New Motorhome Security - Advice Please

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Falcon 269, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Hi everyone,

    We take delivery of our new Adria MH here in Spain on 3 May and I'm trying to decide what forms of security are essential/desirable.

    I have it in mind to return to the UK in October and get an alarm fitted then but in the meantime, I'd appreciate some of your thoughts on physical security devices/procedures to use while we're away and for when the MH is stored locally in a secure compound.

    First, I understand that new Ducato-based vehicles have cab door deadlocks and a decent immobiliser system as standard. Do I need more in that area?

    I can see that devices to prevent the window handles being opened through the frame seals are essential. Any advice on this, please?

    Also, the habitation and garage doors - are extra locks/bars worth the cost? If so, what's considered the best way to go here?

    Finally, I'll be sourcing some window/door alarms ahead of getting a full system installed in October. Recommendations for both types would be welcomed. :Smile:

    Many thanks in anticipation :thumb:
     
  2. Phill D

    Phill D

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    Hi, 1st for me there is only one security system woth fitting and that Eddie Vanbitz's strike back with a few extras for additional lockers etc.

    i also have a tracker fitted, whether you go for self monitor or a system covered by european monitoring is a personal choice.

    the Fiat immobiliser appears to be a good one.

    i am not a fan of additional locks on habitation ans lockers, ( extra damage caused when breaking in ).


    Jim has a great book on motorhome Security worth a read.
     
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  3. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Falcon 269 and welcome :thumb:-locks only keep honest people out :Smile: No need for extra security unless it's for your peace of mind -Mines an old van so all I have had done is a cat 1 alarm/immobilizer -window wise you have to be inside to press and hold a button in on the catches-so if someone is going to force these there's nothing much you can do
    terry
     
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  4. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Thanks to you both - all noted. :Smile:

    I'll come back with additional questions when - hopefully - a few more have chipped in.
     
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  5. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    Our Boxer based van has deadlocks on the cab doors, they can't be opened from inside or outside using the handles when they are locked.
    We have the standard immobiliser, 2 trackers fitted, a GPS tracker and a GSM unit. Both monitored. We also have an Armacat catalytic converter security device. Oh, and a steering wheel Disklock and locking wheel nuts.
    If all that fails, we have insurance.

    Allan
     
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  6. jhorsf

    jhorsf Read Only Funster

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    The best advice I can give you if your van is in storage is find somewhere that is secure and manned 24 7
     
  7. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    My van is alarmed but I was given good advice by fellow Funsters (Jeff and Alison I think) I met at Monte Cassino last year, they attached a cargo strap to the handrails inside the cab doors so they can't be opened from the outside. I understand a lot of thefts involve items quickly taken from this area. I now use this everywhere I park including campsites, not because I don't trust fellow campers but nowhere is secure from thieves from off-site. I also have a steering wheel lock and intend to get Milenco window alarms and 'lock m out' window locks when I return to England.
     
  8. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Again, thanks for all the replies.

    I guess what I need a bit more enlightenment on is exactly what I'm securing against.

    Is it theft of the actual vehicle or a determined break-in to steal as many valuables as can be rounded up in a short search period, or opportunist sneak-thieves who will grab cameras, wallets or whatever else is left in reach in an unguarded moment?

    Those with trackers fitted and with steering wheel and gear lever locks must be concerned about the vehicle itself. Is motorhome theft a real big issue in the UK and/or Europe?

    I see the logic in saying that extra locks won't deter the serious villain and will only lead to more vehicle damage.

    The sort of precautions to counter sneak thieves are common sense and a lot of that must come from a realisation that this sort of thing happens quite frequently. Every reply so far has given me food for thought.

    The storage area I have in mind is secured and under 24/7 watch. Not the cheapest but worth it until I can get the Strikeback alarm fitted later in the year. There's nowhere I know of on the Costa Blanca that can fit an equivalent quality alarm which is why I'm having to wait until we can get back to the UK. Unless someone knows otherwise, of course ... :Smile:
     
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  9. DonA4000

    DonA4000 Funster

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    If its just something temporary as a deterrent how about buying cobra alarm stickers for your windows and you can buy vehicle tracker stickers which they will add your registration number to them? You can buy both from ebay.

    :Smile:
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
  10. Wombles

    Wombles Funster

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    Did lots of research on here & the web plus our our experience of being caravanners resulted in Vanbitz Strikeback alarm, Milenco Sleep Safe alarms & Lock M Out on windows, Fiamma locker door locks (tried Milenco ones but very heavy & poorly finished), Heosafe hab door lock (can be secured on outside & still same for getting out in an emergency), locking wheel nuts, cheap phone as a tracker, Clutch Claw, Milenco cab interior locks plus thinking about car safe, etching windows & etching the catalytic converter! Bit of an investment but we intend to keep the motorhome as long as we can... Don't forget a dog lead & a big bowl even if you don't have a dog! Don't want to give away all our secrets but might help a Funster or two?
     
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  11. Mastercamper

    Mastercamper Read Only Funster

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    We had all this......It was never nicked, Damn thing caught fire!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
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  12. SMB

    SMB Funster

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    Never thought of using a cheap phone as a tracker, thanks :thumb:
     
  13. sdc77

    sdc77 Funster

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    I can't speak for Spain... But in the UK your newish van will either be stolen with keys (by burglary for example) or towed away (handbrake cable cut dragged onto truck).
    Key security and good physical security will help prevent this.
     
  14. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    there is a cheap self monitored tracker on ebay about £35. takes a payg sim card and you can set it to text you if the van is started and or moved from storage. then you go online and can track its location or immobilise it by sending a command in a text message. I would also say fit a thatcham approved catagory2 to 1 upgrade alarm to the cab. you can always add a second alarm later and a basic car alarm is better than none at all.

    as for add on locks, they will only slow a thief down, plastic windows break very easily with no noise. so there really is little point. install a key locked safe, that is bolted in, not a digital one as those can be opened in seconds too easily. even on a site or aire, double lock the cab doors as these are a weak point

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hot-Mini-...3?pt=UK_In_Car_Technology&hash=item1e7fdfdf7d
     
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  15. ryanita

    ryanita Read Only Funster

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    Nice share, same with you. [​IMG]I see the logic in saying that extra locks won't deter the serious villain and will only lead to more vehicle damage.
     
  16. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    Interesting reading - thank you all. :Smile:

    It seems reliable stats on actual MH theft are virtually impossible to find. The online databases of stolen vehicles I've seen suggest that maybe only a few dozen a year are going that way. Bad news if it's yours but not a large percentage - unless you know otherwise?

    I get the impression that most thefts of newer MHs involve theft of the keys first to disable alarms and engine immobilisers. When not travelling, our keys will be in the safe at home, the MH offsite in secure 24/7 monitored parking.

    I realise that nothing will stop the determined pro but alarms don't seem to attract enough response quick enough to scare off smash 'n' grabbers, either. Other than a false peace of mind, are they really worth the cost, I wonder?

    The Strikeback alarm enjoys a great reputation but even their sales blurb quotes a case where a theft from Strikeback-protected MH was only averted because the additional GSM Concept module alerted the owners who were shopping in the supermarket car park at the time. No-one else in the vicinity took any notice of the alarm sirens! It took a £300 add-on measure to back up a £600 alarm system. I understand the concept of layered defence and all that but that's a lot of money and my insurance offers no discount for alarm systems.

    As a motorcycle owner forced for years to fit alarms just to get insurance cover, I have to say I'm generally sceptical of their value and reliability. I'm a much greater fan of physical security instead. So, for starters, our MH will be getting Heosafe lockable cab and hab door locks, a Clutchclaw and a bolt-in safe. Milenco window alarms on the windows, too, for peace of mind while we're tucked up for the night. A few dummy alarm LEDs and some 'alarm fitted' stickers from ebay for additional visual discouragement of the casual tea-leaf. I'm sure the pros can spot the difference but worth a couple of tenners, eh?

    I haven't completely closed my mind to the Strikeback alarm (none of the others will get my money, though) but for now I'm thinking that security starts with a little paranoia based on the realisation that it can and does happen. Be alert, take sensible precautions and never let your guard down. It's not going to spoil our fun, though. :thumb:

    Now, anyone know where I can buy a can of pepper spray and one of those girt great extending whackers the police carry? :Wink:
     
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  17. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    I think THIS is the only way to get those where you are.......you may even qualify for a gun!
     
  18. Falcon 269

    Falcon 269 Funster

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    :BigGrin: ... you may have a point, sir. :Wink:
     
  19. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    The best motorhome security is not to leave valuables laying around your van and to get a dog (or two)!:thumb:

    When parked at home, hide your keys well! A safe just shows the thief where all your stuff is!
     
  20. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    People do take notice of alarms, would you ignore an alarm sounding in a Motorhome, while some little Croat was trying to rip a navigation unit out of a dashboard? Would you perhaps take a photo? Phone the police? intervene?

    Ifs thief was walking down the road trying door handles and a door opened and an alarm went off, he isn't likely to stand there with his hands up, saying " it was me! take me away" :Wink:

    So there often isn't anything for people to "take" notice of, when an alarm has been triggered, as it has done its job.

    To such an point that our current reprint of our information, which should be ready Peterborough show, doesn't list the GSM pager anymore.

    Knowing the alarm has been triggered is useful especially if you have pets, but it is only part of the package. Our new system will be a slimmed down version of the GPS tracker/pager/immobiliser/watchman system we currently offer.

    We are bringing this out to specifically combat key theft. A simple SMS command from your phone when you park up means a thief will need to steal you keys and steal your phone ( and know your phone unlock code) to steal your motorhome.

    Regards

    Eddie
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
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