Monday, January 10, 2011

Alarms and Security

There are two basic concerns about the security of your Lazy Daze: theft of the vehicle and theft of belongings inside it. Theft of the vehicle goes a little further than merely breaking and entering, but both involve the perpetrator somehow getting into the vehicle. So the obvious goal is to prevent that.

Alarm systems which protect all the doors of the rig can be installed. Often the siren will be enough to send the invader running.

There are numerous ways to foil the crook intent on making off with the vehicle, assuming he does make it inside.

- There are hidden switches that can be installed that kill the ignition or cut off the fuel pump.

- You can use a brake lock which goes around the steel of the brake petal and prevents being able to push the brake down, which makes it impossible to get the transmission out of park. Even if they do, they won't have any brakes. It's a fairly tough system to beat without a lot of time and equipment.

- You can use a steering-wheel lock, but many say they are easily foiled.

To prevent simple burglary, consider:

- A battery operated motion detector with alarm. You can get them everywhere for under $20. Hopefully if a burglar breaks in to pilfer something, the siren might run him off.

- A long cable made by Kryptonite along with a tumbler lock. You route the cable through the door handles and the steering wheel. It won't stop a thief, just make their job a little tougher. Instead of breaking a cab window and opening the door, they will have to crawl through the window and the broken glass. Try to think like a thief - if you wanted to enter a class C, you could just smash a cab window and hit the U/L button. Adding a sound alarm would be even better because then you make them work fast and maybe they won't be
able to haul off as much.

- Making stops that prevent the windows being pushed open enough for someone to crawl through. I use a simple piece of wood that sits in the lower window track. We can go off and leave the window open a bit for fresh air, but the stick stops the window from being pushed further open.

- Changing the deadbolt lock on your entry door. We have friends whose RV was broken into while they were parked at Cracker Barrel for supper. They discovered the theft at bed-time that night. Police said the thief must have had an RV master key, for there was no sign of forced entry whatsoever.

Some folks worry about the flimsy locks on the outside storage compartments. For one thing, anyone with a similar lock has a key that will unlock YOUR compartments. You can change out the locks to something different and more sturdy, but it's debatable whether that will keep a determined thief out; he is likely to use a pry bar to force the doors open, damaging both the door and the exterior of the LD.

A final thought:

Most of you have a key hidden somewhere in case you lock yourself out. The only problem is that they key is not hidden well at all. Hiding the key in a little magnet box, under the bumper has got to be the most common and worse place to hide it. The propane compartment is the second most common.

Look for a place that is harder to get to. If you get a little dirty retrieving it, well, get back inside and clean up. It shouldn't be easy to get to. A great idea is to wire the key to something (a hole in the frame, a hose, a bundle of wire, etc.) and then tape the key to the bottom of the floor or the frame using duct or aluminum tape. Dab on a little mud or fog on a coat of flat black paint and the key disappears. It may be a bit of work to place and retrieve but it will keep the bad guys from finding it so easily.

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