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Old 07-15-2018, 02:35 PM   #1
Fishin2dMax
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Exterior Grab Bar blocks exit door - safety concern

Some mischievous person closed the external stair grab bar on our HC 305 during the night - as a joke. When I went to open the door in the morning, the door was totally blocked by the grab bar being in the closed and locked position. While they may have got a good laugh out of it , it could have presented a very a serious safety matter - if I we had to get out quickly during the night. I could only open the door a fraction of an inch before the door hit the grab bar handle. I finally configured a wire coat hanger to loop around the handle and lifted the handle up enough to release it (it took many attempts). On other trailers I've owned, the grab handle folded and locked away from the door.

Any thoughts on how the handle can be modified to preclude this from happening?
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:08 PM   #2
CarWin
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A quick temporary fix that I think of right away is, to drill small pilot holes on upper and lower brackets on door sideband install a couple of long screws in them to prevent the handle from being swung to go over the face of the door.

Will ponder this at my day job tomorrow, to attempt to come up with a better solution.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:21 PM   #3
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Both our old and new rigs have a window on the dinning room slide that would let you take the screen out and reach out and release the handle.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:04 PM   #4
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X2 with DQDick! Don't know what year your 5er is?
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:47 PM   #5
Fishin2dMax
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My 2018 HC 305RL has a kitchen slide on the door side so there is no possibility of reaching through a slide window to lift the handle. When that step handle is in placed in the locked travel position (across the door), there is no way to get out the entry door. The so-called "emergency window exits" would be a real challenge to get through and drop to the ground - however life saving in the event of a real emergency ( fire etc). Given the potential and ease by which this can create a real safety/ security issue, I would hope Keystone and manufacturer of stair handle will find a way to address this concern. Ideally, there would be simple unlock knob or lever placed inside the coach to allow occupants to unlock the grab bar handle while inside.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:47 AM   #6
rmthelen
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File the sharp edge on the recess that the handle nests in and it will open with a hard push on the door.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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If it is a great concern to you and don't believe the emergency exits will work, take the handle off.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:42 AM   #8
Skw774
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i will be looking at a way to stop that little trick,mine is the same way, would have never thought someone would do that ---wow
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:50 AM   #9
Fishin2dMax
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I think I found an easy solution. Using magnets similar to what is used to hold up the large compartment storage door, I added a rare earth magnet to the top of edge of the step handle and one on the door where the handle meets during transit. The top of the bracket will be modified so it doesn't mechanically lock when in closed travel position (but still locks when folded out open). The magnets are strong enough to hold the handle to the door for traveling, but not so strong that it won't release if someone is trapped inside and pushes hard on the door - based on some experimentation it looks like it will work great :-) .
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:39 PM   #10
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Saw a High Country in the campground we are currently in who put a self tapping metal screw in the inside of the bottom holder so you have to take the screw out to fold it over the door.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:39 PM   #11
CarWin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DQDick View Post
Saw a High Country in the campground we are currently in who put a self tapping metal screw in the inside of the bottom holder so you have to take the screw out to fold it over the door.

Hmmmmmm..... seems like I seen this solution in post #2, lol.

Was also going to recommend filing off the right side corners of the bracket,but someone else beat me to it.
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Old 07-16-2018, 06:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AZ Traveler View Post
If it is a great concern to you and don't believe the emergency exits will work, take the handle off.
I`m guessing the OP is just thinking IF an emergency occurs and someone in campground is being mischievous and puts the handrail over their door to make it harder to open the door.

I know I had not thought of this occurring before reading their post.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:26 PM   #13
Wyatt Earp
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According to some of my reading these handles are made to be forced open in the case someone closed them while the RV is occupied. It may take a good push and the door may develop a couple of dents where it contacted the handle but you should be able to get out. If you look at the handle, the notches are deeper on the extended side than they are on the closed side. It would appear they are made to be forced open (for safety reasons). I would suggest you take a look at how your grab handles are mounted to see if you think this is correct.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:01 PM   #14
Larry L
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Entry handle lock

Years ago folks would shut the tailgate on camper shells while people were inside so I guess there is always someone who thinks this is ok. I also have a 305 RL and have often wondered about that happening. I now plan on drilling a small hole through the handle and the cradle and installing a small lock while parked. Thanks for bringing the subject up,I'll get right on it in the morning
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:32 AM   #15
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One more permanent way to fix the problem would be to "booby trap" the handle with a 12 gauge shotgun. Anybody trying this "prank" on you would only ever do it ONCE.

But seriously...

I've also thought of this happening to me. I like the idea of drilling a hole and using a lock to prevent the handle from being closed. I'll be looking into this right away.
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:47 AM   #16
miton 5052
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Where are you people parking?
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:07 AM   #17
Dave W
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Extended or standard length grab bars will potentially block the entry/exit door. A mechanical restraint of some sort will prevent this from happening again - and something all of us should consider. Gotta think on this mod for ours for sure.



You can't fully stop stupid but you can at least slow them down.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:46 AM   #18
paulinbaja
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Shared this with my wife. She opened the door of our 34rl and put the grab bar in the position as if it were blocking the door then pushed gently on the bar and it opened easily. She said the brackets are angeled to support this concept.

I also own a 29ft Cougar. It did not work the same. But by placing a self tapping screw in the bottom of the brackets or by just glueing something in the base in the notch will solve the issue.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:16 AM   #19
beeje
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Just tried mine yesterday. Closed the door then folded the hand rail over the door. Opened the door easily without touching the rail and it unfolded just fine.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:41 PM   #20
dfb
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Ours has a ramp that the grab handle rides on. So if closed, the door pushing the bar would make the handle open...
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