Picture this scene.
You’ve been looking forward to this trip to France, you’ve arrived; the channel crossing was smooth, you’ve done your first bit of driving on the wrong side of the road and soon got the hang of that. You pull into a large hypermarket to stock up on all those French goodies.
On leaving the supermarket, you have one of those ‘Senior’ moments we all get. Damn, I’ve forgotten where we parked the motorhome. You look around, not too concerned at first, maybe we’ve come out a different door, looking frantically left and right. Now the panic starts to descend, It’s gone, it’s been stolen. Your motorhome is nowhere to be seen. You check the road nothing. You look down at your trolley, the beer and cheese that should by now be in the motorhome fridge is warming up fast, but that is the least of your problems as the position you now find yourself in slowly dawns.
Everything is in your motorhome, your passports, your camera, your laptop, your clothes, spare cash; everything has gone along with your pride and joy, your holiday home. Will you ever see your van again? How are you going to get home? Thoughts of the booked campsite by the sea, evaporate as you go back into the store to call the police. To say you are devastated would be a gross understatement.
Or if that’s too horrible, how about this…
You come home from the Tescos* (*insert your favourite supermarket here) You’ve been shopping to fill the van up as you are going away (at last) You turn into your road and you notice immediately your motorhome is missing, it’s gone from your drive. How can that be, it’s immobilised, its equipped with best alarm money can buy. The fitter told you it would be nigh on impossible to steal, so where the hell is it? You pull into your drive and park right on the spot your pride and joy used to be; the biggest purchase of your life, gone! Then you notice your front door is ajar and the penny drops. Someone has stolen your beautiful new motorhome using your own keys!
It’s been stolen, I wouldn’t want it back!
We often hear this mentioned on the forums. The thought being that the motorhome is going to be trashed by the thieves. I’d rather have the insurance and buy another. But think about this for a moment. No matter how good your insurance company, you will never be recompensed for the full actual losses you incur. All those possessions, the lost holiday, the time without your motorhome, the anguish and inconvenience. But…..
….what if within hours you could get it back and continue with your holiday
At that moment when you realise the vehicle is gone. How much would you pay to have it back within the hour? Because that is possible. Mostly motorhomes are stolen to be quickly sold on or lived in, chances are, no one’s going joy-riding in your motorhome, on the contrary, they are looking after it.
What about this.
What if someone bypassed your alarm with your own keys, but the vehicle would not start. No alarm is sounding, it just won’t start, so they can’t steal it. In reality How long is a thief going to diagnose what appears to be a breakdown on a vehicle he intends to steal?
Unless of course they have a low loader! Its difficult to drag a motorhome onto a low loader without the keys but its perfectly possible, what if they manage it and drive it away!
What if you knew the moment they tried to start it! What if you could track it anywhere, even listen in to what is being said in the cab. What if, One minute after it was stolen, you could track it in real time on a Google map! This technology is simple it is called Non Starter™ GSM Immobilisation System and is exclusively fitted by VanBitz at Taunton.
Here’s how it works.
Once fitted. When you leave your motorhome you simply send a text message to your motorhome saying “ARM”. That’s it, nothing else to do, you can relax. Even if someone has your keys and bypasses your alarm
From there on in you can relax; if your keys are stolen and are used to disarm your security system, your engine will just not start. It will however send a text to you telling you exactly what is going on. At the bottom of the text message is a hot-link that once clicked will take you directly to a Google map and show you precisely where it is. So even if it has been placed on a low loader you’ll be able to track it, you’ll see precisely where it is and at what speed it is travelling. Also, just after you receive your message, your motorhome will ring you. You can simply decline the call, but should you answer it you will be able to hear what the control unit hears. You will be able to listen to what is happening inside your motorhome. The thief won’t know that you have been alerted to his presence and that you may have called the Police and been able to furnish them with the exact location of your motorhome, or that you may be returning to your motorhome to “investigate”
In the French Supermarket this article began with, it appears all is lost, the motorhome is gone Clearly the Non Starter was not active or they wouldn’t have been able to drive it away. However even if you forgot to set it initially, you can arm it after its been stolen, better late than never! Nothing will happen immediately, but as soon as the motorhome stops, it will not start again and attempts to start it will trigger messages to you with it’s location.
This system was fitted to our Hymer for £399 in June 2014. The peace of mind it gives is worth every penny. Until we got into the habit we would sometimes forget to arm it, but of course this can be done from anywhere and once set I can relax knowing that should anyone try to steal it, they won’t be able to start it and I’ll know about it right away.
Non Starter™ GSM Immobilisation System £399
Still have Questions?
Just in-case I haven’t covered everything, below are some frequently asked questions taken the VanBitz website.
What happens if the battery is disconnected?
The system will send you a SMS message advising you “POWER DISCONNECT” Date, time, position and location. Then it will call you so you can hear what is happening. It can do this as the unit has it’s own internal power pack which automatically charges.
Can I get a status report?
Yes at any time you can send a “STATUS” request, and you will receive a SMS
message “STATUS” (Motorhome registration number) date, time, position,
speed, GPS signal strength and a link to Google maps.
Can the system be linked to the Vanbitz System?
Yes, when installed as a “stand alone” unit, entry door(s) can be* linked to the
system. A motorhome alarm will have all doors alarmed so opening a door willtrigger the alarm and the system will alert you with an open door response.
How many telephone numbers can it call?
The system will communicate with up to three telephones.
What happens if I lose or change my phone?
You simply text a secret code from your new phone and it will delete the lost or old telephone. Should you lend the motorhome to a third party, you can easily “add” their phone to the system.
Would I know if my phone was removed?
Yes. You would receive a SMS text message advising you that your telephone
had been deleted from the system.
Can I immobilise the system after it is stolen?
Yes, should you forget to send a SMS message to arm your system and your
motorhome was stolen, you can track your motorhome using a “LOCATION”
command. If you retrospectively send the “ARM” command it will not stop the
vehicle in motion, but once it is safely stopped, perhaps to get fuel or a call of
nature, it simply won’t start again and you will know exactly where is it.
Full detail and costings on this system can be found here