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Old 03-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #1
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Vehicle Theft Prevention

We have heard of jackings, theft out of storage facilities, friends driving off with vehicles, and Stolen RVs being used a meth labs.
Do you consider this much of a problem or risk?
Just what are we doing to deter and prevent theft of our RVs, 5er, trailers and what is being done to aid in their recovery?

Back in the 80s, before the internet, I affixed orange and silver reflective tape to the top of their RV two air conditioner covers [simular to panel markers] So from the sky Air Medical Helicopters could more easily find and identify them in day or night.

1. Marking the roof of your RV with a symbol or number can be used to easily identify your RV from the sky when parked among other RVs or traveling down the highway if ever stolen. If you're a fan of the Dukes of Hazard, A BIG flag would work
2. When parked in your driveway, have a wireless motion detector placed in your RV that is activated by your house alarm system.
3. Install an auto ignition kill switch that requires a key pad or fob to work.
4. You could have LoJack installed. One time cost of $850.00-$1,200. [with NO monitoring fee] which would alert you immediately if your vehicle is taken without authorization. You should get Insurance discount for comprehensive paying it self off in time.
5. There are RV Alarm companies like RV Guardian. RV GuardianĀ®: Wireless Security System for RVs / Vehicles - Guardian Systems - Products that has monthly monitoring fees for alerts of tresspass and break in. [Not much help in vehicle recovery]
6. When driving down the road especially in slow traffic, keep your doors docked.
7. When fueling up, lock your door from uninvited guests and ALWAYS take the ignition keys with you.


Do you have concerns of vehicle theft? If so, what if any precautions have you taken? What has and has not worked?
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
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I have a few additional precautions for a motorhome:

1: There are starter relays like Vandal Alert/Cyclops TAM which replace the normal relay, then either use a remote or a key in the 12 volt lighter socket to work. These will slow down a crook.

2: On trailers, there are shops in England that sell "locking winter wheels" for trailers. You jack up your rig, pull the wheels off, put these on, and put the wheels somewhere secure. This way, a thief has to crack through the steel plate to get to the lug nuts, get off the locking lug nuts, lift up the rig, and find a set of wheels and tires which match the trailer in order to take it. Another alternative are wheel clamps/boots, but the English solution stops thieves in their tracks.

3: I will go with a few devices and an alarm, but after that, I let insurance deal with it from there.

4: I do agree about a locking fuel door or locking fuel cap. It not just limits a thief's range, but also helps a bit with siphoners (although where I live, they just punch the vehicle's gas tank to drain it.)
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:29 PM   #3
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anti theft

Our sticks and bricks has full time video cameras and the property well marked. Takes 10 pictures of anyone that enters the yard and sends notice to cell phone. When gate is armed sends alert to police.
As for the MH itself .........
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Old 03-05-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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I have used theft alarms, but a well-trained thief can disarm them all. Won't help vs. a quick "smash & grab". So I never leave anything tempting in view inside the vehicle.
One of my first cars, a 1968 AMC AMX two-seater, had a most intereting anti-theft system, which I have never seen since - before cranking the motor, I had to run the gear selector from "P" all the back to "1", then up into "D". Anything else, and the ignition was locked out. A buddy would ask to borrow the car, I'd toss him the keys. He'd come back a few minutes later to tell me my car was 'dead'. "Darn!", I'd say. "Guess I need to get it fixed."
Later he'd see me crank up and drive off....
I have used a heavy duty toggle switch in the ignition wiring to disable the car - the switch was hidden.

Lots of options.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:25 PM   #5
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Last season we had a permanent campsite and our pontoon boat docked close by. Went to take the boat out for a ride and the engine wouldn't turn over. Come to find out they stole the battery. Some of our neighbors also reported their batteries stolen out of their RVs. I also heard that on previous years they'll break in to get meds, booze, TVs, and whatever they can get their hands on.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:46 PM   #6
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No, not much risk. I'm sure it happens, but what are the statistics? What type of storage facility or campground did the events happen in?

An alarmed RV in a secure storage facility only works if the first line security failed. And then, it may not deter the perp in a smash and grab. And then, why would they single out just your rig?

Video is a nifty tool for the cops to investigate crimes.....but that only happens much after the fact. How far will authorites go, and how fast, with petty theft or crimes less than grand larceny? If they make an arrest, there is possible court time/testimony? Likely, the perp pleads out and you simply have an insurance deductible to pay. Many perps truly do not care if there is a security system.

I have not had any break-ins while my rig was in storage for about 20 winters, nor any break-ins where we camped, and have never had anything stolen from the campsite that was left in plain site.

Not camping in risky places is a good idea.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeRevell View Post
I have used theft alarms, but a well-trained thief can disarm them all. Won't help vs. a quick "smash & grab". So I never leave anything tempting in view inside the vehicle.
One of my first cars, a 1968 AMC AMX two-seater, had a most intereting anti-theft system, which I have never seen since - before cranking the motor, I had to run the gear selector from "P" all the back to "1", then up into "D". Anything else, and the ignition was locked out. A buddy would ask to borrow the car, I'd toss him the keys. He'd come back a few minutes later to tell me my car was 'dead'. "Darn!", I'd say. "Guess I need to get it fixed."
Later he'd see me crank up and drive off....
I have used a heavy duty toggle switch in the ignition wiring to disable the car - the switch was hidden.

Lots of options.
Sounds like your AMX had a problem with the neutral safety switch. I have seen that before with older fords and lots of chryslers. American Motors used Chrysler transmissions and neutral switches. But it did work as a theft deterrent.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:06 PM   #8
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My coach has a switch in the coach that disconnects all coach 12 v power. It also has an external swithch that disconnects all chassis 12 v power...so it won't start.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:10 PM   #9
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If concerned mainly about the theft of a motorhome, a starter kill switch (toggle) placed under the dash will work. Cheap and easy. Used one on a daily driver before the keys with the chips in them because the norm.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Live in the middle of nowhere like I do and you don't have to worry about it. Of course, I realize not everyone has that option. And, the problem with the middle of nowhere is that there is nothing to do. lol
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:41 PM   #11
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I think RV's are much more susceptible to vandalism that outright theft.
Once stolen, it's hard to do much with one other than park it permanently at a deer lease or something similar. I just haven't heard much about theft, so I don't believe it happens very often.
If you are that worried about someone stealing your RV, these things are much better than a Lo-Jack.
Vehicle Recovery | Anti Theft Device | Anti Theft System
You can track your vehicle real time on demand and it's not very expensive.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:14 PM   #12
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If they want it, they can come and get it. The keys are in it now and unlocked. Ive got insurance and yes, they will pay even if the keys are in it. (we live in the middle of nowhere and my 140 pound mastiff will wake me and stop them in their tracks)
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #13
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Talking

Obviously we need the best anti-theft and security system availble - THIS!

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Old 03-24-2014, 01:07 PM   #14
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We just had our brand new RV Stolen from Dealer's lot - so take theft seriously

We purchased a 2014 Thor ACE 30.1 at the end of January - used it for a week and then took it back to the dealers to be put into their storage building. We decided to give up our apartment at the end of March and move into our vacation home and use the RV during the week for our local business -.....Last Friday, we called to arrange to pick it up on Saturday morning so the dealer moved it out of the indoor storage and left it locked next to the building - it was last seen at 9pm when a leaving employee checked to make sure it was locked. When we go there Saturday, they gave us the key, but when we went out to get it no one could find it!

We thought we were being safe leaving it in a locked storage building and never thought something like this could happen! Fortunately, our insurance company is very good and they have assured us that it was so new (we had put less than 200 miles on it), that we would get essentially a total refund.

But it has really screwed up our moving plans!

So, when we buy our next one, we will use some of the suggestions on this thread! Including the markings on the roof - our didn't even have plates on it yet because it was so new and no identifying markings. And, my husband is planning on a "kill" switch and transponder.

Additionally, we have read on other threads that the locks on the doors and to outside storage are often the same for other RV's - so we will have the locks all changed.
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