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kontiki door catches


theoldnick

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I have a 2006 Kontiki and the main door will not stay open in any wind conditions. The door open catch is not robust and is mounted to close to the hinges (Less than half way across the door).

With grandchild now travelling with us it is positively dangerous in higher wind conditions.

I have the same problem with side locker lift up type of door which once fell and gave me a real whack on the head.

I solved this by attaching a small Stainless steel shackle to the locker door base ( Top when lifted up) and fitted a rubber strap in the open window and attached this to the shackle to hold it open. But this solution is not available for the main door.

 

Any good ideas

 

RonB

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Hi Ron

The door stays used on swift's are available at many Caravan Dealers, as well as Derek's link.

But they all tend to lose their flexibility with age'

Our Autocruise is fitted with a Gas Strut method, which is attached to the top of the Door & the Frame.

(Very similar to the struts used on hatchback boot lids, so easily available from Dealer Garages or Car Dismantlers )

http://www.sgs-engineering.com/gas-struts - have a large range

So that even if the wind moves the door, it is slowed down by the damping & stops the risk of trapping any fingers etc..

 

Magnum also do a small version for Cupboards

http://www.magnummotorhomes.co.uk/view_product.asp?productID=270

 

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The habitation entrance-door of my Hobby motorhome uses the 2nd retainer shown on the link I gave above. I stick a piece of duct-tape over the male part of the retainer (ie. the part that's screwed to the door) and replace the tape every now and again when it becomes worn. This helps to hold the door open, but a strong wind will still blow it shut. The problem with all such friction retainers is that, if the retainer's 'grip' is strong enough to combat high winds, it will be extremely difficult to close the door from within the motorhome.

 

Probably the most effective retainer is the mechanical type, an example of which is shown here

 

http://tinyurl.com/7j5r6v3

 

This sort of retainer may not be pretty, but it will hold the door open in any foreseeable wind conditions and can easily be disengaged from within the leisure-vehicle. However, retro-fitting to a modern motorhome habitation door may prove impracticable if the door has a moulded interior skin.

 

Gas struts have their merits but, if the strut is to provide strong enough resistance to prevent a strong wind blowing the door closed, the door and the strut's connection to the motorhome's body will need to be suitably reinforced. See:-

 

http://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=19105&posts=24

 

My Hobby's two lift-up side-locker doors have this type of mechanical catch:-

 

http://www.narbonneaccessoires.fr/crochet-de-blocage-pour-porte-de-coffre.html

 

It might be possible to use that catch (or something similar) to retain a habitation door in the open position, but it's hard to see how the catch could be disengaged from inside the vehicle.

 

It's easy enough to hold a habitation door open - you just need a fixing on the door, a fixing on the motorhome's bodywork and a strong linkage that can connect the two fixings together temporarily. The challenge will be to avoid the result looking like a DIY lash-up and to make connection/disconnection of the linkage as easy as possible.

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An alternative suggestion, which we use, is to get one of those elastic bungees cords with a plastic (not metal, just in case!) hook/clip - that will hook back over the elastic itself - on each end. I find I can always find a location to loop the elastic over if it is windy. This imparts no additional strain on the original catch components or their fixings, and that catch remains adequate in reasonably calm conditions. Then, when windy, the elastic is extended and looped up and over an awning rafter, round the wing mirror arm, or taken down and hooked to the side skirt, as necessary. If the wind pulls the door off the catch it only swings a small distance before the elastic returns it back onto the catch. The "give" of the elastic is sufficient to allow the door to yield to gusts without slamming back shut, but then to return it whence it came. Then, when it isn't windy, that bungee cord has other uses, such as a temporary washing line, so it is always well worth having. :-)
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Its about time Swift brought out something more substantial for their door and locker catches, even when you replace these things they soon start misbehaving again :-S there are a lot of us Swift owners walking around with bumps on our heads. (lol) I now stand and hold it up while OH is rummaging around in the locker :-S that door is flippin heavy when it slams down.
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If its any consolation, it's not just Swift who have cr*p catches! The ones on some Chausson motorhomes (specific to them) are rubbish, after our 2nd one broke within 12 months, we replaced it with an 'off the shelf' (hook?) version which is much stronger and a heck of a lot cheaper (around £3 as opposed to £15!).

 

However, we also apply the belt and braces approach and use a bungee strap too. :-D

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