Improving security on the garage doors (1 Viewer)

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Jan 2, 2012
98
28
Bristol
Funster No
19,303
MH
Knaus Van Ti 640 MEG
Exp
Had a variety of tents, tipis, motorhomes, caravans and now back to a coach built motorhome!
We’re heading to Europe in September and we’re complete newbies to motorhoming abroad. The horror stories we keep reading of motorhomes being broken in to whilst nearby Calais, just even filling with fuel, or in a queue for a ferry or tunnel, makes me very cautious and I’m looking to improve the security. Of course we’ll be sensible by not stopping nearby unless we have to and stopping at our first site a good hour or so away.

We had a garage door pop open whilst travelling last year, and after emptying the garage and having a good look the locks are poor, have minimal adjustment and only just catch when giving the doors a good slam. I’ve done what I can with adjustment. It strikes me that someone could easily break in with a little force, so I’m looking at alternative options to beef up security.
I can see Milenco and Fiamma do extra locks, has anyone fitted these? Is it straightforward? Any other suggestions or comments?




Thanks



IMG_1746.jpeg
 
Apr 20, 2020
1,140
2,557
Northern Ireland.
Funster No
70,057
MH
Adria Compact SC.
Exp
Since 2017
I am not a big fan of addition locks on doors.
It gives the impression that it is worth breaking into and if they do, they will do a lot of damage to the surrounding bodywork.
It looks like you already have an alarm fitted so at least you have some protection.
 

JRT

Feb 28, 2023
388
1,196
The former North Riding of Yorkshire.
Funster No
94,314
MH
Nearly did....but...
Exp
40 years caravanning.
Any comments.......

I was surprised (when looking at used MHs) at how after just a few years those Fiamma types lost their coating and the exposed metal rusted leaving a very unsightly appearance.

Newer ones may be better.
 

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
7,990
40,744
Surrey/Hants
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8,035
MH
Rollerteam 685
Exp
July 09
We bought the 3 pack off of Ebay or Amazon so all 3 (habitation and 2 garage doors) all have the same key.

Once I got them I realised my mistake as there are 2 different styles of lock even though they look the same.

One requires you to drill a hole to attach it and the other requires 3 self tappers. I wanted the 3 self tappers.

Respecting the previous opinion of putting them on there may attract thieves, I would suggest that having them on there will deter a thief to try another van.
 
OP
OP
DaveS
Jan 2, 2012
98
28
Bristol
Funster No
19,303
MH
Knaus Van Ti 640 MEG
Exp
Had a variety of tents, tipis, motorhomes, caravans and now back to a coach built motorhome!
I am not a big fan of addition locks on doors.
It gives the impression that it is worth breaking into and if they do, they will do a lot of damage to the surrounding bodywork.
It looks like you already have an alarm fitted so at least you have some protection.
I do have an alarm, but I’m of a mind that a potential migrant won’t try to enter a door that looks very obviously securely locked.

Any comments.......

I was surprised (when looking at used MHs) at how after just a few years those Fiamma types lost their coating and the exposed metal rusted leaving a very unsightly appearance.

Newer ones may be better.
Very good point!

We bought the 3 pack off of Ebay or Amazon so all 3 (habitation and 2 garage doors) all have the same key.

Once I got them I realised my mistake as there are 2 different styles of lock even though they look the same.

One requires you to drill a hole to attach it and the other requires 3 self tappers. I wanted the 3 self tappers.

Respecting the previous opinion of putting them on there may attract thieves, I would suggest that having them on there will deter a thief to try another van.
Excellent point. I had no idea there were different types. I too would want the self tappers I think.

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Dandm

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 12, 2020
120
256
Rochester, Kent
Funster No
67,965
MH
Elnagh Baron 46
Exp
Since 2019
We’re heading to Europe in September and we’re complete newbies to motorhoming abroad. The horror stories we keep reading of motorhomes being broken in to whilst nearby Calais, just even filling with fuel, or in a queue for a ferry or tunnel, makes me very cautious and I’m looking to improve the security. Of course we’ll be sensible by not stopping nearby unless we have to and stopping at our first site a good hour or so away.

We had a garage door pop open whilst travelling last year, and after emptying the garage and having a good look the locks are poor, have minimal adjustment and only just catch when giving the doors a good slam. I’ve done what I can with adjustment. It strikes me that someone could easily break in with a little force, so I’m looking at alternative options to beef up security.
I can see Milenco and Fiamma do extra locks, has anyone fitted these? Is it straightforward? Any other suggestions or comments?




Thanks



View attachment 886102
I have 3 keyed alike on classifieds - see the ad (search for Dandm)



IMG_1170.png
 

suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
7,990
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Surrey/Hants
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Rollerteam 685
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It would be interesting to know what fitting these does to a MH water ingress warranty?
Dependant upon how well the silicon has been put on.

In our case with the 3 self tappers they go into the recess which isnt likely to receive much water in order to cause any damage and if there were some water it has to make it past the silicon
 
Jan 7, 2023
565
775
Bath, UK
Funster No
93,277
MH
Fleurette Wincester
Exp
Since Jan 2023
One requires you to drill a hole to attach it and the other requires 3 self tappers. I wanted the 3 self tappers.
...
The difference between a 5 minute job and a 20 minute job with a hole in your motorhome !

What does the "self tapper" install entail? Does it avoid drilling holes? I though that was a hole just like any other.
 
Feb 16, 2020
526
1,580
Portugal
Funster No
68,790
MH
Dethleffs Globetrott
Exp
Newbie
We were newbies 3.5 years ago and, like you, had read various stories of break ins, stowaways and tales of woe too.

However, we just trained ourselves to lock all doors before we set off on a journey. Whilst travelling if we need to stop at the services, petrol station or car park we just unlock one door and exit the vehicle, using the key to lock it after we've exited. We never use the cental locking to open the doors. If we need to access a locker or the garage we use the key to access it, then lock it after, never leaving it unlocked and unattended. We also alarm the vehicles every night.

TBH, we've never encountered anyone trying to break in, stow away or generally lurking by the vehicle, but understand your concerns.
 
Apr 3, 2018
3,903
11,032
Funster No
53,151
MH
PVC
Exp
1995-2004 & 2017》
We had a garage door pop open whilst travelling last year,
All the replys seem to emphasis stopping illegal entry..
However I would be more concerned, as is the OP, with their above statement....
 
Apr 27, 2008
11,928
14,242
Eastbourne East Sussex
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2,327
MH
Hymer low profile
Exp
Since 1972
I fitted one of the sliding millenco locks to my garage doors
Specifically to deter any potential migrants. If I'm hundreds of miles from the channel ports I don't usually bother to lock it , there's nothing very tempting in there and we don't have bikes.

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suavecarve

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 18, 2009
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Rollerteam 685
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What does the "self tapper" install entail? Does it avoid drilling holes? I though that was a hole just like any other.
I used a braddle to start it off then the immense power of my right wrist to turn the screwdriver. You can use a drill but you only need a bite off the self tapper.
 
Sep 22, 2023
50
113
Funster No
98,989
MH
Elddis
I too have thought about security for impending Europe trip.
I will probably be shot down here but as I can access garage from under bed is there any reason why I couldn't just use shed or gate type bolts.
it would certainly give a bit of peace of mind as the standard locks are useless.
 
Apr 3, 2018
3,903
11,032
Funster No
53,151
MH
PVC
Exp
1995-2004 & 2017》
I too have thought about security for impending Europe trip.
I will probably be shot down here but as I can access garage from under bed is there any reason why I couldn't just use shed or gate type bolts.
it would certainly give a bit of peace of mind as the standard locks are useless.
Would not dream of shooting anyone down, seems like a sound idea...
However, I have seen the state of some moho garages, do you think you will be able to access doors from inside with all that crap ( essential equipment) that could be piled up in garage,,,😅

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OP
OP
DaveS
Jan 2, 2012
98
28
Bristol
Funster No
19,303
MH
Knaus Van Ti 640 MEG
Exp
Had a variety of tents, tipis, motorhomes, caravans and now back to a coach built motorhome!
I have 3 keyed alike on classifieds - see the ad (search for Dandm)



View attachment 886170
Ahh interesting. I was intending on grey though, but I will have a think.

As you’re a newbie I think it’s worth pointing out that many of us have travelled to Europe and never had any issues at petrol stations, ferry terminals (or anywhere else).
Excellent point.

We were newbies 3.5 years ago and, like you, had read various stories of break ins, stowaways and tales of woe too.

However, we just trained ourselves to lock all doors before we set off on a journey. Whilst travelling if we need to stop at the services, petrol station or car park we just unlock one door and exit the vehicle, using the key to lock it after we've exited. We never use the cental locking to open the doors. If we need to access a locker or the garage we use the key to access it, then lock it after, never leaving it unlocked and unattended. We also alarm the vehicles every night.

TBH, we've never encountered anyone trying to break in, stow away or generally lurking by the vehicle, but understand your concerns.
Again excellent points, thank you.

All the replys seem to emphasis stopping illegal entry..
However I would be more concerned, as is the OP, with their above statement....
Yep we’ve taken care of that as far as I’m able. We think a box got dislodged and pushed a not properly shut door open. So I guess what I’m looking for is a solution that covers both angles which an extra door lock should do.
 

denisejoe

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 6, 2014
5,709
13,074
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I’ve never felt threatened or had a break in abroad if I don’t like the look of an aire I move on .
Ps I take all 4 of my Rolex watches and have £20000 cash in the van just in case we are robbed.🍷i wouldn’t over night near Calais but still shop in cite europe
 
Feb 14, 2021
3,991
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Milton Keynes, UK
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79,219
MH
Burstner Lyseo 727G
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19 month year 18000 miles UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. Campsites and off Grid.
We’re heading to Europe in September and we’re complete newbies to motorhoming abroad. The horror stories we keep reading of motorhomes being broken in to whilst nearby Calais, just even filling with fuel, or in a queue for a ferry or tunnel, makes me very cautious and I’m looking to improve the security. Of course we’ll be sensible by not stopping nearby unless we have to and stopping at our first site a good hour or so away.

We have travelled through Calais 12 times in the last 3 years. We have shopped at Cite Europe, stayed overnight in nearly Gravelines, queued at ports, filled with fuel and never even seen anything looking suspicious. Looking forward to 6 trips through Calais this year. I wouldn't worry about exaggerated claims and gossip.
 
Jan 7, 2023
565
775
Bath, UK
Funster No
93,277
MH
Fleurette Wincester
Exp
Since Jan 2023
I used a braddle to start it off then the immense power of my right wrist to turn the screwdriver. You can use a drill but you only need a bite off the self tapper.

Just watched a video of someone installing this :



I have to say, it looks like even I could do that. Does make me wonder if its "secure enough", whatever that really means.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
54,941
157,398
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Don’t like those Melenco/Fiamma locks, look ugly and gives the scrotes something to leaver on & if they break in they will do far more damage.

If you are going to fit something fit a deadlock or yalelock more decreate and will do a better job.

In 16 years of travelling all over mainland Europe twice sometimes 3 times a year never had a problem or met anyone who has. Most of the places we stop at are Aires or wild spots far safer than the UK. The only place I worry about leaving my van is when in the UK.

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Jan 7, 2023
565
775
Bath, UK
Funster No
93,277
MH
Fleurette Wincester
Exp
Since Jan 2023
Don’t like those Melenco/Fiamma locks, look ugly and gives the scrotes something to leaver on & if they break in they will do far more damage.

That thought has been the main source of doubt for me. Sometimes I get swayed by the "make your van look less attractive than the next one" argument, but I'm terribly undecided on this.
 
Mar 30, 2022
1,622
1,552
Funster No
87,744
MH
Swift Suntor 590RL
I fitted one of the Fiama door frame locks to my hab door just over a year ago.
It is already going rusty and will have to be removed soon before I start getting rust streaks on the van from it.
 
Dec 13, 2019
2,759
2,248
Northumberland
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67,346
MH
Hymer A Class
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Since 2019
We put additional locks on our first MH. I am still of the opinion that anything visually making entry more difficult will encourage an opportunistic thief to look elsewhere. In four years we had no issues. Is that proving my point above? I don't think so. On the road, I now think it is more about where you park it.
We have not put them on our new MH. We have, after a lot of teething issues, a good alarm system, and have decided with signage near the locks, that is enough. Make sure you are 100% certain you want them in, as you cannot take them off afterwards!
Your door springing open on the road is something your dealer should be looking at IMHO.
Safe and happy travels.
 
OP
OP
DaveS
Jan 2, 2012
98
28
Bristol
Funster No
19,303
MH
Knaus Van Ti 640 MEG
Exp
Had a variety of tents, tipis, motorhomes, caravans and now back to a coach built motorhome!
Thanks for all the continued replies I’m minded to leave as is for the moment. Especially as we have the garage alarmed.
I’ll talk to the dealer about the existing locks to see whether they can be improved to lock / engage more securely.

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