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EA37TS 12-08-2015 03:44 PM

RV Security
 
On another thread I mentioned an article written by Mike Wendland for the August 2015 issue of Family Motor Coaching Magazine titled when "Moving On after Thieves Move In" and it was suggested that RV security would make a good thread in and of itself.

The article mentioned is also a Blog post and can be located here:

https://roadtreking.com/rt36-roadtrek...en-ripped-off/

Thanks to JamieGeek for providing the link.

Although I believe one should not always divulge the specifics of security systems or procedures it would be nice to discuss generic concepts that folks use when travelling and camping.

Take it away folks....

JamieGeek 12-08-2015 04:15 PM

I'd like to add: please keep the topic to RV security (e.g. things you do to keep items in your RV secure).

I would really like to avoid the whole "do you take your gun with you" because those threads quickly go to the lowest common denominator and accomplish nothing.

My thoughts after reading his blog post (didn't listen to the podcast but the notes appear to be a transcript): His RV has a key fob which the thieves thwarted somehow to gain entry (the mention of the insurance company not wanting to pay because of no signs of forced entry--really!? wow!). Many motorhomes don't use a keyfob and on many of those there really is no clear path to the inside via the outside storage units. Thus they may be slightly more secure (e.g. may take the thieves another 30 seconds to get in) because of that fact.

In his case as well: I don't think the Roadtrek has any outside storage bins that use the 751 key? Even if it did I'm not sure the thieves knew about that point of entry.

(A note: On our 5th wheel you could easily gain entry into the main area of the RV from one or more of the outside storage bins.)

Phil Saran 12-08-2015 04:31 PM

Some people add small safes somewhere in their RV. Just another idea.

Lloyd 12-08-2015 04:47 PM

[QUOTE=JamieGeek;22844]I'd like to add: please keep the topic to RV security (e.g. things you do to keep items in your RV secure).

I would really like to avoid the whole "do you take your gun with you" because those threads quickly go to the lowest common denominator and accomplish nothing.

To each his own as far as how to make/keep your RV secure.
In all reality, the RV is not something that can be made truly secure. When you are away and thieves want to get in, they can and will.
When I'm there, it's a different story should they come calling.
Whether you agree with the gun concept or not, that is what they would be staring at if they break into my rig while I'm there.:)

joemusic321 12-08-2015 04:48 PM

I suspect finding a "safe" place for a safe would present it's own set of problems, though.

JamieGeek 12-08-2015 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lloyd
Whether you agree with the gun concept or not, that is what they would be staring at if they break into my rig while I'm there.

My point wasn't about if people bring guns or not; its just that discussions of such a topic often derail and become shouting matches. Just trying to keep this civil and constructive.

EA37TS 12-08-2015 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joemusic321 (Post 22847)
I suspect finding a "safe" place for a safe would present it's own set of problems, though.

The one thing that has always amazed me are the, in my opinion, idiots that will get on a public forum and provide details, to include photos, of their "secret storage areas" or where they store their valuables or what items they carry in their rigs. These idiots don't realize the bad guys read the forums as well as anyone else.

One such post was on IRV2 where someone created a post secret storage area on a particular model RV. Well dude, it's not a secret anymore.

Beatlesman 12-08-2015 07:58 PM

I was thinking about replacing the locks on the outside storage doors. Seems like a logical step to at least make it inconvenient for a thief. Curious if others have replaced the locks and where a good source for them.

Dennis and Carol

EA37TS 12-08-2015 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beatlesman (Post 22854)
I was thinking about replacing the locks on the outside storage doors. Seems like a logical step to at least make it inconvenient for a thief. Curious if others have replaced the locks and where a good source for them.

Dennis and Carol

If you are interested in combination style cam locks you can get either 3 or 4 digit locks from Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...04SA70S4ZEYY72

https://www.amazon.com/Combi-Cam-7850.../dp/B000W7DBWA

I am sure they are available from other suppliers as well.

Tytlfamily 12-08-2015 10:57 PM

I have a safe I use at home, just so happens it fits perfect in a certain spot in the Hurricane. It is fairly heavy, and is a fireproof safe also.....that was my real intent, as we go semi full time sometime next year....I was concerned about personal documents protection. Also, I'm thinking if you get robbed in a RV park, even if there are not that many other campers there, I suspect it would be more of a grab and go........highly unlikely they would lug a 80lbs safe out of the MH.

Tytlfamily 12-08-2015 10:58 PM

As far as personal protection, use whatever you are competent, comfortable, and properly trained with to protect your family.

Nursx2 12-09-2015 01:48 AM

I have a hunting Knife and machete (Harbor Freight) next to me bed and three cans of pepper spray - one by the main door hanging above. If anyone tries to get near my family - they come through me first!


If we are not there, have at it - I have good insurance!

Mr Sunshine 12-09-2015 02:08 AM

I agree with Tytlfamily, thieves probably want to get in, grab purses, billfolds and electronics and run. Poke around your coach, you'll find places that are unlikely to be found with a quick look around, if you want to hide something.

Years ago, we went to a seminar on security at a rally. Here's some ideas:
-Carry a wasp bomb to use like pepper spray, it sprays farther, disables and won't have lasting effects. You don't need a permit to carry wasp bomb!
-They said the best firearm for RV protection is a short barrel shot gun. Better chance to hit your target under pressure.
-Avoid signs that say, "Protected by Smith & Wesson" as thieves might break in to just steal your firearms if they think you are absent.
-Mark your roof with a letter or symbol, so your stolen RV can be spotted from an airplane or helicopter. They all look pretty similar from above.
-Lock your doors at rest areas, truck stops and gas stations, at all times. Park where your door is visible by people passing by and at night, lighted.
-Never leave purses, billfolds or electronics out and visible.

Nursx2 12-09-2015 02:20 AM

I like the roof idea! How did it say to mark it? Will paint damage the rubber roof I am wondering?

TyCreek 12-09-2015 02:29 AM

Dogs can provide a level of security.
Changing out those generic keyed locks helps with reducing easy opportunity access. Though I wouldn't recommend combination locks because I've watched those get opened in just a few minutes and some almost as fast as knowing the numbers! I see those as just a challenge taunting kids that happen to be near.

Nursx2 12-09-2015 02:29 AM

I like the idea of the roof - How did they recommend marking? Would paint damage the rubber roof!


I also prefer pepper spray due to the ultraviolet dye included - hard to wash off and helps identify the perp when the police arrive!

Mr Sunshine 12-09-2015 02:52 AM

Painting AC shrouds has been discussed on other forums, some used Krylon paint for plastics.

KNMIB 12-09-2015 12:50 PM

We installed a small hand gun safe in our wardrobe closet for jewelry, cash and a gun if I decide to carry one. We also have mace near the door. As far as storage locks It looks like they could easily pry open any lock used.

JamieGeek 12-09-2015 01:18 PM

Lots of reading on the subject:

Crime in RV Trailers
KOA Article on crime in campgrounds
Good notes in both articles. They both point out that crime in RV parks is pretty low--you are more likely to encounter something while on the road (which is when Mike got robbed in the post that started this thread).
In our case we simply use common sense: (like mentioned in the articles) Lock the doors, keep the curtains closed, keep all the storage bays locked (751 key notwithstanding), etc. (One of the reasons I got the windshield cover was to keep prying eyes out in the daytime...)
Since we don't fulltime we only carry what we need for that trip (aside from a laptop or two and a phone or two). When we leave the camper our phones are with us so about the only expensive things they could steal are electronics...easily replaceable.

Happily Retired 12-09-2015 02:02 PM

Other than our phones and iPad, which are with us when we leave the campground, we really don't carry much worth stealing. A bigger concern for us, and one of the reasons we like having a toad, is someone breaking in and having our dogs escape. Much prefer leaving them in the RV at the campground than a store parking lot!!

We have recently bought a portable satellite. Haven't had an opportunity to use it yet. Just curious if any of you have had problems leaving a satellite out in campgrounds. Since it finds satellites automatically, really wouldn't be too much trouble to bring inside at night or when away from the coach, if necessary.

Maverick 12-09-2015 02:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Happily Retired (Post 22889)
Other than our phones and iPad, which are with us when we leave the campground, we really don't carry much worth stealing. A bigger concern for us, and one of the reasons we like having a toad, is someone breaking in and having our dogs escape. Much prefer leaving them in the RV at the campground than a store parking lot!!

We have recently bought a portable satellite. Haven't had an opportunity to use it yet. Just curious if any of you have had problems leaving a satellite out in campgrounds. Since it finds satellites automatically, really wouldn't be too much trouble to bring inside at night or when away from the coach, if necessary.

I am hanging my Satellite at the top of my ladder. then remove the ladder. It will still be locked to my ladder mount. Nobody can walk in front of it now.

Beacher 12-09-2015 03:42 PM

Almost two years ago I posted about crime at Quartzite and how my friends entire motorhome was stripped, (appliances, genny, TVs, and all valuables), while they left to sightsee for the day.

The overall responses to my post focused not on what happened, but denial that it could or did happen. Many replied about "it never happened to me", so it's not true. And, my favorite, "it's so safe there everybody watches out for everybody else"!

That last statement is completely false. Only people that you personally know and trust are watching out for your best interest, (and watching your property).

I have personally witnessed at State beach campgrounds, and private RVParks as "stuff", (portable generators, chairs, coolers, stoves, bicycles), taken in broad daylight, as neighbors clearly see it, and nobody does absolutely anything, (I ended up reporting it to the ranger, and/or called the local police).

While the RVIA, Goodsam, and FMCA, and other always promote RVing as a friendly group of like minded folks, my experience over the past 25 years RVing has been more like the comedy movie RV. When I owned a PopUp, red-vested Good Sam members at the KOA in Chula Vista, CA actually set up chairs to watch me setup and laugh as I tripped or dropped anything. They never offered to help, and actually clapped when I cranked up the roof!

I have mentioned that I have seen neighbors look the other way as crime has occurred, and I constantly see dog owners not pick up after their pooch in RVParks.

Folks, if your concerned about security in an RV....... Well, unless you are in it at the time, just forget about it!:nonono: If a thief wants in, all it takes is a screwdriver to get into a million dollar Prevost motorhome. Or, they can realistically tow the whole thing away.

And, don't rely on your neighbors or the RVPark to watch out for your stuff, (unless you personally know them).:coolsmiley:

EA37TS 12-09-2015 03:54 PM

Although they can be pricey there are RV security systems on the market that provide alerts to you cell phone in the event of an intrusion. One such system is:

The RV Security System. Cellular Video Security on the Road or in Storage.

I can see where these type systems would be beneficial to full timers or folks that park the RV at a campground on a seasonal or long term basis. Also for those that place their RV in a relatively unsecure (no 24 hour security) storage facility for the winter.

JamieGeek 12-09-2015 04:51 PM

Wow that is expensive. I'd bet a simple DIY system with a camera, Raspberry Pi, and a cellular modem would work good enough. In addition, a DIY system may not look "nice" enough to steal! LOL

Lets see:
  • Raspberry pi: $35 (They now sell one for $10!)
  • Camera board: $30
  • Cellular modem board: ~$30
Hmm $95 beats their price by a lot! Still would have to pay for cellular service, and this setup would be a bit of a power draw and thus would work at campgrounds (and storage lots with 120V access).

jacksmi 12-09-2015 05:57 PM

Has anyone replaced their storage locks. I noticed that the tangs are kind of short so it wouldn't take much prying to pop open a storage compartment. That and the CH751 issue makes new storage locks seem like an obvious first step. I also found it quite easy to think you locked the storage but in fact the tang pivoted between the weather stripping and the door frame instead of behind the door frame.

Jedsmom 12-09-2015 11:14 PM

If my motorhome was broken into, I think my homeowner's insurance would cover the contents. Damage to the rig would be covered by its insurance.

Has anyone considered installing a kill switch on the ignition, so that it couldn't be hot-wired and driven away? And are Lojacks an option for motorhomes?

Tytlfamily 12-09-2015 11:40 PM

RV Security
 
Presence: Free smart home motion detector webcam for security, surveillance, and energy by People Power Company
https://appsto.re/us/d9W3K.i
I've been using this with an iPod set up when I leave. I use it to keep an eye on the girls ( dog and cat). Works real good. Usually have a good wifi signal with my jetpack........it records anytime it senses motion, and emails you the clip. I can use my phone as a remote to look in on the camera live anytime I want .

EA37TS 12-10-2015 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jedsmom (Post 22916)
If my motorhome was broken into, I think my homeowner's insurance would cover the contents. Damage to the rig would be covered by its insurance.

Has anyone considered installing a kill switch on the ignition, so that it couldn't be hot-wired and driven away? And are Lojacks an option for motorhomes?

The consensus in some articles I've read is that although LoJack can be installed on an RV, OnStar is better in practicality and national coverage. I guess OnStar has been working with RV manufacturers for a couple of years.

sky_blue 12-10-2015 03:58 PM

If you listened to their podcast, the issue was that someone had cloned their remote car lock. The best solution for those Class B's that use these is to NEVER even carry or use the remote. I realize that it would be an inconvenience. Just use the physical key. Us Class A folks have been doing it for years without any problems (tongue in cheek).

sky_blue 12-10-2015 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tytlfamily (Post 22919)
Presence: Free smart home motion detector webcam for security, surveillance, and energy by People Power Company
https://appsto.re/us/d9W3K.i
I've been using this with an iPod set up when I leave. I use it to keep an eye on the girls ( dog and cat). Works real good. Usually have a good wifi signal with my jetpack........it records anytime it senses motion, and emails you the clip. I can use my phone as a remote to look in on the camera live anytime I want .

Doesn't this solution require connectivity (WiFi or cell data connection)?

sky_blue 12-10-2015 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jacksmi (Post 22906)
Has anyone replaced their storage locks. I noticed that the tangs are kind of short so it wouldn't take much prying to pop open a storage compartment. That and the CH751 issue makes new storage locks seem like an obvious first step. I also found it quite easy to think you locked the storage but in fact the tang pivoted between the weather stripping and the door frame instead of behind the door frame.

jacksmi, I have replaced my CH751 locks with cylinder locks. It is an easy $100 fix that took about 30 mins to replace all 10 of my locks. Check in the forum for where to buy them and warnings about making sure they are all keyed similarly AND that the keys are removable.

Maverick 12-10-2015 06:25 PM

Simplisafe
 
You might want to consider this. It's called "Simplisafe Security System".
Home Security Systems from SimpliSafe

Design your own inexpensive package. As low as $.50/day. You DIY installation is easy, then you call them to set it up to call you and not the police.

jacksmi 12-10-2015 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gbrown (Post 22943)
jacksmi, I have replaced my CH751 locks with cylinder locks. It is an easy $100 fix that took about 30 mins to replace all 10 of my locks. Check in the forum for where to buy them and warnings about making sure they are all keyed similarly AND that the keys are removable.

I will be doing this soonest. Thanks for the heads up on specifying non-retaining. Sounds like a "gotcha" that is easy to overlook.

TyCreek 12-10-2015 11:46 PM

When I was looking, RV Locks and More had better prices than most other places for a CH751 lock replacement... Not sure if they're still the lowest cost.

sky_blue 12-10-2015 11:58 PM

Here is what I got.High Security Tubular Locks

Beacher 12-11-2015 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tytlfamily (Post 22919)
Presence: Free smart home motion detector webcam for security, surveillance, and energy by People Power Company
https://appsto.re/us/d9W3K.i
I've been using this with an iPod set up when I leave. I use it to keep an eye on the girls ( dog and cat). Works real good. Usually have a good wifi signal with my jetpack........it records anytime it senses motion, and emails you the clip. I can use my phone as a remote to look in on the camera live anytime I want .


That is sooo cool! I have an old IPod touch that will get a new life this weekend!

Tytlfamily 12-11-2015 04:41 PM

I travel a lot for my job, and also leave it hid in my suitcase in the hotel.

jrben 03-14-2016 01:59 PM

The number one think you can do to secure your RV is change the locks. You would be surprised at how many other RV's out there use the same keys as you do. In my opinion, the best solution is to spend a little money on a locksmith and have your cylinders rekeyed (replaced) so that your keys are unique to your coach.

Kate1025 09-07-2019 05:03 PM

What will fit ?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tytlfamily (Post 22861)
I have a safe I use at home, just so happens it fits perfect in a certain spot in the Hurricane. It is fairly heavy, and is a fireproof safe also.....that was my real intent, as we go semi full time sometime next year....I was concerned about personal documents protection. Also, I'm thinking if you get robbed in a RV park, even if there are not that many other campers there, I suspect it would be more of a grab and go........highly unlikely they would lug a 80lbs safe out of the MH.

Looking for suggestion on size... do you think the 52" L X 14" deep or the 48" wide 28" deep (underbed style safe) - We will be purchasing a Miramar and going full time next year - just trying to get some advance purchases for the RV, while we are downsizing everything else. thanks

RVMichael 09-08-2019 09:22 PM

Don't forget to deadbolt when the sun goes down
 
We were at Colt Creek State Park in Florida and about 10:30 Sunday night, I had gone to sleep and my wife was up watching some TV. All of sudden my wife sees a face through the opaque window in the door. It goes away for a second, then it reappears only this time the person started rattling the door to get in. My wife goes running into the bedroom to get me and I stealthily go to the living room and start peeking out the kitchen window and see nothing. After about 10 or 15 minutes we start getting back to normal and I am able to go back to bed. After asking neighbors if they saw anything the conversation turned to a 30ish or 40ish looking man who was EXTREMELY friendly and wanted to go fishing with everybody and be everybody's best friend. The neighbor said the man was overly friendly with his young teenage daughters and almost started a fist fight. Turns out the man was on crack and was bothering tons of people. He was in a 20-25 foot white passport travel trailer with a dagger over the door. Somebody had towed him (probably to get rid of him) to the park and he was just camping there in the state park doing drugs. The FWC Officer (the ones that carry the guns and are full fledged law officers) came and took a report. Apparently some people will go to state parks and think, hey I'm camping in the woods so laws don't really apply here. I'm always deadbolting my door when the sun goes down!

Bob Denman 09-08-2019 10:02 PM

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