The Convenience and Security of Keypad Locks for RVs

RVs provide a great way to travel and see the countryside while bringing many comforts of home along for the ride. However, RVs can also present some security challenges when it comes to protecting your belongings while parked or unattended. Unlike a house or apartment, RVs typically don’t have sturdy exterior doors that provide much resistance against break-ins. This is where installing a good keypad lock on your RV can pay dividends in both convenience and enhanced security.

I’ve been RVing for over 20 years now and have tried a few different keypad lock options on various RVs. Overall I’ve found keypad locks to be far superior to traditional keyed locks for a number of reasons.

Benefits of Keypad Locks

There are a number of benefits that make keypad locks a great solution for RVs compared to traditional keyed locks:

No Keys to Carry or Lose

One of the biggest advantages of a keypad lock is not having to carry around or worry about losing keys. With small keyed locks, it’s pretty easy to misplace keys which can create a big headache if you need to get into your RV.

I’ll never forget the time I lost my keys while out on a hike during an RV trip through Yosemite. Thankfully my wife had a spare set back in the RV, but if we had been relying on a keypad lock it wouldn’t have been an issue at all. I could have simply punched in the code when I got back and been inside in seconds rather than having to wait around for my wife.

Ability to Create/Delete Codes

Most keypad locks allow you set and delete multiple access codes as needed. This means you can give family or friends their own codes for temporary access and delete those codes when no longer needed.

On a recent trip to the Grand Canyon, we were meeting up with another couple who had their own RV. I was easily able to give them a code to access our RV in case of an emergency without having to hand over a physical key. When it was time to part ways, I deleted that code and could rest assured they no longer had access to our RV.

Easy Access

There’s nothing more frustrating than fumbling with keys when your hands are full. With a keypad lock you can quickly type in your code and get right in, even with an armful of groceries or camping gear.

I especially appreciate the quick access keypad locks provide in bad weather when I just want to get inside as fast as possible. There’s been a few trips where heavy rain soaks my hands making it nearly impossible to grip a small key in the lock. With a keypad, I can punch in the code with wet hands and get out of the rain.

Enhanced Security

Keypad locks provide an added level of security over traditional keyed locks. Keys can be copied at many retail stores making them easy to duplicate if lost or stolen. However, someone needs your actual access code to open a keypad lock, not just a physical key that can be replicated.

I once accidentally left my RV door unlocked overnight while camping at a crowded state park. Luckily no harm was done, but the incident made me realize that keyed locks can’t prevent simple human errors. Had my RV been equipped with a keypad lock, leaving the door unlocked wouldn’t have mattered since a code would still be required to get inside.

Top Keypad Lock Options for RVs

There are a variety of keypad lock models available from different manufacturers designed specifically for RVs. Based on features, reliability, and overall customer reviews, here are my top recommendations: RV Keyless Entry Door Lock

Overall Best Keypad RV Lock

The RV Keyless Entry Door Lock is my top overall choice for an RV keypad lock.

This lock provides multiple options for unlocking the door, including:

  • Keypad with programmable 3-8 digit code
  • Bluetooth app access
  • Physical key override

I really like the flexibility of being able to open the lock with the keypad or a smartphone. The app allows you to grant timed access remotely which is super handy for allowing guests or repairmen access when you can’t physically be there.

The lock is weatherproof, designed specifically for RVs, easy to install, and operates on four AA batteries. An included security panel blocks external view of the keypad to prevent code theft.

My only complaint is that the fake keypad panel feels a bit flimsy. It does the job, but I wish it was more durable. Other than that minor issue, the lock offers all the features, reliability, and security I want in an RV keypad lock.

RVLock V4.0

The RVLock V4.0 is another superb choice that was my previous go-to lock for many years before trying the

This rugged, well-designed lock is made specifically for RVs and offers the following options:

  • 10-digit programmable keypad code
  • Optional RFID access cards
  • Bluetooth app access
  • Physical key override

I used the V3 version of this lock for 4 years on my previous RV without any issues. It survived all kinds of weather and continued working flawlessly.

The phone app access was handy whenever I needed to let someone into the RV while I was away. I also liked the optional RFID cards which allowed me to grant access to certain individuals via unique RFID cards they carried.

One downside is that the lock uses an external 9V battery that needs replacement every year or so. But a low battery warning light gives you plenty of notice.

The build quality and reliability of the RVLock definitely make it one of the best keypad locks out there. The V4 version improved on the V3 with increased wireless range and other incremental updates.

Bauer NE Bluetooth RV Lock

The Bauer NE Keyless Entry Lock provides a very durable keypad lock option made out of stainless steel.

Key features:

  • Bluetooth app connectivity
  • 10 digit programmable keypad code
  • Optional RFID cards
  • Weatherproof, stainless steel design
  • Physical key override

This lock has one of the most heavy-duty and weather resistant designs among RV keypad locks. The stainless steel construction gives it a very solid, high-quality feel.

In addition to keypad and app access, this lock has spots for up to 4 RFID cards which enable keyless entry. This provides another way to allow access for certain individuals using unique RFID cards coded to the lock.

The Bluetooth app works well for managing lock access and features an auto-lock capability. The lock installs easily with just a screwdriver.

My main complaint with this lock is lack of ability to run fully on battery power. It comes with an A/C power supply that must be plugged in for the lock to operate. There is a 9V battery backup in case of power loss, but the lock is really designed to run on A/C power primarily. This could be an issue if you don’t have an exterior 110V outlet on your RV.

Keypad Lock Considerations

While keypad locks provide many excellent benefits, there are some factors to keep in mind when choosing an RV lock:

Upfront Cost

Quality keypad locks designed for RVs typically cost $200 – $300. This is quite a bit more than a basic $20 keyed lock. However, the extra convenience and security of a keypad lock make it worth the higher initial investment in my opinion.

I try to think of it in terms of cost per use – for something I use multiple times daily like an RV entry lock, it’s worth spending a little more upfront for the best option.

Power Source

Most RV keypad locks run off battery power, but some models require a constant power source. This often means plugging into an external AC outlet on the RV which could limit installation locations.

Battery operated models typically use common replaceable batteries like AAs or a 9V. Just be aware that battery changes will be required periodically, usually once a year or so depending on usage.

Installation Requirements

Installing a keypad lock generally involves basic tools like a screwdriver and drill. Some models may require running wires for power connections. Watching a few YouTube installation videos can help give you an idea of what’s involved for a particular lock.

If installing a lock on a rented RV, be sure to check with the owner about their policies around modifying the RV. Permanently mounted locks likely wouldn’t be permitted. But there may be some semi-permanent mounting options that don’t require drilling into the RV body.

Weather Resistance

Since RVs are exposed to the elements, you’ll want to choose a lock designed to withstand dust, rain, snow, and temperature extremes. Stainless steel or zinc alloy bodies provide the most durable protection. Make sure the lock is rated for exterior use and wide temperature fluctuations.

I once cheaped out and bought a lock that was meant for indoor use. That lock failed within months of installing it outdoors. Lesson learned – don’t skimp on weatherproofing for RV locks!

Smartphone Connectivity

Many newer RV keypad locks offer the ability to control the lock via a smartphone app. This allows you to open the lock remotely, view access history, and manage timed access.

Bluetooth range is typically limited to around 30 feet or so. For wider area control, some locks use cellular connections which allow access from anywhere with cell service. But this adds data and battery costs.

Personally I find basic Bluetooth app connectivity sufficient, though cellular options provide an extra level of flexibility. Just know that any kind of wireless access introduces potential hacking risks if not properly secured.

Emergency Override

Nearly all keypad locks offer some kind of physical key or mechanical override to ensure you can still get into the RV if the lock fails or loses power. This backup is critical – you wouldn’t want a dead battery to leave you locked outside your RV!

Make sure to test the emergency override periodically to ensure it works properly and the key fits correctly. Also keep the override key in your wallet or another secure place where you’ll have it handy in case of emergency.

Keypad Lock Recommendations By RV Type

Here are my top keypad lock picks tailored to different RV types:

Class A Motorhomes

For large Class A RVs, I recommend the RVLock V4.0. It has a sturdy design suited for heavyweight doors and the Bluetooth app access is great for these larger motorhomes where you often can’t physically touch the lock.

Class B Camper Vans

In compact Class B vans where space is limited, the slim lock makes the most sense. The fake keypad hides the real buttons and saves exterior space. The smartphone app access is also a necessity in these smaller RVs.

Class C Motorhomes

For mid-size Class C RVs, the metal Bauer NE Bluetooth Lock is my top choice. These RVs can bounce around a lot while driving, so the Bauer’s rugged stainless steel build quality withstands vibration well. The RFID cards are also nice for easily granting access to guests.

Travel Trailers

On travel trailers, I prefer the classic RVLock V4.0. Its clinically proven durable design matches the utilitarian nature of most travel trailers. And it can handle exposure to the elements well during long periods parked outside.

Pop-Up Campers

Pop-up camper doors are often thinner and more delicate. I suggest the affordable Trimark TM20RV for pop-ups which has a plastic body and relies just on keypad entry. This provides good security without weighing down the door like some heavier steel locks.

Installing a sturdy, weatherproof keypad lock on your RV provides a wealth of benefits over traditional keyed locks. The ability to set custom access codes and control entry via smartphone are total game-changers for RV security and convenience.

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