Locking compression latches

Travel trailer > Mods > Locking compression latches

When we bought this trailer we noticed that the doors on the front pass-through storage area were secured by locks alone, unlike the two doors further back that also have a non-locking latch to keep them closed. So when we wanted to open or close the front storage doors, the keys had to come out. A bit of a pain.

Stock lock - outside

While camping next to friends of ours we spotting the locking compression latches on their trailer. These can be opened and closed while unlocked. And, unlike conventional latches that lock by friction against the back of the door frame, these compress (or retract) to secure the door. Here's the latch on our friends' trailer.

Locking wing compression latch - Southco E3-151-25 - 01
Locking wing compression latch - Southco E3-151-25 - 02

The closest match I could find was the Southco E3-151-25, but I could not find a local distributor. I did eventually find a mail-order supplier - Parsons Aerocessories in Stoney Creek, Ontario, at (905) 664-6203. I ordered two latches from them. At just under $40, they weren't cheap. But neither are they cheaply made.

Bagged latches

It would have been too easy for the latches to fit straight out of the box... they're a little bigger than the stock locks.

Stock lock (L) smaller than compression latch

Out came the rotary tool and a grinding attachment. Our doors have an internal plate for the latch and that had to be reduced a bit.

Door - internal latch support

It took a while, but once done it worked perfectly. Incidentally, the new latches are keyed the same as our other storage door locks.

Here's a closer look at the inside setup.

Nuts and washers in the right order (for our trailer)

As for the old locks, I had a flash of inspiration. The lock on our outdoor shower door was keyed differently so I replaced it with one of the removed storage door locks. Now all of our outdoor storage compartments (5 in total) are keyed the same.

Shower unlocked

We're very pleased with this mod. I recommend both the product and the supplier.

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