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Stiff locker hinge

colin weston

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I have suffered from the hinges on my side lockers becoming stiffer over the years. I originally used WD40 and then switched to Silicone spray following advice from this forum some time ago. I have one hinge in particular which has now virtually seized solid. It is the forward one of three on the nearside locker and it has now actually bent so I am going to have to remove it and try and get a replacement. My van is a 2007 Autocruise Starburst. Has anyone found a supplier of this type of hinge? The hinge is attached to the locker door with a bolt having an allen key head. It is attached to the locker flange with a self-tapping screw and two rivets. I would imagine that Autocruise bought in these locker assemblies as a sub-assembly. Maybe some other coachbuilts use similar hinges? :'(
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This seems to be an undocumented annual service requirement! We've had two Autocruise and one Autosleepers in the last ten years, and I'm pretty sure the same type of hinge is used on both. They certainly do get stiffer over time, and lubrication seems ineffective. The reason is that the plastic sleeve inside the hinge expands and becomes embrittled owing to ultraviolet degradation. Window frame manufacturers cottoned on to this years ago, hence the introduction of uPVC, the u standing for greater resistance to UV in sunlight.


When they become too stiff, the solution is to remove and dismantle the hinge, then ream out the sleeve with an ordinary jobber twist drill, prefreably a new one so it is sharp enough to actually cut the plastic and not just deform it. Measure the diameter of the (?) stainless hinge pin, and choose a drill bit around 0.2mm larger, but experimentation may be beneficial. Polish the pin with fine emery paper, lubricate and reassemble. You are aiming for a loose fit but not so loose that it rattles. The hinge should refit in exactly the same place as the holes are there.


oh, before you start, make sure you have the appropriate drill bit to drill out the rivets, and that you have the right size of rivet to hand......


I'm confined to barracks at the moment with a nasty chest infection, but next week I could produce a step-by-step photo-guide, if the above is unclear?



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When ours did the same on the Starlet I took the hinge off, drilled out the pin and replaced with a long steel split pin that I found in my bitsa box (probably ex front disc pads on something or other lost in the mists of time) then I drilled the hinge so that lubrication could be applied as required and it was still going strong when we sold the van earlier this year.


Total cost - nowt - just the way I like it!

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Although this design of hinge can be found in leisure-vehicle accessory catalogues - for example this French one -





obtaining an exact match may prove trickier. The hinges in the French catalogue have a satin aluminium finish, whereas Colin's Starburst's hinges appear to be gloss-enamelled.

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charnière de la porte



Have a look here and you might find in white, I can only fine in alumiium and there are two possible sizes.


In answer to what makes of motorhome...Mclouis, Sea, Caravan Intermational, and there are others. Many made or owned by the Trigano group.


Looks like Derek's link is a good option though and you can always paint it.

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If (as seems probable) this is a known problem with the locker hinges fitted to Autocruise motorhomes, the club may be aware of it and be able to advise where exactly-matching replacement hinges can be obtained.


The Club's website is http://www.theautocruisers.com/index.html and there are downloadable newsletters going back to 2000 (I don't know if there's anything in them about seized hinges).


I believe the Club Secretary's contact details are


Mrs Sheila Lennie

Tel: 0191 2500271

e-mail: sheila.lennie@theautocruisers.com

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colin weston - 2012-11-14 4:50 PM


Thanks Brambles

Maybe the hinges were sourced from mainland Europe rather than the UK. I guess I will have to visit some dealers and identify which makes, if any, still use the hinge in question. What are names of Spanish and Italian vans?






Looks identical to the ones on our Spanish "Benimar" brand motorhome, of 2001 vintage.


Here's a list of Benimar spares suppliers in the UK, who may well be able to help if you give them a call:-





Benimar UK parts suppliers, according to Benimar Owners Club Magazine, of April 2010.......



Scott Medical UK. Contact Andrew Scott Managing Director

Makers of Medical Mobile Units for the NHS 

Scott House

Barry’s Lane


North Yorkshire

YO12 4HA

Telephone 01723 363225

Fax 01723 363377




RDH Services Ltd. Contact Chris Parnill Managing Director

Burstner Chausson & Kentucky Specialists

Benimar Parts & Warranty Dealers

Oaks Farm Lane




S44 5TA

Telephone 01246 230778

Mobile 07752 022745

Fax 01246 351254




Choose Leisure Motorhome Sales. Contact Paul Santos, Managing Director

Ashford Road





01227 733557





Motorhome Tech is the name of the new company that has replaced RVTex.

Ian Holingworth is operating a mobile motorhome service within a 40 mile radius of Nottingham.

He is offering a full range of accessories, repairs and habitation service. But not alarms or major bodywork.

Club Members will qualify for a 10 % discount.

Ian can be contacted on 

mobile: 07528784180 

Tel: 0115 9611332

email: info@motorhometech.co.uk

website: www.motorhometech.co.uk

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Benimar's website indicates that the sole UK distributor for the marque is RDH Services.


RDH Services's website states that they are Benimar agents.


The Benimar Owners' Club website says (June 2012):


"Benimar Dealers/Distributers


For the latest information visit the Benimar website in Spanish or French. Do not use the English version as it is redundant and very out of date.




There are currently no Benimar importers/dealers in the UK


RDH Services Ltd


Benimar Parts and Warranty work Contact Chris Parnill, MD


Tel: 01246230778 Mob: 07752 022745 Fax: 01246 351254"


(It might be worth contacting RDH, but I was under the impression they had nothing to do with Benimar since financial disputes with the Spanish company some years ago. In fact, I thought that RDH had nothing to do with motorhomes at all nowadays.)


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This looks close...




Expensive though. I think really you need to treat the hinge as a generic part and alternative could be fitted as a pair. Main difference being a bit longer and offset hinge pin which is not necessarily a bad feature. Any existing screw or rivet holes are easily sealed up using Stainless steel tapper screws with sealant. Just thoughts above. Next stop to try is maybe some italian accessory suppliers..have in the past found some good ones so will see if I can find them in list of bookmarked sites.

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