How Do You Upgrade Your Camper Door Lock?
Your camper door lock is often an afterthought until it is seized up or there is a key broken off inside it. Year-round exposure to the elements can take its toll on door locks.
Another consideration is that if not upgraded, your door lock could be keyed the same as many other factory-installed door locks. Upgrading your door lock ensures that you have a secure, reliable entry.
Many camper upgrades are focused on visual aesthetics. Although not a focal point of your camper, your door lock is an easy and relatively cheap upgrade. Let’s take a look at how to upgrade your camper door lock.
Most RV door locks and handle assemblies are the same types. Therefore, upgrading will most likely be the same regardless of which brand of RV you own.
Keyless or not?
Also, if you have multiple people coming and going from the camper, no key has to be left there. One thing to consider is you will still require a key to be kept somewhere just in case the battery dies or there is a malfunction with the keyless keypad.
Removal of the existing camper door lock
The removal process is very simple and will likely only require a single screwdriver. The striker plate located on the edge of the door will have to be removed. Next, the screws on the inside of the door holding the door handle assembly in place are removed.
Once removed, check the cut-out in the door to make sure that your new assembly fits properly in that existing space. Take the time to also inspect the door around the cut-out for any signs of water entry around the door handle assembly. Ensure that the deadbolt and striker assembly on the new lock line up with the existing holes in the door frame. There is normally a small amount of adjustment in the door jam striker plates if needed.
Before installing your new door lock, check that it functions freely. In the case of a keyless entry, make sure a number code is saved and it is locking and unlocking. Many keyless systems also come with a fob. If yours does, check the function of the fob.
Installation of the new camper door lock
The installation will be the reverse of removal. Install the assembly into the cut-out in the door and secure the assembly with the required hardware. Reinstall the striker plate. Once completely installed, test both the door lock and deadbolt for proper operation. Ensure that the door is still closing and latching properly.
Storage compartment locks
The storage compartments on most campers use a very common CH751 key. This means it is the same key for most campers. While this will keep the honest people out of your storage areas, it is a good idea to upgrade these locks as well.
Having your door and storage compartment locks keyed alike is also very convenient. The storage compartment locks on most campers are a tumbler lock that is notorious for seizing up and bending keys. In most cases, the storage door will have a lock on one side and a latch on the other.
The issue with this is that the latch side usually doesn’t close as tightly as the lock side and can more easily be manipulated by would-be thieves. The locks are interchangeable with the latches so installing locks on both sides is an added measure of security.
The added security and peace of mind that comes from upgrading your door locks are well worth the minimal investment of time and money.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.