Securing your RV is like securing your vehicle and your home at the same time. Not only are you interested in making sure no one can steal your RV, but you’re also ensuring that no one breaks in and takes what is most valuable to you. In that sense, it’s doubly important to make sure that your RV’s door latch is strong, dependable and secure. We’ll go over the things you need to know when repairing or upgrading your door latch.
RV Door Latches
Most RV door latches use what is referred to as a paddle entry. Instead of a doorknob you might find in your house or a handle you might find on a car, these paddle entries sit flush with the door of your RV and require that you cup your fingers around the edge to pull the door latch and opening the door up.
These paddle entries usually have two keyholes, just like your home door. One locks the handle and the other typically locks the deadbolt. Many use two different keys. It’s important to always lock both! As we all know, deadbolts provide more physical security than a handle lock but together, they are hardest to defeat.
Something else to consider is what your RV door latch is made out of. Typically these kits come in plastic or metal. If you live in colder climates, you’ll want to consider a metal latch as plastic can freeze and break in certain temperatures, defeating the purpose of a latch.
Perhaps one of the more safe options is a keypad entry. These types of locks allow you to come up with your own passcode, which you can share with family and friends who you want to have access to your motorhome. This ensures that only those people you have given the passcode can enter the RV. And if you suspect that your security has been compromised, you can always change the code. Additionally, should you somehow forget this combination, these locks are typically sold with a physical key as well.
RV Door Latch Installation
When installing your new RV door latch, you’ll want to first begin by removing the old latch. Make sure that the door is in good condition before replacing your latch with the new parts. A door latch is only as strong as its door, so you don’t want to put a perfectly new RV latch into a worn out door if the door isn’t going to hold.
Next, you’ll want to insert the new latch and secure it to the door frame. There are a number of online tutorials that can walk you through this installation process. In addition, your latch kit should come with detailed instructions specific to the type you purchased, including descriptions of all included RV door latch parts.
After installing your new RV door latch, you’ll want to consider rekeying the lock. Many times, these locks are all manufactured with the same key, which means that anyone with the same latch can use their key to get into your RV. Of course, to stay safe, the manufacturers will give you a different combination of deadbolt and handle locks, so the person would need the same two keys. But if you happen to lock only one or the other, you might be out of luck. And while you might want to believe no one would do that, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For the same reason, you’ll also want to consider rekeying your RV storage door latches as these locks are also made with a limited number of key types and combinations.
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