Should You Upgrade Your RV Door Locks?
Most people would be surprised to learn that factory RV door locks are keyed the same. The universal lock can be opened with a CH751 key. This means your keys might be able to open someone else’s RV and vice versa.
Storage areas are the same. This could be great if you get locked out or lose your keys, but also could cause issues with security.
Supposedly, the locks were made this way to help salesmen. They could carry one master key for a number of different RVs. True or not, it does affect 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 would 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.
Types of RV door locks
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 and are operated by a touchscreen or buttons. Many also have a light-up system that is extremely useful after dark.
They are also very easy to install. 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 tailer. 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
RV door lock brands
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:
How do I open my camper door if I get locked out of my RV?
- 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 an 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 two years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and currently reside in South Texas on the Gulf Coast. They hope to head west for the summer season. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.