Installing the keyless RVLock on a motorhome (Super Easy Upgrade)

 Installing the keyless RVLock on a motorhome (Super Easy Upgrade)

We just installed the keyless RVLock to replace the standard center door handle and lock on our motorhome and it is one of the best upgrades we have done to our RV.

We just installed the keyless RVLock to replace the standard center door handle and RV lock on our motorhome and it is one of the best upgrades we have done to our RV.

Let me first say we did this on our Class C Leisure Travel Vans Wonder on the Ford Transit chassis. But the RVLock product will work as a replacement lock on fifth wheels, most any motorhome, and pretty much any kind of travel trailer on the market

The company that makes the RVLock has a wide variety of these keyless entry system solutions that will fit both right and left-hand opens.

They come with a remote key fob and, even though it is advertised as a keyless system, a couple of keys if you prefer to also have that.

Why we decided to replace the door clock

We're talking about the center door lock to the motorhome itself, not the up-front cab door locks for the motorhome.

Like most RVs, our unit came with a key fob that unlocks and locks both the cab chassis driver's and passenger doors and the center door as well.

When it works, it is very convenient. Just push the fob and the motorhome door opens and locks with the other two doors.

Notice I said when it works.

That's the problem. The key fob can be quite temperamental. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

We've had five other RVs over the years and we had this same problem with all of them. Sometimes, the battery in the remote fob runs down. Sometimes the electronic contacts in the door itself need cleaning.

But more often than not, it just doesn't work. Even though that fob always works with the cab doors, the same can not be said of the center door to the motorhome. No matter what chassis or brand RV we had.

That required me to dig out the keys and manually lock that door.

Which meant that I always had to have the keys with me.

Usually, I did. But not always.

And Jennifer keeps her keys in her purse, which is usually inside the RV.

That darn RV entry door would stay locked until we fished out a key, or we went in through the cab and crawled over the front seats to unlock the door from the inside.

For me, the clear solution was a new lock Preferably a keyless RV lock for the RV door.

The main reason why I bought the RVLock

Photo of the RVLock

I wanted a lock that I could open without a key, without a fob by simply pressing a combination of numbers in an integrated keypad

I didn't want to always have to carry my set of keys and a fob with me.

I wanted

Let me make it clear, I paid full retail for my new lock I have no relationship with the company, although I am using my Amazon affiliate link for it. That gives me a small commission if you buy it from that link.

The lock sells for $209 and offers a keyless entry handle with a push-button keypad combination lock that can be set for whatever four-number sequence you want. There is a standard key and there is also a remote fob I put both of those on the same key ring as my RV key and the old fob. But the main draw for me is the keypad entry.

We made an entire video of the installation process of the RVLock and how it works. Click below to see and then keep scrolling down for more information about this project.

Installing the RV Lock

The RVLock advertises itself as a 10-minute install.

Right.

Don't believe that.

Maybe if you are very lucky, have all the right tools close at hand and have done this a gazillion times… maybe then it can be done in 10 minutes.

I was about to try and install this myself. But Jennifer, knowing that I am probably the unhandy handyman you could ever find, suggested that I get some help. Besides, it was cold out and when you are shivering, you hurry. And haste never helps when doing mechanical things.

Since I was heading to my RV dealer (Holland Motor Homes in Holland, MI) for a couple of factory service updates, I brought along the new lock and asked if I could add it to my repair job. Kyle, the service tech who usually works on our RV, agreed.

I showed him the box with the claim that it would be no more than a 10-minute installation job.

Kyle did it in 30 minutes.

I would have given up long before. Besides not having the right tools, I didn't have the mechanical problem-solving skills that Kyle did.

Installation Problems with the RV Lock

problem installing RVLock
We had to trim a little around the opening to make the RVLock fir

Yes, there were some.

More mechanically-inclined RV owners undoubtedly could master this install by themselves. But I'm glad I had Kyle.

The first step was removing the old lock. That consisted of taking out several screws and unplugging the electrical connector for the wireless lock mechanism. That was a piece of cake.

RVLock installation problem #1

When you purchase the RVLock you have an assortment of different locks to choose from, each matching the specific locks they will be replacing. The one I picked was the right match for our RV.

We should have been able to just put it right in from where we took out the old one.

But it didn't match. Not perfectly.

The opening was just a tiny bit too tight for the new RVLock.

I would have tried to force it. Not a good idea.

Kyle just took out a pencil, noted the opening was too tight, and then put down a piece of tape, which he marked with a pencil for trimming with a small electric saw. The tape was to prevent the paint around the door from chipping.

That done, the new lock fit perfectly. It was just a little nip and tuck cut.

I didn't have such a saw, wouldn't have known about the tape and would have been on the phone with customer service accusing them of sending me the wrong lock.

With the new lock in place, we ran into another little glitch.

RVLock installation problem #2

A couple of mounting screws for the new lock didn't want to go back in the holes where it attaches to the door.

Again, Kyle knew just what to do and had the perfect tool to use. Sometimes, he said, the old holes get a piece of metal in them that causes an issue when you remove the original screw and then try to reinsert it. Kyle used a small little tool to retap the screw holes (as you can see in the video).

If I was installing it, I probably would have forced the screws in, stripping them and thus not being able to firmly mount the RVLock.

RVLock installation problem #3

photo of taping around the rvlock
We taped around the lock to cover up where the white paint showed through because the new RVLock was not quite as large on the outside as the old

Problem three was a cosmetic one.

The new lock did not completely cover the exact same shape of the old lock. Thus, a small band of white paint – which was covered up with the original lock – now showed around the new. Kyle solved that with some sort of special black tape that he expertly used to wrap around the new lock and make it look just like a factory install.

And then, there was issue number four. The new keyless RV door lock pins that go into the receiving part of the door frame needed a slight adjustment. I would have thought the key latch didn't fit. Kyle took out an Allen wrench and made a couple of slight adjustments. It fit.

rv lock adjustment photo
An Allen wrench adjusted the RV Lock so it matched the mounting latch in the door frame.

Operating the RVLock

The first thing Kyle did after finishing the installation process and adjusting the new keyless door lock was run it through the paces.

He made sure the deadbolt lock worked, that the RV handles were properly functioning and that the new remote keypad operated the electronic lock There is a little switch on the bottom inside of the lock that has to be turned on.

Then it was time to use the default code to make sure the locking system was operating that way, We followed the instructions that came with the RVlock system to then program in our own keycode.

Audible tones signify when it is locked and unlocked. They can be heard right next to the lock but are not loud enough to disturb campground neighbors.

The RVLock people say the eight different numbers on their keyless entry door handle can generate over one million possible combinations. We came up with our own four-number sequence. And we plan to change it regularly.

The keyless lock worked perfectly. I watched the deadbolt and the locking mechanism activate and deactivate through the strike plate And even though Kyle did all the work, I felt pretty proud of myself.

He made an easy installation of the whole lot He noted that the RVLock came with very clear instructions

But I'm just glad he did it, instead of me. And I'm also glad that in watching him do the install, I learned a lot myself.

We're loving our new keyless handle and are delighted with the convenience of keyless entry and the peace of mind we have in knowing we have a reliable lock that will work when we don't have our keys or a fob with us.

More about the RVLock

Here is some more info on the RVLock.

There are two different key slots on the face of the lock. The bottom lock is the deadbolt that the remote and the keypad opens. The top one locks the handle. If you lock the top lock the remote or the keypad will only unlock the bottom lock and you will still have to use the key to unlock the top lock.

The keypad is weatherproofed to keep the lock safe from the elements. It is backlit to access at night. Just touch the pad and it will illuminate so you can enter the code.

When the door is closed and you are inside the RV, the deadbolt and the door lock can be activated by two red knobs.

The RVLock is powered by four AA batteries. The company suggests a battery life of five to six months and that you should remove them when the RV is not being used in the winter during very cold weather. We've used ous in winter camping when the temps dropped into the single digits and had no problems.

When the batteries run down, you'll hear a rapid beeping from the lock. They are very easy to replace. Just remove three screws on the inside of the RVLock, pop out the old batteries and push in the new. The replacement process takes about a minute.

You can pretty much put this lock on all recreational vehicles whether a travel trailer motorhome, 5th wheel, or most any other kind of camper.

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Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

2 Comments

  • Mike, Just some, hopefully helpful, info on RV coach door locks. We have an LTV Unity Island Bed (2017). We ordered the keyless Bauer from the factory. The electric motor wore out recently. We ordered the newest Bauer (BP-12EMRVRHBT). It fits exactly like the original. A 5 minute install! It is keyless and uses blue tooth instead of a fob! The sale price was $239 (full $299). Thank you for all of your insights!!

  • Mike and Jennifer,
    Great video illustrating that not all upgrades are as easy as one might think. We purchased the RV Lock also and love it, especially the keypad. When out and about hiking, Jeeping, kayaking, biking, or exploring, we never have to worry about remembering the RV keys or if go off separately, each having to carry a key. The remote fob is stored away with our extra keys and the original batteries are still working on the RV Lock after 12 month of daily use. The issue with the length of the bolts and the unpainted area around the original door lock were experienced also. I like your RV Techs idea of the black tape around the RV Lock to cover the unpainted areas. We purchased a decal from RV Lock, but it was just a little too narrow to cover all the unpainted area. Thanks again for sharing your experience and tips.

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