Padlocks on camper - grit and dirt in them

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 18:31
ThreadID: 103242 Views:2411 Replies:15 FollowUps:16
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Hi there,

Recently went outback QLD and NSW (a few months ago). On one particular day we had to drive through a freak storm and as a result ended up with red silt covering the 4wd and camper. No problem except that when we pulled up at our next stop we were lucky to get our padlocks off.

We were using normal lockwood padlocks (small ones) for the camper trailer tailgate and for securing the jerries and gas bottles. They had filled up with grit and it was just lucky that we could hose them out where stopped - otherwise we may have been in a bit of a bother, eg, not being able to get into the camper!!

Planning for our next trip - what has other people done in relation to this problem? Better dustproof padlocks, if so, what sort/brand? Or something else? For places we often stay we need to have security of locks. Maybe I should carry some bolt cutters in the 4wd and just expect I may have to use them?

Thanks!
Paul.
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Reply By: Rockape - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 18:43

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 18:43
Paul,
you can fill them with graphite before you start.

You can place them in a zip seal bag with a bit of electrical tape around the bag to keep the dirt and mud out.

If the grunge gets in wash them out with water.

If you are travelling, only place the locks on when you leave the camper.

Works for me.
AnswerID: 514788

Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:06

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:06
G'day Paul

I use small rings cut from a bicycle inner tube - slip them over the padlock and I've found that the dirt and dust does not get into the workings. ring needs to be wide enough to cover the key slot obviously - mine would be about 1 cm wide on smallish Lockwood locks.

Cheers
John T (Lifetime Member)
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AnswerID: 514791

Follow Up By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:25

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:25
I agree with you John, cut up an old bike tube just like a wide rubber band around the body of the lock.
Nice cheap fix.
cheers
Dave
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FollowupID: 793914

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:46

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:46
Gday Dave..... I can remember you telling me that about 6 years ago whilst camping close to Cameron's Corner.

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FollowupID: 793931

Follow Up By: Hoyks - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:30

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:30
another one for the inner tube. It pushes out of the way easily enough so you can use the key, but keeps the dust out.

I had it on the lock on the back of my wagon for 7 years. Once a year I'd give the lock a squirt of WD40 and it would stay fine and corrosion free for another year.
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FollowupID: 793961

Reply By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:25

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 19:25
HI Paul,

I thread a piece of electrical insulation take through the lock and wrap it around the key hole. The tape does not fall off and keeps dust out.

All the best,

Snoopy2
AnswerID: 514793

Follow Up By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:00

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:00
Paul
Abus make a nice weatherproof padlock, worth a look on Ebay
Keith
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FollowupID: 793917

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:09

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:09
Condoms. Work fine, disposable (unless you want to reuse them!), easy. Multi-use!

Cheers,

Mark
AnswerID: 514797

Reply By: bibtracker - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:35

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:35
Good thread, with useful info. Had a jammed lock recently, holding the gas bottles. Luckily the CT was in my driveway at home! Will be getting the tape out tomorrow.

The condoms reply made me smile. Had a journo mate who used to take a packet on his trips to outback mines. When I asked how much nooky he expected to get, he pointed out that he put one over the smoke detector in the plane toilet so he could have a Marlboro ... !

Cheers, Tony
AnswerID: 514799

Follow Up By: SDG - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:25

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:25
They come in handy for many reasons.
In an emergency they will hold several litres of water.
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FollowupID: 793933

Reply By: Paul F2 - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:46

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 20:46
Cool, like the bike tube idea. Looked at the Abus locks - they look really good but I have about 6 locks on the camper for the various bits (tailgate, jerries, gas bottles, etc) so would be a costly way to go, especially since they are all keyed alike at the moment. I think I'll play around with bike tube idea later this week. Thanks!
AnswerID: 514800

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:09

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:09
Oh yess the condom is a very versatile item.

works on the padlocks, the cheapest water proof cover for ya mobile phone, and as some of the guys in TV sound will tell ya, they work well as windsocks in very windy conditions with the added benifit of making the microphone waterproof.

As for tape on the padlock masking tape is better than insulation tape, if ya don't want to spend $$$ on gaffa tape.

cheers
AnswerID: 514806

Reply By: Shaker - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:27

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:27
We don't use locks, so no problem.

AnswerID: 514810

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:49

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 21:49
We use a small piece of 100mph tape on the bottom covering the key hole, each time we have to open the lock we replace the tap.
AnswerID: 514811

Reply By: Member - evaredy - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:39

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:39
I recently bought some locks for our CT from a locksmith and asked about using graphite, he told me not to bother, told me to use the spray. I don't have it on hand as it's in the CT, but he reckons it is much better than graphite, especially when it's very dusty.


If I get time in the morning I will get it out.
AnswerID: 514812

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:51

Sunday, Jul 14, 2013 at 22:51
He wasn't a very clever locksmith!

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FollowupID: 793935

Follow Up By: TTTSA - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 06:00

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 06:00
You are good at your 1 liners Shaker, but how about elaborating? My local Locky told me the same when getting a padlock for my spare on the rear carrier, just spray the gunk out.
He's only been a Locky for 38 yrs.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 793938

Follow Up By: Member - evaredy - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 07:40

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 07:40
Well ain't that very informative.
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FollowupID: 793943

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 09:27

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 09:27
Maybe the reply could have been a bit more informative, you mentioned buying new locks & graphite, but advised to use spray.
I agree use anything at your disposal to try get out the iron rich dust from Outback travel, but then wash it out in Metho or white spirit, let it dry & then re-lubricate with graphite, or it will become a dust magnet.
Prior to our very first Outback trip we were warned about lock problems & decided not to travel with padlocks fitted, as there have been horror stories about people trying to remove padlocked spare wheels.
You can also buy padlocks with a captive soft plastic boot that fits over the cylinder end.
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FollowupID: 793949

Follow Up By: Member - evaredy - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:31

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:31
A lot of locksmiths, including Master locks recommend not using graphite, instead they recommend spray. It also also not recommended to use WD40 or oil because it will clog them up when dusty.

I had always used graphite up until the locksmith told me to use the spray, but to each there own, I will continue to use a spray on my locks and if it turns out to be a bad idea, I will go back to graphite.

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FollowupID: 793954

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:38

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 11:38
You can get "dry" sprays such as Ronstan Sailfast or Selley's Ezy Glide.
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FollowupID: 793965

Follow Up By: Member - mepvic - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 20:22

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 20:22
Spray to use is called Inox. Get it from most hardware stores and some locksmiths. Advice from our locksmith to fix up a similar problem.
I squirted about 20mm into the bottom of a glass jar and rinsed out all of ours and now just give them all a regular squirt.
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FollowupID: 793998

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 21:02

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 21:02
Why would you use a machine oil based lubricant in a lock cylinder that you didn't want to attract dust?

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FollowupID: 794004

Follow Up By: Member - mepvic - Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 14:13

Tuesday, Jul 16, 2013 at 14:13
I was a bit sceptical myself initially but it was a recommendation by our locksmith. The spraycan also has a picture of a padlock on it, and doesn't contain silicon, petroleum based distillate, kero or solvents.
It works for us.
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FollowupID: 794033

Reply By: Member - Andrew - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 12:00

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 12:00
Hi Paul

Interesting discussion.
I was originally told by an old locksmith to only use graphite. WD40 or similar wet lubricants collected dirt and dust either forming an abrasive paste or jamming the moving parts.
However I have heard of graphite jamming things up when too much is used.

The Masterlock comment got me searching and I found that the lubricant they recommend is a PTFE type that leaves a Teflon coating on the components after the carrier fluid has dried off.
Masterlock lock care.

Summarised as, clean it, lube it, let it dry, don't use a lube that doesn't dry.
And whatever cover that helps keep the dust out.
Hope this clarifies things.
Regards
A
AnswerID: 514829

Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:04

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:04
You hit the nail on the head re graphite, if too much is used!
The locksmiths that I have worked with just put a little on the key, they never puff it into the lock. I can remember rubbing a lead pencil on the key to lubricate it!

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FollowupID: 793995

Reply By: gnome - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 18:22

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 18:22
We have always had this problem on our camper padlocks until we made some covers up out of stubby holders. Just cut them to size out out of the neoprene stubby holders and stitched them up on the cooks sewing machine. Just make each one to suit the indivdual padlock . They stretch over the lock and we have not had any fall off ,and never had a problem again with the ingress of dust or mud.
AnswerID: 514842

Follow Up By: Paul F2 - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:00

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:00
Hi gnome, that sounds interesting but I'm having trouble picturing it. Do you just have it covering the body of the lock and where the key goes in? Or does it also in some way protect the shackle part on top?
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FollowupID: 793994

Reply By: gnome - Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:24

Monday, Jul 15, 2013 at 19:24
Basically you just cut a square/rectangle of neoprene out to suit the size of the lock ,then join the two sides and stitch down the side and across the bottom. It just makes a little "sock" that you pull up over the padlock so that the keyed end is in the closed in bottom of the "sock" and the shackle end is at the top.On one of mine that i had changed the size of the padlock and it was a bit loose i used a piece of velcro thru the shackle and right around the sock to make sure it couldnt come off.
AnswerID: 514845

Reply By: Winner W - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 09:10

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 09:10
Use small party balloons over padlocks. Cheap and easy.
AnswerID: 514911

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 09:43

Wednesday, Jul 17, 2013 at 09:43
What about these Paul? Abloy Dust Cover For PL 340/342 Padlock

Just used Google so I cannot comment on them. Just an idea and at $19 (including shipping) may be worth a try.

have you tried the local locksmith shop?

Cheers

Phil
AnswerID: 514913

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