You wouldn’t give out copies of your RV keys to thousands of people, but that’s exactly what RV manufacturers do when they repeatedly produce rigs with identical door locks and cabinet keys.
While it’s no longer a secret that the majority of motorhomes and towables roll off the assembly line with the same CH751 cabinet keys, I was horrified to discover that the door key to our 2007 Arctic Fox 24′ fifth wheel could open our newly purchased 2010 Arctic Fox 27′ fifth wheel.
Unlike a lot of RVers who make a big deal out of home security, I try to believe in the goodness of people and not fret too much about thieves stealing my stuff. But when my husband and I made this shocking discovery, we knew we were pushing our luck if we didn’t do something.
Coincidentally, just a couple of weeks later, the manufacturer of RV Lock 4.0 (made by JT Guardian & Co.) asked us if we wanted to review their new door lock. Not wanting to turn down a fortuitous sign from the universe, we said yes and anxiously awaited the product’s arrival.
What Is The RV Lock By JT Guardian?
The RV Lock is a remote keyless door lock with an integrated keypad and motor driven deadbolt. It’s got a sleek, modern looking design but seems slightly bulkier than a typical factory-supplied door lock. When we took the lock mechanism out of the package, I wondered if the unit’s large size (4.25″ x 5.5″) would look too big and obvious on our door.
Size of the RV Lock.
As you’ll see in our review video below, it really doesn’t stick out any more than a standard unit. The RV Lock 4.0 will replace any standard 3.5″ wide x 4.25″ tall lock mechanism. Installation takes just a few minutes with a medium-sized Phillips head screwdriver.
RV Lock Kit Contents.
Besides increased security, the RV Lock makes getting into and out of your RV a little easier. To operate the locking mechanism you can:
- enter your secret code in the keypad, or
- use the remote control key fob, or
- go old school and use a key to manually lock or unlock your door
Three different entry options means that you can exit without keys and return just by punching in your code. In addition, the key fob remote comes in handy when your hands are full.
And with a backup key you can still get inside if you misplace the key fob or forget the combination. Once you’re inside, the lock works just like any other, and you can manually engage the deadbolt by turning a lever.
Installing the RV Lock Door Assembly.
Over the next week we tested the RV Lock 4.0 and found that it added a nice touch to daily RV living. For example:
- You can leave the RV empty handed and go have fun without hiding or carrying a key
- The illuminated keypad makes nighttime departures and returns safe and hassle-free
- A remote control key fob comes in handy when you’ve got an armload of packages
- The rock-solid look and feel of the outside components can help deter any petty thieves.
Of course even the best products have room for improvement. My only two suggestions to JK Guardian are:
- Include a “0” and “9” on the keypad. It was harder than we imagined to create a code without one of those numbers.
- Lower the volume of the multi-toned beep that goes off when you lock or unlock the door. I’m sure our RV park neighbors can hear it, and it’s so loud that I feel like it could give any potential nearby criminals a head start on breaking in.
- Use more solid materials when fabricating the inner lever. While it seems strong, the lever’s feel would offer even more peace of mind if it was a bit more substantial.
The RV Lock Is An Easy – And Effective – Upgrade
Removing your old lock, installing the new RV Lock 4.0 and programming the key pad is easy with detailed instructions available in the box and on the RVLock website. Remember that four AA batteries are required and with standard use should last approximately six months. Don’t worry about coming home to dead batteries though, since an audible tone will let you know when they need replacing.
Door locks are such ubiquitous parts of our everyday lives and we don’t think about them much until the worst case scenario happens. Instead of reacting to a break-in, why not be proactive and take matters into your own hands with a RV Lock 4.0? When you install a keyless entry RV door lock that’s distinctly different and far more secure than standard locks found on millions of other RVs, the daily peace of mind that this piece of hardware provides is priceless.
Hey there, Jim from LiveWorkDream here with a quick tip for any RVer concerned about home security.
Want to see something really scary? This is the old key to our previous fifth wheel, which we recently traded in for a larger model.
That right there, is reason enough, to change the locks in your RV. But if you’re going to do so, why not go the extra mile and make them better?
We recently received the RVLock keyless entry. And the packaging said it’s got a ten minute easy install. We’re going to try and do it in five.
The first step is to remove the old door handle which is just a matter of the four screws on the plate, and two on the strike plate. Once the old handle is off, take the new one and make sure you hold the cable so they don’t get pinched, and slide it through the opening in the side of the door.
And attach the new strike plate. With the strike plate holding the exterior handle in place, connect the wires. Hear the beep. Tuck those wires in so you don’t pinch them, and connect the exterior plate, lining up the lock of course.
OK, so that took like 8 minutes. But here’s the beauty of the RV Lock, keyless entry.
All that’s left to do is program in my numbers, so no one else can open my door. Of course you can use the keypad to get in too.
Home sweet home.
There may be small errors in this transcript.