Living in an RV is great. After all, what’s not to love! You get to travel and see great places. One thing to keep in mind while traveling is keeping the items in your RV secure. Some RVers may not be aware of though is that their RV may not be very secure. 90% of RVers storage compartments all take the same key. If your storage compartment key is a CH751 key, then pretty much everyone has a key to it. This has been a common practice for over 10 years!
Your front doors aren’t much better. While typically not quite as bad as the storage compartments (although there are some front doors that use the CH751 key), RVs usually have a few keys that they use and use them on all of the RVs. I was workamping at a campground once, and someone locked themselves out of their camper. The camper 2 spots down from them had the same key as them, and they were able to get back into their camper. While it was nice that they were able to get into their camper so easy, it’s also scary to think that the camper next to you may have the same key as you!
Change Your Locks
If you would like to change out the locks on your storage compartments, then look for either tubular cam locks or the 3-digit combination cam locks. Both of these will help solve your security issue.
Changing the storage compartment locks isn’t difficult to do. To do this first, remove the screw that holds the cam in the lock cylinder. Then using a 7/8 wrench or socket (whichever you happen to have) unscrew the nut that is holding the cam lock to the storage bin door. The lock should then slide out of the storage door mounting hole. Then do the same thing in reverse when installing the new cam locks.
For replacing the locks on your doors, there are a few options that you can choose. The first is to install a deadbolt on your camper door. This may require some extra cutting on the door to and maybe more work than you are looking for.
Install a Keyless Entry Lock
The next option is to install a keyless entry lock. This can give your RV an updated look. A keyless entry lock typically takes 2 AA batteries. These are self-contained and operated by push buttons. It has a programmed 4 digit pin as the password, and they usually tell you when the battery is getting low. Most do come with a key in case you forget to change the battery so that you won’t be locked out.
Get Your Locks Re-keyed
The last option is to get them re-keyed. To do this, you will have to remove the locks from the RV (or find a locksmith that will come and do this for you) and take them to a locksmith to have them re-keyed. Doing this will help ensure that nobody else has the same key as you.
Investing in an RV Security System
Another option to staying safe is investing in an RV Security System. These come in many different styles ranging from door and window alarms, Perimeter Systems, and Integrated Systems.
Things to Look for in an RV Security System
- Make sure it’s easy to install: There is nothing worse than getting your new system and it is extremely hard to install. Trust me, there are plenty of systems out there that have difficult installation processes and wiring hassles
- Monitoring Options: The better ones have options to be able to monitor the systems with either your phone, computer, or both your phone, computer, or both
- Detection alerts: RV security systems aren’t much good if they don’t alert you when something is happening around or inside your RV that shouldn’t be.
Different RV Security Options
The Tattletale is both wireless and portable. It comes with a built-in motion detector and a battery back-up for when you don’t have the option for outside power.
The Reolink is typically a home security system but can also be used for your RV. It can be mounted to the roof of your RV. It comes with motion sensors as well as voice alerts.
The Reolink also has a motion detector and camera(s) that will send the live video feed directly to your phone when you are connected to wifi or your cellular signal.
The SimpliSafe comes with some great features like Cellular and Wi-Fi monitoring, smartphone access through an app available to certain plan users, and video surveillance.
As an added bonus, you can also pair it with devices like Google Home & Alexa. The SimpliSafe only has an 8-12 hour backup battery life, so you will need to keep that in mind.
When you have the base properly linked, the SimpliSafe security system will serve you with entry sensors, motion sensors, glass break sensors, smoke detectors, temperature sensors, water sensors, and even a panic button.
Believe it or not, those temperature and water sensors can be pretty handy. During the winter, they can notify you if your RV starts to get too cold. If you are traveling with pets, it can alert you if it starts to get too hot.
The Guardzilla comes with a motion detector and a built-in video camera. One of the things I like most about it is that you can stream live footage and capture pictures straight to your smartphone. This gives you the ability to keep an eye on your RV even when you are out exploring new areas.
The down side to it is that it requires a consistent wireless internet setup and AC power. So if you are boondocking in an area with no power or internet signal, it may not be a great option.
This security system also includes a pretty loud siren to ward off intruders when it gets triggered. It also sports an auto arm feature that will automatically arm the camera and alarm when you leave and disarm it when you return.
I hope this gives you some “food for thought” about your RV door locks and increasing your RV security. After all, nobody wants to find that their RV has been broken into because someone had the same keys! With a few simple changes, you can help ensure that your RV is a little harder for someone to get into.