Saturday, December 2, 2023


RV Mods: Key helper makes compartment access a breeze

By Jim Twamley

Jim Twamley’s writings were a favorite among our readers for many years. Jim’s health finally forced him to “hang up the keys,” but we like to dip into the archives and pull out pertinent “oldies” to share. Here’s one of them:

One time we were RVing at the Oregon coast, and while visiting a local store I asked to use the bathroom. The clerk told me where it was located and then handed me a key with (no kidding) a basket attached to it. I smiled and thanked her and tried not to look conspicuous walking down the store isles with this contraption. I thought, “I should just be grateful it isn’t attached to a piece of furniture.”

Misplacing a key can be a frequent occurrence if you’re anything like me. I keep a set of RV keys on a neck strap with a quick release clip for setting up and breaking camp. Years back I met RVer Jerry Headly from Ridgefield, Wash. Jerry had an older Country Coach Affinity. He kept this classic beauty in mint condition and made a few modifications along the way.

Jerry’s motorhome had the older-type barrel lock compartment latches requiring a short and bulky key. Jerry decided to make this key more efficient by putting it on a wooden handle. Using a piece of dowel (an old broom handle will work) he cut a slit in one end, then drilled a hole and bolted the key to the extension. Not only is the key easier to use, it’s also easier to find when he lays it down somewhere.

You can use this same technique with any type of key. If you’re a welder, you could easily attach a nicely crafted metal handle.

Unlocking new RV ideas. —Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Tim (@guest_116664)
2 years ago

I went to 3 wheel combo locks on my compartments. And push buttons on the door. I hate carrying keys and the wife has a fixation on locking everything all the time.

This solution keeps me very happy 😁

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