Member Tip: Secure Sliding Doors

author image

October 26, 2011

Secure Sliding DoorsSubmitted by Rich Payne of Tillamook, Ore.

At the rear of our motorhome, we have a closet with large mirrored sliding doors. The motorhome manufacturer installed plastic locks to keep these doors secure while traveling. Unfortunately, the weight of these glass doors combined with rough roads, snapped the plastic locks and the doors slid open.

After replacing the locks twice, I cut two wooden blocks (each 5×3/4×1/2-inches) to fit the door frame. I then drilled two ¼-inch holes on the bottom of each block (3 inches apart), and one ¼-inch hole centered on the top. I glued 1-inch-ling dowels in all three holes, and then attached a small knob to the top dowel.

After positioning a sliding door against the side of the closet, I wedged one of the blocks against the door at the center of the closet, then drilled 5/16-inch holes in the frame directly beneath the two dowels. I repeated these steps for the second door.

Before traveling, we insert the dowels into the holes in each door frame, securing the blocks, and then remove them at our destination. The doors have stopped sliding around since switching to this device.

Like this tech tip? Find hundreds like it in Ten Minute Tech, Volume 3 at the Good Sam Club Store. Login to shop now.


Leave a Reply


  1. Susan Weymouth

    We use a display case lock similar to ones used on jeweler’s cases. The “U” shaped rachet bar slides onto one door. The lock then slides onto the rachet and holds both doors firmly in place. The locks are available with either a key or a combination.

  2. Calvin Baker

    All great suggestions! Just as a warning for klutzes out there, I was rearranging my closet when I leaned over to pick up something I’d dropped, and hit my forehead on the sharp corner of one of the plastic clips, and immediately started to bleed. Just happy it wasn’t one of my eyes! Any of the above solutions would prevent this from happening.

  3. Great suggestions everyone! Thank you so much for passing along that valuable information. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Mike M

    Any of the suggestions is an improvement over the sharp points on those clips. The other (minor) problem with the clips is that we “switch” the doors when we arrive someplace. The one that clips on the left becomes the right door and so forth. But if someone moves the doors all the way out of the way, then we have the annoyance of having to unlock a door.

    I will apply one of these fixes tomorrow.

  5. John Renger

    I used a Dremel with a sanding drum and made the clips less binding. No more problem to date.

  6. Jay Reynolds

    This is a good solution to a recurring problem. Others here also have good suggestions! Thanks everyone!

  7. Robert Devens

    I think anyone with large glass sliding doors at the rear of the coach has had this problem. For those of us who are not equipped to build the beautiful little devices pictured in the article try my solution. I bought hardwood dowels in Home Depot of a size that allowed them to fit only partially into the channel and then trimmed them to fit quite snugly between the wall and the vertical edge of the door, one each for the inner and outer doors. When installed, by simply pushing into place, the door will not move until the dowels are removed. Not as pretty but fully functional for keeping the doors in place during maneuvers or rough roads.

  8. Carl Wenner

    Had the same problem with the mirrored sliders in my unit. Did a similar fix, but instead of dowels used adhesive backed hook and loop (Velcro) tape on bottom of block and top of door frame. Works well and required no drilling or careful hole alignment.

  9. John M

    I have the same doors only in my bedroom slide. I took two adjustable curtian rods with the round ends and put one against each door after they are closed. Very cheap and not hole drilling. works great.

  10. Jean Willick

    Our fifth wheel has same type of mirror doors. Plastic clips broke twice already, but mainly due to snapping off in cold weather as the plastic clips are not very flexible. We will try the wooden block dowel fix as it will probably be much more practical.

  11. Linda Sauer

    We had the same problem with our motorhome, but was able to purchase replacement plastic slides from Camping World.