Did you know that if you have a key for your RV storage compartments marked CH751 that almost any other RVer can open them? What!? Yes it is true; many manufacturers use the exact same key for all the RV storage bay locks. I guess it saves them a lot of hassle and of course money. Now, we all know the typical, flimsy RV storage compartment doors aren’t really going to slow down a determined criminal but it would be nice if at least we could keep out noisy neighbors and thieves looking for an easy score. Most folks I know would assume if someone opened a door with a key that they aren’t in the act of committing a crime and not pay much attention. With this in mind, I decided to upgrade my RV storage bay locks to better quality and uniquely keyed locks.
Ordering Replacement RV Storage Bay Locks
I was able to order new uniquely keyed replacement locks from a company online called Industrial Lock & Hardware Inc. at http://www.CH751.com. They specialize in exactly this problem and provide a good quality replacement lock with a round security alarm type of key. Ordering the right sized lock for your RV takes a few measurements with a ruler, such as cylinder length and cam dimensions. The website has a handy printable PDF to make the task very easy. You can also call them up. They actually answer the phone! I called them up, relayed the lock measurements over the phone and in a few days the package was at my door.
Installing My New Storage Bay Locks
The new locks and hardware pieces came nicely packaged and organized with an install instruction sheet. I had also ordered optional weather covers, backing plates and finger pulls. The installation was very straight forward and required just a few tools. The only thing to watch out for is over-tightening the nuts as the storage bay doors aren’t particularly sturdy and the locks can bind if the cam nut is too tight. I used a ratchet with a 7/8ths socket for the large retaining nut, a Philips screwdriver to remove the old locks cam and a crescent wrench.
The replacement locks had a slightly different design to the cam lever using a nut instead of a screw to hold it in place. Because of this I had to use a provided small square washer thingy so I could reuse my OEM cam. The reason I wanted to reuse the old cams is they have a small dimple on the striker surface that gave a snugger fit when closing the door. It was smart of Industrial Lock & Hardware to include this.
Replacement RV Storage Bay Locks Video
Within about a half hour, I had all three of the Cougar fifth wheels storage bays sporting shiny new locks, weather covers and finger pulls. I’m really pleased with the quality of the new locks; they are a big improvement over the cheap OEM ones. With the old locks, I sometimes had to jiggle the key around to find just the right spot for them to open. The new round keyed units are very positive and smooth. I feel a little more secure now that folks won’t be rummaging around in my storage bays.
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