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Ukuman

Milenco large security handrail

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Our van has one of these hand rails fitted.

When we viewed the van prior to purchasing it I thought that it was a very worthwhile addition particularly from a security point of view as it can be locked across the door. Unfortunately I didn't try it out!

However when it was installed it was fitted in such a way that it cannot be placed across the door and locked because the catch that holds the door open prevents it from folding back fully across the door.

I want it to work as it should. I could take it off completely and fit it effectively upside down but this would mean the locks would be on the top of the mounting brackets which would allow water to get into them which is far from ideal. I've tied to find a lower profile door retainer but drawn a blank. I contacted Milenco but got no response. I can't move the brackets because it would leave visible holes.

It looks however as though the rail arm itself fits over a smaller diameter tube that is part of the mounting bracket and is held in place I think by a rivet. If so the rivet could be drilled out and the rail arm can be fitted upside down and re-riveted.

Does anyone have one of these fitted, or knows the product, who can confirm that this would work in which case I can sort it out.

I appreciate that it may look a little odd with the rail effectively upside down but at least it will work as intended. Perhaps I could put a sticker on it saying that I know it's upside down in order to avoid the inevitable questions!!!!

It seems that whoever fitted it did not follow the old adage of measuring twice and cutting/drilling once! If it had been fitted a few centimetres higher or lower it would have worked perfectly as a hand rail and lock. It's become more important because a neighbour had their campervan broken into very recently.

van1.JPG

van3.JPG

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Have you considered fitting a different type of door retainer, or moving the spacer block to the other part?

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You're right!   Somebody definitely made a mess there.   I have a similar device fitted on my van but the tube is peened to the brackets.  

 

IMG_20200602_094605.jpg.4adf1fc6f3bc653449d9e3a1a2790575.jpg

 

I'm sure your tube is fixed by the two rivets.   But I agree, it would look somewhat odd being upside down.   Also it wouldn't feel right as it was being used - supposing that you do use it for assistance.   I think my solution would be to drill out the rivets, then cut off sufficient tubing off both ends so as to clear the door holder.   Then re-drill the holes and fit some rivets.   OR - just refit the tubes to the brackets using some strong glue.

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Some people just shouldn’t be allowed access to tools. What a botch job.

 

Swift group use a magnetic door retainer that sits more flush to the door than yours and might give the clearance you need. I think Coachman might do too. A quick Google search will show images and sales. There’s some on eBay. 

 

Jaydug’s suggestion above sounds pretty practical.

 

As regards security, it’s as good as useless, so removing it altogether and covering the holes might be an option unless you need it as an access handle. 

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I've taken the spacer out and it made no difference. It still protrudes too far even with the spacer removed and the gap is insufficient for any other type of retainer I've looked at except for the magnetic one which I will look into. A quick search found it although my immediate reaction was to marvel at how they can charge about £30 for a magnet in a plastic mount! I do like Jaydug's idea of cutting the tubing down. I'll have to measure up. It would still be the right way up so that's a bonus

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Posted (edited)

If you have a handy pipe bending machine shop nearby, someone who customises motorbikes or similar you could get your own unique made to measure one, out of stainless !

Edited by Silversurf

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40 minutes ago, Ukuman said:

 I do like Jaydug's idea of cutting the tubing down.

 

I estimate you'd need to remove about 35mm from each end.   A plumbers 22mm pipe cutter will probably make a good job of cutting it.   Some resin glue with a slight peening into the rivet holes will probably secure the handle to the hinges.

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Another solution is to re-position the door catch on door and wall (higher or lower) ... Carefully sealing the holes left (and perhaps a 'decorative' plate or sticker to hide/disguise the fix).

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ukuman said:

except for the magnetic one which I will look into

We have a magnetic catch on our Swift Elegance. Without the awning to keep the wind away from the side of the 'van, the catch is not strong enough to withstand more than a breath of wind. Those times we have set up without the awning, I've had to run a bungee from the door handle to the 'van's rear grab handle to stop the door being blown shut.

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Thanks again for the helpful advice to date. Interestingly the Ebay ad for the magnetic catch suggests fixing a thin piece of plastic to the catch to reduce the grip! I have come across a Froli oval door retainer. The screw hole spacing looks to big to be a straight replacement but does anyone have one fitted they could measure, i need the height of each part and screw hole centres or if there is scope to make new screw holes. The lever catch on the van has approx 35mm centres and the door catch approx 40mm.

Oval catch photo attached.

door catch.jpg

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A very helpful Ebay seller provided me with every measurement I needed for the magnetic catch and it looks as though it would allow the handle to used to secure the door. On the downside the overall profile is so small that the door will hit the wheel arch long before it makes contact with the other half of the catch affixed to the side of the caravan. It will need a spacer and there doesn't seem to be one that fits. I'm coming to the conclusion that Jaydug's plan to cut down the rail is the best solution.

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Never have a dealer fit things that involve drilling into or cutting the car/caravan!

 

I once worked in a car main dealer and you'd cry to see what some of the other guys did with saws and drill guns.  It was back when wing mirrors were optional extras and front fog-light light bars were a thing - with no measuring and just a glance at the position, they'd go straight in with that drill gun.

 

As for that bar adding security, it looks like a thief could rip it out by its roots in a moment. It would itself provides the leverage for it, and meanwhile it could make it appear you have something valuable inside.

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17 minutes ago, Bolingbroke said:

As for that bar adding security, it looks like a thief could rip it out by its roots in a moment.

 

As each bolt has a 50mmx60mm reinforcing plate under the shake-proof nut on the inside, it would probably take a bit longer than a 'moment'. ;)

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If using the magnetic catch replace the nut that holds it in place. It’s only a standard nut and tends to unscrew allowing the magnet to fall out, replacing it with a nyloc nut (or using Loctite) prevents this. The magnets are extremely strong, I had to put two layers of insulation tape on ours to reduce it’s grip!

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A virtual pint is now on it's way to Jaydug. Drilled out the old rivets and then took the rail to a local metalworker who reduced the tube length and riveted the rail back onto the brackets and it's now back on the van and working as intended. Many thanks to all for their advice.

van handle.JPG

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That looks great - just as I imagined it.   And thanks for the pint.   I'll enjoy it..;)

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