Once upon a time….actually about a month ago, we returned home from a campfire down at Ruth’s place. It was a fun evening sitting around the campfire…keeping warm….visiting with friends. About 9pm we returned home, and I went to unlock WS’s door, but the key wouldn’t work. I tried and tried with no luck.
This isn’t unheard of among Casita owners, in fact it happens way too often as evidenced by stories on The Casita Forum, that I’ve read over the years.
Because I had read these stories I had a vague idea of what was going on and what to do about it. Still I was cold and tired and not very happy about the situation, as you might imagine.
There is an escape window on most RV’s. It’s supposed to be used as an emergency exit, from inside. On Casita’s, besides the regular window lock, there are two latches on the inside of this window, and when they are opened, the whole window frame can be opened outward, from hinges on the top.
One of the two latches on the inside of the escape window.
View of the escape window open fully, and being held in position with a piece of wood on the left side.
Folks who’s locks have failed are very adamant about never locking the emergency window, but of course there are times when one wants to lock everything, so, what to do?
Standing there feeling frustrated, trying to open the door, I was hoping real hard that my emergency window wasn’t locked, and half afraid to go check, because if it was locked, then I have a whole new set of problems.
Of course, I went and checked and YAY!, it was not locked! Next I get a flashlight from JR and go to the shed where I keep a ladder. I stand it by the window, and though it’s short, it’s tall enough. Much to the puzzlement of Joy and Shiloh, I climb the ladder, open the window and screen, then reach inside and unfasten the latches.
Now I’m very happy that it’s dark and therefore no one (except Joy and Shiloh) can see me squiggle and squish this body into the window…head first…and land on the bed. I put a pillow from the bed between my stomach and the lower window frame to make the process a bit less painful…and feeling like Winnie The Pooh In A Tight Place, I begin my journey.
Thankfully no pictures of this!
Finally, I’m in! But the dogs are out, and as I suspected from reading the adventures on the forum, the lock won’t open from the inside either, so now I’m locked in. From the inside, while trying to make comforting noises to the dogs outside, I take a screwdriver to the damn thing, working through the small opening in the screen door…while I try not to panic.
Calming dog pictures. Joy above. Shiloh below.
It’s difficult but I finally manage to loosen the lock enough so it will disengage.
In come the dogs and I bungee the door shut for the night, not wanting it to actually close, in case somehow we manage to get locked in again. Except….
The night brings with it strong winds, which manage to blow the door shut tight again! And it locks…. I kid you not!
I discover this at 6am, and feeling rather angry at this point, I take a small hammer to the lock and manage to break it and we get out.
Foolishly I suppose. I order a new lock from Casita.
In the meantime, Tim, a very kind neighbor, loans us an extra lock he happens to have, and puts it on for me. It doesn’t fit properly, it’s too small for the hole in the door, but with the help of some white duct tape, it works just fine for a temporary replacement.
Soon, I receive the new lock from Casita.
Its the same wrong size as the one that Tim put on.
Old broken lock on the left. New wrong sized lock on the right.
I make a call to Casita in Texas and tell them they sent the wrong size….and they tell me it’s the only size they have. I make more calls, search on line, and visit some RV places in Tucson, but no one seems to have the original size lock. Maybe thas a good thing…..
Anyway I talk it over with Fred and Colleen, and they have some ideas. Fred does some measuring, and a few days later comes up with some templates that he made. The new lock fits in the templates, and the templates, fit in the holes in the door. Tim comes over and removes his lock and fits the template and lock sandwich on the door! It all fits perfectly! Then he seals it all up with silicone and I’m all set!
So…advice? Keep a screw driver and hammer in your RV, have access to a ladder, and when possible, keep your escape window unlocked. Especially, if you have a Fastec lock on the door.
On the more fun side of things, Colleen had a surprise birthday party for Fred and she asked me to help her.
We really do think he was surprised. That’s Fred on the right. He was bringing the mail to the clubhouse, unaware…and that’s Dennis on the left, who kept him busy all day without giving away the surprise.
Colleen and Fred standing in front of the board Colleen put up with lots of pictures of Fred and company, over the years. I even wrote a poem called The Fred Poem, about some of the highlights of his life with info from Colleen. The more amazing thing though, is that I stood and read it at the party. Waaaay out of my comfort zone but I did ok!
Colleen and I with one of the cakes.
it was a fun time.
And here’s another pretty sunset to close with.