How to Drill Out an RV Lock

How to Drill Out an RV Lock | 4 Steps Solution

Last Updated on May 15, 2022

The door locks on RVs are designed to be durable and secure, however, sometimes, you will need to drill the lockout if the lock becomes damaged or if the key is lost. Drilling out a door lock is used to remove it from the main door.

You may need to drill out the lock if you have lost your RV key or if the key has broken off in the lock. It isn’t as hard as it may seem to drill out a lock. If you have the proper equipment, know how to drill out an RV lock, and have a little patience, you can do it quickly. 

Drilling out a lock requires a high-quality, sturdy drill bit that can penetrate the metal smoothly. Let us explore this topic more in-depth below.

What Does a Standard RV Door Lock Looks Like?

universal key

RV locks are like any other lock you would find on a home, office, or car, known as a standard lock or tumbler lock. The door is locked from the outside using a key that is located on the inside.

You will find a simple door handle lock on the outside for which you require a key. By turning the key to the right, you can lock the door, or by turning it to the left, you can unlock the door. Sturdy plastic or metallic handle will be used on the handle, much like the handle on a large vehicle.

The interior of a lock is designed to resemble a traditional home. That is why the inside of the door has a standard handle. Most of the time, there is no keyhole.

A lever or two will operate the lock from the open position to the closed position. This is a safety feature since no one can lock themselves inside an RV. 

Some RVs are equipped with a double locking system where one lever operates the dead bolt lock, and the other uses the latch.

As you can see, a lock is not much different than any other lock that you have seen before. The only difference is that it is more prominent in size to accommodate the more oversized doors on RVs.

Tools You Will Need to Drill Out an RV Lock

lock bumping

Now that you know what a standard lock looks like and how it works, let us take a look at the tools that you will need to drill out the lock:

  • Variable speed power drill
  • high-speed steel (HSS) drilling bits (⅛-inch bit and a ¼-inch bit)
  • Drilling oil
  • A flat-headed screwdriver
  • A hole punch
  • A hammer

These tools are necessary to drill out a lock. If you have these tools, then you are ready to start drilling.

How to Drill Out an RV Lock – Step by Step Guidelines

cam locks

Drilling a lock is not as difficult as it may seem. If you have the proper tools and follow these steps, you will be able to drill out the lock quickly.

Step 1: Remove the Doorknob:

The first step is to remove the doorknob from the door. You can do this by unscrewing the screws holding the doorknob in place. Once the screws are removed, you should be able to pull the doorknob off of the door.

Step 2: Hammer the Guidance Point:

The second step is to use the hole punch to make a guidance point for the drill bit to drill a hole. This will ensure that the drill bit goes into the door correctly. Once you have completed the guidance point, you can use a hammer to make a small pilot hole.

Step 3: Start Drilling through Lock Cylinder:

Now, it is time to start drilling through the cylinder. You will want to use high-speed steel (HSS) drill bit. Start with a tiny drill bit (⅛-inch bit) and then work your way up to a larger one (¼-inch).

As you are drilling, be sure to add drilling oil to the bit frequently. This will help keep the bit cool and lubricate the drill bit.

Step 4: Remove the Drilled Out Lock Cylinder:

Once you have drilled through the cylinder, you can use a screwdriver to remove it from the door. Once the lock cylinder is terminated, you should be able to open the door.

If you correctly followed the steps above, you have successfully drilled out a lock. Remember, this is the last resort option and should only be used if you cannot find the key or if the lock is damaged beyond repair.

Guide to Preventing RV Door lockouts

Guide to Preventing RV Door lockouts

Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

It is always better to prevent a problem before it happens. This is especially true when it comes to locks. Door lockouts are a hassle and can be prevented by taking simple precautions.

Here are some tips to prevent camper door lockouts:

Make Sure to Have Spare Keys:

This is the most obvious tip but also the most important one. Make sure to have a backup key made for your lock. If you ever lose your primary key, you will have a backup.

Give a Spare Key to a Trusted Friend or Family Member:

If you are going on a trip, it is always a good idea to give a replacement key to a trusted friend or family member. That way, if you do happen to lose your primary key, they will be able to let you into your RV.

Make Sure the Locks are in Good Working Condition:

Another good tip is to make sure that the locks on your RV are in good working condition. This means making sure that the locks are properly lubricated and that there is no damage to the locks.

Having an RV with Two Doors:

If you have an RV with two doors with a screen door, it is a good idea to keep one of the doors locked. This will prevent someone from being able to enter your RV through an unlocked door.

Try to Use a Code Lock:

Try to use a code-lock instead of a keyed lock if you can. Code locks are much harder to pick and can help prevent RV door lockouts. Moreover, if you do forget the code, you can always reset it.

If you take these precautions, you will be much less likely to have an RV door lockout. But, if worst comes to worst and you do find yourself in a situation where you need to drill out a lock, then at least you know how to do it.

What to Consider When Replacing RV Door Locks

If you have had to drill out your lock, it is probably time to change it. Here are some things that you should consider when replacing locks:

1. Type of Lock:

When replacing travel trailer door locks, it is essential to consider the type of lock most suitable for your needs. Re-keyed replacement lock provides greater security and prevents unauthorized entry into your RV.

However, if you frequently forget keys or want to share easy access with friends or family members, a combination or digital device may be a better choice.

Additionally, depending on your preferences, you may also want to opt for a motorized lock that automatically locks and unlocks your door when you hit the “lock” or “unlock” button.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what kind of lock will best suit your needs, so consider all of your options carefully before deciding. 

2. Size and Fit:

When replacing travel trailer door locks, you will also need to ensure that the new lock is the same size and fit the old one. This is important because if the new lock is too small or too large, it may not fit properly in the door and cause problems.

In addition, even if the new lock is the same size as the old one, it must still fit properly. This can be done by measuring the door and matching it up with the size of the new lock.

3. Ease of Installation:

When replacing RV door locks, you also need to consider how difficult it will be to install the new lock. After all, you want to spend as little time and effort as possible on the installation process to get back out on the open road as quickly as possible.

If you are not experienced in lock installation, it may be best to hire a professional or local locksmith to do it for you.

4. Security:

Whether you’re replacing a broken lock or upgrading to something more secure, it’s essential to consider the security of the new lock. After all, your RV is likely full of valuable gear, and you don’t want to make it easy for thieves to break in.

There are a few things to look for when selecting a new lock for greater security:

  • First, make sure the lock is made of sturdy steel or cast iron materials. A flimsy lock can be easily pried open or cut through with a pair of bolt cutters.
  • Second, choose a lock with a robust lock mechanism. A simple pin tumbler lock can be picked with relative ease, so look for locks that use a more complex lock mechanism like a deadbolt lock or disc lock.
  • Finally, consider adding another layer of security by installing a security plate over the strike plate. This will make it more challenging to open the door even if the lock is breached.

5. Cost:

Of course, the cost is always a factor to consider when shopping for anything, which is especially true for RV door locks. Fortunately, there is a wide range of options available, so you should be able to find a lock that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

When replacing RV door locks, these are a few of the most important factors to consider. By carefully considering your needs and options, you can ensure that you choose the best lock for your RV door.


Let’s check out some frequently asked questions about drilling RV locks:

01. Are RV Door Locks Universal?

Yes, most RV door locks are universal, which will fit most doors. However, it is still important to measure the door and match it up with the size of the new lock to ensure a proper fit.

02. Can You Change RV Door Locks?

Can You Change RV Door Locks

Yes, you can change the locks on your RV door if you need to. Just be sure to measure the door and match it up with the size of the new lock so that it fits properly.

03. Can You Rekey Camper Locks?

Yes, you can rekey camper locks if you have the proper tools and know-how. However, it is generally easier and less time-consuming to simply upgrade the lock entirely.

04. Do I Need a Locksmith to Change My RV Lock?

While you could hire a locksmith to change your RV locks, it is generally unnecessary. Most locks can be replaced with just a few basic tools and a little know-how.

05. Will Drilling Through a Lock Open it?

Yes, drilling through a lock will open it. However, this should only be done as a last resort, as it will damage the lock and make it unable to use again.

In Conclusion

RVs are a great way to travel and see the country. They are also a great way to live if you enjoy camping and the outdoors. One of the most important things to consider when owning an RV is security, and one of the best ways to secure your RV is by installing a quality lock.

However, if the lock becomes damaged or broken, it’s essential to know how to drill out an RV lock for RV owners, so that they can fix them with a new one. Drilling or replacing a lock can be a daunting task, but these tips will make it easier and less stressful.

You can quickly drill out a lock and replace it with a new one if you follow the steps above. This will ensure that your RV is secure and protected against theft.

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