Electric camper shell locks

Thread Starter


Joined Oct 3, 2010
I am driving Boomerang, my old '93 chevy truck, so named because I've sold or given it away many times and it always seems to find its way back to me. The last time it left my possession, I sold/gave (long story) it to my brother in law, after I had just installed new camper shell door locks. My BIL was in a motorcycle accident and can't drive anymore; my sister won't drive it because it's old and cantankerous and she doesn't trust it. She wanted to be rid of it but it has sentimental value to her and she didn't want to sell it to some rando, so she gave it back to me. Without keys for the camper shell. I was going to replace the locks again but I had to get the camper shell open first.

I got a lock pick kit for Christmas a couple of years ago and played around with it then, successfully picking a few locks, but most were too difficult. I pulled out the lock pick kit and was astonished to find myself opening these locks on my very first try. It was pathetically easy. Just for grins i put away the lock picks and tried picking the locks with paper clips and hair pins. Piece of cake. After this experience I did NOT feel comfortable installing new key locks and leaving my tools in there.

I decided it needed electric locks. The only electric locks I found for camper shells, were key locks with motor override. That does not accomplish my goal! So I bought a generic import keyless entry system for retrofitting older vehicles. It came with actuators and linkages. I fabricated some gadgetry out of 1/8" aluminum plate and now I have keyless electric locks on my camper shell. I left the existing locks installed as a decoy; it would make my day to find that someone had wasted their time picking my locks and still couldn't get in. I post this for inspiration to anyone else who might be in the same position.


I also interfaced the keyless entry system with my truck's existing (not keyless) electric door locks. It was not very straightforward as the keyless system reverses polarity to the actuators, while the truck's door locks have both sides grounded at all times except when the switch in the door is pressed. I introduced a few diodes and a couple of relays into the circuit to make it work. I can draw up a quick schematic if anyone needs to know how this was done.

I plan to add microswitches to the lock assemblies such that when you hit the lock button on the fob, if all the camper (and truck) doors are fully shut and locked, the horn will blow once. If anything is not right, it won't.