Here’s a Better Way to Keep Your Valuables Safe
Most people are surprised to learn that factory RV door locks are keyed the same. The universal lock ise easily opened with a CH751 key. This means your keys can open someone else’s RV and vice versa.
Storage areas are the same. This is great if you get locked out or lose your keys. It can also cause security issues.
Supposedly, the locks are made this way to help RV sales people. They can carry one master key for a number of different RVs. True or not, it affects how you view the locks on your own RV door.
So, the answer to the question is a definite yes. You can upgrade your RV door locks. Should you do the upgrade? I voice a yes on that too. We upgraded just a few months ago and the keyless entry seemed the best way for us. We can head to the beach, go for a bike ride or a walk, and not worry about having anything to carry other than ourselves, our dog and maybe a poop bag in each pocket.
How you choose your new door lock has a lot to do with the specifications of your door for your type of rig. Make sure you do some research before you order.
Best RV Door Lock Upgrades
Certainly, the easiest answer to securing your RV is to just rekey the lock. If you just want an upgraded RV door lock with keys, a traditional door lock, much like the one you are replacing, it is relatively inexpensive and easy to install.
An electric combination lock is likely the most popular choice of RV lock upgrades and the one that my husband and I chose for our RV. These locks provide advanced security and most of them use AA batteries. They are easy to install. Just operate them with a touchscreen or buttons. Many also have a light-up system for nighttime use.
Anyone can upgrade factory RV door locks
Changing RV door locks is an easy process. I think it took my husband a half-hour with little frustration in getting it to work. Our electric lock also comes with a key, so if the battery dies you can still open the door.
“What could be better than when you come back to your trailer and it is pouring rain, to just push the key fob and be able to run right into your trailer. It is so nice to be able to walk out of my trailer, lock it, and have the keypad to enter not having to worry where your keys are or if at the pool or river not have to even carry any keys.
Install was simple enough and took less than 30 minutes. Programming a new code took a bit. I punched it in but never got the confirmation code beep, but come to find out the code was accepted. So my advice is to check once you put the code in to check it instead of re-programming it again, Now I just have to save up so I can buy the cargo lock. This is a must-have for me and I love this lock.” – Amazon reviewer Peter
Top brands high security RV locks
RV door lock brands can run the gamut in price. My suggestion is to make sure you have the best lock to secure your home and valuables. RV door locks can be purchased from Lowes, Home Depot, RV dealers, Amazon, and many other places. Brands include:
What if I lose my RV key?
- Call a locksmith. They can usually get your door open in a matter of minutes, depending on the complexity of the lock.
- Contact the maker of your lock. If getting the door open isn’t an emergency, your lock manufacturer can ship a spare key or provide an unlock code.
- Visit your RV dealer. Most have master keys and can help you get the door open.
How to install your new RV door lock
Installing your new lock should be easy, depending on what you purchase. You can always have a reputable RV dealer do the installation.
- Remove the current lock.
- Set the door in an open position.
- Double-check that the cutout space on your door matches the size of the lock to be installed.
- Insert the front assembly of the lock, making sure the deadbolt and levers fit properly on the side of the door cutout.
- Attach the connections of the back assembly.
- Place the back assembly and screw it in.
- Program the lock per the instructions.
Youtube channel RV Project shared how to install a keyless RV lock in this video:
As with any RV upgrades, it’s always a good idea to do your own research to find what type and brand are best for you. To learn more about RV door locks, check out our previous article here.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Mini Aussie puppy Remi. They are currently wintering in Arizona with plans to continue their travels next summer. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.
So are you saying the key I use in my deadbolt lock is very common and the same as most other deadbolt locks?
Mark O Weiner says
These combination locks are not only insecure from being so alike, they are horribly flimsy. I had a lock like this on my old teardrop trailer… probably keyed alike a lot and the deadbolt is laughable. This lock is not robust, like the lock on a vehicle door and most people won’t spend money on this.
The lock on a car door is much more secure.
Does the electronic lock lock the door lock and the dead bolt?
h goff says
it locks the deadbolt only
Lisa Harris says
The down side to a combination door lock is that eventually the numbers button gets worn or discolored. I use the combination lock and had to change the lock because of worn buttons.
One aspect to consider aside from replacing door lock, would be to install a stainless plate on the exterior of entry door, this would reinforce the door and lock mechanism. You would need about a eight inch square with cutout for lock to pass thru, and you would glue stainless plate to door using construction adhesive!
Having been an RV’r for many years and a factory dealer for several brands, I know for a fact that the door locks on all RVs are not able to be opened with the same key.
Yes there are master keys for dealers and sales people. They have those because the locks are different.
The fact is that it really does not matter the make or the style of lock that you have on your entry door. The doors and door frames on 90% of travel trailers and midrange motorhomes are so flimsy that it takes barely a split second with a very thin prybar to pop the door open.
The old adage that “locks only keep your friends out” is so true in this case.
Yes, the 751 key does open “compartment” doors on 95% of all manufacturers units.
In all my years of camping (seasonal and over the winter down south), I cannot remember one case where someone has complained that a fellow RV’r has gone into their storage compartments and removed anything.
Your comments only serve to confuse non, new or low experienced RVrs that are out there.
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Charles Alexander says
Only one key on the door lock is the same for sales man the deadbolt lock is different on every rv the 751 key is for the compartment doors so dont be mislead about you security just lock the dead bolt and dont worry no one has a key for that lock
Ch751 is not used for the entry door. But yes most RVs use that key for storage. For entry doors you still don’t have great options. For almost every replacement door latch, there is only about 100 different key combinations… And there is still a Master key that can be used.
Doug Babin says
When I bought my 2017 adventure truck camper, the first thing I did was change out all the compartment and door locks. This happened because the salesman mentioned ( as you mentioned as well) they have a master key to all the doors. Worth the money and was easy to do.
RV Lock IS THE BEST!!! We have had it on our 5th wheel for 5 years and it is great. We tried another brand and we were disappointed. RV Lock is the best going in my opinion.
h goff says
yes – we have had a good experience also – i like the fact that you can use the lock keypad, use the fob and also also have a key for backup. the fob is great when its raining!
We purchased the Global Link Ultra E Pro lock with keypad for our 5th wheel, and selected it because it was constructed of heavy duty metal instead of plastic like most of the others. Our offshore-manufactured OEM lock handle just ‘fell apart’ after 6 years of light duty use. The Global Link lock is a widely available and well-respected option…I am surprised that this was not included in your reviews.
The FOB that other solutions provide did not make sense for us, as we hate carrying keys at all. And, most of them seem to be made out of plastic or cheap metal. So, with our opted to go with Global Link. Once installed (which was easy) we selected a 4 digit combination and we have access to our RV anytime, without needing to carry anything (FOB, key, etc). And, we still have the second “dealership” non-deadbolt handle lock if we ever want to leave it semi-locked while undergoing servicing.
I did have to deal with Global Link regarding an installation issue, and they were so accommodating and helpful, that I would recommend this to anyone looking to move to an electric lock.
David Hoffman says
Before you rush out to buy a new lock, try a CH751 key in your current lock. The keys are normally clearly marked. My factory door lock does not open with a CH751. Maybe it is a standard key, but it isn’t a CH751. BTW, the only CH751 lock on my home is the outdoor shower.
Very rare that our doors or compartments are ever locked. Would rather have something stolen than a door forced and broken. By the way have never had anything taken at a RV park or storage lot.
Tom G. says
Newmar does not use the CH751/751CH locks and keys on any doors, at least not on mine. BTW, I discovered that the lock on many home irrigation control boxes are also CH751/751CH.
James Stone says
What is the brand and model of the lock that is at the start of this article. My older RV has a square format lock and the new arrowhead designs won’t match up with it new paint job.
Robert Sander says
I am using this RVLock V4 Keyless Entry Handle w/Integrated Keypad & Fob for my RV. The design is sleek, very masculine, if I may say so. First of all, it is very easy to install. Next, once the lock was put in place, the door doesn’t jam. Finally, it’s so small it actually fits inside my pocket. Also, the coating prevents the elements such as water, sunlight, and dust from degrading the lock itself. I really prefer this product because it still function even if it has a low battery.
Robert Sander says
I can honestly say that the RVLock V4 is one of the best keyless locks on the market today. It is very easy to install but it keeps the door firmly locked. In addition, I can choose between three unlocking options: a key, a numeric code, and a remote fob. If you are looking for the best RV door lock to help you secure your vehicle, this one will help you realize your goal.
Be wary of the keypad for unlocking your door, I suggest using only if you’ve lost your key. Between somebody “eyeballing” the combo (not too likely) and somebody examining which buttons are pressed a lot, these are very insecure. The buttons will wear after some time making it very easy to tell which buttons are being used. It won’t take long to guess the combo from four digits.
If I had to use one, I would change the combo frequently, rotating through the digits to have equal wear on the key pad and I would clean the keypad regularly. But, I would rely on the key primarily to avoid the problems with keypads.
Steve Austin says
I installed one of these on my toy hauler and I think it was the single best mod I’ve done on it and only took about 15 minutes to install and that includes installing the batteries. Never need to worry about having the key to get in or lock it. I love it.
Although these combo locks seem like a good idea, they are not. Yes, they are very convenient, but there is an inherent security flaw with the product. Humans. What do you think will be the likelihood that an RV parked at a destination like a beach, park, or campground, will contain the keys, ID’s, wallets, jewelry, and myriad of electronic devices of it’s occupants? 90%? The combo lock is a sure sign to thieves that these items have been left behind for convenience. All the thief has to do is break the window and gain access to all the items they can be reasonably sure were left behind, as opposed to the traditionally locked RV that at a minimum the keys are not locked inside.
I had been planning on making my own locks, with keyed padlocks. But reading this gave me an even better idea. First, one or two bars across each window, so no space for someone to go thru. Then one, two, or three bolts on the inside of all doors except one. That one will be the entrance and exit door so will have a custom lock plate, likely 1/8″ or 1/4″ thick, and large, with probably two padlocks – set in sockets (or whatever you would call them), so only the bottom of the locks is visible. The driver and passenger door window would have a removable bars or fencing to prevent entrance if the widow is broken. Think windshield would be OK without. Might look a bit odd on the one door, but I really do not care. It’s fun designing stuff – why buy it if you can make it?
Dalton Bourne says
We were worried that RVLock V4 may not work in our black glass door in our Arctic Wolf 5th wheel. We love the convenience it provides. It was easy to change the combo as that was important as we use a pet sitter and we can control who has access and change the combo when she isn’t helping us.
i had continued problems with mine and finally took it out and replaced with the old lock