Having an extra set of RV keys is just as crucial as having spares for your car or house.
If you find yourself without a key, making sure there is a spare on you is crucial to a safe and fun trip.
Where can you have RV keys made?
RV keys can be made or copied at Car Dealerships, Locksmiths, Hardware stores, Camping stores, and even Walmart and Lowe’s may be able to offer a helping hand. If these do not work, consider calling your manufacturer and get them to direct you to the right place.
Why is it Important to Have an Extra Set of Keys for Your RV?
Having a spare set of keys for your RV will help to prevent a costly call to a locksmith if your RV keys are lost or misplaced.
Even if you land up never having to use that spare set of keys, you will feel safer having another set of keys on hand just in case you make that dreaded mistake.
Can All RV Keys be Copied?
Most locksmiths can make a replacement key for your RV even if there is no key available for them to duplicate.
Anyone can order “Master” keys for most brands of RV locks from the internet, although there are quite a few that will probably not be able to open a deadbolt.
The following is a list of keys that cannot be duplicated:
- Transponder keys
- Laser-cut keys
- VAT Keys
- Chip Keys
- Abloy keys
- Tubular keys
- Four sides keys
- Internally cut keys
The key copying process is a delicate art.
It is important to note that when keys are copied, there is no way to tell the difference because there will be no marks or damage to the newly cut key.
Who Can Copy RV Keys?
RV keys can be copied by most locksmiths as well as many Walmart’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and camping stores as long as it is not a key that is used for special storage compartments or locks on the 5th wheel.
Can Walmart Make RV Keys?
Walmart is well known for having almost everything under one roof since they are a combination of a grocery, retail, and home improvement store.
They offer key cutting services in-store, making the process simple and easy; however, not all Walmart stores can make vehicle key copies.
It is advisable to call them in advance to confirm their operating hours and to ask if there is a key cutting service at that specific store that can help with vehicle key copies.
Most Walmarts have a self-service key duplicating kiosk that can duplicate the keys that you want to be copied. The ones most used are called the minuteKEY and KeyMe automatic key duplication machines.
These are usually found in the hardware or camping department.
Can Lowe’s Make RV Keys?
Lowe’s is a major home improvement store with locations in the United States and Canada and are known to be amazingly fast and reliable when it comes to key cutting.
Lowe’s has a cartridge-based key cutting system that is known to make blanks even better than a locksmith would be able to; this is, of course, if they have the blank available.
When it comes to an RV, you can get the key code from your RV’s original key and then have your keys made at Lowe’s with ease.
Lowe’s charges for blanks, but the key cutting itself is free if you have a master key to cut from.
It would be advisable to buy the blanks from somewhere else if they don’t have stock and then take it to Lowe’s to be cut for you.
Can Home Depot Make RV Keys?
Home Depot, being one of the biggest home improvement stores in the USA, offers Key cutting at every store and also caters to automotive as well as standard key cutting services.
It is always advisable to call ahead to save yourself some time.
They have a key machine that is located in the hardware section of the store, and on average, it will cost you about $1.50 to copy the key you require.
If you need to get a regular non-high security key cut or just a simple spare key for the door of your vehicle, then Home Depot can assist you.
Can Camping World Make RV keys?
Camping World can assist you in making a simple spare key to get inside your RV, but, unfortunately, they won’t be able to duplicate a key for particular storage compartment doors or locks on your 5th wheel.
Like most stores that offer key cutting services, they have a CH751 key that can open the majority of standard storage compartments in an RV.
These CH751 keys are available online and at most RV parts accessory stores.
How Much Does it Cost to Copy RV Keys?
Key cutting would typically cost between $1.50 and even $4.00-$5.00 depending on a few factors:
Where You Get the Duplicate Key Made:
Hardware stores will generally be able to help you. A lot of their employees do not have the experience that would enable them to give you more insight into your key cutting objectives. Because they specialize in key cutting, they can operate the machine to duplicate your key.
A locksmith or dealership will be a lot more helpful as they have been trained to duplicate keeps and program the transponders.
A dealership also carries a larger inventory and selection to choose from, whereas a hardware store does not normally have a lot of blank keys to choose from.
Type of Key:
The model of your RV will have a direct impact on the price that you are going to pay to have the key cut.
Normally older model vehicles, luxury vehicles, and RVs with additional features are going to cost you more for getting a key made.
Standard keys are easier to get cut as they have no additional features, and thus, they are easier to make and cheaper to purchase.
Vehicles with additional features are a little more complicated as they are initially made to make sure that these vehicles are secure.
Currently, most keys are paired with your vehicle with a transponder chip making things a little trickier when it comes to accessing your vehicle should you lose your keys.
Type of Key Cutting Machine:
The type of key duplicating machine also influences the amount of time and precision it takes to have a key cut.
If a machine takes longer than expected and offers more precision-based techniques, then the cost is automatically going to be higher than a regular machine.
Your local hardware store will charge anywhere from $1.25 to $2 to cut a basic key for you, whereas a locksmith would charge from $1.50 to $4 as they have a more extensive range and more variety in stock.
The cost of duplicating keys with additional features like a transponder can start anywhere from $1.20 at a locksmith. This is depending on the type of blank that is needed.
A dealership would charge $1.50 upwards as their keys are usually transponder keys.
What Documentation do you Need to Copy RV Keys?
Certain vendors usually require the following documentation before they can duplicate keys or reprogram keys for your vehicle:
- Vehicle make and model
- Registration number
- Copy of your Identification
- Proof of address
This is in order to verify that you are the owner of the vehicle that you need keys copied for.
Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s have a self-service kiosk that will allow anyone in possession of a non-restricted key to duplicate it without any verification, so make sure you know exactly where your keys are at all times.
In the long run, it is beneficial to be in possession of an extra key for your RV just in case your original key gets damaged or misplaced.
Many RV manufacturers have started to use more secure locking systems on their baggage door compartments to reduce the risk of theft.
Although a lot of stores would be able to cut a simple key that you could use to access your vehicle, it is possible that the transponder will not work, and even though you will be able to turn on the ignition, the RV will more than likely not start.
Only a dealer or a capable locksmith will be able to program this for you, and high-security keys such as ASSA ABLOY and Medico will not be able to be copied or duplicated unless you take it back to where the original key came from.
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.