Short-Term Repairs for a Broken Suitcase

December 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It can happen when you least expect it or you can discover it when you’re retrieving it from the baggage carousel, but no matter how it happens, a broken suitcase has the potential to severely impact your travel experience. With a little bit of resourcefulness, you can get through your trip and back home. Here are some ways to address common problems, as well as some Travelpro® product features specially designed to help avoid on-the-road luggage disasters.

If your suitcase wheels stick, make sure there's nothing stuck in them.

If your suitcase wheels stick, check to see if anything is stuck in the housing.

If your telescoping handle sticks, apply a small amount of lubricant to literally grease the skids. See if you can track down some WD-40; if that’s not available, a little soap can help. If the handle is slightly bent, you may try manipulating it back into proper position. If it’s clearly broken, at least you have the other handles to carry the bag. An add-a-bag attachment strap, such as Travelpro® offers on many of its rolling products, would allow you to hook your broken bag onto another until you can address the issue.

If your wheels aren’t rolling smoothly, chances are there’s something stuck in them that’s inhibiting their movement. Wipe them with a damp cloth and look for anything that might be stuck in the wheel housing. If the wheels are wobbly, causing the bag not to pull straight behind you, the screws could be loose. Tighten them up – if you don’t have a screwdriver handy, call down to the front desk and ask for one. Travelpro designs its wheel systems with the frequent traveler in mind, subjecting their products to miles of rigorous testing. Our patented MagnaTrac™ Spinner wheels are self-aligning and have a specially designed housings to protect them from damage on baggage ramps and as they’re pulled over curbs and through terminals.

A tear in the fabric can expose your items to the elements. It may not be pretty, but duct tape can be a good temporary solution. Road warrior secret tip: travel with a few inches wrapped around itself in your toiletry kit. And when purchasing luggage, be sure to look for products made of ballistic nylon fabric, designed for maximum durability, such as our Crew™ 11 or Platinum® Collections.

If your zipper won’t open or won’t close, it may be because the teeth aren’t aligning properly. In that case, swiping a bar of soap along the teeth may help, or you may need a pair of pliers to straighten a single tooth that’s bent. If your suitcase comes back from the flight without its pull, you can fashion a temporary one with a paperclip or small keychain. Travelpro’s SUPRA™ zipper heads largely prevent zipper pull loss, having been engineered to resist damage from daily use and abuse.

Not all repairs can be fixed through these simple DIY tips. That’s why it’s important to shop for a bag that’s manufactured by a company that backs its products with a comprehensive warranty. If your bag needs repair, work with a reputable professional repair shop or contact your manufacturer’s customer service department. Travelpro’s Crew 11 collection has a limited lifetime warranty which can help you get your bag repaired or replaced, if you do suffer any damage on your travels.

Have you ever broken a bag during your travels? How did you manage it and get it back home? Do you have any repair tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

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Matt Sill

Matt Sill is the Marketing Product Manager for Travelpro Products, creators of the original Rollaboard luggage, carry-on luggage, and suitcases.

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