Locked Out Of Your RV? Learn How to Pick a Camper Lock With a Bobby Pin

Key Takeaway

  • To pick a camper lock, you will need two bobby pins, a pair of pliers, and some patience. 
  • One of the bobby pins will work as a tension wrench and the other as a pick to open the camper lock..
  • To pick an RV lock with bobby pins, insert them in the keyhole and push and turn until you feel the pins click.

When I set out on my road trip this summer, I was ill-prepared for all of the problems that could arise. On my second night camping, I realized that I had lost the key to my RV camper lock and was locked out. After an hour of frustration, I realized the only solution would be to learn how to pick an RV camper lock. With trial and error and help from YouTube videos, I could pick the lock using bobby pins and continue on with my travels successfully. 

While it was a huge sigh of relief for me, I realized the importance of this skill for RV users. Hence, I decided to write this article. 

Do you have a camper lock that needs to be opened, but you don’t have the key? If so, you are at the right place. In this blog, I’ll provide detailed instructions on how to pick an RV camper lock with a bobby pin so that you can be better prepared if a similar situation arises!

Locking Mechanism Of An RV Camper

Most RV campers have a locking mechanism that consists of a lock cylinder and a set of tumblers or pins.The lock cylinder and the pins are the two components responsible for the functioning of a camper lock. The chamber where you insert the key is called the keyhole and is connected to the lock cylinder.

On the other hand, pins or tumblers are tiny metal rods that slide into the lock cylinder and hold it locked until a key moves them out of the way. When an incorrect key is used, the lock cannot be opened because the pins are not properly aligned.

Locking Mechanism Of An RV Camper

When we pick a camper lock using bobby pins, we aim to achieve the same using the bobby pins instead of a key.

How To Pick RV Lock Using Bobby Pins

Learning how to pick a camper lock with a bobby pin is a useful skill to have, especially if you’re ever stuck inside your RV camper without a key. While it may sound like a complicated process, it’s actually quite simple and can be done in just a few steps. With the right materials and patience, anyone can unlock their RV camper with a bobby pin and some practice.

Step 1: Turn One Of The Two Bobby Pins Into A Tension Wrench

90 degree bobby pins

Begin by bending the pin into an L-shape. You will be using the longer end of the pin as the tension wrench, so make sure that it’s approximately twice as long as the other end.

Step 2: Turn The Other Bobby Pin Into A Pick

To use a bobby pin as a pick, you’ll need to bend it to create a hook. First, begin by straightening out the bobby pin as much as possible. Once it’s fairly straight, slightly curve the end to create a hook.

add a loop

Step 3: Insert The Tension Wrench At The Bottom Of The Keyhole

When attempting to pick a camper lock with a bobby pin, the first step is to insert the tension wrench at the bottom of the keyhole. The tension wrench should be inserted in the direction of the lock’s rotation. 

Step 4: Push The Pin To The Left And Turn It

Once inserted, apply pressure to the tension wrench in the direction of the desired opening. This will allow you to manipulate the pins within the lock. Be sure to apply enough pressure to keep the pins from moving out of position. 

Step 5: Insert The Pick To Open The Lock

Now that you have inserted the tension wrench and pushed the pin to the left, it is time to insert the pick. Slowly push the pick into the keyhole and maneuver it around until you feel resistance. This will indicate that the pins are in place, and you can start pushing them up one at a time. You will know when the pins are in the right place because they will click. Once all the pins are set, turn the tension wrench in the direction of the lock to open it. 

Alternate Ways To Escape An RV Camper In Case You are Locked In Without A Key

If you find yourself locked inside an RV camper without a key, there are several alternate ways to escape. 

  • First and foremost, if you have access to a spare key, you could try using it to unlock the RV camper.
  • Another way is to pry open the door. This can be done by wedging a small, flat tool like a credit card between the door frame and the door itself. This will cause the lock to pop open. However, keep in mind that this method is destructive and may damage the door frame or the door itself.
  • You could also open the RV by shattering a window. While this is a more destructive option, it may be necessary for an emergency. Use a blunt object such as a hammer or tire iron to break the window from the outside. Keep in mind that glass shards can cause injury, so take care when attempting this method.
  • In case none of the methods work for you, then you could call an expert locksmith who may be able to open the RV door. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are keyless RV locks? 

Answer – Keyless RV locks are locks that don’t require a key for entry. Many RV owners choose this type of lock because it offers more convenience and is more secure than traditional key-based locks. Keyless RV locks work by using an electronic code or an RFID card. When the code or card is entered into the lock, it activates an internal solenoid, which allows the door to open.

Q2. Are RV locks and keys universal?

Answer – Some RV locks can be opened with the same key, but not all RV locks and keys are universal. While some types of locks may look similar, they will usually require a different key to open them. 


Learning how to pick a camper lock with a bobby pin can be useful in a pinch. Though this technique is not challenging, you may need to practice a few times before you get it right. It’s important to note that using this method with force can damage your RV camper’s lock, so make sure to take proper precautions when attempting it. If you need to gain access to your camper in an emergency, you must call 911 for help.

For any other assistance on lock-picking, write to me in the comment section. I shall be happy to help!

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Hey! I am Mark. Though I am not a locksmith by profession, but locks have always fascinated me since my teens. And it all started when I got locked out of my house and I had to pick the lock. Since then it has become my hobby to learn more about different kinds of locks, understand their working and methods to pick them up. In due course of time, I have also become better aware of how installing the right lock goes a long way in ensuring iron clad security. I aim to share my passion (about locks) through this blog. If you are also passionate about picking locks or are just looking to beef up the security, hop on the ride.