Habitation door security

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by RogeTeri, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    I just knew that I would eventually exit via the habitation door, press down the lock and shut the door to then discover the main doors locked and the keys in the ignition.
    This happened on the Spannish / Portuguese border a couple of days ago. My wife spoke with a local who called a locksmith who with a screwdriver and piece of stiff wire had the habitation door window unlocked within a minute!

    It just brought home to me just how vulnerable the van is! Has anyone had a similar experience and any recommendations to improve security?
     
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  2. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    One way of avoiding the situation is to hide a spare key somewhere under the motorhome such as the chassis so if you forget to remove your keys and the doors lock at least you can get back in without doing any damage. That is where mine is.
     
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  3. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    You made a simple mistake, I'm sure many have done something similar.

    As every MM is different security wise here is my recommendation...

    To start with we do not have a hab door window and secondly the strikeback alarm is all that is needed. At the end of the day if the thief wants in it will not matter what security you have fitted or used they will get in.
    Remember thief's are opportunists - give them the opportunity and they will take it. I have pasted MH's with the hab blinds open whilst they were out and inside I could see TV, computers phones Mifi's etc etc all in view - bloody stupid people. Many MH owners do not even bother to set the alarm when they go out or worse DO NOT set it at night whilst sleeping believing "it ok I'm on a camp site nothing will happen!!!!!"
    Some MH owners think that by being in a site that it is fine to do this as the other MH owners will watch their MH for them........ THINK AGAIN......

    The best way to secure your MH is look around inside before you go out and think "that needs to go away out of sight" and then stand outside looking at your MH and think " can I see anything through the windows ( all of them ) before leaving it" Takes about 30 seconds.............

    Why waste money on locks, bars and padlocks - you end up living in a PRISON.
     
  4. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

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    Hi ,Fiamma and Thulle make good security locks that lock over the Hab door can be purchased from any caravan/MH outlet ,not cheap but good value for peace of mind,happy travels ,Alf:thumb:
     
  5. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I doubt most opportunist thieves would have the skills of a locksmith. When you work with locks all day you get to understand how they work, making opening one without a key, look easy.
    I don't think it's as vulnerable as you think.
    Allan
     
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  6. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    On the X250 dash there's two switches one to lock and one to unlock the central locking. At night we press the central switch to lock all the doors but if you go out without pressing the unlock switch and have left your keys in the motorhome and shut the door you won't be able to get back in. Many of us have done it but only once. We always make sure that the unlock switch is activated before the door is opened hence the spare key taped and hidden under it. We have been on rallies with many motorhomes in attendance when an owner has left keys inside and the doors locked. Even using every ones keys, none would fit. Most owners are members of rescue services who usually have ways and means of entering.
     
  7. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    He never touched the lock. He just prised the habitation window enough with the screwdriver to push the wire through then used that to open the two window catches and hey presto!
     
  8. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I've attached a nylon webbing strap to the inside of the door by driving the large screw/bolt that holds the lock mechanism to the door straight through it. I've attached another webbing strap firmly to the side of the nearest kitchen unit and I connect them with a quick release clip comme ca:

    [​IMG]

    This provides additional security when we're inside the MH overnight, and it's completely independent of the lock mechanisim. The quick release clip allows us to make a rapid exit in an emergency. I've done the same with both boot doors, as they open onto the lower rear bunk bed.

    There are various ways of securing the cab doors from inside, including the use of seatbelts, bars with hooked ends, and cable padlocks.

    As far as the rest goes I just make sure the door alarms are set when we're away from the vehicle and anything valuable is padlocked out of sight. I also pull the side window blinds halfway up at most stops so no-one can see me using a laptop.

    One weak spot is the loo window, but there are ways of blocking a loo door from the habitation area if you want to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  9. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Supplimentary security locks are a waste of time. Its a motorhome, its made from wood, plastic and flimsy aluminium!
    Any idiot with a bar, hammer or screwdriver can force entry in seconds!
    As previously mentioned, the only way is to remove or hide valuables in order not to tempt the opportunist thief.:thumb:
     
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  10. rolandrat

    rolandrat Funster

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    I couldn't agree more.
     
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  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Locks only keep honest people out :Eeek: Most of us have plastic window's with plastic catches that would take seconds to get through just as glass side windows take seconds to break-- Spend small fortunes on any deterrent you like :Smile: if and when burglar bill calls he will get in if he wants:Sad:
    Terry
     
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  12. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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    and dont think a safe is much use a pooliceman told me any safe small enough to be carried by 2 men is a a waste of time
    we were in a spanish hotel complex and burglars removed several security boxes from the rooms in one afternoon
     
  13. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    The other stupid dangerous mistake people make is to up the security to lock themselves in and never consider having to get out in a hurry if there is a fire.

    See Jim's motorhome security book for all round security tips from an expert.
     
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  14. alan

    alan Funster

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    Hab Door

    If you've got a motorhome with a sliding window in the door and all else fails, you can drill a small hole in the top of the window and push small nail or match through the hole which opens the catch.slide the window down and you're in.
    you can then fill it with silicone or sellotape, it can't be seen and you're ready for next time
    Alan
     
  15. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Oh I forgot to say if you lock yourself out you want to do the least damage to get in :Wink: BB has no such qualms :Eeek: in and out in seconds and probably hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of damage
    Terry
     
  16. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    my primary security is locks and alarms. secondary systems in my van have sharp teeth and bark for a living

    then all expensive items are hidden and where appropriate under high security lock and key.

    the harder you make it to break in with additional locks, the more youre advertising that there is something valuable inside. plastic windows are brittle and easily broken. cab door locks can be opened with a screwdriver causing serious damage. an opportunist thief will be in and out within a minute or two at most. a flashing led will deter most if they cant see anything worth stealing through the windows

    as for taping a key to the chassis, its safer to tape it to a wiring loom as then it wont be obvious if anyone looks underneath
     
  17. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    I think fastening a spare key to your motorhome would be looked upon as a reason not to pay you out by an insurance company
     
  18. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    thats why you say nothing about it and hide it so well that only you know how to find it. it would be just as easy for a handbag to get stolen with keys in, but nobody seems to panic that may happen, and it does frequently in tourist areas around the world. do you tell your insurance company every time you leave your bag beside you on a seat etc?
     
  19. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    I have to point out that insurance contracts are based on Law and the legal principle of Uberrima Fides - usually translated as 'Utmost Good Faith'.

    This means that neither party will lie, and if one of them does, this invalidates the cover Ab Initio - ie from inception.

    If the proposer lies, then any and all premiums paid are forfeited.

    If the insurer lies then you really are up a gum tree without a paddle ! :Rofl1:

    So if you said, no keys left in or on the vehicle but they were and then you had an at fault crash and coachloads of people were maimed and a fireball burnt down Heathrow - Insurer reads the Accident detail -and a firemen or someone's statement said eg "vehicle on it's side, spare keys tucked into the wiring loom still visible" - tough - cos you had no insurance .....
     
  20. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    the whole point though Jenny is that the small spare key to a habitation door would be so concealed as to be unfindable without cutting open all the taped up loom. if you look under any van, the wiring loom tends to be pretty substantial with tape covering connectors and wiring etc. unless you use a bright colour of tape which stands out, the hidden key would not be apparent

    i take your point on lying to the insurance company, but most of us leave a spare set hidden or locked away inside the van when we go out. in the original post, the keys were left in the ignition if i recall? not being pedantic as i agree that you shouldnt invalidate insurance, but a habitation door key is safer than an ignition key to hide

    keys for plastic locks though are a laughable security measure. one good twist on a screwdriver will force them open in a second
     
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