Invisible RV Cabinet Latch – a Worthwhile Modification


When I remodeled the RV, I converted a very large, very low, very deep cabinet into a drawer.  It was the right thing to do – the cabinet was so deep, the back wasn’t really useable.  As a cabinet, we had to lie down on the floor to get to most of the things in there anyway.  That space is where we store pots and pans, canned and boxed drinks, water jugs, and other heavy things.  So when I made the drawer, I made it heavy duty – with 150 pound full-extension drawer glides – so that it could take the weight of the things we put in it.

But we discovered a problem the very first time I took a left turn…  The standard RV cabinet latches I had installed were not up to the task of keeping a 100 pound drawer secured.  Not even close.  It was comical.  The drawer flung open with every left turn that entire first trip.  It wasn’t a disaster – nothing broke or came loose – but it was something I knew I had to fix.

I started looking through hardware catalogs for more heavy duty latches.  Most of the heavy duty ones I found were sort of “marine” looking.  Brass hook and eye catches, sliding bolts, things like that.  When I ran these past Stef, they got the veto immediately.  I had spent quite a bit of time designing a modern, clean interior, and she wasn’t about to let me mount any extra hardware on the outside of the drawer.

Eventually, I found these: the Rev-A-Lock Cabinet System.

Cabinet Latch Inside

What you see above is the small latch that goes on the inside of the cabinet that secures it.  The kit comes with a paper template that you wrap around the front of your drawer to make sure you get the placement correct.  (Those extra holes you see were from some other latches that we tried.)  That little white latch doesn’t look like much, but it has held our heavy drawer in place without complaint.  The red tab you see on the latch is there so that you can defeat the latch – such as when you’ve set up camp and won’t be driving.  Perfect!

Now on the outside, you don’t see a thing.  The latch is operated magnetically!  Here’s a shot of the key:

SONY DSC

To open the cabinet (drawer, for us), you just hold the magnetic key against the drawer where you know the latch is.  Like this:

SONY DSC

You’ll hear a little click that lets you know the latch has been retracted, and then you can open the drawer.  It’s completely non-intuitive to strangers – you just have to know where the latch is – so there’s even a security element to it.  Storing the key is a no-brainer.  It’s magnetic, so you can just stick it to anything metal in the RV.

It seems these are marketed as child-proof devices, and security measures.  I suppose there are a lot of other places you could use them (liquor cabinet, anyone?).  But the RV application is the only place I’ve used one, and I couldn’t be more satisfied.  I got the cabinet secured, and Stef got to keep the clean look she wanted.  I’m calling the project a success.  I recommend these if you find yourself in a similar situation.

 



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    2 thoughts on “Invisible RV Cabinet Latch – a Worthwhile Modification

    1. Karen Abbo

      Hi Steph and James. I read about your Michigan trip and am planning on going to the UP by myself in a week or so. Someone told me that it’s scary to travel there alone. What do you think? I travel with my small dog in a class C. And I will be traveling there through Canada although I’m from Western NY.
      Thanks, Karen

      Reply
      1. Stefany

        Hmmm, Karen, I’m honestly not sure what’s not safe about the UP! I suppose it’s like anywhere else, bad things can happen anywhere. I never felt unsafe while we were up there in the least. Still, it’s always good to take precautions before a solo trip anywhere: tell someone your plans and your route, check your cellphone service in the area you’ll be traveling, choose popular campsites that get good reviews, things like that. Don’t let fear deter your adventure! I say go for it. Be smart, but don’t deny your wanderlust! And let us know how your trip goes! Hope it’s a blast. xoxoxo Stef

        Reply

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