Are Your RV Storage Bay Locks Secure?

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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.

Standard CH751 RV Key

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 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. lock measure guide lock measure guide

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.

Follow our RV adventures! Sign up for the free monthly Love Your RV Newsletter – Receive the eBook “Tips for the RV Life” as a gift. Also head on over to the Love Your RV Forum and chat with me and other RVers about all things RV. – Cheers Ray

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