This post may contain affiliate links.

One of the great things about vanlife is that it forces you to think through the things you really need, and the things you can do without.  It’s challenging and freeing at the same time.  Well, thanks to this new padlock I’ve discovered, you can now take a minimalist approach to your keychain!  Check it out:


There are probably a lot of us out there that lock up other things on the outside of our RVs.  In our case, we have an exterior storage box, made of aluminum, for things we don’t want inside the van.  And while we don’t want them inside the van, we do want to keep them, so we had to padlock the box.  That meant carrying an extra key to get to our shore power cord and grill.

Well recently, I was sent a sample of the BOLT padlock.  The neat trick to this padlock is that it uses THE SAME KEY THAT YOU USE TO START THE RV!  Somehow, it “learns” your ignition key, and then you can use that key to lock and unlock the padlock.  All you need to do for this magic to work is to buy the BOLT lock that’s made for the same key as your RV’s chassis.  Brilliant! It really is as easy to do as you see in the video – that was my first time taking the lock out of the package.

(The key for our specific ProMaster van doesn’t seem to be on Amazon yet, but you can find it – and lots of other vehicles – on the BOLT site directly.)

We also typically carry bikes.  I have a heavy chain that I use, and I may pick up another BOLT padlock to use with that chain.  If I could do with less than the heavy chain on the bike rack, BOLT also makes a cable lock that would work nicely for bicycles.  Depending on the make and model of your chassis, there are even plain lock cylinders you can buy to lock up virtually anything using your same ignition key.

About the only thing that keeps this from being the *perfect* vanlife padlock is that they don’t seem to have a lock that works with a Mercedes Benz Sprinter key… Yet.  I’m hoping they’ll come out with that soon.

Oh – and Stef was really worried that people might think I was littering in the video.  lol.  Truth is, this video was shot in our own driveway, and that’s where we keep the garbage cans.  SO no foul there.

See you on the road (with one less key)!