Thank you for the informative answers. We did take off the black round stop in the door and adjusted the nut but that did not fix it. it did make the inside handle almost open the door so with a hard pull we could get out the door. The black outside handle was still "lame".
We drove to Blanding UT , a small town of less than 5000 people where I found a garage that might be of help.They were too busy but called some one who might be of help. That guy knew someone who works for himself and is very mechanical. The garage called him and he came to our campsite ½ hour later !!!
The nut in the side of the door kept us from taking the inside part of the lock out of the door but he took he nut off and took the inside and outside of the whole locking/handle mechanism out. By putting the two parts together away from the door he noticed that one of the metal plates inside was bent. That is why the black handle could not make the contact to open the door. This may have been happening over the years. he did not know why it was like that.
A quick trip to his truck and some magic made the plate work as designed and within 15 minutes all was well again!!
This is not something we could have found since we were afraid to take the inside part out since we could see it was screwed into the side of the door.
So.. we learned from all you guys and are grateful that in this little town we found a bunch of people who helped us.
We are off to natural Bridges and Monument Valley... no wifi or phone...Hope all will stay well.