How to replace an exterior caravan door handle


Most of us take a caravan door handle for granted, until it breaks. When this happens, it becomes a frustrating problem that can often be expensive to fix, particularly if you need to book it into your local service centre. On the other hand, if you have a few DIY skills, you can fix these door handles yourself in about 30 minutes, and even without these skills, they aren’t too difficult to manage yourself.

So let’s take a look at the four easy steps involved in replacing a broken caravan handle, saving you both time and money.

  1. Separate the flyscreen and main doors

To access the inner workings of the door handle, you need to separate the flyscreen and main doors. You might already know how to do this step, because turning the handle one way will open the door and the other way will separate the doors. This is a useful piece of information, because sometimes you want to leave the door open to let fresh air in, but keep the flyscreen closed to prevent all the bugs coming into the caravan.

2. Remove the caravan door handle from the door

When the doors are separated, you need to wrap a piece of duct tape around the bottom of the handle to keep it in position, while you loosen the screws. Once you have secured the handle with tape, go ahead and loosen and remove the screws from the inside of the door handle; there’s usually three screws that you need to remove, two are easy to see and the third is hidden behind the slide plate. Once these screws have been removed, you can remove the caravan door handle from the door.

3. Remove the locking mechanism from the caravan door handle 

To replace the handle you still need to release the retaining clip that holds the lock tumbler inside the door handle mechanism. So hold the handle setup in your hand and use a screwdriver to release this clip, allowing the tumbler to fall out into your hand. At the same time, you can remove the locking barrel from the body and the exterior handle as well. 

4. Installing the new door handle

Now that you have separated the empty body of the locking mechanism from the old broken handle, replacing the new exterior caravan door handle is just a reverse of these steps. So begin by fitting the new exterior handle into the now empty body of the old mechanism, making sure that the small coil spring that comes with the new handle is placed in the same position as the old handle. Replace the locking barrel into the body, making sure it aligns correctly with the new handle, and then refit the new caravan door handle and mechanism back into the frame of the door, fitting and tightening the screws to keep it in place. Check that the door opens, closes, locks and unlocks, and then refit the flyscreen and check that it works again.

At Dunn and Watson, we have a large range of locks and handles for caravans. If you need any help finding the right locks and handles for your caravan, just give us a call on 1300 210 549 or send us an email today.