Adding latches to the front storage compartments

One thing that I found to be short sighted on this camper was the front storage compartment doors. The only way to latch them shut was to use the key. We ended up just rotating the whole assembly in the door which pretty much negated the whole idea of having a lock on there.

All of the other compartment doors had a simple turn latch in addition to a key lock to secure the door.
When we got our camper the dealer broke a key off in one of the locks, so I asked them to order some extra thumb latches when they were getting the replacement lock. The dealer came through with two complete lock sets for the camper, it took 8 weeks but we finally got the parts.

The doors come off the camper with one phillps screw. I put them on the bench and took out all the existing lock components so I could get the door marked to drill the hole.

The doors themselves are pretty thin. A very thin sheet metal skin with foam inserts. I was able to use a 5/8″ hole saw on my drill to go right through the door and give me a nice clean hole.

The plastic sleeve that all the locks sit in was rotating in the hole, limiting the effectiveness of the locks. So when I put the door back together I ended up using a white marine epoxy to glue in the black inserts. I went around to all the locks on the camper and gluing the inserts in. Now when we go to lock the doors the cylinders don’t spin. Make sure to just glue in the black insert, do not glue the lock into the door. If you ever have to replace one – it will be a huge pain to remove.

Here are the front doors – reinstalled with the new thumb latches.

Now when we are at a campsite and need to close the front compartments we can do it without a key. When we are in motion we will still lock them up, but it makes it so much easier when you are in and out of them all the time.

As I mentioned we got our locks from the dealer. Our storage doors are make by a company called “Challenger”. They do sell replacement parts – their contact information is below:

Challenger Door
1205 East Lincoln Street
Nappanee, IN 46550
Main: 574-773-8100

For replacement parts:
John Sellers: 574-773-8106

Here is a link to the epoxy I used on the plastic inserts: