This is a BIG PET PEEVE among RVers. Here are 5 easy tips to help you stop slamming your RV door…
If you are an RV owner, you probably know the feeling of frustration that comes with a slamming RV door. Not only is it a noisy nuisance that can disturb your neighbors, but it can also cause damage to your door and hinges over time.
Fortunately, we have several simple solutions that have come directly from our RV community. This article shares five easy tips to stop slamming your RV door.
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5 Tips to Stop Slamming Your RV Door
This article was inspired by a rather… lively… discussion in our RV Lifestyle Facebook group about this very thing. The person who posted was asking why everyone slams their RV door shut?!
There was a surprising amount of responses. Some people empathized with the poster’s frustration. Others defended their reasons for slamming their doors. And others, well, “enjoyed the show” with entertaining responses and memes of people eating popcorn.
Among the many responses were helpful suggestions on how to stop slamming your RV door. We have summarized those tips into the following “Big 5.”
Tip #1: Hold the Latch Open as you Close
One of the main reasons why RV doors slam shut is because the latch bolt slams into the aptly named strike plate. The strike plate is the part of the door lock mechanism in the door jamb with the hole in the middle for the latch bolt to rest in.
To avoid this loud “strike,” you can hold the latch open by holding the door handle open until the door is closed. Then, release the handle to release the latch into the strike plate’s hole in the door jamb.
You may need to pull back on the door a bit to get the latch to slip quietly into what’s called the edge bore (the hole in the jamb).
This will allow you to control the speed of the door and ensure that the latch is properly engaged before releasing it. It may take a little practice to get the hang of it, but it can make a big difference in preventing slamming.
Tip #2: Adjust the Latch
If holding the latch open does not work, you may need to adjust the latch itself or the strike plate.
Check to see if the latch is loose or misaligned. If it is, you can try tightening the screws or repositioning the face plate (the part the latch bolt sticks out of) to ensure the latch properly aligns with the strike plate.
If the latch is damaged, you may need to replace it altogether. You can find replacement latches at most RV parts stores or online retailers.
The same goes for the strike plate. The strike plate should sit flush with the door jamb. However, it can get misaligned during installation or over time. This misalignment can cause that metal against metal SLAM, even if it’s just a fraction of an inch off.
A quick straightening of the strike plate and tightening of the screws can fix the problem entirely! That 1-minute project can ensure it sits flush with the jamb, and eliminate the loud slam, especially if you also straighten and tighten the face plate.
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Tip #3: Level Your Rig Better
Another reason why your RV door may be slamming shut is because your rig is not level. When your RV is parked on uneven ground, it can “tweak” your door frame just enough to make it a rough fit.
To avoid this, make sure your RV is level before opening and closing the door. You can use leveling blocks or jacks to ensure that your RV is stable and level. This will not only help prevent your door from slamming, but it will also make your RV more comfortable to live in.
We have a few articles to help you master leveling your RV:
- Choosing an RV Leveling System or RV Stabilizers
- RV Leveling Question: Should we level first and then put out the slides, or vice versa?
- Leveling Blocks and Campervans
Plus, we have this video showing how leveling your 5th wheel RV doesn't have to be a pain…
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Tip #4: Use Good Old WD-40
If your door makes a lot of noise when you open and close it, it may be due to rust or dirt buildup on the hinges. To fix this, you can use a lubricant like WD-40 to help loosen up the hinges and reduce friction.
Simply spray a small amount of WD-40 onto the hinges and work the door back and forth a few times to distribute the lubricant. This should help your door open and close more smoothly and reduce the noise it makes.
But don’t stop at the hinges! Remember from Tip #1 that a stiff latch bolt can SLAM against the strike plate. So, it’s a good idea to also spray some WD-40 around the latch bolt to help it smoothly slide in and out. (Remember, the latch bolt is the cylindrical part that comes out of the door and latches into the jamb.)
So, WD-40 once again lives up to its reputation as one of the tools every RVer needs to carry.
Tip #5: Add Weather Stripping
When a hard surface connects with a hard surface, it slams. There’s no arguing that, but there is fixing it! Or, at least, improving it.
To minimize slamming, you can add foam weather stripping or padding around the door jamb. This creates a soft barrier between the hard jamb and the hard door. But don't get thick weather stripping, as this will only require you to slam the door harder to close it!
Plus, you get the extra benefit of more protection from the weather! This can even help with insulating a camper for winter use or keeping your cold A/C air in.
Bonus Tip: Accept That Sometimes Doors Have to Slam
Finally, it's important to accept that some RV doors are more prone to slamming than others. This may be due to the poor design of the door or the way it is installed.
In these cases, it may be difficult to eliminate slamming completely. However, you can still take steps to reduce the impact of slamming.
Also, keep in mind that RV doors are designed to close tighter than house doors because they have to stay closed while driving 55 mph down the highway and on bumpy campground roads. So, it’s a good idea to slam your RV door closed before you hit the road.
As Suly pointed out, “We only slam it when we are getting on the road. You must, otherwise we will hear a whistling sound from the door if it’s not closed tight tight!”
Join the RV Lifestyle Conversations!
If you'd like to ask for tips, offer advice, or simply watch and learn, join our RV Lifestyle Facebook group! It's a very supportive community packed with wisdom and encouragement.
Don't Be THIS Camper (Proper Campground Etiquette)
Frequently slamming your RV door is bad camping etiquette when you have camping neighbors nearby. But that's not the only bad camping etiquette you want to avoid.
There are other unspoken rules and expected campground etiquette for campers to follow. It can take some time for new campers to learn these rules… too long in the case of many.
We, too, had to learn proper camping etiquette when we joined the RV lifestyle more than a decade ago. So, whether you’re an experienced camper or are new to RVing, I encourage you to read this article in full. It will result in a better camping experience for everyone!
RV Lifestyle recommends the RV Tech Course
Get the Home Study Course today and worry about the road, not the repairs!
Every time you move your RV it's like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.
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