Security During Storage

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cerd

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Over the last few years, there has been at least one incident in town per year. Three years ago, my FIL's batteries were stolen along with many other people.  Two years ago, I found evidence of somebody sleeping in my camper while it was in storage over the winter. Last year, my FIL was targeted again. Somebody took a pry bar to his side entry door. The last one, almost everybody's was broken into, but they were primarily taking propane tanks according to the local PD. Mind you, this is a small farm town with about 4000 residents. There isn't a huge crime rate, but kids and junkies are often the culprits and it only takes 1 or 2 to become this kind of pest.

The storage facility in town has police driving through regularly at night and they have cameras. Everywhere else in my area either wants to charge $750-1000 for winter storage or would involve driving for an hour with an extra driver to pick me up, which still doesn't guarantee that nobody will tamper with it.

While flipping through the RV parts catalog from my local dealer, I found exactly what I was looking for; something like a security bar to dissuade crooks from even trying to pry open the door (which I know wouldn't handle the force since its a thin aluminum frame). They have an entry handle like many camper have, except this one has a lock on it, so you can't turn it unless you have the key. I'll add a picture below. It's $100.

Could this seem like an effective deterrent or do you think they would still try to break the bar and open the door? The local PD says if I don't want anything damaged from B&E, that I should leave it unlocked. But then if anything is missing, insurance wouldn't cover it. I would rather make it a waste of time to try to enter.

My other plan is to arrange with the manager of the storage facility that my FIL and I will only renew storage if we are reserved adjacent spaces where we can park so close together that nobody can even fit between them to get into the door.
 

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Rene T

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cerd said:
While flipping through the RV parts catalog from my local dealer, I found exactly what I was looking for; something like a security bar to dissuade crooks from even trying to pry open the door (which I know wouldn't handle the force since its a thin aluminum frame). They have an entry handle like many camper have, except this one has a lock on it, so you can't turn it unless you have the key. I'll add a picture below. It's $100.

My other plan is to arrange with the manager of the storage facility that my FIL and I will only renew storage if we are reserved adjacent spaces where we can park so close together that nobody can even fit between them to get into the door.

Do you know how easy it would be to bend that handle out of the way. My granddaughter (6th grade) could very easily do it.
Parking the rigs so no one could get in a great idea. The only thing is, How are you going to get out of it after you, park.
 

cerd

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MN
I am hoping for the extra cost, that they used aluminum hinges and a thicker mandrel bent pipe. I was going to see if the dealer would be willing to order one for me so I can inspect it.

In regards to parking close, he has a pull behind toy hauler. If we need anything inside, we can go up the ramp door. When parking mine, which is a MH, I can just exit through the driver door. My biggest problem there is being able to push the side entry step out of the way. Its difficult to move. I don't know if its bent or rusted.
 

PopPop51

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cerd said:
Could this seem like an effective deterrent or do you think they would still try to break the bar and open the door? The local PD says if I don't want anything damaged from B&E, that I should leave it unlocked. But then if anything is missing, insurance wouldn't cover it. I would rather make it a waste of time to try to enter.

I stored in the same lot, the same spot, for 7 years without incident. Small town, walled, gated lot, with lots of daily activity by other tenants, many of whom are dump truck owners who are picking up and parking their trucks daily, then cleaning them on the weekend.

Last Spring a trio of local kids, 10-13 years old, had themselves a vandalism spree. They'd paint graffiti on the vehicles, break into RVs and spray the fire extinguishers around the interior. They put leaves into the fuel tanks of some of the dump trucks, precipitating expensive repairs. When they decided to invade my trailer, they only briefly tried the locked door, then climbed up on the roof and pried at, then smashed in, the bathroom skylight to gain entry. In the process, they ruined the roof. Fortunately, they broke the fire extinguisher's trigger so they couldn't spray it inside. They rooted through the cabinets (we keep nothing of value in them) and made a general mess, but the only thing they stole was a collection of supermarket loyalty cards we'd accumulated from around the country. Probably thought they were credit cards.
My insurance company purchased a new roof and skylight.

They were caught and prosecuted several weeks later thanks to the lot's security cameras. I've received restitution of 40% of my insurance deductible. The D.A. says I may get more, but I'm not holding my breath.

The lot owner has since raised the wall and installed better cameras. Nothing will keep vandals out if they want to get in.
 

blw2

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Saint Johns, FL
yeah, a real shame for sure.  The thought of it really get's my blood up.

I suppose the common thought that locks are only good at keeping honest people honest is likely a good one.

Park the units close so the doors aren't accessible, as you are suggesting.... well, if they really wanted in they would go through a window on the other side....or break into one of the outside storage trunks...

but, I'd recon that making it less interesting might help to encourage them to move along to your next door neighbor.  In that thought, I'd wonder if even just a simple RV cover.... one of those canvas or tyvek things with straps...might make it just enough of a speed bump to encourage a ne'er-do-well to move along for something easier.  I figure most of these guys will be lazy and also not wanting to dally around.  I guess these types of folks are a lot more bold than I can imagine, but still...they are probably  looking for a relatively easy and fast in and out without calling too much attention to themselves...

I think the first thing I'd do is to look into camera options.  Won't prevent it but might hopefully lead to catching the punk and putting an end to the problem. (hopefully)
If you have power and wifi, all sorts of options out there.  Otherwise those motion detecting game cameras look interesting to me...maybe even one set up to use cellular to automatically upload the pictures right away.
 

cerd

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May 29, 2018
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MN
I do not have power or wifi out there. Its at the local fairgrounds. They use it only one week out of the year, which is why they are getting more involved in storage during the off season.  I do have an 80w solar panel, but that would do nothing if I cover it. I was thinking about using a motion activated dash camera, but I am not sure yet how much power it draws.

The cover isn't a bad idea. It would also keep the snow off to minimize leaks. Any recommended brands?
 

FenderP

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May 31, 2018
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I believe just about anything that makes it more difficult for thieves will help move them along to softer targets, so any "barrier" should help a little.  Most thieves are thieves because they are lazy and too stupid to realize it is harder work being a criminal than just having a job.  That said, some criminals can be very persistent and resourceful.

My RV is parked right outside my bedroom window and my Dobie is parked at the foot of my bed, so all in all pretty secure.  The downside to that "luxury" is that when the RV is gone some folks may bet that we are gone (though not necessarily), so the house may be more vulnerable, but we haven't had any issues with that yet.  If you can't keep your property on your, er, property, it is a tough thing to secure it.  But if you can, it is a good thing.  The dog and I have ran thieves off on two different occasions -both were trying to break into my car, not my RV or my house.

Again, just put up as many barriers as possible and maybe they'll move along to easier targets.
 

cerd

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MN
FenderP said:
My RV is parked right outside my bedroom window and my Dobie is parked at the foot of my bed, so all in all pretty secure.  The downside to that "luxury" is that when the RV is gone some folks may bet that we are gone (though not necessarily), so the house may be more vulnerable, but we haven't had any issues with that yet.  If you can't keep your property on your, er, property, it is a tough thing to secure it.  But if you can, it is a good thing.  The dog and I have ran thieves off on two different occasions -both were trying to break into my car, not my RV or my house.

I have considered putting up a motion sensor in the exterior porch light to turn on a light and a radio on the inside to make it seem like somebody was living there, but after talking to a few people, I realized that it was probably a silly idea.
 

FenderP

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cerd said:
I have considered putting up a motion sensor in the exterior porch light to turn on a light and a radio on the inside to make it seem like somebody was living there, but after talking to a few people, I realized that it was probably a silly idea.

Yeah.  There's a line between doing all you can and wasting time and money.   
 

HueyPilotVN

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Jun 5, 2012
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Lake Havasu City, AZ
Here is a link to my security camera project.

I have 750 watts of solar to insure that it always has power,

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,100520.msg904564.html#msg904564
 

Ernie n Tara

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Ft Myers, FL
This is the single reason I can think of for buying an RV cover. Once installed, it would be a PITA to get into the RV and should discourage casual theives. The downside is that in a windy  area you may rub the finish off the RV ifvit flaps.

Ernie
 

Back2PA

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Jul 26, 2015
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5,766
In the short term you might try these


I especially like this part in the description of the warning sticker:


?...Violators will be persecuted.? Sounds perfect  ;) ;D
 

cerd

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MN
So yesterday after work, I stopped by the RV dealer just up the road. The guy explained that the security bar is the same construction with a lock in place of the lower pin and 3x the cost. It has plastic hinges and thin pipe as previously suspected. However, he said that there is a newer style lock that clasps over the RV door handle and extends past the seam to make it more difficult to get a pry bar in there. I'm not sure that will work since I have a residential deadbolt on my MH, but he ordered one to arrive today for me to look at.

Having discussed it at the time, it made me think; one of those 12x6 metal plates that bolts to a residential door and extends past the seam, would probably be more effective and much cheaper, so I may just install one of those.

But I lucked out at the dealer as well! They just got a guy who traded in his Class C for something else and he didn't want his cover, so the dealer was selling it. They originally were asking $50. I was asking a few basic questions, (rips, snow, etc) and he blurted out that they would take $20 cash. I ran to the ATM and went home with a cover. I haven't pulled it out yet because we are taking the MH out this weekend, but for $20, I can patch it if I need to. It is also a 24 foot and my MH is only 20'. I was thinking that I should stop at the hardware store and pick up an eyelet kit so I can cinch up the back end easily.

WHAT A SCORE!
 

Photog

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Four years ago my coach was broken into along with 17 others in the storage facility.  :mad: All of the break-ins were through windows.  If thieves want to get in, they will find a way. 
 

cerd

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MN
Photog said:
Four years ago my coach was broken into along with 17 others in the storage facility.  :mad: All of the break-ins were through windows.  If thieves want to get in, they will find a way.

Did they break the window or remove the screws? Breaking it is faster, but removing the screws is quieter.
 

Rene T

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cerd said:
But I lucked out at the dealer as well! They just got a guy who traded in his Class C for something else and he didn't want his cover, so the dealer was selling it. They originally were asking $50. I was asking a few basic questions, (rips, snow, etc) and he blurted out that they would take $20 cash. I ran to the ATM and went home with a cover.

There's another way of looking at this. It only takes a dull knife to cut through a cover. Then they bust open the door or window as they would have without the cover. Then they'll get in and walk around at night mind you with flashlights and no one would know.
There's no good answer I can see except security cameras and motion detectors which you can monitor from your phone. Run them off a battery or 2 and have a small solar panel mounted someplace where they won't see it to keep the batteries charged. 
 

cerd

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May 29, 2018
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MN
I have thought about that, Rene. Most of these break ins are during the summer. During winter, the snow leaves a trail which these people seem to avoid due to leaving a trail.

I think I am going to add a latch shield. They seem to be most effective since crooks can't get enough leverage on the door to pry it open. I will also add a camera inside as a backup.

I was looking at this latch shield. 
http://a.co/22Q8gSV
 

Willandgiselarv

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Jul 20, 2015
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Fairfield, Ca
I have a friend who owns RV storage and it is unmanned in the evening and weekends and almost every week it has an incident which prevented me from moving there, I thought of all the ways to remote monitor the RV..but of the thieves have just a little bit of time they can do a lot, the way to fix this was to get someone there that lived in the RV...problem seems to be solved...we thought of all the fancy ways like getting better locks, camera surveillance.
 

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