Common Vintage Trailer Door Locks
While your trailer is essentially your home, it is more than just a place to say on the road. It’s your kitchen, TV room, car, family room, and more. That’s why it is important to make sure that your vintage trailer is safe and secure with functioning locks. With this in mind, the type of lock that you use to secure your home is of the utmost importance.
While most vintage trailers parts are nearly impossible to track down, the different locks used on these vehicles are still seen on many trailers today. If you’re not too familiar with the common locks used for vintage trailers, here are some common ones used back in the day:
This particular lock was made by the Theodore Bargman Company based in Detroit. While it has been obsolete since around 2002, this beauty was used in most Boler trailers around from the 1970-1990s. Its paddle handle design was popular amongst trailer users because it allowed for it to fit well with the exterior of the trailer. Although this model was aesthetically pleasing and sufficiently operational, it was not a high quality product. The majority of these locks did not last the lifespan of the trailer itself and had to be replaced. Because the company no longer sells the L-400 lock, replacement parts are difficult to find.
The Keeler lock is another lock that was utilized the paddle handle design, however, this rectangular model had a vertical orientation rather than horizontal. It was made by the Keeler Brass Company and used from 1978-1990 in most Airstreams and also Fleetwing trailers. Although this model has been obsolete since around the 1980s, replacement parts are still available to restore original models.
This paddle handle lock is still being used today and holds a horizontal orientation. This model was typically used in the Airstream (1970-1977). This particular lock is still sold by Airstream dealers in similar versions.
Safety Trailer Lock Mfg Co. Flush Type Lock
These locks are unique because they are not used like a traditional trailer lock. Unlike other locks, these flush-type locks require a special technique to lock your vintage trailer. The key is turned to unlock the vehicle and the handle is turned to open the door just like a normal door lock, however, the vehicle is locked by pushing the handle in rather than with a key. These locks were normally found on the 1940 Elcar and 1946-1948 Spartan trailers.
Chesler Airstream Lock
While these locks always had a lever for the interior side, the exterior sides came with the options of level or knob. The lever was available with the words “Airstream” written on them on certain models. A similar model is the Bargman L-100 and the Bargman L-200. While these locks were very similar and fit the same openings as the Chesler locks, the Bargman locks came with a serrated (jagged) grip rather than smooth.
Decker 1040 B-Lock
This simple lock was used from 1949-1960. The zinc-plated lock was used on a variety of different trailers including the 1946-1947 Spartan, the 1949 Westcraft Tahoe, and the 1950 Yellowstone trailers. The replacement Decker 1040 B is still available for sale
Bargman L-66 (Earlier/Later Style) / Bargman L-77
This model by the Bargman company was used in almost every trailer from 1950-2008. With its horizontal orientation, this chrome-finished lock included a “panic release” feature. Unlike the L-400 model, the earlier L-66 was high quality and made to be durable for years on end. Despite the old version of the L-66, which is still in service on some trailers, the newer L-66 models were unfortunately made with less quality. Not only were they not as durable, but they were also hard to manage because the cylinders made for these locks were difficult to replace.
Although the L-77 looks very similar to the L-66 models, this particular lock has a vertical orientation rather than a horizontal one. Obsolete since the early 1960s, the L-77 was used in the Airstream and Silver Streak around 1958-1961. Despite its similar design, this model cannot be used interchangeably with the L-66 model locks.
L-54 or L-55 Lock with H20-2 Handle or other handle and cylinder with flip cover
Because of its innovative and complex features, the H20-2 handle was used mostly on high-end trailers during the time period of 1948-1958. This handle was known for its extreme flexibility to work with a variety of different trailers such as the Airfloat, Spartan, Lintzcraft, and more. The handle was spring-loaded so that it could move in and out of the way of other objects in the way. It could them be pushed back into its original place. Not only was it spring-loaded, but since it was made with a circular design, the key opening placement as well as the handle placement could be adjusted according to preference.