When you lock the storage compartments on your RV, you assume the contents are safe, right? Well this may not be entirely true, given that almost 60% of all RVs are outfitted with the same locks and corresponding keys. So if you can unlock your exterior storage compartment to unload your camping supplies, about 2/3rds of all the other campers in your campground can too. RV manufacturers do this on purpose to save money. Universal keys mean fewer lock combinations that need to be made. While it may benefit their bottom line, it does nothing to give you peace of mind. Now, having said that, I don’t want you to be suspicious of every camper who casually walks by your campsite and says hi! Generally, most folks are just out there to relax and take in the peace and tranquility of nature. Not steal your stuff! But if you want to add another layer of protection so you don’t worry about your belongings while off hiking or sightseeing (or even while your RV is in storage!), you can replace your global RV storage locks with ones that have unique keys. This way, only you will have a key that works to open your exterior storage/baggage doors. Replacing the old with the new is easier and faster than I thought it would be!
RV Storage Compartment Lock Replacement
In about 10 minutes per lock, you can remove and replace your global CH751 locks with a more secure locking system. Follow these easy steps for removal of your current lock:
- Unlock and open your storage compartment door.
- Using a screwdriver, remove the cam. This is the metal piece that turns to open and close the door.
- Next, using pliers or a wrench, remove the large lock retention nut.
- Remove the old lock.
- To install your new cam lock, just repeat these steps in reverse. Make sure you install the cam facing in the right direction (so that it works!). Face the “S” bend AWAY from the door when you attach it to the cylinder.
How to Measure Your Existing Lock
- Remove your existing lock.
- Measure the length of the tube from the threads to where they meet the nut. Standard tubular sizes are 5/8”, 7/8”, 1 1/8”, and 1 ½”.
- Measure the cam/locking arm from the center of the hole to the furthest outside radius. They are manufactured in the following sizes: 5/8”, ¾”, 7/8”, 1”, 1 1/8”, 1 ¼”, 1 3/8”, 1 ½”, 1 5/8”, 1 ¾”, 1 7/8”, 2”, and 2 1/8”.
- Determine the measurement of the bend in the cam. Hold it vertically by the center hole and measure in inches how far back the cam bends. Standard measurements are: 1/16”, 1/8”, 3/16”, ¼”, 3/8”, and ½”.
- Provide these 3 measurements to the manufacturer when ordering for a perfect fit.
Industrial Lock & Hardware specializes in building locks that are unique to only you. They custom build each lock and offer over 9,000 key combinations for tubular cam locks and over 200 combinations for the disc tumbler locks! They’ve been storing their customer’s combinations for future reference since the 90’s—they take their customer’s security seriously! Use their lock and cam measuring guide when measuring your existing lock so you get a perfect fit! Priced at $15 per lock, you get 4 keys and you can even choose free colored key covers if you want. Buy more and save more!
RV Locks & More sells cam locks that you can customize to your preferences. You choose your key code and also the cam lock length. Use their measuring illustration to help you measure your existing lock. At around $10 each, they’re inexpensive and easy to install.
If you want keyless combination locks for your RV storage/baggage compartments, Combi-Cam sells ones that can replace any standard cam lock. The weather-resistant locks come complete with all the necessary install hardware and cams for most applications and they’re available in cylinder lengths from 5/8” to 1 1/8” and thicknesses of 3/8” to 1 1/8”. You can set your lock to one of 1,000s of available combinations and they’re available in chrome or black to match your RV’s exterior. At about $15/each, this keyless style makes it easy to head to the beach or go biking without having to find somewhere to tuck your bulky keys.
You can't go wrong by replacing your OEM storage locks with a more secure option. For just a few dollars and about an hour of your time, you can replace all of your RV's exterior storage locks and gain some peace of mind. Have you changed your storage locks? Tell us about it in the comments below!