Easy RV Mod -> Upgrade Your Drawer Latches
Pre-Post Note: This may not be my most exciting RV mod, but it solved a long-standing and annoying problem. Hopefully it will do the same for some of you….
With all the bounce and jiggle that comes with driving an RV, drawer latches are pretty much a necessity. They keep drawers shut and prevent things flying about while “the beast” is en route. Our RV, as many do, came pre-equipped with cheap plastic hook-and-latch (often called catch-and-strike) jobs that seem to break every few months. Not only that, but replacements can only be bought at RV stores, cost $4-9 a piece…and last just as long. After replacing almost 12 of these in our first 2 years (we must have an extra-special knack for breaking them) this was starting to annoy me in a serious way, and I went searching for a better option.
In my attempt at improvement I tried just about every option from the hardware store including child-proof and magnetic latches, none of which measured up to par. They were either too weak to hold the drawer in motion or would break or simply didn’t work. Finally ~6 months ago some folks on the iRV2.com forums suggested an all-metal adjustable-tension ball latch which looked to be the perfect replacement. I managed to find 2 packs at a local RV store in Eugene OR and tried them out on our heaviest kitchen drawers. BINGO!!! Several months of real-road testing later and I’m happy to share these are the bees knees.
The metal latches come flat, but can be mounted at a right-angle (top part vertical, bottom part horizontal) so they are a direct and easy replacement for your existing crappy plastic latch. The latch is held in place by tension “balls” and the tension is easily adjusted on each side by using a screw-driver. The hardest part of the installment is aligning the 2 halves of the latch so that they come together properly when the drawers are closed, but a bit of measuring (before installing) will help to make it all work out. I got the 2″ version which works fine, but for a little heftier clasp I would probably suggest the size up at 2 5/16″ that you can buy online HERE (thanks to Bob in the comments for the link on a place to source these for a decent price!). So far these latches look great and are a much sturdier option that I expect to last far beyond the ‘ol plastic ones.
Got a cool RV mod of your own? Feel free to e-mail me with photos and details and I’ll highlight on the blog in a future post. Full credit will be yours!