How To Install RV Cabinet Latches To Keep Your Stuff Secure
If you’ve been an RV owner for any length of time, you’ve likely had at least one of your RV cabinet latches break. This is unfortunate for a variety of reasons. First, it can be annoying if your RV is unlevel, as it means your cabinet or drawer will continuously fall open until you level things out.
More than that though, broken RV cabinet latches and drawer catches lead to cabinets and drawers that fly open during transit.
What’s the problem with drawers and cabinets that open while driving? Well, there’s the obvious issue of items falling on the floor. However, there are other problems that could be caused by this.
For instance, if you travel in a motorhome, things falling from cabinets could lead to injury for anyone inside the rig. Even those who pull trailers could be injured by items that shift during travel and fall from loose cabinet doors after stopping. Another issue we’ve seen involves drawers and cabinets opening in such a way that the slides can’t be opened without breaking cabinet doors or drawer fronts.
Clearly, broken RV cabinet latches and drawer catches should be fixed sooner rather than later. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple project and could easily be finished in just a few minutes.
Why RV cabinet latches break
First, let’s take a look at why these latches tend to break. Honestly, the biggest reason we see so many broken latches is simply because they aren’t very well made. The cheap plastic cracks, or the poorly made moving parts get stuck, and you’re left with a latch that does absolutely nothing.
Other reasons for breaking could include people slamming drawers and doors too hard, cabinets that aren’t lined up quite right for some reason, and latches with screws that have loosened over time. In that situation, simply screwing the latch back into place might solve your problem.
What to look for in replacement RV cabinet latches and drawer catches
If you’re looking at a latch that is actually broken rather than one that has just loosened over time, you will need to find a replacement. You could of course just buy a direct replacement. However, many find that upgrading from the cheap plastic hardware is a worthwhile investment.
Those who do choose to upgrade should look for the following:
- Go all metal. Metal is much more durable than plastic.
- Consider magnets. Many travelers prefer magnetic RV cabinet latches because they are less likely to get stuck.
- Ensure the size is right. Consider where the latches will be installed and make sure they will fit and hold the door or drawer properly.
- Buy a multi-pack. Anticipate more clasps breaking over time and purchase a multi-pack so you have extras when they’re needed.
RV cabinet latches and drawer clasps that we love
Not sure where to begin in the RV cabinet latch and drawer clasp shopping process? Below are four of our top picks.
JQK Magnetic Cabinet Door Catch
This simple, durable, and effective magnetic latch is our favorite latch option out there. The JQK Magnetic Cabinet Door Catch is versatile in that it can be used for cabinets or drawers, and is surprisingly strong for a magnetic latch, working well in the majority of cases.
RV Cabinet Push-Button Latch
Want something that’ll hold up even on the busiest of roads? The RV Cabinet Push-Button Latch might be just the thing for you. This does require a little more work to install but it does its job astoundingly well, and it will likely never need to be replaced again.
Camco Thumb-Operated Offset Cam Lock
Another option that stays shut even on the worst roads, the Camco Thumb-Operated Offset Cam Lock is great for those who like to do a lot of off-road driving. These are actually intended for use on outdoor storage bays, but they work quite well for indoor cabinets and are extremely durable, though a little tricky to install.
Alise Solid Brass Cabinet Door Catch Latch
Finally, we must mention the Alise Solid Brass Cabinet Door Catch Latch. This isn’t a magnetic option, but since it’s made entirely out of brass, it is very durable. This is a great choice for those looking for a more hefty version of a traditional catch latch.
How to replace your RV latches
Once you have your RV cabinet latches and drawer catches picked out, you’ll need to install them. In the case of the push-button and cam lock options above, you will want to follow the package instructions. However, if you choose something close to a traditional latch like the JQK or Alise options we mentioned, the instructions below will work just fine.
- Remove the old hardware by unscrewing it from the wood frame. Hold onto good screws in case you need them later.
- Hold your new hardware up to the frame and use a pencil to mark where new screw holes will be made, making sure the two sides of the new clasp match up perfectly.
- Use a drill to create new screw holes.
- Install the new latch using the included screws or the screws saved from your old latch.
- Test to be sure they are lined up, and fix any mistakes.
As you can see, while broken latches are a common problem to have, they are also easy to fix. Why not order some new RV cabinet latches today and make this quick and easy repair yourself?
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and much more.
Continue reading: These 5 Must-Haves Will Keep Things From Moving While You’re Driving
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