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How to Rekey RV Locks? Step by Step Guide by Expert

how to rekey rv locks

Do you not wish you only had a single key for every lock in your motorhome? Or have you ever wondered why things are going missing even though there are no signs of forced entry in your RV?

Learning how to rekey RV locks can help you address these concerns. I know it sounds complicated, but I can promise you it is a lot simpler than it is.

Rekeying your RV locks helps you gain better security for your valuables while ensuring optimum convenience. If you want to learn how to execute this trick, I prepared a simple seven-step process for you to follow.

Things You Need for This Tutorial

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As promised, rekeying your RV locks is a straightforward process. However, there are a few essential things you need to become successful at this venture.

Rekey or Replace?

I know what is boggling you. Should you rekey your lock or replace it completely? Rekeying is different from changing the lock.

Rekeying any lock involves reconfiguring the locking mechanism – the pins – to allow you to use a new key. You can then discard the old key.

Most RV owners want to rekey their locks to unify their vehicle’s locking mechanism. Cabinets, storage areas, doors, and windows can have various locks, requiring different keys. Rekeying the lock lets you use a single key for all locks, making it a convenient option.

Rekeying a lock can also give you a sense of security. You must know by now that RVs often come with the same locks. One can use the key of one motorhome to open the locks of another RV. This situation can pose a security threat to RV owners.

Changing the lock involves replacing the entire lock-and-key assembly. It can cost you more than simply rekeying. Additionally, it does not unify the keys in your motorhome.

However, if you have a damaged or broken RV lock, no amount of rekeying will restore it. Your only bet is to replace the lock.

Rekey Kit

RV lock manufacturers provide their respective rekey kits. If you consider DIY-ing RV lock cylinder replacement, don’t. Everything you require to rekey your RV lock is already in the package.

A rekey kit can include a retainer ring tool, a plug follower tool, and color-coded lock pins. Some manufacturers also include T-pin springs, pin springs, key gage, retainer cap pins, removable caps, and T-pins. I strongly recommend studying these parts to know how to use them properly.

It is ideal to order the precise rekey kit for your RV’s lock model. It should also come with detailed instructions on how to disassemble and rekey your RV lock.

Other Tools

You will also need a few other tools to complete this project. First on the list is a screwdriver. Your RV service manual contains information on what type of screw secures the different locks in your motorhome. A Philips or a flat-tip screwdriver is always handy.

Second, you will need a tweezer for grasping and removing the individual lock pins from the lock cylinder. I know some people prefer using their fingers, but I can control my movements better with a tweezer.

Moreover, I do not want to introduce oils and dirt into the new lock pins during the rekeying process. Doing so can make keying less than smooth.

Steps on How to Rekey RV Locks

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Step 1. Determine Your RV Lock Brand

Your owner’s manual should give you information on the brand, make, and model of lock you have in your motorhome. Knowing the brand lets you identify the correct rekeying method, allowing you to order the precise RV rekey kit.

If you do not have your owner’s manual, you can search online, especially on RV community forums. You can ask forum members who have the same RV model as your vehicle. They might even give you tips on the right rekey kit to get.

Step 2. Remove the RV Lock

Get your screwdriver and unscrew the RV lock’s securing hardware. Depending on your lock’s model, you may have to remove four to six screws on the mounting plate. Taking out the screws lets you slide the lock from its fixed position.

It would be wise to remember that RV locks have different mounting designs. For example, if you are looking to re-key RV storage locks, you only have one screw to remove. RV with Tito DIY provides a special video on how you can remove and replace an RV storage lock.

Step 3. Separate the RV Lock Cylinder

Depending on the RV lock you wish to rekey, you might notice a complex locking mechanism. I strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with your lock’s locking mechanism to identify the lock cylinder’s precise location.

Once you know where the lock cylinder is, you can get the retainer ring tool from the rekey kit. Use the tool to remove the lock cylinder from its attachment.

Step 4. Remove the Old Pins

Before you remove the old pins, I suggest you read the rekeying instructions carefully. Some manufacturers require a few extra steps in the rekeying process, even with RV locks keyed alike.

Insert your old key into the RV lock cylinder, observing a 90-degree angle. Turn your key to the right and slide it out from the lock cylinder. Next, insert the plug follower tool while applying pressure on the cylinder barrel. You can now remove the old pins.

Step 5. Insert the New Pins

Get your rekey kit and check the new lock pins. Some manufacturers color-code their pins to facilitate more convenient installation. If your kit does not have color-coded pins, I suggest studying which pins go to which slot in the lock cylinder.

Use tweezers to transfer the pins from the kit to the cylinder, one at a time. I do not recommend using your bare fingers to insert the pins because oils and dirt can contaminate the pin’s surface. These particles and substances can cause your RV lock to not function flawlessly.

Step 6. Test the RV Lock

Insert the new key into the rekeyed lock to determine if it works smoothly and faultlessly or not. You might want to rotate the new key counterclockwise or to the right several times.

Observe if the key locks and unlocks the mechanism. Otherwise, you might have positioned a pin in the wrong slot. In such a case, you may have to repeat Step 5.

If nothing works, it is possible you already have a busted RV lock. If that is the case, you will have to purchase replacement RV locks.

Step 7. Replace the RV Lock to Its Fixed Position

If everything works fine after several lock-unlock sessions, you can reseat the RV lock into its permanent position. Secure the lock assembly by fastening the screws.

Give the lock a few more tries using your new key to ensure the security and stability of the mounting and the correct functioning of the lock.

Conclusion

Learning how to rekey RV locks gives you the chance to improve your vehicle’s security while ensuring convenience. Not all of us like to have many keys dangling on our belt loop or jingling in our pockets.

Was this tutorial helpful? Did we miss anything you might want us to address in the future? Share your thoughts and spread this how-to guide to your friends and acquaintances, too. Who knows, they might want to rekey their RV locks as well.