Bed Lock Latch Alternative Solutions

Forest River discontinued the bed lock latch in 2022 and immediately stopped parts support for it. Perhaps it was a supply-chain issue and they couldn't find a replacement, but still, that leaves a lot of Flagstaff and Rockwood campers out there with a relatively weak part whose function (keeping the bed from sliding back into the camper) is mandatory and may need a fix.

bed lock latch discontinued

It's possible an RV salvage yard may have a used latch for sale, but if you can't find one, here are some alternative solutions:

Flagstaff's "Official" Solution

For 2022 non-LTD models, Flagstaff/Rockwood changed to the "bed lock glide" to keep the beds from sliding back into the box during set-up. The bed lock glide glides across the support pole and drops down once it reaches the end of the pole. The glide then hits the end of the pole if any force (like pulling the tent around the bunk corners) pulls the bed back towards the camper box.

bed lock glide for Flagstaff and Rockwood campers

To push the bed back into the box, the bunk-end must be lifted slightly to push the glide up and over the pole (on both sides of the bunk).

bed lock glide action

PRO - This is Flagstaff's "official" replacement for the bed lock latch. It's easy to install the bed lock glides--just hold it up to the support pole end and put in 4 screws.

CON - Having to buy the glides is the only installation-related drawback. But functionally, the glides present several other problems:

You have to lift up on each bunk-end corner and push in slightly to move the glide past the end of the support pole. If you go too far, the bed becomes skewed and won't push in properly. When you pull one side back to "un-skew" the situation, it's easy to pull the glide past the end of the support pole again and you have to start all over.

Also, if you hit the end of the support pole with the glide while attempting to lift it up and over the end of the pole, it's easy to knock the pole out of its slotted holders; then you're pushing in the bed while lifting the bunk (just like the good ole' days and like the LTDs still do), except that now a loose pole might be in your way.

Ironically, the whole reason Flagstaff started using a triangulated support pole system (which necessitated a "bunk lock" in the first place) was to eliminate the need to lift the bunk during set-up and tear-down. Now, with the bed lock glide system, the bunk must be lifted to move the glide over the end of the support pole. (*face palm*)

Flagstaff's Original Solution

(or "The System They Should Have Gone Back To")

Prior to the bed latch, Flagstaff/Rockwood used a bed pin--a steel pin with a ring as a handle through the end--to keep the bunk from sliding back into the camper box. The bed pin went through a hole in the top and bottom of the bed rail receiver and locked the bed rail in place.

Flagstaff bed pin

When ready for tear-down, the pins could be pulled while you were inside the camper. If you forgot--no problem--you could reach in past the tent on the corner and pull the pin from the outside. As a bonus, the pins were on retaining cables that kept the pin in its corner.

Flagstaff bed pin pulled

Those pins are no longer available, but this idea also works with bolts, screwdrivers, duplex nails, etc. --just make sure you go through both holes (both the top and the bottom of the rail receiver). Also, the holes could be drilled a little more plumb than the example above...

bed pin fix

bed pin alternative solution

PRO - pretty "clean" look with the eyebolts (less so with screwdrivers or duplex nails), strong, and easy-to-use solution.

CON - If the black nylon strip nestled in the bed slide receiver moves when the beds are slid in or out of the camper, the holes drilled into the strip may not line up with the hole in the receiver. This is easily fixed by tapping the black strip back into place, but it could be a nuisance.

The Bolt/Metal Rod Replacement

Simple fix where you use a bolt...

bed lock latch replacement bolt

...or metal rod (in this case, an awning stake)...

bed lock latch replacement awning stake

...or the existing rod with a make-shift "handle" in place of the bed lock latch.

bed lock latch replacement makeshift handle

bed latch examples

PRO - The easiest way to fix the bed latch system. However...

CON - ...this fix could look a bit kludgy if you use an awning stake or duct tape the latch rod as shown. Also, unless you add something to prevent the rod from moving, it could vibrate loose from its position and still allow the bed to slide into the camper box. Finally, if it's a make-shift fix, it could affect the resale value later on.

That said, for the cost of four bolts--or even better, four eye-bolts--this is probably the best fix besides the "original solution" described above .

Welding the Existing Latch?

"How about welding the latch handle back onto the latch rod?"

This would work if the handle and rod were welded in place (in the camper, which means having some kind of shield to protect the bed, bed frame, tent, cushions, floor, etc.). Otherwise, if the rod and handle are welded and then installed on the camper, a channel would have to be cut out of the aluminum bed frame to be able to install the rod and handle back into the frame.

bed latch welding problem

PRO - Uses the original parts (no other parts necessary). Strong fix. But the negatives outweigh the positives, in our opinion.

CON - Not everybody has a welder or knows someone who can weld it for them; a welding shop could charge who-knows-how-much to weld it.
The logistics of welding the latch's rod and handle in place makes that option difficult. Welding it separately and then installing it in the camper requires cutting a channel in the bed frame. Unless the cut is done really well, it may do more harm than good when it comes time to resale value.

Additionally, welding the existing latch might help the initial problem of the handle breaking off too easily, but it won't solve the other problem with the bed latch: on some models the latch pushes the seat cushion forward to an awkward--if not uncomfortable--position:

bed lock latch problem

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