First, think about your keys. Your RV has keys to compartments, doors, access panels, ignition, engine cover, battery storage, etc. It comes with all kinds of keys. Then you also have keys to your car/truck whether you tow it or use it to tow your RV. This is a lot of keys. I recommend you end up with three complete sets of keys for your RV and extra vehicles.
Three Sets of Keys
- Main Set… Separate one set of keys into three groups—Door key, Ignition key, and all the rest. If there are two of you, then both should carry the door key when you lock and leave the RV. If you have a motorhome, leave the ignition key inside—keep reading to find out where. Store the rest of your keys (compartment, fuel door, etc.) near the front in case you need them in a hurry on the way out the door.
- Backup Set… Hide a set in your other vehicle—just in case.
- Emergency set… Get one of the magnetic key holders used for hiding keys. Put one door key, compartment key, ignition key, and a fuel door key inside. Hide it well. Crawl around underneath and find a great hiding place not visible by just walking around and looking at the coach or by a tech rolling around under the RV when they lubricate it.
Test the magnetism. Is it easy to remove? Can it fall off? Secure it with one of the plastic electrical ties. Cover it with mud or spray paint it to look like the background. Do not make this easy to find or access and make it impossible to see. After all, it is only for emergencies.
If you have too many keys for one of those magnetic key holders, use two plastic bags (with the press or slide closure). Put one inside the other. Squirt a spray of dry silicone into the bag, put all you keys in there, roll up the bags around the keys, wrap them with black, electrical tape, and tape them under the RV on top of a frame member. You will know where they are but they will not be visible from underneath.
Sure, you will likely get muddy and be in a mess the one time you need these keys but hey, they are only for emergencies.
At some point, you will forget to crank down your antenna or satellite dish but if so, it’s only about $150.00 to replace it. In our seminars, one topic that always comes up is the number of RVers that forget to crank down their TV antenna or satellite dish before driving out of the campground. Since your ignition key will be separate from the others, when you crank up your TV antenna or satellite dish, hang your RV ignition key from the crank. That way, you can’t drive away without being reminded to crank down these items. Without a firm reminder, you will forget at some point but if so, it’s only about $150.00 to replace the antenna. The only way to ensure you will remember to crank it down is to force yourself to reach up there for the ignition key.
I know, I know, they sell those cute little signs that say something like “Antenna Up/Down” or worse, some plaque (gadget) you are supposed to place over your steering wheel that has some awful message on it such as “If your Antenna is Uppy, Don’t Drive This Puppy!”
Other home remedies include putting a clothes pin or twist tie on the crank when it is down and on the steering wheel when the antenna is up. One fellow told us that he tied a piece of rope from the steering wheel to the accelerator pedal to remind him that his antenna was up! All those home-remedies work—until they don’t! But, think about this… it is impossible to drive away without reaching up there for your ignition key!
Consider this, too… if you find yourself driving away with the antenna still up after reaching up for that ignition key, perhaps you should think about giving up RVing or at least don’t park close to me.