One day in the campground we returned from lunch to discover a shiny new Airstream parked in the site next to us. Turns out it was a father and daughter on the first leg of a trip to relocate their 2020 Airstream Globetrotter 25FB from Rhode Island to Manitoba.
The daughter came over to ask for help. The refrigerator wouldn't come on, she said, and they didn't know why. I went over to investigate, and that's when I discovered that the entry door was locked—and the keys were inside.
I've ranted about the need for having spare keys before, precisely because of this situation. Our poor neighbors had left their only set inside the trailer, slammed the door shut, and it locked itself.
Yeah, that happens. Sometimes the door handle lock spontaneously slips into the locked position from the force of the slam. If you don't have a spare key it is "Game Over" at that point.
For most trailers there's no other way in, unless you're willing to break something expensive like the skylight. (With the frequent rains that happen in Vermont during the summer, that would have been an idea worse than the problem.)
We called a mobile locksmith for our distraught neighbors, but after an hour of trying, he couldn't get the door open. Because Airstream dealers don't stock spare keys, the local dealership couldn't help. And the owners certainly didn't want to break anything on their shiny new trailer to bust in.
At this point it was hot and humid, everyone was feeling frustrated, and the only thing left to do was to find a local hotel for the next two nights. Fortunately, most of their belongings were in the truck rather than the Airstream.
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.
Given the frequency with which I've seen this lock-out situation occur over the years, I had developed a new key service we were able to offer our neighbors: pre-cut Airstream entry door keys, made from the number on the key.
We received the key on Tuesday via FedEx. Voila —problem solved. I also ordered a pair of blanks for our new friends so they could get extra copies made.
We now carry 200+ numbers of pre-cut door handle and deadbolt keys. They are in stock and ready to ship, so there is no need to find a locksmith to cut a key blank.
I recommend everyone have at least three sets of the entry door keys. Each person in the Airstream should have their own set, plus another set that is kept somewhere outside the Airstream for emergencies. To get a spare set of the two entry door keys (door handle and deadbolt) all you need are the numbers that are engraved on the original keys.
I also advise Airstreamers to get a LockOut Blocker, which installs easily with a 3M adhesive strip and blocks the door lock pin so it can't accidentally lock you out when the door is slammed hard.
This nifty, low cost product was developed by an Airstreamer to elegantly solve the common door slamming issue. You won't need to drill holes to install it, and as you can see by the photo below, it looks a lot nicer than a piece of tape.