been wanting to replace them with a better latch. In the meantime, I try to stack things where they won't slide out if the door comes unlocked. This limits what I put in there.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
137
Location
DFW, TX
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3543
RV Length
35
Toad
2020 Jeep Gladiator
I don't know anything about Newmar. I have had a problem with my basement doors opening due to the latch "blade" not being long enough and unlocking as the RV flexes going down the road. I have been wanting to replace them with a better latch. In the meantime, I try to stack things where they won't slide out if the door comes unlocked. This limits what I put in there.
I have a Newmar on order, but I currently have a Class A Coachmen. I’ve never experienced the bay doors opening, but I know you can purchase longer “blades” for the locks and latches. Go to Amazon and put ”cam lock” into the search, and you will see many options for your bay doors.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Peachtree City, Georgia
RV Year
1997
RV Make
Coachmen
RV Model
Catalina Class A Motorhome
RV Length
34'
Toad
Honda Pilot
I have a Newmar on order, but I currently have a Class A Coachmen. I’ve never experienced the bay doors opening, but I know you can purchase longer “blades” for the locks and latches. Go to Amazon and put ”cam lock” into the search, and you will see many options for your bay doors.
I didn't know they were called "cam lock". Thank you!

I am a pilot. The latches on the engine cowlings are sometimes called "cam locks". They look totally different. Now I am on a quest to find out the definition of a cam lock. I am goofy that way. I should have been a linguist, like my daughter is......
 
Top