Are Travel Trailer Keys Universal? and How you Can Stay Secure

You have just purchased your own travel trailer and are ready to hit the road. As you prepare though, you may be a little bit worried about what will happen if you misplace your key when you are gone. You may worry about whether you need to get a second key and what kind you need for your travel trailer. 

Most travel trailers can be unlocked with a dealer’s universal key. This makes it easier for dealers to have one key to show off any RV they want when trying to sell it and can help the owner when they get locked out. The key you get with your trailer typically is not universal to other trailers.

In this article, we will look to explore how most travel trailer keys are universal, the benefits and negatives of this, and some of the things that RV owners can do to prevent theft and loss of personal items when they leave their RV’s alone. 

Are My Travel Trailer Keys Universal?

Most camper locks are going to be the same brand that can accept a dealer’s universal key. This may put your RV and other traveling items at risk of theft if someone out there has a universal key. The key you get when you buy your travel trailer will have a 3 digit number that identifies your lockset. Most users of travel trailers will NOT be able to use their key to open other trailers unless they have the same lockset.

To break it down, a travel trailer lock can accept two types of keys, the key that was assigned to the lock, and a universal key.

It is estimated that about 90% of travel trailers come with the same lock brand and the ability to be opened by universal keys. This means that even though you got a key to go with your RV, it may be able to unlock a different travel trailer that is not yours as long as it has the same key number. And you may be able to borrow someone else’s keys to unlock yours if you lose your key. This is true even if the RVs are not from the same RV manufacturer. The chances of this happening are very SLIM as there is over 1,000 different locksets.

Manufacturers implemented this universal dealer key feature on purpose to make it easier on the dealers who had to sell these RVs. If each camper had its own keys, the dealer would need to carry around dozens of keys all at the same time. If they lose one, they would need to go through the steps of making a new one. 

With all of the locksets being able to accept the same key for each RV, the salesman is able to use one single key to unlock several RVs to show off to their customers. This makes their job easier and can save a lot of time and hassle. 

Should you be worried about theft from your RV from a Universal Key?

Universal keys are out there, dealers have them, ex-employees may have one, and I have seen some for sale on the internet before, which is scary. The best way to protect you and your items from someone having a universal key would be to change your lockset. We recommend and use this electronic door lock. This upgrade will not allow universal keys to unlock your trailer.

There is no need to worry about other travelers having the same key number as yours, consumer keys are numbered in the thousands and there is a small chance someone will have your same key number.

What are the Negatives to Having a Universal Travel Trailer Key?

While there are some positives to having one type of key for most travel trailers, this can also potentially lead us to a few problems. First, it can leave you open to theft. If someone had a universal key in the past and kept the key, they would be able to get into the trailer and take what they want. In fact, they would be able to get ahold of just one key and get into as many RVs as they would like. 

Also, it would be challenging to feel safe while sleeping in the trailer at a campground. Safety is very important while in remote areas camping and the last thing anyone will want to worry about is someone easily gaining access into your trailer while your family is sleeping.

Leaving the key and RV lock as a universal one is a bad idea. This will make it really easy for anyone to get into your RV. Many RV owners do not even think about it. They assume that they have a unique key and they do not need to worry about this at all.

How Do I Keep My Stuff Safe?

As we mentioned, there are good and bad things about having a universal key for 90% of the RVs out there. This can be convenient for the RV dealer when they show off the trailer and may be convenient for you if you end up locked out of the RV. However, it does raise the risk of someone else having one of the universal keys and getting into your property, and running off with the RV. 

Since the RV door keys and factory RV door locks are the same for most of the campers out there, you should not consider your trailer as safe at all. If you want to learn more about keeping your stuff safe while camping, here is our full guide.

Not only are the locks and keys to the camper door universal, but so are the storage compartment keys. This means that anyone has the ability to get into your trailer and steal your stuff if you are not around. 

So, how do you protect your stuff and make sure that no one is able to get inside and steal anything? Some of the things that you can consider doing include:

  • Lock the door before you go anywhere. You are even more likely to experience theft if you leave your RV wide open. 
  • Get security features. If you use the RV often and plan to be away from it for a bit, then it is time to install a security system. Here is a great and simple motion sensory alarm that will put your mind at ease while camping!
  • Change the locks: Once you purchase the RV, it is time to change the lock and key. You lose the benefit of always having someone who can open the door, but it helps keep all of your personal items safe. 

Our family chose to change our trailer lock to keep our belongings safe. We decided to go with a keyless entry lock system. We have been using this system for just over a year and we love it and cannot recommend it enough. Check out our keyless lock here!

If you have decided to replace the storage compartment locks on the travel trailer, take a look at this option!

Yes, most travel trailer keys are universal and for good reason when the unit is at the dealer. Once the trailer is purchased we feel strongly that the best option is to change the locks immediately to ensure that your belongings and your family are safe. Happy camping!

Get MORE out of The Savvy Campers Directly to your Inbox!

Be the first to be notified about FREE tips, hints, coupon codes, and email-exclusive information. All for FREE!

Eric

I have been camping most of my adult life and am passionate about having the best camping equipment as well as writing. Combine these two items and you have our site.

Recent Posts

Free RV Inspection Cheat Sheet

Join our Newsletter to stay up to date on the latest RV topics and receive our FREE RV Inspection Cheat Sheet Today. Use this tool to inspect new or used campers you are looking at purchasing.

37% off RV Inspection Course With Coupon Code: WINTER37