Locking Front Box

Has anyone figured a way to lock the front metal box on a [email protected] Outback (the box that holds a propane tank and battery)? The only thing I can think of is to drill a few holes and screw a hasp in. Any other ideas? I'm really quite surprised NuCamp doesn't provide a lockable latch on the box.


  • RatkityRatkity Member Posts: 3,757
    Per code/practice in the RV industry, propane storage areas cannot be locked (not sure if there's a Fed regulation, someone here will know).
    2017 820R Retro Toy Hauler from 2015 Tabitha [email protected] from 2009 Reverse LG Teardrop (but a [email protected] at heart)
  • Tabaz Tabaz Member Posts: 1,714
    Yes. Search Tongue Box Lock.
    2016 Outback 320 with a 2010 Ford Expedition.
  • KTOTKTOT Member Posts: 34
    edited March 2018
    I'd be interested in knowing more about your comment, Ratkity, about not locking the box. I suppose I can see the logic since propane is fuel. Also, Tabaz, can you provide a specific link to the discussion or discussions? I'm not coming up with anything by searching. I tried before posting the initial question and again just now.

  • Tabaz Tabaz Member Posts: 1,714
    KTOT - the best way to search this forum is to use Google.  Simply begin each search with "[email protected] forum _____"  I typed in "[email protected] forum locking propane tub" and the first selection was my original post.  Try "propane/battery lock."
    2016 Outback 320 with a 2010 Ford Expedition.
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,212
    edited March 2018
    Here is the tongue box lock search result:


    Every question about propane tanks devolves into a vague fog of "it is recommended" or statements that I cannot back up with hard cold facts.  Recommended by who?  What Code?  What practice?  Where are the state laws that cover propane use in RV's or trailers? 

    I have a lockable hasp on my trailer.

    PS:  It doesn't mean I lock it all the time.  A better solution for propane tank/battery security would be any of the cable locks for that purpose.

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,622
    edited March 2018
    Yeah, to Google search a specific site, the Google syntax is 

    site:tab-rv.vanillaforums.com <search terms>

    So, for example, on the search bar you'd type:
    site:tab-rv.vanillaforums.com locking propane tub
    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • ChanWChanW Member Posts: 2,622
    edited March 2018
    Well, ok then! Here goes!

    I removed the lock I'd installed on my tongue box, because it made sense when someone pointed out that the fire department guys might want to be able to quickly confirm that the propane was shut off in my camper, in the event of an accident. (I'd prefer that they'd not use a crowbar! Those fire guys can be pretty handy with a crowbar, when they need to be!)

    Chan  -  Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 S Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl
     [email protected]'ll_Do_Ya
  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,776
    The RVIA ( (RV Industry Associsiation) publishes standards and it is in those standards because it is illegal in some states.

    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • jkjennjkjenn Member Posts: 5,776

    "Different states have different regulations concerning how propane containers are licensed, tagged, etc. Check with your dealer for detailed information. One of the concerns many consumers have is the fact that their propane compartment does not have a lock on the access door. This is correct as the RVIA code specifically requires they be readily accessible."


    2015 320 S | [email protected] Nights: 211 | 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,212
    Well, after a day of searching:  in this "RVIA code". page 2-13, Para 2-2.2.4 talks about RV inspections and propane boxes "are not to be" equipped with locks or need special tools to open.  That's it.  There are endless web references to handling propane containers, mostly concerning bulk storage requirements, and hardly any about RV storage.  There are no other references.

    There are references to NFPA standards for RV's, but they are locked behind paywalls and registration requirements!

    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • ericnlizericnliz Member Posts: 4,450
    @pthomas745, Are you looking to just secure your propane tank, or ALL the contents in the front tub? If you just want to secure the propane tank, a hole can be drilled in the bracket holding the propane tank to align with the holes made to secure the propane tank with a padlock. Not sure if that answers your specific question, rather just an idea.
    2016 [email protected] MAX S-aka: [email protected]
    TV: 2006 Chevy Avalanche LT Z71 aka: WhiteWolf, or 1972 Chevy Custom10 P/U aka: SnarlingWolf
    Spokane, Wa.
    Eric aka: Lone Wolf  

  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,212
    @ericnliz I didn't start the thread.  But, I agree about the different ways to secure the propane tank.
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • 4ncar4ncar Member Posts: 641
    We are fixating on the propane tanks.  How about the battery(íes) as a source of ignition/electrocution? Similar, but different: NHRA requires their be a battery disconnect on the exterior of all sectioned vehicals.  This is the first thing you will often see ppl reach for immediately following a crash during a drag race. It is always located at the rear of the car.

    our trailers are equipped with a disconnect within the tub. Lock the tub, and the batteries can not be de energized from the trailer in the event of an accident.  

    I beleive the “law of common sense” should prevail over any chapter & vs we can hunt for. Often times, they are one in the same...
    TV- '16 Chevy Colorado LT Crew Cab-DuraMax
    2018 320S Outback
  • WilliamAWilliamA Member Posts: 113
    Here's a post I made some time ago on the [email protected] site about locking latches for the front box.



    2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    What remains of a 2017 [email protected] XL
    Can generally be found around west-central Wisconsin.  Otherwise, out looking for smallmouth bass, questing for the elusive 25+" monster....
  • CanyonTravelersCanyonTravelers Member Posts: 40

    Like everything in life, you have options.  

    I store some items in our Outback propane/battery box, and feel better if it is locked.  A lot of people our converting their [email protected]’s to the RV digital door lock, I could not justify the cost of the lock. RV Lock also makes a replacement lock that is a whole lot cheaper (its is just a replacement door lock not digital); they also make cylinder locks keyed alike.  So, I purchased their RV Lock and three of their cylinder locks.  I then replaced the door and outside access compartment and added a lock to the storage battery tub, now everything on our [email protected] opens with one key.  I also found a company that offers a metal waterproof flip cover that I used on the propane cabinet to keep rain water out of the lock, since the lock is mounted in the top.

  • JohnDanielsCPAJohnDanielsCPA Member Posts: 222
    Despite the existence of various regulations supporting NOT having a lock on your propane storage area, and that most (if not all) RV manufacturers install propane tanks in unlocked cabinets, I chose not to have a lock for financial reasons.  If I am in an accident and the firemen cannot get to my propane tanks to turn them off, they will clear the area and await the inevitable explosion.  When my insurance company finds out I destroyed my trailer because I put locks on the cabinet, they will deny my claim.  Of course, I will sue, and we will end up in court and I will spend a ton of money on lawyers and I “may” prevail.  Or not.  Insurance companies have deeper pockets than I do, so my chances aren’t great.  So my risk?  Stolen propane tanks and batteries or a denied claim.  I’m inclined to take my chances with thieves.  I’m certain my insurance company will cover THAT claim.
    2017 [email protected] Max S
    2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
  • CanyonTravelersCanyonTravelers Member Posts: 40
    If the fire department needs to get into the front compartment they would pop that compartment open quicker than you could blink.  If their ever was a fire while on the road by the time the fire department got there that little trailer would be totally gone, locked or not....
    Like I said you have options I chose to lock mine, you get to do whatever you want.
  • CincyKidCincyKid Member Posts: 83
    Good input from many.  I chose to put a combination stranded cable lock through the top holes of my propane tank and around the trailer frame.  The battery?  Haven't worked that one yet.

    Cincinnati, OH
  • KTOTKTOT Member Posts: 34
    I'll clarify my wants and upcoming solution. Specifically I want to be able to lock the entire box if I should have to leave my [email protected] unguarded. The tank will be off so I'm not concerned about a propane fire, but even if there should be a fire, as someone pointed out, the fire department could get into that box in nothing flat. I have no plans to lock the box when on the road or when stopped and staying in the [email protected] I keep propane tanks in locked sheds and garages which I see as no different as a propane tank in the locked [email protected] box except the [email protected] box would be easier to break into than a garage with a deadbolt lock. The best solution I've seen is for a mailbox lock--the kind with a little tab that will fit under the inside lip on the box, which is a really inexpensive solution, with the drill bit costing more than the lock itself. Like many locks, the intent is to prevent any casual dishonest person from reaching into the box for whatever reasons.
  • jgram2jgram2 Member Posts: 1,490
    Mail box lock is what @Tabaz did:
    TabazTabaz Posts: 1,286Member
    Large size mailbox lock from Home Depot. Used a step-drill to cut 1/2" opening in top.  Lock it only when I leave the campsite with the propane off.

    John, Judi, Guinness & OD in PDX
    [email protected]@t 2015 S Max Outback, ‘18 V6 4Runner 

  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Member Posts: 722
    I'm not storing anything of real value in the tub beyond the propane tank & battery.
    Am using about six feet of chain that snakes around the battery, frame, propane tank handle and locked with a padlock.

    Of course someone with time and determination can take the tank/battery.

    Chain means next trailer down the row might be easier pickings.
    2018 [email protected] 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, GM Brake Controller
    Adventures:  24       Nights:  157 
  • Z_GZ_G Member Posts: 38
    Seems to me if u are worried about thieves that lock won't deter them... A bike chain. Or a chain and case hardened lock through the handles and around the frame would achieve the same goal.... When in long term storage remove them and secure them... If I want to use the space as extra storage .... It's a good place to put a sewer hose... Not many people want to touch that.. Best security is to change lock on door not much to steal outside and the inside has more to offer
  • Glider11Glider11 Member Posts: 48
    I told my RV dealer/service dept. of concern of propane and battery being stolen.  They had, on a few [email protected], taken the original rubber hasp system, and replaced with a very secure lock. So, They did this for me for about $80 (pic) Recently, I went on my first TT trip.  Because of safety concerns, I did not lock it.  But now the hasp does not stay engaged and flies up (off ) the locking mechanism. Now I'm concern that the lid may fly open and rip off while traveling.  I have seen some photos of people attaching a similar locking device alongside the original system, so they can use the original while traveling, and while camping and using LP.   I called the service dept and told them the issues. Very testy, and he stated that NOW they probably would not replace the original when asked for locking solutions.  But they'll gladly attach the original alongside my new lock - for $60.  
  • BlueespyBlueespy Member Posts: 56
    I had two of these on our 320CS-S and was told several times it's against the law to lock the box if you have the propane bottle installed.  I was told this is in the event of an accident, the rescue/fire department can access the tub.  I'm positive a firefighter could pop the lock without difficulty but when we upgraded to a 400 BDL, I just opted not to put a lock on.  When in storage, I remove everything.
    2019 [email protected] 400 BDL
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Member Posts: 1,212
    So, when you transport your propane in your vehicle, you can't lock the doors, correct?
    2017 Outback
    Towed by 2014 Touareg TDi
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Administrator Posts: 2,589
    So, when you transport your propane in your vehicle, you can't lock the doors, correct?
    Only if you plan to light up a cigarette.  👍🏻
    Mike Smith 
    Linden, Mi
    2019 [email protected] 400
  • DigitalSorceressDigitalSorceress Member Posts: 215
    So, when you transport your propane in your vehicle, you can't lock the doors, correct?
    Fire Fighters are very good at breaking windows...

    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Edge  named "Binky" | TV: 2016 Chevy Colorado Z71 with full tow package and a Leer Cap for lots of storage

    I'm New to nuCamp and TearDrops but have owned a Class A in the past

  • CbusguyCbusguy Member Posts: 777
    I have never heard of anyone getting cited for improper transport of propane in an RV or Car.   In the grand scheme of things it is irrelevant.
    2009 GMC Canyon,   3.7 liter 
    2020 320s Boondock lite, With Lots of mods
  • BaylissBayliss Member Posts: 533
    edited June 2019
    I installed a similar lock on my tub (see photos below) and don't see a problem with it, if used responsibly.

    I keep the tub unlocked while towing, but lock it when the camper is in storage, at a camp site (usually, but not always.....it just depends on the situation or my personal desire - - like maybe I want to be able to access it quickly and am not concerned about theft), etc.  I do this to deter theft of anything in the tub (e.g., battery.)  Although I leave the propane tank in the tub while it is in storage, I remove the battery so that I can put it on a battery maintainer at home.  Unfortunately, it is a no-win situation, because someone who really wants inside that tub isn't going to be stopped by an inexpensive lock.  Same goes for the camper's side compartment lock (although I have changed the lock on that as well so I am not using the standard CH751 key that is used on all RVs.)  However, it hopefully will deter the opportunistic thief, like someone who is trolling a campground for stuff to quickly steal.  

    Best practice is to keep the tub unlocked while on the road, "just in case" fire personnel, etc., need access to it in the event of a collision, fire, etc.  They will likely assume that the propane is on, or it could be an additional hazard, so they may at least check to determine if it is "on" or "off," and turn it off if it is on.

    I know there are opposing opinions about it, but the KEY (and responsible practice) is to always keep your LPG tank shut OFF while driving.  Don't use it to keep your refrigerator cold.  In the event of a collision or fire, or you pull in to a gas station to re-fuel your tow vehicle, you don't want LPG actively flowing to the camper, or an open flame present. 

    Additionally, if you think about it, whether the tub is locked or unlocked, if your camper is on fire (and even if the tank is turned off), there is not much anyone will be able to do safely in an emergency except turn it "off."  You can't remove the tank quickly, and you wouldn't want to anyway.  First, you have to unscrew the wing nut that secures the tank in place, plus you would have to disconnect the propane hose screw-on valve.  You don't want to do that, because that potentially will expose any residual gas at the valve or in the hose and quite possibly lead to a disastrous result.

    For what its worth, I just did a quick search regarding traveling with propane and found this article that may be of interest to some.  It applies more to larger RVs, but the points it makes and the suggestions it provides are worth reviewing:


    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)

  • gulfareagulfarea Member Posts: 207
    I have built in an alarm system, if the lid is opened, or front door, or if the tong jack is raised to steel the [email protected] it goes off. Art
    2019 Boon-dock Edge
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