Replacing RV Drawer Clasps & Latches

RVing is one of the best ways to vacation, especially in North America. Exploring the great outdoors from a tiny home on wheels is becoming more and more popular. As with any home, sometimes things break due to wear and tear. Drawer or cabinet clasps are something that can suddenly break at a moment’s notice. Most RVs are equipped with heavy-duty clasps to keep their drawers and cabinets from opening and spilling contents while driving down the road. If one or more of these break, it can be dangerous and even damage some of your belongings. Replacing or fixing these clasps can seem confusing, too difficult, or overwhelming for some folks. We’ve compiled some tips to help you replace your drawer clasps so you can get to your next Harvest Hosts location safely!

How do Drawer and Cabinet Clasps Break?

Even the most careful of RV owners can end up with a broken clasp on their hands. Unfortunately, even if you’re very careful, they can still fail or snap for a variety of reasons. The most common causes are wear and tear, overuse, and not being gentle enough. Many folks use their RV pretty regularly. Opening and closing drawers and cabinets often is bound to lead to eventual broken clasps. Most clasps that are installed in RVs at the factory are made of plastic, which is prone to easy breakage. Once these break, they need to be replaced in a timely manner to get you from point A to point B safely.

Materials Needed

The first step is to identify the type or style of your drawer clasps that need to be replaced. Camping World and Amazon have quite the selection, so between those two resources, RVers should be able to find the exact product they need. If you’re having trouble identifying the type found in your RV, try taking a screwdriver and removing both pieces of your clasp to get a better look. You may also be able to consult your owner’s manual for additional  information. After you’ve figured out what supplies you need, purchase them. When they arrive, you’ll also need:

  • A screwdriver (most likely a Phillips head or four-way)
  • A drill if your latches are being stubborn or if you need to create new holes (be sure to have the correct bit to get the screws in and out)
  • Your new latches or clasps
  • A pencil, pen, or marker
  • A flashlight (optional)
  • Patience

How to Repair Them

  1. Remove your current broken clasp or latch with your screwdriver. Your new hardware should have come with screws, but, if not, keep the old hardware to use with the new clasps. Be sure to examine the screws to ensure they are not damaged in any way. Never reuse broken or damaged screws. 
  2. Grab your new hardware and be sure it lines up with the current holes left behind by the old hardware. If not, use your writing utensil to draw new holes.
  3. Some folks may be able to just get away with screwing the new hardware into the existing holes. If you need to create new holes, use your drill, and start a pilot hole to make things easier. 
  4. Lining up the top and bottom/side clasps (if that’s the type you have) can be tricky. This is where your patience will come in handy. It can take a few tries to get everything lined up perfectly. Measure and check yourself a few times before drilling, if possible. Once it’s lined up, you’re good to install the top/side latch. 
  5. Test them out to be sure they’re lined up correctly. After you’ve finished, take your RV out for a test drive if possible. Be sure that no cabinets or drawers fly open while driving. If you have a towable RV, drive a little and then stop to peek in your trailer and make sure nothing is amiss. 
  6. Pat yourself on the back and enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, or a round of golf at a Harvest Hosts location. You did it!

How to Avoid Future Broken Clasps

To avoid future broken clasps, the first tip would be to treat your drawers and cabinets more gently. Try to avoid shutting them forcefully. Children can especially be unintentionally guilty of this. Be sure to check that there are no obstacles in the way when closing your drawers. Even something thin like some clothing can become caught in the clasp and cause issues. 

Another tip would be to upgrade to all-metal clasps. Metal will last much longer than plastic, although it doesn’t cost much more. Consider this before replacing any of your current broken plastic clasps. A few hours of upgrading your clasps to metal can save you some headaches in the future. 

Bonus Tips

  • When ordering your latches or clasps, purchase extra sets. It’s almost inevitable that they will break in the future, and when that happens, you’ll be ready! 
  • Not only can clothing get caught in your clasp and damage it, but your clasps can also damage your clothing. It’s not uncommon for these heavy-duty clasps to cause rips in your clothes. Try not to overstuff drawers to avoid this from happening. 
  • You don’t necessarily need to replace your current clasps with the exact same type. If you’re interested in switching out all of your clasps to another type, order a few and try them out. See how durable they are compared to the ones you currently have. Be sure to drive your RV to ensure they latch correctly and stay closed even while bumping down the road. 
  • If you’re trying out new latches, be sure to center them as perfectly as possible. Distributing the pressure put on these latches can increase their longevity.

RVing can be all fun and games until something breaks. Thankfully, clasps and latches are quite easy to fix so that you can be safe on the road. The last thing that RVers need are cups flying out of the cabinets while they’re driving, or opening their trailer to find a huge mess. If you find yourself with some broken clasps or latches in the future, you’ll know what to do! 

Have you ever replaced your clasps or latches before? How did it go? Do you have any additional tips for fellow RVers? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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  1. Elise S
    19th March, 2021

    If the old screw holes are worn and too big, take a wooden toothpick, cut it to the depth of the hole and glue pieces together in the hole to fill it in. Let glue dry and you have fresh wood to put the screw into that will hold better.