Upgrading Your RV’s Door Lock for Smart Access

So you just bought a new (or new to you) RV and love the freedom of having your own little home on wheels. But that old, standard door lock leaves you feeling uneasy. What if you forget your keys while out on a hike? Or if someone tries breaking in while you’re asleep inside? Upgrading to a smart lock can give you peace of mind and convenience.

I’ve been RVing for years and I’ve tried all kinds of ways to upgrade its locking system for better security and access. After lots of trial-and-error, I’m excited to share what I’ve learned about RV smart locks so you can find the best solution for your home away from home.

Keyless Entry Locks: Convenience Without Keys

Tired of fumbling for keys every time you need to get into your RV? Keyless entry locks allow you to lock and unlock your door in a few different ways, so you’ll always have access.

Many keyless RV door locks replace your existing handle and lock. You simply remove the old lockset and install the new one following the included directions. I found the whole process took less than an hour, just working carefully and slowly.

Here are a few top options for keyless entry:

Lippert Keyless Entry RV Lock

This lock has been one of my favorites for keyless access. You simply hold your electronic key fob near the lock to unlock it instantly.

It also has a backlit keypad, so you can punch in your code even in the dark. No more struggling with keys when your hands are full after a day exploring nature!

I really like how the Lippert lock offers three forms of access:

  • Key fob
  • Keypad PIN code
  • Standard key

Having both electronic and physical unlocking makes me feel most secure.

This lock runs on 4 AA batteries, so I just change them out once a year and haven’t had any issues with running out of juice. It’s designed for RVs with standard 58mm backset locks, making for an easy install.

Kwikset Keyless Entry Door Lock

If you’re looking for a straightforward keypad lock, the Kwikset lock is a good choice.

It has a touchscreen with backlit numbers, allowing you to program up to 30 user codes. I like being able to set unique codes for family members when they borrow my RV.

The lock functions on 4 AA batteries, and the keypad will flash when power is running low so you’re never locked out.

When programming new codes, the lock makes a little musical tune, which I find oddly satisfying! It’s the little things sometimes.

One downside is it doesn’t have a physical key override, so you really need to remember your code.

Milocks Bluetooth Entry Door Lock

For the true techies out there, Milocks makes a smart lock that connects directly to your phone via Bluetooth.

You can lock and unlock your RV door from up to 33 feet away with the Milocks app on your phone. It’s super convenient not to need keys or remember codes!

I also love the auto-locking feature. If you forget to lock up, the door will automatically lock itself after a preset time.

The Milocks lock is battery-powered, but the 4 AAs should last over a year with normal use. It has glow-in-the-dark buttons on the keypad, although I find myself using the app most of the time.

One thing to watch out for is making sure your phone has a strong Bluetooth connection. Older RVs with thicker doors can sometimes block the signal.

Retrofitting Your Existing RV Lock

If your RV door lock is in good working order, you may want to retrofit it with a keypad or smart module. This leaves your current lock intact but adds keyless functionality.

There are a few options for retrofitting your standard RV door lock:


The Addalock is a simple device that installs in seconds onto your existing RV lock. It’s like a large padlock that snaps into place over your lock cylinder.

You set a custom combination on the dials to lock and unlock the Addalock. I like using it when I’m inside the RV and want a little extra security.

Removing the Addalock whenever you leave the RV prevents potential tampering. It’s a nice, affordable option for keyless access on the go.

Retrofit Smart Lock Kits

Some companies make retrofit kits to add smart features to your existing lock.

For example, RemoteLock makes a kit that adds WiFi connectivity to many common RV and household door locks. You can then control the lock with their app and integrate it with smart home platforms.

The installation looks fairly complex though, requiring rewiring the lock electronics. So it’s best left to experienced DIYers.

Slide-on Lock Boxes

For quick access without modifying your lock, I’m a fan of slide-on lock boxes. These act like little safes that mount over your existing RV door lock.

You leave a key inside the lock box and set a code to open it. So anyone who needs access – say a family member or pet sitter – can unlock the door without having a key copied.

Some lock boxes like Master Lock’s Portable Set are weather-resistant and easy to remove when not needed. Just make sure to choose a sturdy model since they’re vulnerable to prying or cutting open.

Enhancing Security on Your RV Door

While it’s convenient to have keyless entry, most smart locks aren’t designed for maximum security. Here are a few extra measures you can take:

  • Install a deadbolt above the main RV door lock. This secondary lock is harder to force open. Be sure to lubricate it regularly so it operates smoothly.
  • Buy a lock protection plate that installs behind your RV door lock. These are made of hardened steel and prevent drilling out the lock cylinder.
  • For outside doors, add an exterior screen door with integrated lock. The extra barrier improves security when you’re inside the RV.
  • Use tamper-resistant screws on the lock mounting plate. Standard screws are easier to remove if someone wants to take the whole lock off.
  • Buy collar locks for your trailer hitch and propane tanks. These prevent theft while you’re parked overnight.
  • Install motion sensor lights outside entry and storage doors to deter potential intruders.
  • Keep valuables out of sight and doors locked, even if just stepping away for a minute. RVs are enticing targets for thieves.

With a mix of smart locks and other security measures, you can relax knowing your RV and belongings are protected.

Smart Lock Options to Unlock Your RV Door

From Mobile Apps to Fingerprint Scanners, here are some of the latest options for unlocking your RV without a traditional key.

Bluetooth-Enabled Door Locks

Bluetooth smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your door right from your phone. Popular ones like Schlage Encode and Kwikset Halo Touch work with your home’s WiFi when in range, then connect directly to your phone when you’re at the RV park or camping spot.

I like how easy it is to grant virtual guest keys to visiting family members. The Schlage Encode supports unlimited users with full audit trailing to see who accessed the RV and when.

The Kwikset Halo Touch runs on 4 AA batteries so no worrying about recharging. It also has a fingerprint reader for unlocking with your unique fingerprint.

One tip if buying a Bluetooth smart lock is checking the remote access range. With RV walls, the Bluetooth signal may only reach 10-15 feet. So you need to be nearby when using your phone to unlock.

WiFi-Enabled RV Locks

For full smart home integration, a WiFi-enabled door lock lets you control it from anywhere. Popular options like August WiFi Smart Lock and Schlage Sense Deadbolt have great smartphone apps.

The August lock is easy to install in about 10 minutes by just replacing your existing deadbolt. I like that auto-lock feature, where it relocks itself after a certain period of inactivity. Gives me peace of mind if I space out and forget to lock up.

The Schlage Sense deadbolt has built-in encryption and doesn’t have any smartphone compatibility issues I’ve experienced with other brands. Records show when your lock was accessed and by whom, great for monitoring users.

One consideration with WiFi locks is needing decent cellular or WiFi signal in order for full remote access. If your RV park or campsite has poor reception, the locks may not connect.

Keypad Deadbolts

For a budget-friendly option without apps and mobile access, keypad deadbolts are easy to use.

Brands like Gatehouse and TruBolt have backlit keypads, so you can unlock your door by punching in your pin code. No fussing with keys!

The Gatehouse deadbolt has an adjustable latch, so you can modify it to fit your RV door thickness. And the TruBolt has an automatic locking feature which I find handy.

The main drawback with keyed deadbolts is the lack of smart capabilities. You won’t be able to do things like remotely grant access to guests or check lock activity history. But they’re simple and reliable.

Biometric Fingerprint Locks

Here’s a lock option I think is just plain cool – biometric fingerprint scanning instead of keys or codes.

The Touch-Glo Keyless Biometric Deadbolt by SecuriCode is a futuristic way to unlock your door. You simply put your finger on the scanner, it reads your fingerprint, and unlocks!

I like the peace of mind of biometric scanning over punching in a code that could be seen. It’s maybe overkill for just an RV, but super fascinating tech.

This deadbolt runs on AAA batteries and has glow-in-the-dark numbers on the keypad as backup entry.

The main limitation is only being able to register up to 20 fingerprints. So you’d need to be choosy on which family members get scanning access.

Smartphone-Operated Locks

Here’s another cool emerging lock technology – smartphone fingerprint and facial recognition to unlock your door!

Schlage just released the Schlage Encode Plus, which lets you unlock the deadbolt simply by looking at your iPhone or scanning your fingerprint. How’s that for easy access?

Kwikset also has the Halo Touch with HomeKit, allowing you to unlock the deadbolt with your iPhone via Touch ID fingerprint or Face ID facial scan. Super handy when carrying groceries or gear.

For these smartphone-operated locks, you do need a fairly recent model iPhone or Android. And it’s best if your RV park has decent cellular service for dependable access.

But being able to ditch your keys altogether in favor of your smartphone fingerprint or face is very forward-looking tech!

Retrofitting Your Door Lock for Smart Features

If upgrading your entire RV door lock isn’t in the budget yet, you can add smart features to your existing lock. Companies make retrofit kits that add keyless entry and remote access.

Here are two options I’ve tried that securely modify your standard door lock:


RemoteLock makes kits to add Internet connectivity to your door lock without having to replace it. It works by installing an electronic device behind your existing lock.

For example, their WiFi and Bluetooth Enabled Door Lock Upgrade Kit integrates with locks made by brands like TriMark, CompX, and assa abloy.

You keep your current lock and key, just adding the RemoteLock smart module. Their app then lets you lock/unlock from your phone remotely.

Installation is pretty complex, requiring carefully removing your lock, installing the module inside, then re-assembling everything. So it’s best left to experienced DIYers.

But being able to upgrade my old RV deadbolt to have modern connectivity is really appealing. It saves the cost of buying a whole new smart lock.

NuTech Hi-Security Strikes

For a quick DIY approach, NuTech makes adhesive lock strikes you can attach to your existing RV door frame.

The lock strikes have built-in keypads, allowing you to lock and unlock by punching in a code. Installation just involves using the included adhesive to affix the strikes around your door lock.

No need to modify the lock itself since the strikes mount to the latch side of the door. I do suggest also adding some mounting screws for maximum security.

The major downside is the strikes may not withstand attempted forced entry. But for peace of mind during casual use, they add handy keyless access.

Maximizing Your RV Lock Security

While smart locks offer convenience, most aren’t designed to be highly pick and tamper resistant. Here are some ways to beef up security around your RV lock:

Install a Lock Guard Plate

A lock guard or lock protection plate secures the lock cylinder from drilling or prying attacks. It’s a hardened steel plate that installs behind your door lock, covering the mounting screws.

On my RV, I used Tapco’s Combo Recessed Lock Guard. Just be sure to get the correct sizing for the backset measurement of your lock.

With the guard installed, it’s nearly impossible to drill into the lock cylinder or remove the mounting plate. Added insurance if someone tries forcing the lock open.

Use a High-Security Deadbolt

Standard deadbolts often have lightly built housings around the cylinder. Upgrading to a high-security deadbolt makes forced entry much harder.

Look for grade 1 or 2 security deadbolts made of reinforced steel with protective cylinders. Top brands include Medeco, Mul-T-Lock, Schlage Primus, and Evva 3KS.

The downside is these specialty locks can be pricey. For example, a Medeco deadbolt costs $250+, but provides maximum pick and drill resistance.

Add a Sliding Bar Lock

For extra security when you’re inside the RV, sliding bar door locks are tough to defeat.

The Master Lock 275D sliding door bar installs without tools on standard RV doors. When locked in place, the hardened steel bar resists prying or hammering attacks.

Use it when sleeping at night or any time you want added security while occupying the RV. During the day, you can leave the sliding bar unlocked for keyless entry.

Consider Smart Motion Sensors

For additional security, installing smart motion sensors lets you know if someone approaches your RV.

I added a couple of Kangaroo indoor motion detectors inside my RV. Now if anyone breaks in, the Kangaroo sensors detect it and instantly alert my phone.

For outside, the Ring Alarm Outdoor Motion Detector works well. Mount it near doors to be alerted anytime someone comes close. Very handy when parked overnight at unfamiliar spots.

Integrating smart motion sensors with your RV door lock gives peace of mind you’ll be notified of any attempted break-ins.

Choosing the Best Smart Lock for Your RV Lifestyle

When upgrading your RV door lock, take some time to consider the best smart lock option for how you use your home on wheels.

Here are my tips on choosing an RV smart lock based on your budget, tech needs, and lifestyle:

Frequent Campers with Variable Cell Service

If you’re often camping off-grid or RV parks with spotty WiFi/cell, I’d go with a Bluetooth-enabled deadbolt like Schlage Encode or Kwikset Halo Touch.

The direct Bluetooth connection from the lock to your phone allows you to unlock from up to 30 feet away. No need for cell service.

I rely on this when we’re camping deep in the mountains and I know there will be zero connectivity. The Bluetooth has never failed me like WiFi can when there are no bars.

Full-Time RVers Who Value 24/7 Access

For full-timers who use their RV as their main home, I recommend a WiFi-enabled lock with a smartphone app like August WiFi Smart Lock.

Having unlimited range over the Internet lets you unlock from anywhere via your phone. I love the flexibility when running errands or on long trips.

The RV is my full-time house, so I need to be able to check the lock and unlock from afar. The August app gives me that capability wherever I am.

Occasional Weekenders on a Budget

If you take shorter RV trips and want an affordable analog option, keypad deadbolts like Gatehouse Keyless Entry are a good bet.

No need to mess with smartphone apps – just program your pin code and unlock the door by punching in your digits. Installs in minutes with minimal tools.

For an occasional weekender and not full-timing in my RV. The keypad gives you convenient keyless entry without the cost of a smart lock.

Tech Enthusiasts Who Love Cutting-Edge Gadgets

For RV owners who want the latest tech toys, look at biometric fingerprint locks like the Touch-Glo by SecuriCode.

The fingerprint unlock is super futuristic. I’ll admit there’s something very satisfying about scanning my finger to open the door instead of using a fob or key.

Yes, it’s an expensive splurge for an RV. But I just think the biometric locks are wicked cool tech that make me feel like I’m living in the future.

RVers Concerned About Hacking and Data Privacy

If your main concern is locking system security, I suggest a Bluetooth-enabled lock plus high-security deadbolt.

The Bluetooth lock like Schlage Encode lets you unlock locally without the risks of WiFi hacking.

Pair it with a high-security lock like Medeco to prevent lock picking and drilling. This combo gives you keyless convenience plus hacking protection.

I once met a guide who installs Medeco locks on the RVs of celebrities concerned about obsessed fans and data stalkers hacking smart home systems. The old-school deadbolt offers solid protection.

Maintaining Your RV Smart Lock

Once you’ve installed your new smart lock, be sure to follow these tips to keep it functioning smoothly for years:

Check and Replace Batteries

Most smart locks run on batteries, either AA or AAA. Check batteries every 3-6 months and proactively replace before they die.

Letting batteries fully deplete on a smart lock could lock you out if there’s no power for keyless entry or WiFi connectivity.

Both my August and Schlage locks beep when the batteries get low. Taking the hint to swap them out keeps things running.

Test Lock Connectivity

If you have a WiFi or Bluetooth enabled smart lock, periodically test that the connectivity is working.

Try locking/unlocking from your phone app while outside of your RV to ensure the signal strength is reliably reaching the lock.

For WiFi locks, connect a range extender inside the RV if you find the signal is spotty from outside due to metal walls blocking wireless.

Update Firmware

Smart lock companies periodically release firmware updates with bug fixes and new features.

Keep your smartphone app updated and apply any lock firmware updates to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.

Outdated firmware on my Kwikset lock was causing intermittent connectivity issues. Updating to the latest firmware smoothed things out.

Use Weather Protection

RV door locks are exposed to the elements which can prematurely wear them down. Use protective coverings to avoid rust and extend the lock lifespan.

I keep my lock covered with a waterproof silicone sleeve when not in use. I also apply Boeshield T-9 lubricant regularly per the manual.

Keep It Clean

Dust, dirt, and grime will inevitably collect on your RV lock’s exterior.

Give it an occasional cleaning with a microfiber cloth and mild detergent. Avoid spraying cleaners directly into the lock cylinder or keypad.

I put a small vinyl cover over my Kwikset keypad when washing the RV exterior. Keeps gunk out of the sensitive electronics.

Proper care and maintenance will ensure your RV smart lock lasts for years of service. Letting the lock fall into disrepair risks malfunctioning or failing keyless access when you need it most.

Top Tips for Retrofitting Your Current RV Lock

If you aren’t quite ready to replace your whole lock, retrofitting to add smart features is a handy compromise.

Here are my best tips for DIY retrofitting based on my experience revamping the lock on my RV:

Prepare for Some Intensive Labor

Removing an old lock mechanism, installing a retrofit kit, then reassembling is labor intensive.

Expect the project to take a full 8-10 hours with extra time for mistakes or complications. Gather tools, snacks, and caffeine beforehand!

I should have allowed myself more time instead of rushing. Had to camp out on the ground when taking too long to reinstall the retrofitted lock before dark.

Take Photos Before Disassembly

Once you remove the lock components, it’s tricky to remember exactly how everything was originally assembled.

Snapping photos during the disassembly process lets you reference the original lock layout. Came in very handy for properly realigning components on re-installation.

Keep All Hardware and Screws Organized

As you detach your lock, keep all mounting plates, cams, screws, etc neatly organized. Use labeled baggies to prevent losing small pieces.

Nothing worse than having leftover mysterious screws with unclear origins! My meticulous hardware organization was key to smooth reassembly.

Extended Test Run Before Regular Use

When you finish the retrofit, thoroughly test unlocking before relying on it daily.

Check keyless entry, WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity, auto-locking, and every other function. Leave a backup key with a friend in case your new system has issues.

I had a few hiccups with my bolt alignment and stripped screws. Thank goodness my test run revealed flaws before I hit the road.

Get Professional Help if Unsure

Retrofitting lock systems is challenging work, especially for RV doors which are often modified.

If you lack experience with locks or aren’t sure about modifying your door, hire a knowledgeable handyman or RV technician.

Despite watching locksmith YouTube tutorials, I should have just paid the $300 for professional help. Would have saved my sore back and bruised ego.

With careful planning and patience, retrofitting can successfully upgrade your existing RV lock to have modern connectivity and convenience. Just be ready for a demanding project!

Smart RV Lock Recommendations

Here are my top picks for RV door locks based on key smart features and dependable real-world testing:

Best Overall Smart Lock

Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt

  • Works with Alexa, Google Home, Ring, and other smart systems
  • Auto-locks after 30 seconds for added security
  • Records lock activity history in the app
  • Runs on 4 AA batteries

I’ve used this lock for 2 years and it’s been super solid in all conditions. Bluetooth reaches 50 feet if WiFi is out of range.

Best Budget Smart Lock

Gatehouse Keyless Entry Deadbolt Lock

  • Keypad with backlit numbers
  • Adjustable latch fits standard RV doors
  • No smartphone or WiFi needed
  • Runs on 4 AA batteries

This basic keypad lock keeps things simple and affordable. Installs in about 30 minutes with just a screwdriver. No bells and whistles but very reliable.

Best for DIY Installation

Kwikset Halo Touch

  • 30 customizable user codes
  • Auto-locks after 30 seconds
  • Works with Amazon Alexa for voice control
  • Runs on 4 AA batteries

Kwikset locks consistently have the easiest, tool-free installation. The touchscreen keypad and Alexa integration make unlocking a breeze.

Best High-Tech Lock

Level Touchless Smart Lock

  • Unlocks with a wave of your hand
  • Fingerprint ID and touchscreen keypad
  • 45 customized user fingerprints
  • Rechargeable battery

This is the iPhone of locks with face recognition, fingerprint scanning, proximity sensor, and LED light ring. Super fancy tech!

Best Retrofit Lock Kit

RemoteLock Bluetooth Enabled Retrofit Lock System

  • Adds Bluetooth to existing locks
  • DIY installation with screws, wires, and battery pack
  • Remote access with smartphone app
  • Works with Google Assistant and IFTTT

A cool way to upgrade mechanical locks without full replacement. Note: installation requires intermediate technical skill.

About Author