Cell Phone Tracking in the US ?

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UK-RV

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Apr 25, 2005
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822
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UK
Hi Guys,

I have discovered that many UK motorhome owners subscribe to a cell phone tracking service, which is used to locate a stolen vehicle (or wayward wife LOL)

There are two types of "system" - either a black box which can be battery operated or hard-wrired or just a cell phone hidden inside the vehicle - obviously either would have a sim card inside.

Then, for as little as 20p per Trace, you get a map showing the vehicle location.

The accuracy is dependant on location, but it is thought to be fairly easy to find a motorhome (especially RV) within a distance of a few streets.

One such UK service is http://www.mobilelocate.co.uk/

SO - is such a system available in the US ??

Ive done a google but cant find anything (except http://www.alltrackusa.com/)

Thanks
Paul
 

PancakeBill

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Apr 9, 2005
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5,932
Location
Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
We have a system called Lo-Jack and what it will do is get activated in case the vehicle is stolen.  There is an innitial fee and a I think a monthly fee, but it also gets you a discount on insurance. 

GPS tracking is pretty easy even on a do it yourelf basis.  Amateur radio operators (Hams) have a setup where we can track.  Uses a gps, interface and a radio transmitter. No fees other than cost of equipment. 

As far as the hidden cellphone, I suppose you could do that as well, just not sure if there is a service. 

There is a service my old company subscribed to, it was a cell based system.  Pricey for personal uase.  It would collect all kinds of data on the trucks, plus an online service to see where the truck was. 

 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Systems: Lo-jac  Instalation fee, no monthly fee, Advantage, works all over the place, no monthly fee, disadvantage, You have to discover the loss and report it to the police before the Lo-Jac device is activated, device will not activate if the theives sheild the vehicle from radio (Example, park it inside a well built metal building or semi trailer)

Teletrac: Instalation plus monthly fee, only works in selected markets, advantage, they can detect a theft and report the car stolen for you.    I've had the pleasure of tracking a stolen via Teletrac,  Kind of fun for me, not so for the theif.

On-Star and On-Guard (GM/Ford competing systems, virtually identical in all respects) These use a built in cell phone, built right into the car and often interfaced with the car's operations computer (That is, disable it the car won't start) Initial fee plus monthly cost. 

Advantages: Work all over the US, anywhere a cell phone works, ANY cell phone, this works.  System can also monitor many factors of the vehicle's operation IE: Engine oil pressure, coolant temp, computer trouble codes, air bag deployment, heck, even the speed.  Automatic activation in the event of air bag deployment.

System can unlock the doors for you... You lock your keys inside, NOte the time, walk to the nearest phone and again note the time (how long it took you to make the hike) or use your cell if you have one, call the 800 number give them your ID and password, and the time walk back and as you arrive you will hear a CLICK and your door is no longer locked.

System can also disable the car, locking all doors and killing the ignition should someone drive off with your ride (or you fail to make the monthly payment on the vehicle,,, NOT the system, just the vehilce)

They can also assist you with directions, road-side assistance (Flat, gas, most everythign other than dead battery) directions to restaurants, theaters, and the like, and even make reservations for you

Disadvantage: Makes it much esier for the Re-Po man should one be needed,  Montly fee
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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48,722
Interesting subject Paul. As others have mentioned, we have tracking systems here. My impression is that the per capita rate of stolen vehicles is much higher in the UK than it is in the U.S. This probably varies significantly by state, city and by areas within a city.

I don't recall hearing/reading about RVs being stolen, although it's obviously possible. I wonder if others have more data on this.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Titusville, FL
Tom,

I did hear a story about a stolen motor home. Not sure how true it is. Apparently a doctor was looking for a certain model American Eagle on the internet. Someone saw his request, somehow stole the identical unit from, of all places, Lazy Days, and then contacted the doctor. After looking over the unit the doctor decided it was a good deal and payed cash for the Eagle. He was washing it in the driveway when the police showed up to arrest him for stealing. Lo Jac worked! ;D
 

Tom

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Interesting Jim. I wonder why the good doctor would have purchased the coach without proof of ownership &/or the pink slip. I once walked from a "good deal" on a used vehicle offered by an individual who had a pink slip signed with a name other than his. When I challenged it, he had a good story, but I walked anyway.
 

Kenneth

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Nov 21, 2005
Posts
438
Theres a system called Mobile Guardian which is a web based GPS system ,that lets you track it yourself,and disable the starter when it stops. There is a one time charge for system purchase and installation, but the GPS access has charges which you can prepay in blocks with like 20 access hits etc..

If your vehicle is stolen you can track it on the computer and tell the cops exactly where its at !

I thought it was pretty neat,  if you where to leave the coach behind at your favorite winter place and go visit friends in the toad for a few days,you could pull up the website and check in on the coach every day. ;)
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
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For more money you can have sensors on the vehicle that allow you to monitor various parameters from afar, so you can see how badly the thieves are treating your treasured ex-possesion.

One boat owner had 6,000 sensors and numerous workstations installed on his boat, with a satellite link so he could monitor almost every aspect of his boat from anywhere in the world while it was being transported by crew. Those sensors did a lot more than that though. For the full story read The New New Thing, by Michael Lewis, the story of entrepreneur Jim Clark, of Silicon Graphics, Netscape and Healtheon fame & fortune. The boat was merely the end result of one of his entrepreneurial endeavors motivated by the desire to own a sailboat with the tallest mast in the world.
 

Tom

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LOL Karl. Yer has to read the book - a fascinating, but true story.
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
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Tom,

As I said I'm not sure it's a true story but it was interesting. :) I'm sure there are enterprising individuals that can forge any kind of document you would like.
 
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