How To Open RV Emergency Window From Outside

opening an rv window from outside

Published Date: August 12, 2020

Last Updated on November 18, 2022 by Camper Front

Are you locked out of your recreational vehicle? That is so relatable, and no one enjoys a recreational camping activity cut short due to some lost set of keys.

But, there is no need to panic. In fact, your RV was created with special safety features for moments like this, but you just don’t know how.

And that is why put together in this guide is all the information you need on how to open an RV emergency window from outside; so you can return back to fun times.

Brief Overview of an Rv

An Rv, also known as a recreational vehicle, is an automobile that includes living quarters designed for accommodation, it is equipped with some of the amenities of a home such as beds and cooking equipment, and it is usually used when on holiday.

There is extra space at the push of a button, queen and king-size beds, leather sofas, gourmet kitchens, and even fireplaces. You can take the comfort of your own home with you and explore the world with an RV. But what happens when that adventure is cut short?

Having an RV emergency window and knowing how to operate it is imperative and necessary for your safety and that of your family.

There is a mandate from fire codes for the requirement of emergency windows in RVs since the 1970s. The regulations require that one emergency exit be located across the RV’s main entry door, and another be located in the RV’s sleeping quarters.

RV’s must also come equipped with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, linear position (LP) sensors, and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms.

So, you see how important it is to know how to open an RV emergency window from outside, in cases where the keys to the motor vehicle or trailer are missing.

How To Open RV Emergency Window From Outside

How To Open RV Emergency Window From Outside

The RV windows are either slide-type or crank-type windows. The driver’s area windows are usually slide-type windows with a latch for security. In the RV emergency window, many rigs have one in the rear.

A screwdriver can be used to open it from the outside, and a particular type of screwdriver for this is the Phillips head screwdriver, which is usually all you need to open it from the outside.

When it opens, you can climb through the window and unlock the front door in cases where the keys to the door are missing. Always remember to reattach the RVs emergency exit window after removing it.

In a case where the RV is rented, it is advisable to call the owner of the RV before taking any action, and the owner might have an alternate entry and also give you a number of roadside assistance.

Some models of RV have a history of automatically locking when you close the door or when you turn the handle a certain way. That is why before you buy or rent an RV, you should endeavor to find out if there is an issue with the rig. If there is, you should know how to avoid it in case of an emergency.

While manufacturers are required to supply these safety features, it is the responsibility of the RV owners to know how to properly operate these features for the safety of everyone.

Read Also: How to Winterize a Fifth Wheel for Winter Living

Operating Your Emergency Window From Outside

Operating Your Emergency Window From Outside

Here are the basic steps on how to operate your RV emergency window from outside.

Available are various types of RVs and brands. However, in the different RV brands, the operation of emergency windows is pretty standard across all models. Before an emergency takes place, make sure you practice operating your emergency windows. You can follow these steps to that;

The first thing to do would be to locate your Rv’s emergency window.  There are different RV brands; motor homes and towable RVs. The motor homes consist of three (3) classes; class A, class B, and class C.

The towable RVs consists of travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, expandable (folding and tent) trailers, and sport utility RV trailers or toy hauler.

So, depending on the model, your RV may have multiple emergency windows, and they are usually located in places such as the main living room or the bedroom.

Then, locate the area where your emergency window is situated, and find the red-colored handle, cord, or latch attached to the window; this makes these escape routes easy to identify.

Go through a practice run to know what to expect in the event of an emergency. Activate the release mechanism of your emergency window to break the seal. Then apply pressure with your hand to open the windows fully.

Be watchful of the distance between your window and the ground. Depending on your rig, it can be a significant distance. Put your legs in first and attempt to land on your feet, that is how to get in safely.

When you want to close it, ask someone on the outside to push in the emergency window. From the inside, put the release mechanism back in place to seal the window back up with a little pressure on the window to make it secure.

If you have tried all these processes and you still cannot get into your RV, then you may need the services of a locksmith as a last resort.

Although this is a costly option, it is better than destroying your window or door.

Even If there is no locksmith available in that area, some towing experts usually have locksmith services as well.

The excellent news is towable RVs are less expensive than a full-sized motor home, some of them can tow with a variety of different vehicles, and some even have a better connection with a gooseneck rig.

The best thing about this option is that if you are entitled to towing insurance, it will surely cover the cost of the towing company coming to your aid.

To stay safe in an emergency, always keep the window clear of any obstructions, before embarking on a road adventure, give everyone a tour of the RV, show them where the emergency windows are located, and explain how to operate them. Also, allow everyone to practice.

Having a spare set of RV keys in a secure place outside your RV is very important when traveling with other people; you can distribute a spare set of keys to everyone so it can be easy to gain access at any time.

To avoid any jammed lock or getting locked out when you lose your keys, always be checking your locks, keep them clean, and always apply a good lubricant, it should be well-oiled. There’s always an RV for everyone’s lifestyle.

Finally, watch the short video below to see a real-life process of opening an RV emergency window from the outside:

Read Also: Different Types of RV Awnings


Many RV owners have a tale to tell when it comes to being locked out. Imagine trying to get in your RV, and the door has strangely locked itself, and often, even after borrowing a key to unlock it, the door still won’t open.

Follow these steps on how to open an RV emergency window from outside. You won’t have to panic or spend so much hiring a locksmith in an emergency situation. Additionally, your safety and that of your crew or family will be guaranteed.

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