Whether it is the keys for our homes, cars, RVs, boats, lockers, or anything else with a lock that needs to be opened, keys always seem to be the one thing we digging deep into our pockets and bags to look for.
They are commonly lost and initiate a fair amount of panic when they cannot be found.
If you are the proud owner of an RV, you may have already experienced a lost set of keys and the uprising that follows to get into your RV again.
So, you may be wondering what happens if you lose that all-important set of keys that gains you access into your RV and its compartments?
Let’s take a look at some helpful answers surrounding RV keys:
Can You Make Copies of RV Keys?
The good news is that you can make copies of RV keys, especially with the purpose of keeping a spare or two on hand if you do happen to lose the original set.
Here is the great news! Most locksmiths can make replacement RV keys, even if there is no original key to copy.
With technology evolving every day, you may not even have to go directly to a locksmith.
Almost anyone can go onto the internet to order their own set of “master” keys for most brands of RV locks.
What Do You Do if You Lose your RV Keys?
First and foremost, if you have lost your RV keys, do not panic.
We have established that RV keys can be copied and made so it is not the end of the world. You will gain access back into your RV again.
Hopefully, you shared a spark of genius and hid a lockbox with your spare set of keys in them. Most RVers will hide their lockbox in the propane tank or battery compartment of the RV.
If your RV is still open and unlocked, when you lose your keys, then all you need to do is punch in your combination code to retrieve the spares.
If you had not thought of having a lockbox for your spare keys then follow the following guidelines when you lose your keys:
- Check all windows and doors, just maybe you left a window open or a screen door.
- Inspect all emergency exits. Larger RVs have emergency exit windows that one can gain entry into.
- Pick the lock (try using a small hair clip or wire hanger)
- Remove the door lock if can.
- Consult campground staff for help.
- Call your insurance assistance or a tow truck.
- Call the local locksmith.
The other option is to use the old standby CH751 key that has been used for more than 40 years.
You may be surprised that your closest RV neighbor will have this key and can open your own RV for you.
Can RV Locks be Rekeyed?
Regardless of whether you need to rekey a lock for a compartment door or the main door of your RV, it can be easy to rekey an RV lock.
If you want to rekey your RV locks then you will need the following tools:
- Rekey kit
Without the right tools and kit, you will not be able to rekey the RV locks yourself.
The process is easy and includes the following steps:
- Know the brand of your locks
- Remove the lock
- Separate the lock cylinder
- Remove the old pins
- Fit the new pins
- Test it out
- Place the lock back into its original, fixed position
A locksmith will charge on average $20-$50 to rekey a lock if you are not able to rekey the lock yourself.
Are All RV Keys the Same?
RV keys have all been keyed the same, especially factory door locks.
This means that there is a universal key that is available for all the RV door locks that have been keyed alike.
Universal keys have been made by manufacturers because it helps salespeople unlock and show several RVs to potential customers with just one set of keys and without having to carry around many different keys at once.
Whilst this is handy for salespeople, it may offer a safety hazard for RV owners. This is because nearly 90% of RV storage compartment keys are the same for other RVs too!
We definitely suggest taking extra safety precautions for your RV entry and locks. Almost anyone who has an RV key could potentially be able to gain access to your RV.
How Much Does it Cost to Have the Lock Changed on RVs?
As mentioned above, RVers need to consider additional safety precautions when they purchase an RV so that it is not easily accessible by thieves or unwanted guests.
Changing your RV lock is one of the most important things you can do to increase your RV security.
Of course, it is more expensive to change an entire lock instead of rekeying the lock or having copies made.
An average locksmith will charge $75 an hour to change your RV’s locks and if you want to purchase a keyless entry system you may be paying on average $200 for a new lock.
You can fit your own keyless entry system and avoid the locksmith charges but remember that you will be replacing batteries every six months for these new locks.
Prevention is Key!
While there are available options for gaining entry back into your RV when RV keys are lost, preventing lost keys is obviously ideal.
Here are some things you should and should not do if you want to avoid being locked out of your RV:
- Do not separate your keys
- Give family members or bunkmates key copies.
- Keep spares in your RV in a lockbox compartment that can easily be reached.
- Save a backup key with KeyMe Kiosk.
- When locking up your RV and leaving, always keep the keys in the same place.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.