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Friday, March 25, 2011

Unintentional Keyless RV Entry

I bought an older, 1978 Coachman travel trailer which had no keys available for the compartments or entry door.  How do I pop out the plastic key bolt mechanism without damaging the bolt or the RV?And what about the entry door? How can I break in to my own RV? Nikki N. (Breck, TX)

Nikki, you could always call a local locksmith to open the entry door lock to at least gain access to the interior, but this may come with a hefty fee for a mobile service call. Back in the 70s, I know for a fact that just about all entry door lock assemblies and compartment locks had master keys that literally opened all of them. At that time, there were only two or three different compartment lock manufacturers and each brand only had a few key combinations for all locks; supposedly to keep the honest people out! But most created a master key for use by dealers. My suggestion would be to try to find an RV dealer who was around back then. Chances are one of the service technicians will have a set of master keys for that vintage. Once opened, replacement locks are readily available in the aftermarket. 

Also, some the lesser expensive, plastic compartment locks can simply be twisted open with a pair of channel-locs or pliers, though this tactic does risk some damage to the compartment door. I'd check first with a dealer and see if he has a set of master keys.

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