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Old 01-14-2015, 12:04 PM   #1
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KEYS- are THREE sets enough? Trailer & Hitch lock

When we travel with the Airstream following close behind, we carry TWO sets of keys and leave a THIRD set at home.

My wife carries the two keys for the front entry AND the key to unlock the "hitch lock". I carry the same AND the, now, single key to open the outside compartments. The other outside compartment key is in the tailer, just in case I lose my ring... my wife and I can enter with her set AND retrieve the compartment key.

This is especially important since we spend most of our camping away from a lock smith or "safe cracker" who may be wandering through the mountains or desert. I carry the tow vehicle keys on one ring and the trailer keys on the second. After doing this for years I can actually FEEL that both sets are in my pocket. My loose change and things I find while refueling go into my left pocket.

Women carry a small suitcase of supporting supplies for any event that might occur while traveling. I carry everything on "my person". My wallet is folded up and fits into my back pocket when traveling in the back country. If it is NOT in my pocket... I know it is not there instantly. Having recovered a wallet at an Einstein's Bagels, once, and taking it to the cashier... I know they can drop out of the back pocket using a stall in a restroom environment. The manager knew the person... small world. In a crowd, the wallet goes into the front pocket. American tourists now have "fanny packs" to secure anything of value... when traveling abroad with large crowds.

The key for the hitch lock is critical. Lose it, and you will be hard pressed to find someone with tools to saw or torch it off. A locksmith can get into the trailer pretty easy by picking them. A thief knows which window to break and reach the hand locking mechanisms from looking at trailers at the RV sales lots. Be aware of that. BUT for someone to back up, attach your trailer without a hitch lock... it can be quick. Professionals would be difficult to discourage, but the vast majority of thieves are opportunistic and go after the easier targets.

I used a Diverstech lock DT25013 with the 2006 23 footer. It fits a bit loose, but it is not coming off. It used a standard key that is probably a bit easier to pick by a lock smith if necessary. I let it go with the sale of that trailer last Fall.

The current hitch lock is a Trimax with an ACE key. A bit more of a challenge to pick an ACE lock, I suppose. Even slot machine cash boxes are/were secured by ACE locks... which tells you that they are a bit more difficult to open. Keys and locks evolve as opportunists become educated on "opening secure locking systems". When restoring slot machines I had to drill some locks out and the ACE was a real time consumer!

I figured out the combination to a walk in safe built in 1934. After I, totally ignorant about 1000 pound bank safe doors... can figure it out... from the inside out that is, nothing is impossible. It took more time to remove the inside hardened steel cover to get to the lock mechanism. I was not too impressed... with how simple the mechanism is.

Our biggest fear is losing the Tow Vehicle's key and/or the Trailer's. Hitch hiking is a terrible option. Once we leave the house... we each carry on our person all of the keys. A thief is more likely to DRILL OUT the trailer locks... and the hitch lock key... but not likely. At an RV Park it would be a bit obvious and in the back country... the trailer owner could be a hunter with no sense of humor.

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Old 01-14-2015, 12:29 PM   #2
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Hi, first off, I have two sets of trailer keys and two sets of tow vehicle keys. I carry one of each in my pocket/s. I keep a tow vehicle key in my trailer and a set of trailer keys inside of my tow vehicle. My tow vehicle/s have keyless entry too. I have since made extra sets of keys for all. I had an extra set of trailer keys for the dog sitter. [my wife also uses this set] We should never be locked out of anything. I also have several more spares for my trailer just in case. I might never need them, but feel better knowing that I have them.


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Old 01-14-2015, 01:01 PM   #3
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We carry multiple sets for everything, plus some hidden ones.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
A thief is more likely to DRILL OUT the trailer locks... and the hitch lock key... but not likely.
Or simply drive a thin screwdriver into the lock and give the screwdriver a good twist with a pair of channel-locks to shear the pins in the lock and open the door. Much faster and quieter than a drill.

Oh, the things you learn during a misspent youth…

Lest anyone think I'm some kind of burglar, let me add that I only used that technique to break into my own apartment when I locked myself out. I figured the door lock was cheaper to replace than a broken window. And more discrete, too.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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KEYS- are THREE sets enough? Trailer & Hitch lock

Fulltimer, here.

I have a master key set. It is composed of first originals. It stays put. Second originals are for heir/executor.

The other key sets are partials and consist of copies. Use of said copies is according to duties; as in, one I use when on-duty which is usually traveling; the second is used when off-duty, has more keys, and relates to responsibilities in private life.

In like vein, a shirt pocket wallet under button work or play; with pants, trousers or shorts with extra deep pockets and/or closures to keep keys secure.

Disablement of TV remote door lock opener via fuse removal. (Convenience is over-rated). The TV has manual transmission which may as well be an antitheft device; plus a Ravelco key.

The TT has several locking devices to discourage quick theft. The Hensley is its own sort of antitheft, as well.

Getting into either vehicle isn't hard, but ease in taking them away is another thing.

Keys are for my convenience.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:14 PM   #6
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We carry three sets of everything. One on me, one on my wife and one hidden. Plus the TV truck has a key pad entry system. So far works well. Keys NOT used often are on a ring and hang on a clip from our belts. Ignition key for truck is in pockets as is entry keys for the AS.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
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Two sets weren't enough for us one weekend. I left the wife at the campground and she locked herself out of the AS and the AS and truck keys inside. Luckily she was able to crawl into the storage hatch under the front bed and get inside.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #8
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We each carry TV keys, and I carry trailer keys. The second set of trailer keys are in the TV. the Trailer key rings each have ALL the keys for the trailer, hitch lock, and compartments. This has worked for us so far.

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Old 01-14-2015, 01:52 PM   #9
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Protagonist: Oh, the things you learn during a misspent youth…

Yes. I did break into my Piggy Bank when finding loose change was at a low point in parking lots, or pop bottle returns.

Some of the most secure locks I had to deal with were 1930's to 1949 Mills Slot Machine locks on their back door and cash boxes. They also are expensive to replace if you drill them out. The brass key had a groove on each side with different "pins" to align in order to open. IF I could get the cabinet apart, I could take the lock apart and insert a key and swaps pins around. Or just remove them entirely so you could use your... screwdriver as a key, or any key that fit into the slot. These locks were precision pin and spring marvels!

Many... actually too many keys are not unique and fit all of many kinds of locks. It is not my job to educate, but to make those of you aware. Expensive "stuff" too. One example I can give is for Wurltizer Jukeboxes. The cabinet keys for each model were... RW## and fit ALL of those for that year. Many vendors would key their equipment to ONE key, but unique to their use only.

Slot machines and Jukeboxes always had a "cabinet lock" and a "cash box lock". The mechanic could open the jukebox for records or service, but could not open the... cash box. Keeps everyone honest... and the play meter did not lie. The bar maids or bartender would insert a quarter with red finger nail polish for "free plays" to get the patrons wanting to repeat playing the latest songs. The coins would be given back to the bartender when the cash was dropped into a cash bag and taken back to the shop.

The locks on the Airstream are really just minor inconveniences to someone wanting to break into the trailer. We pull the curtains so nothing can be seen through a window, and we also have two Blue Heeler alarms that have nothing better to do. A large water bowl out front is like having a sign... Junk Yard Dog Aboard. It is always our FIRST job to introduce ourselves to the neighbors at a RV Park, also the security people on the Golf Cart or Bicycle.

The most often stolen item at a RV Park? Bicycles.

Best place to find keys? With my metal detector at RV Parks. I turn them into the office and with luck the owner will inquire or leave a message.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:34 PM   #10
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The second best place to find keys? I found many, many while walking/hitchhiking the 8 miles home from school. They were all inside cute little magnetic boxes of the type sold to people to hide a spare key in to stick somewhere to the frame under their vehicle.

And for other security -- I just might be a hunter with no sense of humor.

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Old 01-14-2015, 06:59 PM   #11
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Four sets for me. One to use, one stached somewhere exterior of trailer, one in TV and another set at home. Keys are cheaper than replacing locks.
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:57 PM   #12
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As the entrance locks are virtually meaningless to any dedicated thief, my greatest concern is locking myself out. I wish there was a some sort of touchpad to unlock the door. This is 2015, surprised the aftermarket doesn't have one for us. Or do they?
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Old 01-14-2015, 07:59 PM   #13
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keys in ziplock bag duct taped to center of either the front or the rear axle

It's a dog dirty job getting them out but it gets you in.

another place duct taped to bottom of propane tank
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:44 PM   #14
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On the roof, duct-taped at the base of a roof vent or air conditioner shroud. You need a ladder to get at it, but since so few people look up to find hidden keys— they usually look underneath stuff— it's highly unlikely that anyone will ever find them.

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