31/01/2017
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Caravan Repairs: How to fix a sticking door handle

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If your caravan door handle is a bit sticky from time to time, try this fix

Written by Lydia Bailey

On our most recent trip, we returned from a long day at the beach: hot, tired and thirsty, to discover we could not open the caravan door. It was jammed. Luckily it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and not 11 o’clock at night, but if that is your misfortune, this is how our Mr Fixit, fixed it:

Our lock is a Hartal model on a Swift Challenger 560. The lock comprises two sections; one either side of the door panel.

Caravan door lock repairs - stage 1

1. On the inside component, remove the circular green and red screw covers and pop out the grey lock cover using a Stanley knife blade or similar.

Remove screws from caravan door lock

2. Remove the remaining four screws and carefully remove the inner part of the lock from the door whilst holding the outer part carefully in place. The outer component should now come away freely.

inspect the inner and outer caravan door lock mechanism

3. You will now be able to see clearly that the inner part of the lock mechanism has a spindle, which forms part of the inner handle and recesses into a sleeve on the case. The cause of the problem is that the spindle becomes coarse from wear over time causing the mechanism to become stiff.

remove the circlip from spindle in the caravan door lock

4. Remove the circlip from the spindle and will you now be able to pull it out of the case.

sandpaper the spindle on the caravan lock

5. To enable the handle to regain movement, wrap a fine-grade sandpaper around the spindle (try to cut the sandpaper so that it doesn't overlap on itself, as this will be too thick and you will not be able to insert the spindle and the sand paper into the sleeve). Once you have the sand paper cut to the right size, wrap it around the spindle and, while holding it tightly, carefully insert it into the sleeve and rotate the spindle so the sandpaper turns with the spindle. This will rub a thin layer away from the sleeve, slightly enlarging the hole, until you are able to move the handle easily.

Grease the hole

6. Grease the hole with multi-purpose grease (or vaseline).

reassemble the lock

7. Reassemble the lock, reversing the instructions, and re-fit to caravan door.

Difficulty rating - 2

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