Six months ago, in the Spring of 2019, we installed the RVLock front door keyless entry system for our 5th wheel (Bailey). After a lot of research, we decided to go with this company. One main reason being, we could order baggage keyless door locks as well. What impressed us, even more, is the fact that every order shipped would be keyed the same. So if we order everything we want, one key can unlock it all. Rather than ordering some now and some later, which would result in several different keys.
Our basket was well over $1,500. Since our RV needs: 6 baggage door locks, 2 key latches for the propane areas, 1 front door lock, and we wanted 2 fobs plus a remote control. We did not find any worthwhile discounts at the time. So, we contacted RVLock to see if they would give us a bundle discount, sadly, they refused. Therefore, we opted for only the front door handle to ‘test it out’ before buying anything else.
A full install video and blog will be found HERE (coming soon). The installation required us to do a couple of minor door adjustments for a proper fit, that we will show you. In the meantime, let me get onto the 6-month review by answering some questions and provide our experience-based assessment.
Has weather impeded the performance?
The RVLock front door keyless entry has held up in the 90*F temps and direct sun. But we are concerned with the sun damaging the plastic over time. On the other spectrum, we are anxious to see how well the plastic material holds up in the winter with lots of snow, ice, and moisture. Will the plastic crack in zero degree temps? We will find out this Winter and will update the bottom of this blog accordingly, so be sure to check back!
In the month of May (2019) we had over 6-inches of rain for the month. As with all things electronic, water is an arch enemy. Where the front door is located, depending on the wind, it gets hammered with rain. We are happy to report that despite the mini-monsoon our keyless entry system held up well.
Any key fob issues?
No issue yet with the battery, but we seldom use the keychain fob. Mostly we use the pad on the door to get in and take a key with us so we can lock the door handle as well. The minor personal issue with the keychain fob is that, to me, it seems backwards. The large buttons should be for the main door, but instead, they labeled them 2, not 1. And the lock and unlock seem backwards as well. Takes a little time to get used to hitting the correct button to unlock the deadbolt.
Is it built strong?
We are a little concerned the black plastic material will fade quickly in the sun, making it brittle over time. For this reason, we do plan on conditioning it with a wonderful product we highly recommend called 303 aerospace protectant. This product has a UV protectant that can be used on many different types of surfaces. Hopefully, it will be enough to minimize our expected deterioration of the RVLock exterior handle.
The actual handle to open the door feels as if the plastic is going to break off in my hand. Maybe I grew used to the original metal door handle we had.
How well does it fit the door?
The unit was a very tight fit. After some minor adjustments of shaving the door frame, the door remains tight to close. You almost have to slam the door closed. We also adjusted the strike plate and that did not help as much as we would have preferred. On the upside, there is no chance of water seeping through any gaps.
Is it easy to use?
The only advantage over the original all-metal RV (5th wheel) door lock is that the RVLock is a keyless entry. Meaning when you are coming back from shopping, you can click the fob to unlock the door. Or type in the code with a free hand. Not having to fumble around for keys was a big draw to this type of system, for us.
Keep in mind, the handle will remain locked if another person or you, use their keys to lock the door on the way out. Meaning you locked both the deadbolt and handle with the key. In that case, your fob and the keypad will not let you back in. Only the key will unlock both. FYI: this is a good way to lock the kids or spouse out if they never carry a key on them.
Is it a true keyless entry system?
This is not a true keyless entry system, at least not in our eyes. Being in close proximity of the RV door lock, we hoped would automatically unlock the door. Maybe we have grown accustomed to the vehicles that have this feature. Either way when we hear ‘keyless entry’ we believe no key or fob button pressing is needed to gain access. With the RVLock you do need to key in a code on the door panel, press a button on the fob or use your keys.
- I did not like that the keypad is missing the numbers 9 and 0. Only using numbers 1 through 8 seemed, to me, more of a hassle to create a secure code. However, you can go up to a 6-digit pin, unlike the competitor.
- I loathe having to click the ‘lock’ or ‘unlock’ button after keying in the code. I feel like the unit should know I want to unlock or lock the door.
- Since the door handle does not lock, unless you do so with a key, I find it to be a small problem. I will instinctively grab the handle to go into the RV without unlocking the door. This means the handle has now opened the door ever so slightly. When that happens and I go to key in the code or use the fob to unlock the door, it will not open. That is because the door is not fully closed. I then have to push on the door to close is, maybe a quarter of an inch. Then, rekey in the code or use the fob. This is only an issue if you do not use keys to lock the handle.
- Don is not a fan of the loud beep and would prefer there to be an on/off switch for that feature. The beep happens every time you click or press the ‘lock’ and ‘unlock’ buttons. It is so loud that you can hear it several RV spaces away.
- He also feels that the materials the buttons are made out of will wear off quickly. When they do, we may change our key-code, or not. At the time of this blog, we found RVLock now has replacement keypads, so our thoughts appear to be on track. On the flip side, the competitor is using a touchpad and not a button.
- The fact that the keypad and fob will only lock the deadbolt, not the handle, was disappointing to Don as well.
Do we want the baggage door locks?
At this time I am still on the fence with the remaining $1,000 in baggage door locks and remote.
I would like to wait and see how well the front door handle holds up over the next year. The price is just not where it needs to be for me to be comfortable with that large of an order. We would need to order all of the baggage door locks at once, so they would be keyed the same.
But, it would be nice to press a button when inside the 5th wheel to lock baggage doors and the front door. Especially when it is dark or rainy and I can not recall if we locked the door. You know those moments when you are half asleep, hear a strange noise and your mind goes directly to ‘did I lock the door?’
Would we recommend the keyless entry?
I can honestly say that even though you have to key in your code (or use the cumbersome fob) to get into the RV, it is worth not digging for keys. Despite the loud beep, questionable material choices, and that the key only works the door handle, we feel RVLock is still a step above their competition. You may want to check them out for your RV needs.
We will continue to update this post, especially after the keyless entry goes through its first winter. In the meantime, we encourage you to check out our other person you admire essay
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