How To Replace Your RV Keys [5 Easy Ways]

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  • Post last modified:September 8, 2020

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Okay, so you’ve lost your RV keys. It was an accident, and they were the only copies. So what next? You may be wondering. Is there hope, or your RV immediately becomes a stationary beauty that you can’t access? Luckily, losing car keys is normal, and there’s a solution for it: Replacement. We looked into how to do this so that you can get your new keys as quickly as possible.

There are countless ways to replace your RV keys. The most common ones are: 

  • Going to a car insurance provider
  • Contacting an auto locksmith
  • Visiting a local garage
  • Trying a vehicle breakdown service.
  • Going to a franchised vehicle dealership

What’s the cost of each of these methods? How fast are they? What about their level of legitimacy? We know your head’s filled with endless questions right now, and we’ve got just the thing. In the post below, we’ll highlight each of the solutions above, as well as many other questions, such as whether all RV keys are the same. Keep reading; we have the answers you need.

A man's hand holding keys in front of his RVs, How To Replace Your RV Keys [5 Easy Ways]

How To Replace Your RV Keys?

Most car owners choose to access their RVs without professional assistance. They often end up damaging their rides. Here are some safer ways you can replace your keys if ever they get lost:

1.  Going To A Car Insurance Provider

This is one of the most legit options. If your car insurance provider covers your car keys, you’re in luck. Though you can claim on your insurance, it may affect your claims bonus. 

With the advancement of vehicles comes the evolution of keys. Many RVs and other vehicles are controlled by electronic keys called Frequency Operated Buttons, or fobs. Replacing a lost or misplaced can be costly, mostly between $250 and $350, depending on the fob’s number of features.

Coverage of your car keys is called Key Replacement Cover in car insurance. Most insurers add Key Replacement Cover as an add-on to their car insurance policy. If your insurer is among them, the only option is to include an additional payment for the Cover on top of your car insurance.

2. Contacting An Auto Locksmith

An auto locksmith can be very convenient when you lose your RV keys. They own extremely handy pieces of equipment, the type necessary to change, and create a pair of new keys. They also respond fast, and more professional ones can come through at any time of the day, whether during the day or night. 

For a fee of between $75- $250, they can solve that vital issue. Apart from handling the situation, they also open the car door for you if you’re locked in and offer services such as:

  • Opening locked vehicles if, for instance, the keys are locked inside.
  • Replacing lost keys.
  • Repairing broken or damaged keys.
  • Cutting and copying car keys.
  • Programming Remote Car Key fobs.

3. Visiting A Local Garage

A local garage is the best alternative if you wish to skip the hassle of visiting the more expensive dealership showroom. Most garages charge a fee of $50- $100, but it all depends on the type of vehicle you own.

Like a locksmith, garages have an array of diagnostic tools that can repair and replace keys for all types of car models.

One of the perks of going for a local garage is you don’t always have to go to them. If, for example, you’re locked out of your car, many local garages provide on-demand services.

4. Trying A Vehicle Breakdown Service

A vehicle breakdown service is the least pleasant choice due to how slow it is in most cases. It may be of assistance, but this depends on the type of equipment the roadside assistance service has in their vehicle and the type of car key that requires replacement.

In case they don’t have the right tools, it may take a bit longer to get the job done. On the bright side, many of these services get you back in your car at NO cost. Since it’s a 50-50 kind of deal with them, please ensure that you’re dealing with professionals.

5. Going To A Franchised Vehicle Dealership

If you’re looking for fast and quality services, you should follow the franchised vehicle dealership road. The only catch is you should be ready to part with some serious amount of cash, from at least $200 onwards.

Manufacturers often resolve issues such as complex security settings in the car, hence the high cost.

The bummer is franchised vehicle dealerships are as slow as vehicle breakdown services-maybe slower when it comes to waiting. The dealership may have to request in the key blank. This means that it may take forever before you get some help. What’s more, most dealerships may not have the necessary key diagnostic and programming equipment on site.

Can You Get A Key Made Without The Original Key?

Yes, you can get a key made without the original key. A qualified locksmith is the person for the task.

Before reaching out to a car dealership or car locksmith, you must know which key you have. This not only makes it easier for you to get assistance, but it facilitates the whole process as well. A car key is connected to the car it operates.

How Can You Know The Key Your RV Uses?

Sounds hard figuring out your key? Not exactly. You only need to know if your ride uses a car key fob, a traditional mechanic key, or a transponder key. By knowing this, you ensure that no additional services are overlooked.

The next step is to go to the car locksmith. You can as well go for a car dealership or try some DIY if you’ve got the skill required. Your choice should be based on factors such as how fast you’ll need the replacement and the cost.

What Do You Need To Make An RV Key Without The Original? 

You need your VIN, or Vehicle Identification Number, and proof of ownership. The VIN is the identifying code for a particular vehicle: think of it as your RV’s fingerprint. It comprises 17 characters- capital letters and digits that act as a unique identifier for the car. It displays the manufacturer, unique features, and specifications.

You can use your VIN to track insurance coverage, recalls, thefts, registrations, and warranty claims and identify it by examining your engine bay or dashboard. In case you’re having a rough time identifying it, just let the experts take it from there.

Are All RV Keys The Same?

Not all of them, but, strangely, the key that opens the storage compartment on 90% of all RVs is the same one. If you have a CH751 key, you need to be extra careful as your storage compartments are easy picking for anyone who owns an RV.

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If, however, you don’t have special storage compartment doors or locks on your 5th wheel, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

CH751 keys are so standard that some RV manufacturers and a lot of RVers have decided to start using more secure lock and key systems on their exterior baggage compartment doors. The good news is, there are other ways that you can enhance the security of your RV lock.

First of all, if your RV Storage Compartment has a cam lock locking system, install a tubular cam keyed lock or a combination lock. 

Secondly, remove the locks from the RV and have them rekeyed by a locksmith.

Can You Rekey An RV Lock?

With the right equipment, you can rekey an RV lock. You will need tweezers, a rekey kit, a screwdriver, and a screw. Now for the procedure:

  1. Know which brand your lock is. This helps you determine which rekeying kit to use as well as which rekeying method to use. Then, order the suitable rekey kit for it.
  2. Once the kit arrives, proceed to remove the lock from its fixed position. Use the screwdriver to unscrew it. It easily slides down once all the screws are off.
  3. Unscrewing the lock housing from its fixture is one of the most crucial steps. The next one is to remove the lock cylinder. To achieve this, use the retainer ring tool included in your rekey kit. Gently push the cylinder out of its hole, and it will easily come off.
  4. Remove the old pins to pave the way to your new key. To pull this off, you have to enter the key in the lock cylinder at a 90 degrees angle and then turn it in a clockwise direction.
  5. After, take the old key out of the lock cylinder and use the plug follower tool to apply some mild pressure to remove the old pins, which take the shape of your old key. Excessive force will cause the spring to pop out or cause you to lose the pins.
  6. Slip in the new pins. Use tweezers for maximum accuracy. Most new pins are color-coded. Thankfully, the rekeying kit will indicate which pin goes where. After the fitting is complete, enter the new key and turn it in a counterclockwise direction several times.
  7. Determine if the new key works smoothly by noticing whether the keys lock and unlock the cylinder smoothly. If they don’t, you could have fixed the pins wrongly. Repeat step 5 if that’s the case.
  8. If, on the other hand, it works perfect, fix the lock back in the right place. Be sure to use its original screws for the housing to mount it back as it was before. Ensure that the screws are tight and that the housing is fixed correctly.

Do RVs Have Keyless Entry?

Yes, RVs do have keyless entry in both fob and keypad form. Some keyless entries, such as the RVLock V4 Keyless Entry Handle, offer both. Thanks to its weather-resistant black powder-coated finish, it looks sleek and neat on almost every RV.

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The RVLock V4 Entry Handle also offers two fob remotes and an integrated eight-key pad system and comes pre-loaded with the necessary batteries, so it’s ready for use in less than 20 minutes.

Another perfect piece that offers the keypad-fob combo is the RVLock V4 Keyless Entry System.

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It has a remote fob for easy access. It also has an easy-open handle with a low-profile touch keypad that can take countless code combinations.

Does Walmart Replace RV Keys?

Walmart does replace RV keys with its self-service key-copying kiosks that make copying, making, and duplicating keys a breeze. The problem is, the machine is programmed in a particular way to replace a specific key, resulting in keys that aren’t always high-quality.

The metals used to create the key are not built to last and are cheap. When used continuously, they can become warped or withered over time. Once the grooves no longer align on one, the key becomes useless.  

RV Key Replacement Is Possible

No matter how careful you try to be, accidents happen, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up because of it. The next time your RV key needs a replacement, at least you now know what to do!

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