While the typical RV alternates between traveling the country and sitting in storage, one fact remains – you want it to be secure at all times. Good door locks on the RV provide peace of mind when you’re sleeping in an unfamiliar location. They also protect the contents of the RV from theft when you’re hiking and prevent the vehicle from being stolen. This is why good RV door locks should be considered an investment. What are the various options when it comes to RV door locks?
What’s an RV door lock?
When you say “RV door lock”, most people think about the door into the driver’s cab or living section of your recreational vehicle. And both of the locks on those doors are RV door locks. However, there are other door locks in and around your RV. For example, most RVs have a secure lock on the storage compartment of the RV so that items can’t be stolen from it. Access to your generator storage area or batteries may be locked, whether it prevents theft or for one’s safety. Let’s look at some of the major types of RV locks on the market.
Types of RV Locks
01. RV Door Locks with a Key
These are among the most common RV door locks. This makes them cheap. They’re also familiar. That’s reasonable since they are the default door locks for entry to the driver’s cab and living section of most RVs. In many RVs, the same key lets you access the living compartment and driver’s cab. In other cases, the same key that starts the engine lets you access the RV.
You can choose the type of door lock when you install your own RV door lock. This allows you to install a paddle handle door that gives you an easier way to open the door, and that may have 1 or 2 lock points. Or you could pick a door lock with a larger turn bar handle that you can open with an elbow if the door isn’t locked.
One of the downsides of the RV door lock with a key is that many manufacturers use a universal key for all of their door locks. This means that anyone with a key for your make and model of RV can gain access to your RV. It could force you to pay for a different door lock with a different key out of pocket to improve your security. Then it is hard to get a replacement key should you lose yours. Another issue you encounter with these types of door locks is dimensional. The door has to be a literal fit, both in terms of the hole cutout and door thickness.
02. Keyless RV Locks
One point in favor of a keyless door lock for the RV is that you don’t have to mess with keys. You can’t get locked out as long as you remember the door code. The downside is that anyone can get access to the RV if they know your door code. Information security is now a necessity to protect your property. The side benefit of keyless locks is that you can save the passcode into a phone so you can easily keep a backup without the security risk that comes with a sheet of paper shoved in the glove compartment. Another benefit of keyless door locks is that many of them come with a key fob. Unlock your RV from a distance so the kids can get in even if they don’t know the access code. A major point in favor of keyless door locks is that they fit nearly every RV door.
The hard part for many is changing the passcode or the code for the keyless door lock if it is compromised. Many people struggle to do that. Furthermore, if the keyless entry pad is damaged, you’re probably locked out of the RV. You can call the average locksmith to replace a key lock. Fewer have the skills to replace a keyless door lock. However, only keyless locks let you use the same entry code for every lock on the RV, assuming you replace them all with keyless locks. Just make sure they don’t get damaged or too wet. Otherwise, they may not work.
03. Rv Compartment Baggage Locks
RV compartment baggage locks are specifically for the RV storage compartment or baggage area. These locks are often built into the RV, but some RVs don’t have a lock for these areas. In these cases, you have to pay for an additional layer of security. A compromise that some RV companies offer is a latch with a hole for a combination lock. Unfortunately, that forces you to buy a separate combination lock and keep track of the lock and its combination. A compromise is using a keyless door lock on the baggage door, but this requires additional engineering to make work.
04. Rv Baggage Door Catch
A RV baggage door catch is a specialized lock. It essentially holds the baggage compartment open and keeps it open until you want it to close. These items make it easier to load and unload your RV. One downside is that they typically don’t come with the RV. You have to buy them separately. Then they have to be installed. Cheap versions of the baggage door catch will break. Now you lack support for the door or have uneven support. Magnetic door hatches let you open them one-handed, but you have to buy 2 pair and install them properly.
05. Rv Passage Door & Privacy Locks
A RV passage door is the door that separates the living area from the driver cab in some RVs. The passage door lock or privacy lock only exists when the RV has this type of door. The average RV privacy lock is a cam lock or deadbolt that lets you lock people out of the living section. It is possible to get deadbolt locks. These are more secure.
One benefit of this is that someone who breaks into the driver’s section of the RV can’t enter the sleeping area while you’re asleep. Another benefit is that it guarantees the privacy of people changing or sleeping in the back while others are driving up front. Note that the lock only slightly increases security. It may not protect you from someone willing and able to kick in the door.
06. Rv Lock and Door Accessories
If you’re buying an RV with keyed locks, you can probably buy replacement keys online. Depending on the make and model of the locks and knobs, you could replace the door latches and knobs to ones that suit you. This is invaluable if your limited grip strength makes a standard door knob unusable. Or that knob that sticks out is something you keep hitting, so you want to replace it with a flat door handle.