RV Door Locks and Everything You Need to Know About Them:
Did you know that factory RV door locks are all keyed alike? What does that mean exactly? It means there’s a universal key for all those RV door locks! RV manufacturers installed all the same locks in the storage bin compartments and even some entry doors. Why? This makes it much easier for the RV sales people to be able to lock and unlock doors, and storage bins, without having to carry a million different keys in their pockets. They even have a name for it, it’s called the CH751 key. For the past ten or more years, that’s the way its been. What does this mean? Strangers will be able to access your storage bins or enter your RV. All travel trailers, 5th wheels, campers, and even some motorhomes use the CH751 to unlock their storage bins. You may also find that the entry doors use the same exact key. Yikes!
What can you do? Changing the RV door locks, or re-keying them, will solve the problem. If you are going to change the locks, look for tubular cam locks or the 3-digit combination cam locks. Both will solve your security issue.
Changing the storage bin locks isn’t difficult to do. First, remove the screw that holds the cam in the lock cylinder. Using a 7/8 wrench or socket, whichever you have, unscrew the nut that is holding the cam lock to the storage bin door. The lock should slide out of the storage door mounting hole. Then do the exact same, in reverse, when installing the new cam locks. Voila!
The tubular key cam lock has a key shank which is circular and has a nub on the end. Someone who is trying to use a screwdriver in your lock is prevented from succeeding, by the lock twisting and breaking.
Keyless RV locks is a consideration for your entry door. This will give your RV an updated look, but also give you piece of mind. A keyless lock is powered by 2 AA batteries. It is self-contained and operates by touch buttons. The buttons illuminate, so seeing the right buttons during a storm, or at night, isn’t an issue. It has a programmed 4-digit pin as a password, and the keyless lock will also tell you when the batteries are getting low. Have no fear if the batteries die and you haven’t changed them out in time, the keyless lock comes with a standard key. Bauer has some great RV keyless entry systems, and they take about 20 minutes to install.
If you’d rather just re-key your door and bins, remove the door latch(es). Most latches have 4 screws that need to be removed from the inside flange of the latch, then remove the screws from the striker plate. Be careful, as this will simply drop when you remove the second screw, so be prepared to catch it. Now you can have everything re-keyed by a locksmith. This will ensure that you are the only person who has access to your storage bins and entry door in your RV.
According to an RV salesman, the deadbolt is locked and unlocked without the master key, so your deadbolt does provide some security as long as you use it, until you get your entry lock changed.
So before purchasing new RV door locks, consider these questions:
1. Do you want all new locks with tons of keys, or do you want the locks keyed the same?
2. Be sure you are getting the right size that fits your particular RV. There are different sizes of locks. If you decide on the digit-combination locks, you will find there are endless combinations you can use.
3. What type of locks are you going to use? First of all, if you are changing the locks in the storage bins, be sure you get something that is weather-resistant and for outdoor use. The storage bins are low to the ground, and they will be exposed to all kinds of weather, as well as dirt and grime.
I hope this gives you some “food for thought” about your RV door locks. No one wants to find that their RV has been broken into because someone had the same keys. A few simple changes and you are good to go.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to comment below!