We were trapped like rats!!!

Monday 1/12 rolled around and it was another nice morning with blue skies and temps were expected to be well into the 70’s again, perfect. And our new Winegard Traveler satellite dish was scheduled to be installed at 9am.

So after our normal start to the day after breakfast, coffee & showers I decided to go outside and do something, I don’t even remember what that was now, but something. To my surprise as I attempted (yes attempted) to unlock the deadbolt I found that the latch was bound up and wouldn’t unlock, the knob felt spongy but it would not unlock. We were trapped!!! What the $*&# !!

I grabbed that latch and twisted with everything I had with no luck. I shook the door, I tried to lift on the door, I lifted and shook the door while Diane tried to turn the nob, I fired up the motorhome and adjusted the jack’s in an attempt to twist the door frame but no luck.

About that time I saw our neighbors walking by so I asked them to try the key on the outside to see if that would work, but no luck. So I dismantled the dead-bolt from the inside in an attempt to get free but of course the system inside the door is different that a residential type deadbolt and even by sticking a screwdriver in the mechanism we couldn’t get the bolt to budge.

This is how it looks from the inside when the door and screen are shut. NO WAY to get to all 4 screws that hold the panel on in order to gain access to the stuff inside. Another poor design.

This is how it looks from the inside when the door and screen are shut. NO WAY to get to all 4 screws that hold the panel on in order to gain access to the stuff inside. Another poor design.


There is a panel on the inside of the door that can be removed to gain access to the lock mechanism but with the door and screen door shut there is no way to get o the screws so I was , well screwed (sorry but I couldn’t resist).

About that time Tom from the RV Connection showed up to do the install on our new dish but of course unless he wanted to crawl in and out of a window it wasn’t going to be one of his normal install’s LOL!!

After seeing our situation Tom grabbed a couple tools from his box and between him, our neighbor and me still on the inside wiggling the door we were able to get the bolt slid far enough for the door to open.

Once the door was open and the access panel could be removed we found that there was a piece of metal that the bolt slides through that had somehow become angled which created enough friction that he bolt would not move. Maybe you can see the bolt and the white piece of metal I’m talking about in the picture.

See how the piece of metal on the right is angled and binding on the dead-bolt shaft.

See how the piece of metal on the right is angled and binding on the dead-bolt shaft.

That's not a very well designed system if you ask me.

That’s not a very well designed system if you ask me.

That piece of metal is pretty thick and you wouldn’t think it would just bend like that but it did. And the top part is not attached to the door above the bolt in any way but maybe it should be.

I decided to wait on trying to fix and put the door back together until the satellite install was complete so I wouldn’t be in Tom’s way going in and out. Not the start to the day we planned on but a start none the less LOL!!


Our motorhome was pre-wired towards the rear for a Traveler Satellite dish so that part of the install was a breeze but on the inside the wires were a rat’s nest. Something Tiffin is well known for unfortunately. But Tom worked his way though it like a pro.

What a mess but it sure looks good now after Tom finished.

What a mess but it sure looks good now after Tom finished.

We had started having issues with our satellite system a few days prior to the install of the new system and Tom found that we had a bad HDMI splitter. Luckily our coach has 2 splitters and he was able to work around the issue by using the one good one as far as the satellite system goes but we need a new one in order for us to use the DVD portion of our system. Not a real big deal because I think we have only watched 1 DVD in the last year but we will still make it right down the road. I’ll be contacting Tiffin about it AND our lock.

Because we had a working dome already on our coach we had Tom install an A/B switch so we can switch between satellites if we ever needed to for whatever reason. But we will mainly be using the new traveler so we can receive HD.

I was curious to how much difference I would see between the two dishes so I went back and forth between A and B on the A/B switch and noted the signal strengths of each. I was amazed at the difference. About a 25% stronger signal on the new Traveler over our dome. We are satisfied with that I think but time will tell.

After the satellite install was complete I went to work on the door and got it all put back together but during the escape a couple pieces were tweaked a bit so we won’t be using the dead-bolt until it is repaired. We certainly don’t want to go through that again anytime soon.

Awwww, that was enough for one day, time to relax,,,,, GUESS AGAIN!!!! About the time we sat down and took a breath the phone rang and it was Mike from Discount Solar in Quartzsite. We have an appointment to add more solar to our rig on Wednesday morning at 9am and he asked if we could be there at 8 instead. He also reminded us that there was a 1 hour time difference between Indio and Quartzsite, something we had not taken into account.

Our plan was to go grocery shopping on Tuesday, do some laundry, do a crockpot of stew and make some spaghetti sauce for while we boondock for roughly the next 3 weeks and then get up and hit the road at 7am to be in Q for our appointment at 9. But after the call we ended up deciding that to be in Q by 8am meant we needed to be on the road by 5am Indio time, so we decided we would just leave a day early and boondock outside of Quartzsite a few miles Tuesday night so we could get up at a reasonable time on Wednesday for our appointment.

So we jumped in the Jeep and headed to Costco and Walmart and then back home so Diane could make the spaghetti sauce and we could get the crockpot of stew tossed together so it could cook overnight. AND we had to be back in time to watch the Ducks game, which we could have gone without watching I’m afraid, oh well. It turned into a long day, or at least it felt like it.

Tuesday we took our sweet time and finally left Indo and headed towards Quartzsite shortly after 1pm and are now boon-docking just tonight on Plomosa Road. This way we have about a 15 minute drive to get to Discount Solar for our 8am appointment. That’s much better. After the install we will be headed to LAPOSA South where we will boon-dock for about 8 days before making our next move.


Wish us luck weeks. on the solar install!! I think we are about ready to spend some (numerous) nights around the fire with friends over the next 3 weeks. Enough of this work stuff it just never turns out right.

This entry was posted in A little about us and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to We were trapped like rats!!!

  1. Dave, We’re with Tina & Jeff at La Posa West (33.65439,-114.21981). We can see and walk to the big tent from here. You’re welcome to camp with us or drop on by if you get a chance!

  2. explorvistas says:

    That answers my question on whether or not the Traveler is a self install or not. I’ll leave it for a pro to do!

    That is amazing that the metal housing on that deadbolt bent like that. Who is the door manufacturer? I’ll bet that has happened to others. A flat head machine screw from the outside with a lock nut on the inside, installed above the deadbolt, would cure that. I would also consider a liberal coating of dry lube on that deadbolt!

    Safe travels!

  3. lar says:

    Well, at least you didn’t have a dog wanting to get out real bad to go potty? What is the escape hatch in case the rig wound up on that right side?

    • Dave & Diane says:

      The window would hen be the way out which was where I was about to head until our neighbors happened by. And your are right Lar, a pet needing out would have pushed it to the next level of excitement LOL!!

  4. debbiemc14 says:

    Almost funny. Glad you were able to get out and get it fixed. What a busy time you have there! Sounds like fun!

    • Dave & Diane says:

      It’s more funny after the fact than it was during. Like in most cases I guess. Yes, we stayed busy during our stay in Indio And we had a busy day today in Quartzsite with getting our added solar install, hooking up with a bunch of other Tiffin owners and have a great Happy Hour / Pizza and beer gathering with a bunch of old RV Dreams friends ay Silly Al’s.

  5. Glad to have met you both at Quartszite. Hope your aqua-hot is now working properly. I will definitely keep in mind the lock on the door 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s