Why magnetic boxes are not the most secure Campervan hide a key options
It’s important to have a safe, secure, easy to find spot for a campervan hide a key, in case you get locked out of your van or RV.
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As a cyclist riding around on my various bicycles over the years, I end up kind of looking at a lot of stuff as you ride, especially if it’s a long long distance road ride.
One thing I’ve seen many times on the side of the road, many times, I’ve seen those little magnetic Hide a Key boxes. They’re usually smashed someone’s run over them and, probably there’s somebody’s car key in there.
So I’m not a fan of the magnetic Hide a key containers because that magnet can only be so strong. You’re going to hit a bump at some point, that’s stronger than the magnet and it’s going to shake loose or the magnet is just going to get weak and fall off.
Or you’re going to forget it’s there and you sell the car and the new owner won’t know…
So anyway, all that to say, I’m not a fan of that particular way of hiding keys. I have my very favorite way to deal with my Campervan hide a Key. That is a key that unlocks the doors and starts the ignition. And I’ll get to that in a minute. I thought I would look online at some options other than the magnetic hide a key boxes or containers.
I don’t agree with some of the common hide a key locations, at least not for Campervans.
One site shows these places to hide a key on your car: On the inside bumper, behind the front license, the tire well, the gas cap?
I assume they mean in the gas door… I don’t know where you would put a key in a gas cap, unless there’s some kind of of a gas cap that opens and you can put stuff inside?
Should you just give your key to someone else to hold?
Another option is “with someone else”. That is, to give your key to someone else to hold for your in case you lose it. that’s another option. Hitch receiver box. Okay. And, your purse or wallet.
Those are fine. And I think that a couple of those would be okay for backup, obviously your purse or wallet, you know, having a spare spare key, right?
But the problem with that is, something happens and all you’ve got is your vehicle and no way to get into it, Maybe, your backpack or your purse or wallet got stolen or lost… And now you’re out of luck: No keys. I don’t think really makes sense.
I would make most of those third locations. Most of these, you know, behind the front license plate, tire well, a hitch receiver. Those all require the magnetic box, which I don’t like.
The most secure way secure a Campervan Hide a Key to your Van
So here’s what I do. And I’ve been doing this for many years.
The steps for securely hiding a spare key under your Campervan or RV
- Have a spare key made
- Make sure it actually works on your locks and ignition
- Enclose the key in a Ziploc bag, or maybe even two, to keep moisture out
- Climb under the van and, using a flashlight try to find an area of campervan frame member that doesn’t get a lot of moisture, mud or road filth
- Using one or two zip ties, secure the key or fob to a frame member under the vehicle
The best place to hide the key to your camper van
Find a spot that doesn’t get a lot of road dirt and mud kicked up when you’re driving. And it’s not that hard to find. Typically it’ll be on the top of a frame member and you just feel around with your fingers and you’ll notice that some places are much, much filthier and caked with dirt than others.
And oftentimes you can find a place to hide your campervan key that’s almost clean. In other words, it just doesn’t get any splash, no mud gets there and very little dirt. So that’s what I look for.
Then use whatever length of zip is required, and I tend to have a multitude of zip tie lengths at any point in time. So, you might have to pick up some longer zip ties to hide your van key, if you don’t have any long enough.
Um, and then just throw two zip ties around your bag with the key in it. And you’re good. That hidden Campervan or RV key’s going to stay fastened to the frame and it’s not going to shake loose.
Plan to replace the hidden Campervan or RV key fasteners
Now, one thing I will mention this is that overtime plastic deteriorates or breaks down from exposure to the elements.
So your plastic bag will break down and your zip ties will break down. So maybe make a note on your calendar to replace zip ties and plastic bags within a couple of years.
And even if you don’t agree with my assessment of the magnetic Hide a Key boxes, you should make a plan to schedule a check up on that to make sure it hasn’t fallen off…
How to remember where you hid your campervan or RV key
Another thing that I do is I make a note somewhere as to where specifically I hid the key.
My note might say “on passenger side, under split between doors”.
And that way I know where to start if it’s been a long time and I’m not sure exactly where I put it under the vehicle.
The great thing about making a reminder note is, just writing it down like that with some specificity, the act of writing it down, you’ll typically remember exactly where you put it so when it comes time to look for it and you won’t need the note. But it’s there. If you do need it.
Also, if you need to pass that information, the location of the hidden key, on to someone else, like a buyer or renter of your van if you’re involved in the Outdoorsy Campervan rental program or whatever.
And then that reminder note can go wherever you keep all the paperwork and information about your camper van or RV,
Anyway, another place to put a hide a key location reminder as electronically. I use a note keeping app called SimpleNote. It truly is very simple and straightforward.
It works on both Android and Apple devices and it will sync to all the devices.
How to safely and securely hide a Campervan Key Fob on your vehicle
Now, if you’re hiding a fob, that gets more complicated because a fob can be scanned electronically, so you need RFID protection.
One thing that I think is really interesting. Is an item available on Amazon: “Lucky line ARFID signal blocking key hider pouch“.
I’ve included two great choices for Campervan RFID key fob protection, below…
So basically what that means is that, it will block the signal emanating from your fob so that you can safely store your spare key in or on the vehicle while preventing our feed key fobs from automatically locking, unlocking, or starting the engine and it stops car thieves.
So that’s a great option. And like your spare keys, could go in a couple of plastic bags and then get strapped with zip-ties under the vehicle.
The fobs are expensive and, and not everybody wants to purchase an extra one, I guess it just depends on how important that fob is to you, what all it does with regard to your vehicle and how valuable would it be to have.right away if you lost your main fob.
So you can think about that for your own campervan.
Another resource is a YouTube video for starting keyless cars with a dead fob.
The Campervan Podcast #115: Campervan & RV Hide A Key Hacks 🗝️ NEVER get LOCKED OUT of your Van!
The Campervan Podcast is a daily audio program featuring ideas for design and building, cooking, organization, gear and more for a better overall Vanlife experience.
Campervan Hide a Key Recap
- Have a spare key and or Fob made for your van
- Test them to be certain they work with your campervan or RV locks and ignition
- Place your Fob or smart key in a RFID secure container such as the TICONN RFID Signal Blocker
- Seal the key and or fob in zip lock bags
- Attach your key and/or fob to a dry, clean section of Campervan or RV frame member