Monday, March 27, 2023


Knowing this hidden key trick could save you a road service call

By Barry Zander
I just read a blog about someone who locked her key in the motorhome. What to do?  When she reached in to unlock the door it set off the alarm that she didn’t know she had, and she still doesn’t know how to turn it off.

Here’s our secret sauce: I taped a key inside the refrigerator vent outside our rig. Soon after buying our camper van, I locked my keys inside. Panic. I spent the next five minutes on hold waiting for road service to answer. That’s when suddenly I had a “Duh moment.” I had taped a spare key inside the refrigerator vent (don’t tell anyone). I quickly hung up the phone, removed the vent, retrieved the key and opened the van door.

By the time I remembered the key, the ice cream cone I had stopped to buy had melted all over my hand, but that was a small price to pay for the convenience of not having to wait for the service call. If your RV has a combo door lock or you use a key fob, you’re covered; otherwise, you might want to stow a key where you can retrieve it easily.



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2 months ago

In any situation one needs to prioritize what needs to be done. While being locked out of an Rv is a serious problem, allowing the ice cream to melt & not be enjoyed is a tragedy!

1 year ago

I carry a spare key on a lanyard around my neck whenever we are RVing. Don’t think the bad guys will look there.

Donald N Wright
1 year ago

Invoice templates on one of your advertisements. How about bill of sale templates so we can write our own one and switch with the dealer.

Robin Newcomer
1 year ago

While hooking up our new Ford Escape tow to our RV, I left the engine running and keys in car for a last-minute adjustment of one of the Blue Ox arms. Outside, I heard a click-click and realized the car had locked the doors with the keys inside. We hadn’t brought a second key set with us so after trying the outside key pad to no avail, we called Good Sam to open the doors (the car wisely decided to turn itself off after a bit). We now each carry a spare key with us. But we still need to change the key pad combo (duh!) to something we remember!

Thom R
1 year ago
  • Super C, so spare key is under the hood in a special place.
Tom Burns
1 year ago

I have keys in magnetic holder in propane area, and I have a basement key in the water heater with a magnet attached to it.

1 year ago

Carry a basement key in my wallet. Magnetic key case in the basement, out of sight, with a non chip key that will get me in the van, then the chip key hidden in the van (Class B) hidden in an area that has to be taken apart to find the chip key; If I lose my wallet, every other camper in the area has a basement key I can use. If nothing else, someone would get bored trying to figure it out.

martin a
1 year ago
Reply to  KellyR

if you travel with another do they know the procedure in case you become incapacitated or injured?

1 year ago
Reply to  martin a

I go over it with her prior to each trip, for what that is worth.

1 year ago

I put the storage key in a magnetic key box in the propane access area (always unlocked) then I put another magnetic key box in a storage bin of my knowing with the house key! So only the storage key is vulnerable and on most rigs that key IS the same as the neighbors!!

1 year ago

I’m make intentionally dumb (no chip) keys cut off at the minimum length to turn the lock, and keep them in my wallet – they unlock but can’t start the engines.

I replaced storage with a combo lock and have a hidden spare key there.

Whenever possible, use the fob to lock so it has to be in my hand outside the locking door.

2 years ago

Locked myself out of our first motor home, one inside one misplaced. Trying other keys I had at hand I found my desk key from where I worked opened the side door.

2 years ago

While staying as workcampers in a rural campground, we got locked out. A fellow camper saw us and tried to help. He told us to wait a minute while he went to his camper. Came back with his camper key and – viola! – unlocked our camper! Apparently there are only a few key configurations for ALL campers. We were lucky, but I felt a little less safe knowing this!

2 years ago

We use Hitch safe. It has saved me many a call to a locksmith. We put $10 and a truck key in it and off we go! hitchsafe hs7000

Last edited 2 years ago by PennyPA
2 years ago

Good idea, but now we’ll all have to think of a new secret place so would be thieves don’t look there!

2 years ago

I carry my Spare car key and motorhome key in my wallet. Has saved me $$ over the years.

1 year ago
Reply to  Alpenliter

That is where I keep my spare keys as well. Any key left accessible on the RV is also accessible to a thief.

Montgomery D. Bonner
2 years ago

I keep the ignition/gas lock keys in a separate place, and the house keys on a ring I carry all the time. I break the door lock keys off the ring, and take them with me to the shower. I have never locked myself out of the motorhome or RV doing it this way. We don’t have RV refer, so doing it your way won’t work for us. Supposed could tape a key in the toad.

Scott R. Ellis
2 years ago

Even if you DO have an (electrically actuated) combo lock or a (battery-powered) key fob, you’re wise to stash a spare physical key somewhere outside the rig.

Linda Hagan
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Sounds like you found out the same way we did… dead battery and we were locked out. Don’t remember how we got in, but we always have a backup key available now.

David Hartman
2 years ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

I use a spring clip and clip the key to the frame.

2 years ago

Nothing, I mean NOTHING would interfere with my eating an ice cream cone. Life is too short to waste even one.

2 years ago
Reply to  WEB


2 years ago
Reply to  WEB

I thought the same thing

1 year ago
Reply to  WEB

Oh my😉. Ice cream first buddy!

All life’s problems can be solved while licking a cone…

Case in point – you just needed a minute (and a breath) to remember your key.

James D
2 years ago

The folks that deliver trailers usually leave the key inside the water heater. My repair shop does this also.

Mark O.
2 years ago

Magnetic, waterproof key box hidden on an easily accessible part of the chassis, one door and one ignition key.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mark O.

You’re a pavement only driver if the magnetic boxes work for you.

2 years ago
Reply to  Traveler

I do the same and it’s in the propane compartment has never budged in 3 years fulltime travel.

2 years ago
Reply to  Beachcamper

You gave me a good idea, put a spare key under the propane tank on my trailer.

1 year ago
Reply to  Traveler

I have used the magnetic box for years on two separate motor homes and it’s still there. We wore out our first MH with over 300,000 miles, our current MH was purchased new in September of 2020 and we just passed 20,000 miles.

Bobby Semon
2 years ago

I changed the lock on my storage area outside to a combo lock, after locking myself out once, now I just keep a door key inside there, you can break in and steal my stuff, but you can’t start the motor home.

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