You probably haven’t given a ton of thought to the door on your RV, but we have! We travel full-time with three young kids and a dog, so we have to both secure the door and protect the screen from damage to keep everyone safe. Here are four things we’ve done to our RV’s front door to make it awesome for our family.
Keep Your Young Kids From Opening the Door
This is Problem Number One – the single most asked question we see all over the internet: “How do I keep my kiddos from opening the door?” The basic locking handle on your RV’s door is low and easy to operate for pretty much any child that can stand up. They tend to have bright red knobs that operate the deadbolt, and the big flappy handles are very easy to yank on. They are basically the opposite of childproof.
We’re going to talk about a complete replacement handle in a little bit, but even that doesn’t solve this particular problem. The best solution we’ve found is to add an extra lock up high where your kids can’t reach. We’re not dealing with a residential door though – there isn’t a bunch of wood on the door and the trim to attach locks to. We only have two skinny pieces of metal and very little room for fasteners. Enter the sash lock.
Sash locks can be found in any hardware store for a couple bucks. Even Amazon has them if you don’t go to physical stores anymore. They’re normally used to secure double-hung windows in a house, but I think they’re actually better for this! Both parts of the sash lock attach with two small screws, so they fit on those skinny RV door trim pieces and screen surrounds. The key is placement, and we have a tip for that as well!
Stand outside your rig with the screen door closed and reach in as high as you can. That’s where you should put the lock. Make sure the adult with the shortest arms does this part though! The sash lock will be easy to operate from inside or outside in this location. If you install the sash lock too high you’ll end up having to yell for your napping spouse to come unlock the door eventually…
Protect Your Screen Door from Dogs, Kids, and Accidents
RV screen doors are pretty similar to residential screen doors – they’re easy to rip. There are a lot of store-bought options out there, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to customizing your own screen protection out of plexiglass or other materials. We picked up a Camco Adjustable Screen Door Deluxe Grille. It went on easily with a few screws and has kept our lower screen 100% intact for 16 months and counting.
Make Your Door Easier to Open and Close
Pushing your door open is pretty easy. Pulling it closed can take a bit more finesse. Our screen door doesn’t have a good place to pull on so we found ourselves struggling a bit. The handle on the solid door works well, but when the door is open halfway it’s just not within reach. The easiest solution for this problem is to add a push bar. There are several different styles out there and we opted to go with the Camco Screen Door Push Bar that matches the grille above.
Add Some Modern Technology
Every once in a while you discover a product that you didn’t know you’d fall so much in love with. The idea of a keyless entry looks great on paper, but the price is a bit of a turn-off. Let me tell you though – the RVLock Keyless Entry Keypads are worth every single penny. Not only did we get to remove a key from our keychains after installing our RVLock, we also gained a few extra bonuses that we didn’t think about before.
The RVLock can be locked or unlocked by entering a code on the keypad or by hitting a button on a key fob. Before we installed this little beauty, we only had two keys to get into our rig. Because Erin and I always had those keys with us, there was no way for anyone else to get into our rig if we were away. We have WAY more flexibility now though.
Our oldest can easily reach and use the RVLock, so she can get in or lock up if she has to run home from the playground. She is also frequently the first person out of the car when we get back home so she can get in without waiting for us. And of course there’s always the “I forgot the cable for my iPad!” after we’re already buckled up and ready to set off – now she can run back in and get it herself 🙂 We also have the option of calling someone back at the campground if there was some sort of emergency or other issue where we needed someone to get in. But really, I just love not carrying around keys!