How can we prevent theft of our FGRV? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-25-2015, 11:43 PM   #15
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I think part of the way to avoid theft is where you park the trailer. RV parks and resorts have the ring of money, where National Parks don't exude money. Besides it cost money to just get into a National Park. National Forests are a bit more primitive and remote. The farther out of town the more difficult the theft.

I purchased my trailer after years and I do mean years of tent camping, mostly in a two person backpacking tent. The trailer is a big step up, but still provides the main reason for camping. That is to get away from the crowds and stress of city living. The trailer is a tool to do that. I sleep better, and far less worries when out. If by going out and/or owning a trailer caused me to worry about things it would not be the stress reliever I wanted. Therefore the trailer would be of no value to me, and I would sell it to relieve the unwanted stress. So if you fuss about trailer theft or about what might get you while out, you might be better off staying in a high rise and forget about getting out of town.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:51 PM   #16
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Dale, I've noticed those cables in photos posted here, and wondered about them. Passing them through the axle makes sense.

I'm just now looking for hitch locks, and found a yellow one at Lowe's. This is the first review that came up:

"Rick
Location:Columbia, SC, USATime of Purchase: over 1 year agoPlace of Purchase: in storeLevel of Expertise: Expert
April 3, 2015
Features:
1 / 51 / 5
Value:
1 / 51 / 5
Design:
1 / 51 / 5
Quality:
1 / 51 / 5
Ease of use:
1 / 51 / 5
I liked the idea of having the same key for all 3 items. Bought 3 of these to use on my company trailers. I thought with the Reese name they would be a quality product.
Two of my 3 trailers were stolen the same night. Luckily I had one of them with me while I was out of town. The thieves cut the lock(the brass part with bolt cutters). The U-bolt and piece that inserts into the hitch were laying on the ground next to were my trailers use to be. The police could not determine if the lock was picked or forced off of the U-bolt piece.
Don't buy this product and think that you are protected. Three of these cost me over $11,000.00 You will be just as well of putting a sign on the tongue of your trailer that says "Free Trailer""

Here is the second review:

"LocationtahTime of Purchase: 3-6 months agoPlace of Purchase: in storeLevel of Expertise: Expert
December 18, 2013
Someone just cut it with bolt cutter and off went my trailer. Steel is way to soft, it basically just keeps people from hooking it to their truck but if they want it it doesn't take much to remove."

Are there others more reliable?
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:56 PM   #17
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While I was off camping, my buddy came over to pick up my boat ( on a trailer ). It was in my carport. He was taking it to his storage lot.
He simply backed up his flat bed truck, equipped with a mobile crane, and lifted boat and trailer out from under the carport and on to his flatbed.

The search function here would reveal all the previous suggestions to prevent theft and all the ways that they can be defeated.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:03 AM   #18
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Well, I understand the concept of over-thinking and over-worrying.

The solution is to find a balance between those two things and not being careful enough (or being totally dumb).

When we got married 10 years ago, my DH bought a woody Snipe so we could sail together (his other two boats were single-handed vessels). Our first time out there were whitecaps and the wind was great. The boat was great. We were screaming along. He's a great skipper, but the *crew* has to be capable of certain things. It turns out that while I'm hiked way out, I can't (couldn't) uncleat the jib. Capsizing -- and turtling -- ensues. (Whiskeytown Lake water is 40 degrees. It was about 35 minutes before the rescue barge arrived.)

I think back to screaming along and hiking out under spooky conditions. I didn't know enough about sailing at the time to understand if this was just how *it is*, or if there was a risk. And wonder, was I really really brave? Or really really stupid?

The upshot of this and other experiences just means I like to dig into stuff, and discover the options and possibilities, and then take the most sensible route.

And, I really don't like high-rises.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPW View Post
Most thieves steal trailers in order to sell them, not to trash them, and nobody is going to purchase a trailer that has been trashed.
The two trailers I personally know of that were stolen & then recovered were trashed! Simple stolen for a one or two night use and then trashed.

The odds of stolen trailer being resold are not high in these parts. More probable it ends up in the back country to use as a summer cottage or hunting cabin or accommodation in the Alberta oil fields.

May be a BC thing though as its really hard to sell a stolen trailer in these parts as they all have to carry their own insurance, plates and owners registration - one needs to have the owner transfer the registration papers over to the buyer in order for it to be registered and new plates issued to a new owner. One would also need that paper work in order to take it into the US as well.

We have at least two members here who despite being warned not to buy any trailer in BC that they could not get the signed registration for who learned this lesson the hard way. One very nice Bigfoot as well as a Boler where taken apart and sold as parts only so the purchasers of said trailers could get back at least some of the money they spent on purchasing the trailers.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:14 AM   #20
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We've had three trailers stolen in our area. An rpod from a campground (had hitch lock only to her regret) and two from a dealership.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:18 AM   #21
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How can we prevent theft of our FGRV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
...I tend to feel a bit more comfortable leaving a trailer/camper unattended when I also cable-lock at least one wheel on each side of the trailer to the axle... [They] can be used to secure other things, like bicycles and grills, when not being used to secure the camper...

I cable lock our bicycles to the frame of the trailer when we're going to be away from camp. I never thought of it as a layer of security for the trailer, but I suppose it is. That, combined with two hitch locks (little padlock on the latch and the yellow coupler lock), may convince a thief to look elsewhere, but if not, that's what insurance is for, and I'm not losing any sleep over it.

You have got me thinking about upgrading the padlock, though. The cable I have is very robust, but the padlock is the weak spot.

BTW, the little padlock on the hitch is mainly to keep someone from unlatching the coupler during a break while towing. It's not a substitute for a visual check, of course, but adds another layer of protection. Having the trailer come uncoupled under tow is potentially a far more serious event than theft of the trailer.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
The two trailers I personally know of that were stolen & then recovered were trashed! Simple stolen for a one or two night use and then trashed.

The odds of stolen trailer being resold are not high in these parts. More probable it ends up in the back country to use as a summer cottage or hunting cabin or accommodation in the Alberta oil fields.

May be a BC thing though as its really hard to sell a stolen trailer in these parts as they all have to carry their own insurance, plates and owners registration - one needs to have the owner transfer the registration papers over to the buyer in order for it to be registered and new plates issued to a new owner. One would also need that paper work in order to take it into the US as well.

We have at least two members here who despite being warned not to buy any trailer in BC that they could not get the signed registration for who learned this lesson the hard way. One very nice Bigfoot as well as a Boler where taken apart and sold as parts only so the purchasers of said trailers could get back at least some of the money they spent on purchasing the trailers.
It's very easy to get a trailer registered without papers, all it takes is patience. Just walk in and say it's homemade. You'll be in and out in 10min with plates and a stamp. Not ethical, of course but easy to get plates for a stolen trailer.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Keaner View Post
It's very easy to get a trailer registered without papers, all it takes is patience. Just walk in and say it's homemade. You'll be in and out in 10min with plates and a stamp. Not ethical, of course but easy to get plates for a stolen trailer.

Are you saying you could drive up with an original-condition Bigfoot trailer, state that you built it yourself, and the registration clerk will simply believe you...? I'm assuming there is some kind of inspection involved with a never-before-registered home-built trailer and having a hard time believing vehicle registration folks could be that naive...
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:59 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Are you saying you could drive up with an original-condition Bigfoot trailer, state that you built it yourself, and the registration clerk will simply believe you...? I'm assuming there is some kind of inspection involved with a never-before-registered home-built trailer and having a hard time believing vehicle registration folks could be that naive...
People build trailers all the time, it's quite common. Stating, 'I built it myself' makes the clerk think of a utility trailer. There is no inspection, just two or three questions that's it. Take a search around the web, people talk about doing it often.
Consider this, you legitimately come into the possession of a trailer that has no ownership. Maybe it has been sitting in someone's back 90 for 30 years. What do you do? Chopping it into parts is dumb.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:12 AM   #25
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How Can We Prevent Theft Of Our FGRV?

Don Dayton, a prolific contributor of Casita modifications, posted some theft deterrent ideas quite some time ago on his Flickr postings.

Here's the link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/833439...57604121020719

I've used many of his ideas, although modified them for my own use. None will probably stop a thief intent on stealing the trailer but some might make a thief think twice about stealing this particular trailer.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:29 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Or a battery powered grinder . Used one last week to cut off a lock
Took a whole 15 seconds.
Yep the battery powered grinder with a cut off wheel will go through a heavy lock or chain in short order. Does make a bunch of sparks but not for long. Been a lot of threads on this theft prevention subject over time.

Even if tongue is locked they can winch it up on a flat bed or just hang it off of short chains attached to the tongue.


In order of general effectiveness:
  1. Hard to access and not visible. In a garage or out building, fenced back yard not readily visible from street. Thieves target what they see and having to cut fence lock or break into building is time consuming. Especially if they don't "know" for sure what is there to steal.
  2. Secured to stationary object by the axle in difficult location to cut loose. Ring in concrete under trailer. Much easier for your to reach under and unlock than it is to get under and cut chain. Addresses winch truck.
  3. Secure the wheels to the axle or each other with a chain, keeps the wheels from turning. Dragging wheels tend to smoke and steer badly. Makes it a little harder to winch onto flat bed.
  4. Locking the tongue discourages the snatch and grab thief, especially one doing this on a whim. They are probably more common than one thinks. And the lock makes the professionals job just a bit harder.
Supplemental:
Motion sensitive alarm. Or one that is location sensitive, even a hidden pull pin and string through the floor to the ground. Screeching trailer does attract some attention, either from neighbors or going down the road. You know to go inside and turn off alarm they move without doing so.

Don't leave items of high value in the camper or in sight through the windows. That TV and entertainment center, or expensive equipment is after all in a portable trailer that is easy to break into. And RV windows or doors are not cheap to repair after being opened with a 4 ft. universal key (crow bar)


DO THIS!
Check with your insurance on coverage, pay your premiums.

Get some copies of for sale advertisements for your make/model/year of camper. You may well have to offer proof that your 30 year old camper is really worth a few thousand dollars. Some photos might also be useful.

You can discourage a thief, but not totally prevent theft. It is as simple as that. Well ok in a fenced yard surrounded by alarms, mean noisy dogs, and guarded 24 hrs. a day by person with a shot gun would probably stop all but the craziest and luckiest thieves. But who want to clean up all the dog dirt and put up with the gun towers & flood lights?
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:58 AM   #27
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You can purchase a tire boot for about 23 dollars or a few! You can also put in a tracking device used for automobiles. Lastly ask your insurance company if they have any suggestions.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:19 AM   #28
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Some times the more you do to prevent theft of your trailer the more likely it is to be stolen. The more locking and anti-theft devices on your trailer more valuable it appears and thus more appealing to the thieves.

I believe the most important thing as far as theft from camping location is choice of location and time. Major tourist areas and summer season are the worst. Maybe your trailer won't be stolen but other thing might. After some 70 years of camping the only thing I've ever had stolen was a tackle box at a place where there was a lot of late teens and early 20s in the middle of the summer.

Middle summer camping look for places that the primary attraction if fishing. Don't go to any place that you must get reservations a year ahead of time (two popular and crowded). Don't follow the crowd. If you can do your camping between Labor Day and Memorial Day, not the other way around. Get away from cities. Small towns are less likely to have a lot thieves.

There is no guarantee in any case, all you realisticly do improve your odds.
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