Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > MH-General Discussions & Problems
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-05-2022, 12:15 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 523
Move along Mr Catalytic Converter thief...

Cost: $40 or less per RV

Time: About an hour.
Level of difficulty: Low


RVs, being somewhat high up to begin with, are easy targets for catalytic converter thieves. I have 3 RVs. One of the cats was stolen one night when I parked the RV in front of my home. It was covered by insurance (~$4000 to replace), but it put that RV out of commission for about 6 weeks to get the insurance claim taken care of, the parts to come in, and to get it fixed. My RVs usually are parked in storage in a yard that doesn't seem like it would be hard for thieves to visit. In fact, I'm actually surprised they haven't all been stolen. So, I decided to do something to reduce my chances of having another one stolen...



An easy way to protect your catalytic converter...
Simple project any of you can likely do...


Supplies:
This was enough to do 2 and a half of my RVs (I have 3 RVs).
Each RV took about 20' of 3/16" steel cable and 14 of the wire rope clamp clips.



For me doing 3 RVs, here is what I needed:

1 can of VHT Orange Hi-temp engine paint: ($15)
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/c...4?q=vht+orange


32 pack of wire rope clamp clips: ($16) (...actually need 5-6 more to finish the 3rd RV) These were much cheaper than buying at Home Depot.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083P78JP6


50' of 3/16" UNCOATED steel wire cable: ($27) (...actually need about 10 more feet to finish the 3rd RV)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt...3172/203958869



Cable cutter: ($23 with typical Harbor Freight 20% off coupon)
https://www.harborfreight.com/28-inc...ters-6649.html
Or, you might have another way to cut this type of cable. Or, you might be able to borrow a cable cutter from a friend... Note: The one in the picture above was NOT enough to cut or even put a dent in this cable, which I guess is a good thing. The 28" one from Harbor Freight worked great. For my install, I started with a 12' piece of cable and wrapped it from the rear to the front and then secured it in one or two places. Then I took smaller pieces of cable (1-3') and attached it at other various places. An alternative, and possible way around not being able to cut the cable (if you don't have a way) would be to purchase a 25' cable and weave/connect it all as one piece through the various attachment points. If you do this, be sure to put lots of the clamps in the appropriate places so that each connection point needs to be cut by a thief in order to remove the catalytic converter.



Heat wraps: ($5) at Harbor freight for a huge assortment. This is to reduce frayed ends when you cut the cable.




Before:





During:





After:





The visual deterrent is hopefully enough to get the thieves to move on to an easier target. On my RVs the cable is independently attached to 6 or 7 different places (including 2-3 from the top which would be harder for a thief to get to in a short time). EACH would have to be cut in order to get the catalytic converter out.



In the absence of all this, a thief with a cordless sawsall would only need to cut through 2 places with easy access (right before the catalytic converter, and right after) and would likely be done in less than 2 minutes. With this system, they would need to cut all of the additional cable locations where it is attached to the frame. This would, I believe, be a bit challenging with a sawsall as the cable will not necessarily remain still while they attempt to cut it. Also, the attachment points up high will be difficult to reach with a sawsall. If they happen to have cable cutters with them (...I'm guessing most of the time they do not), it still creates a situation where they will have to spend significantly more time trying to remove an orange catalytic converter (...which effectively flags the catalytic converter as stolen to authorities and some who are receiving/recycling these).


The clamps are just held on with 2 nuts. I don't think a thief would ever spend the time unbolting all of them as it would take them probably 20-30 minutes to do so.


So, for ~$30-40 you can probably reduce your chances of having your catalytic converter stolen by 80-90%.



Want to reduce your chances even further?? Here's what else I have done to provide more security at my RV for very little $$$. I added this simple security system to my RV: ($54)



https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OHD15E6
I attached the horn/alarm to my chassis battery. It has some electrical draw, but my chassis battery gets charged by my solar via a Trik-L-Start (Mega TRIK-L-START Starting Battery Charger/Maintainer) so it doesn't matter. If you have solar on your coach batteries only, you could attach this horn/alarm to your coach batteries. The horn is quite loud!


I attach one of the motion sensors underneath my RV pointing right at the catalytic converter aiming towards the top cable connections. Doing this, makes it so it avoids any false alarms from animals, or leaves, etc moving underneath the RV. (Note: Sometimes a hot catalytic converter sets this motion alarm off, so you might need to let the system cool a bit before setting your alarm). Now, if a thief DOES decide they want to spend the time trying to cut out my catalytic converter along with all the multiple cable connections, they will certainly trip the very loud alarm system and they will have to leave unsuccessfully.


I will mount one of the other motion sensors inside the RV (in case anyone breaks in while the RV is in storage or if I'm away from it on a long hike while camping). I also put one of the window/door alarms on my external generator compartment door. I haven't done it yet, but with the extra window/door alarms (or some extra motion alarms I bought), I will likely put one in the large external trunk storage area. We all know it wouldn't take much for someone to pry open a compartment (or use a common key).


Well, I think that about covers it! For ~$100 you can easily add some serious theft protection to your RV and catalytic converter. Inexpensive peace of mind...



Stay safe everyone!
Chris
SJ-Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-05-2022, 07:23 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,722
Image server is broken.
__________________
TandW
TandW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 07:25 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
jacwjames's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 12,380
Looks like you put a lot of work into that but with the battery powered side grinders on the market a serious thief will make short work of the this. It will probably deter the average thief.
__________________
Jim J
2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
jacwjames is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 07:29 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 81
Since the loop around the tube at the rear of the vehicle (the top in your picture) is loose it looks to me like a thief could cut the tube at the front (the bottom of the picture) then at the rear then slip the catalytic converter out towards the back of the vehicle. You could prevent this by attaching that rear loop to in a way that it can't just be folded out of the way after cutting the tube.
Punkinhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 08:09 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Argosy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: MI
Posts: 1,517
It looks like the cable is under the clamps that hold the heat shield on at both ends.
Argosy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 08:17 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,722
Wondering why I continue to get a server error when trying to view pics.
__________________
TandW
TandW is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:21 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 594
Well you have delayed them about two minutes. If your coach is at a storage yard unattended sadly what you did was futile. The paint means nothing as they do not want the converter to use again, they want whats inside.
These scumbags will get it no matter what.
__________________
2021 Newmar Ventana 4369 Freightliner Chassis
2020 Chevy Blazer Toad
Winger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:31 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Watertown NY USA
Posts: 5,354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winger2 View Post
Well you have delayed them about two minutes. If your coach is at a storage yard unattended sadly what you did was futile. The paint means nothing as they do not want the converter to use again, they want whats inside.
These scumbags will get it no matter what.
True but it might look favorable to your insurance company if you did suffer a loss. At least you tried to prevent it.
Unfortunately not all thieves are lazy or stupid. There has to be more controls put on the people buying these converters. No market, no theft.
__________________
2002 Fleetwood Storm 30H on Workhorse P32 chassis 8.1 gas.
LETMGROW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:33 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 34
I work for a company that has a very large fleet of step vans. Mostly Freightliner chassis and Work Horse. Sadly we have been a target for this for many years. Recently the garage responsible for replacing the Cats that do get stolen decided to do this. Apparently there are kits you can buy.

What they learned is a good thief works around the mess and causes more expensive repair due to the amount of exhaust removed as a result of the work around.

It'll slow some down, but in the end it may end up costing you more.

Food for thought.
Nemisus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 10:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
hogdriver's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Polk City, FL
Posts: 3,317
I applaud your effort.

What I would do…..if I could
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	6D412A1E-3D52-48F2-BFF8-1A07FF0F3673.jpeg
Views:	42
Size:	113.5 KB
ID:	375531  
__________________
Dave & Debbie
2021 Newmar DutchStar 4369
2016 Ford Edge&2019 Ford F-150 toads
hogdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 11:22 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 9,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by hogdriver View Post
I applaud your effort.

What I would do…..if I could
Ha!
My kind-a preventative! Along with 220V wired to the coach chassis, pungee sticks just underneath it, spring loaded bayonets, some James Bond auto-spray boiling oil and a few others.

All kidding aside, what I can't understand is, just EXACTLY how are these lower than scum are fencing these things? I would assume, (which means you know what in the moniker thing) that obviously a recycle center of any value and wanting to stay in business, would not accept a pickup load of catalytic converters from Joe Shmow with out of state plates. I might also assume, that since the outer shell is of zero value 'cause it's primarily tin, that the units are gutted and the insides are then maybe compiled in some form that makes them easier to sell, just a guess here. I would also assume that PD's all over this nation are acutely aware of the situation and have been for quite some time. And as such, have been in contact with every single metal recycle establishment within their respective jurisdictions and, any other "fence" or "chop shop" or ? that would potentially be on the receiving end from thieves.

Someone's still accepting these from thieves even as we speak. You would think that insurance executives would be STANDING on PD's desks all over this nation demanding some tighter action. I know, I know, insurance companies can very easily recoup their losses by simply RAISING RATES which they do quite often.

If I had a gas coach, and I had to store it away from home in some storage yard, you can bet the farm that I'd have some serious protection around that CAT!
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Heidi character, (mini Schnauzer)!
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 11:32 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by LETMGROW View Post
True but it might look favorable to your insurance company if you did suffer a loss. At least you tried to prevent it.
Unfortunately not all thieves are lazy or stupid. There has to be more controls put on the people buying these converters. No market, no theft.
Again, the people stealing them are not reselling them. They are stealing them, stripping off the casing and getting to the precious metals inside. No one is buying, nor installing them. Even the scrap metal company will not buy a whole catalytic converter. The thieves strip them down and sell the innards.
Thats why painting them means absolutely nothing.
PS The insurance company does not care whether you took an extra precaution, they will reimburse you either way. Its not like they will give you anything extra.
__________________
2021 Newmar Ventana 4369 Freightliner Chassis
2020 Chevy Blazer Toad
Winger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 11:49 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
FIRE UP's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Out there, somewhere
Posts: 9,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winger2 View Post
Again, the people stealing them are not reselling them. They are stealing them, stripping off the casing and getting to the precious metals inside. No one is buying, nor installing them. Even the scrap metal company will not buy a whole catalytic converter. The thieves strip them down and sell the innards.
Thats why painting them means absolutely nothing.
PS The insurance company does not care whether you took an extra precaution, they will reimburse you either way. Its not like they will give you anything extra.
TO WHOM?
Scott
__________________
2004 ITASCA HORIZON 36GD, 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4 Toad '18 Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports DCT
Retired-29.5 yrs, SDFD, Ham - KI6OND
Me, Karla and the Heidi character, (mini Schnauzer)!
FIRE UP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2022, 11:56 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 523
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacwjames View Post
Looks like you put a lot of work into that but with the battery powered side grinders on the market a serious thief will make short work of the this. It will probably deter the average thief.

That's the thing....it was NOT a lot of work to install. Easy access. Less than an hour. The easy access is what makes them so easy to steal in the first place!


Even with a side grinder...instead of 2 cuts and they are done, now they need to cut 8-9 different places. 2-3 of those places are high up above the catalytic converter where it was even hard for me to reach with a socket to install the clamps (so it will be quite hard to stick a grinder up there). All the while, they will trigger the very loud alarm and likely feel the need to leave.


$100 well spent (which includes the cost of the alarm). I think it reduced my risk of losing another catalytic converter significantly.


Good luck all!
Chris
SJ-Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
cat, converter



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I feel like a thief.............. TLGPE New Member Check-In 18 05-23-2012 04:17 PM
Thief Enters While We Slept!! Chickadee iRV2.com General Discussion 77 04-29-2010 09:25 AM
Thief Enters While We Slept!! Chickadee Newmar Owner's Forum 1 02-03-2010 08:43 AM
How to catch a Cyber Thief CD Just Conversation 4 11-20-2008 07:13 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.