Locked When Loaded
Installing a new entry-door lock can take advantage of keyless
A better solution, though, is to replace the entry-door lock with a keyless version.
Fortunately, there are a number of quality replacement locks available for RV applications. RVLock (rvlock.com) is a keyless entry lock with an integrated keypad and fob; the company’s latest iteration, V4, carries a solid 4.8 rating on Amazon. Bauer Products (bauerproducts.com) is another company that has made RV security a focus. Its newest lock, the Bauer NE Bluetooth, is an entrance door handle with “close field technology” — meaning it allows the lock to be activated by having a paired device (smartphone) in close proximity. It also keeps track of locking/unlocking history and, according to the company, offers “bank-grade” encryption. And there are others.
Another choice is rvlocksandmore.com, the retail segment for Global Link, which produces locks for RVs under the Creative Products Group (CPG) branding and offers a variety of locks for RV manufacturers and consumers via aftermarket distribution. What got our attention was the ability to key alike the entryway and all compartment locks among its keyless options.
The company’s Ultra E Pro Electronic Lock ($185) keyless lockset for entry doors (installed here) uses a four-digit code so owners can rest assured that the deadbolt will always be engaged and not accessible to master keys. Dealers can still use a master key or set their own code for use on sales lots with units so equipped, but once the owners change the code, access by unauthorized individuals is no longer possible. The deadbolt works differently than the standard lockset used by the majority of RV manufacturers in that it doesn’t throw a metal rod or square “bolt” into a strike plate; the GPC model uses a mechanism that locks the door internally. Personal codes are entered on the LED keyboard built into the lockset housing and the mechanism is powered by a single C123 lithium battery.
Entry-way locksets from the company are also available without the keyless option, and for both products the handle has a unique mechanism that allows the user to pull the door at the same time as releasing the latch bolt, providing a more secure grip when opening the door. This configuration works well, once the user gets the knack of how it works — only one side of the handle pulls out at an angle. Acclimation does come quickly, but you’ll have to instruct visitors not familiar with the mechanism on how to use it to prevent adverse strain on the lockset.
Installing the lockset should be an easy project by anyone using basic hand tools, especially since the chances are good that the opening (once the old lockset is removed) will be compatible without modifications. In our case, the opening was a little tight to allow the mechanism to operate freely, so we simply employed a razor knife to cut away some of the polystyrene insulation and increase the opening tolerances, which only took a few minutes.