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JMSpoff

Trailer Security

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My first post folks, so please be kind, I may not get the process down correctly this time.  I’ve been on the forum for a while, I was lurking for some time and reading everything I could find on the Oliver and watching everything possible on Youtube as well.  My wife and I ordered a 2017 Elite II several weeks ago and will be picking it up on the 19th of September.  We’re very excited about it and looking forward to lots and lots of new adventures.  Years ago we’d go camping (both tent, backpacking, plane and RV) when the kids were young and we had a blast doing it.  Now we’re looking at continuing those adventures with my wife and I and our cocker, Gracie, revisiting places we’d seen years ago and going to new places on our bucket lists.

 

That said, there’s been a ton of changes in this arena and from the systems that I’ve been studying so carefully, a TON of new technology on the trailer.  We’ve configured our Oliver, as Heather said, “with just about every option we have” so now I’m on a quest to dive into these new technologies and discover their inner secrets.  Being an engineer by trade, I’ve been intrigued by all these new things coming along and am anxious to get my hands on the Oliver.

 

I’ve read and followed so many of your discussions on the various technologies with extreme interest and have come to the conclusion that the Oliver community, albeit fairly small compared to other RV’er groups, is packed with an incredible group of interesting people with all kinds of knowledge.  I can only hope to contribute at some point to the conversation.

 

I’ve been looking into security for the trailer (parked at campgrounds, boondocking way off the grid in places unknown, or just sitting in front of my house) and I haven’t seen a ton of discussion on this other than, “make sure you have a great insurance plan that will cover theft and contents so that if it happens at least you’ll get your money back”.

 

Have any of you employed other types of security measures, or does anyone think they are necessary?  Am I being paranoid and if so, just tell me so I can quit thinking about this.  I’ve been looking into this for awhile and have found several products that seem pretty good, but with no personal experience, I just don’t want to pack my money down a rat hole for nothing.

 

From what I’m reading and this could just marketing hype, that the more layers of theft protection you have the more likely people will move onto other easier targets.

 

I’ve been looking at the following products and would really like some feedback from those who have been RV’ing longer with some perspective on this for me.

 

For coupling locks I’ve looked at a variety of them and these seem to have the most strength to them from what I’ve seen.  But please keep in mind, I have to experience to base this opinion on, it’s just in looking at them that I conclude that:

 

Coupler locks:

 

http://provenlocks.com/products/model-2178-b-fits-2-bulldog-couplers

 

Wheel Locks:

 

http://www.brahmalock.com/

 

Home security system for Inside :

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NW31YSE/ref=twister_B00OCDUL78?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

 

Now all this said, I want to thank you all for the wonderful and thoughtful information you’ve provided to we as I relearn all this RV’ing life again.

 

 

 

John, Marilyn and Gracie


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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John,

 

 

 

Welcome to the family, we're glad you made it. My thoughts on your choices are, the coupler lock while expense seems to be a good one, I have a more basic model lock and it provides some peace of mind, I think the deterrent factor of any lock is a plus, I don't know if that much more expensive is worth the extra money though. I posted a video in another thread that shows a thief stealing a trailer in 1:10 min:sec just using the safety chains. The Brahma wheels locks, just make sure they will work over the center caps, unless you change them out for flatter ones. The home security system is interesting, you will need to leave an always on hot spot so that it can notify you and then you need to make sure you only camp in cellular coverage.

 

One thing you might add to your list is a Delorme Spot Trace, this you can mount under and AC shroud and either run it on the batteries installed, replace monthly or work to hardwire a 12v source up there. You can set it up so that as soon as your trailer moves you are sent a ping and can then track it movements. There is an annual contract, but it runs on GPS and has coverage basically everywhere.

 

Remember, everyone loves pictures of new trailers and to know what the newest stuff their putting on them is

 

 


Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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John, Marilyn & Gracie,

 

For me, the level of security measures I put in place depend a lot on where I'm camping.  If I'm at a large rally amongst a lot of friends I may have zero physical security on the trailer and rely on my numerous pals to notice when someone other than myself is attempting to hook up to The Wonder Egg.  On the other extreme, I may be boondocking at some self check in, remote Forest Service campground where I am the only resident for days.  In this instance, when I am away from camp, there will be a bright yellow locking device disabling the hitch with a thick metal bar that needs to be cut through.  I will also run a thick, braided and vinyl covered security cable through a hole in my wheel, over the axle, and out through another hole in the wheel, secured with a big hardened lock in a conspicuous place for appearances.  Although I travel solo, I also put out two chairs to give the appearance someone may be resting inside while I'm away.

 

These are merely visible deterrents to help keep honest people honest and to ward off the lazy thief who may wander by.  Inside the trailer is a hidden GPS tracker with a battery backup, and as a last resort, in my wallet, is my insurance card.

 

Congratulations on your decision to join the Ollie clan!  Get ready for a lot of very good times ahead . . .

 

 

 

Pete

  • Thanks 1

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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Nice thread here. I like the ideas and think the canary system will be great as long as you are connected to Wi-fi. I'm just guessing it relies on Wi-fi to work?

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Randy,

 

Thanks so much for the response, as I continue to understand the security issues do you have the name of the device you use to lock your coupler?  Are you pleased with it and does it cover the security to your level of comfort.  I'm not really excited about spending the amount the proven locks needs, but by the same token, peace of mind has a value.  Also, I appreciate the pointer to the Delorme Spot, I hadn't heard of that and will be looking into it today.

 

As soon as we pick up the trailer I'll be sending pictures of it into the forum, assuming I can figure out how to do that.  I know what you mean with everyone loving pictures, I do too.

 

John


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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Pete,

 

Thank you for the insight, if you get a chance could you let me know what coupler lock you are using?  I'm interested in finding the one that provides adequate security without breaking the bank.  Are you using the Delorme Spot or another GPS tracking solution? I also really like the idea of a chain or cable wrapped around the axle and through holes on the wheels.

 

 

 

John

 

 


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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tstorm,

 

As far as I can tell, it does require a constant connection to wi-fi, which makes it just one element of a multi-tier security system.  I'm just playing with ideas now to see what is available and what might make sense for me.   Thanks for the response.

 

 

 

John

 

 


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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John,

 

I'm really not trying to be unkind here and, perhaps, you have already been down this road - but - have you typed "locks" into the forum search function?  If you do much of what has been said above is already discussed, plus, a bunch of various priced alternatives are also mentioned (see Scubarx's device for instance).  Hope this helps you!

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill,

 

Thank you, I had tried almost every other search term but locks, DUH!  This pointer identified everything I've been look for.  I appreciate it.

 

John


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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John,

 

Here are some links to the security / location awareness items I use.

 

Hitch lock

 

Braided cable with all weather lock - the holes in your wheels must be large enough to accommodate the loops on this cable.

 

For big time emergency medical assistance, I use a Spot Locator that will be able, via satellite, to get a first responder heading in my direction if I am out of phone or radio contact.  The Locator is an older system which has been replaced by newer items, such as the Spot Messenger.

 

My Spot Trace is connected to a hidden 12V outlet and secreted between the Ollies shells.  It also has a battery backup in case the battery cables are disconnected.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


ABBCMBNBNLNSONPEQCSKYTALAKAZARCACOCTFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNJNMNYNCNDOHOKORPAPRSCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYsm.jpg

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I appreciate the pointer to the Delorme Spot, I hadn’t heard of that and will be looking into it today

FYI Delorme and SPOT are competitors the same market and in no way are they connected to each other.

 

If you have not seen this thread, it has lots of info.

 

http://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/bullnose-hitch-lock/

 

I have been using a SPOT Satellite Messenger as a hiking/ motorcycling companion since its inception and really like it. The Trace should be good for security, but I have no first hand experience with the device itself. I currently have a SPOT Gen3  tracker. I like everything about the company except that the billing is automatic and annual; and the website is clunky and needs to be made user friendly.

 

They also offer a SPOT Connect model which I would really liked to have succeed - it interfaces with a smart phone to allow you to send short custom messages (45 characters) using the phone's keypad, unlike the current Gen 3 which only sends whatever messages you have stored on their website. Unfortunately, nobody at SPOT realized that relying on two different battery powered devices in the wilderness was not a great idea and the reviews are very mixed, mostly with people having problems with it not staying paired to their phone. Stay away from this particular product...

 

Oh yeah, welcome to OllieLand.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Thanks John, I appreciate the pointer.  Once I searched on the "Locks" term, it showed up and you are correct, lot's of great information.  I'm still looking for the solution that Steve (Scubarx) implemented as it sounds incredibly feature rich and flexible.

 

Oh and thanks for the welcome :)

 

John


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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Oops... My bad sorry about that. I use so much Delorme I forgot theirs is called InReach and it is like the Spot Messenger Gen3 (which I have and use for motorcycle travel tracking) The Spot Trace is it's own thing from Spot and is only used for security tracking unlike the others, for personal tracking.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I just recently ordered and received the Gus Hill Industries "The Bull" lock. I called the company and spoke with Marc and he was a wealth of information. After our discussion I decided on the ASSA lock and ordered the exterior in yellow. His reasoning was if someone was driving around looking to scoop up something quick and drive off with it he might take a look at the bright yellow thing on the end of my trailer and figure it might be more trouble than it's worth and go the next one in line with maybe something more ordinary he could cut quickly and hitch up. Sounded good to me anyway. Marc even upgraded my shipping to priority for no extra charge. Ordered on a Friday and got it on Monday.

 

randy

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I'm a bit more pragmatic. Usually the simpler you keep it, the harder it is.

 

If I'm storing my trailer longer than a couple of weeks, I'll unbolt the Bulldog hitch from the frame, (it's only two nuts and bolts), wrap the safety chains together and padlock far under the trailer, and run two (one for either side) 5/8" x 6'0 braided stainless steel cables through one wheel rim, around the leaf spring and back through the other tire's rim. For instance from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090C4VFE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1CVIH2BOJVEI3&coliid=I20WGFDQN8KTZ8&psc=1 These are similar to what you might use to secure a bike. But, these are on steroids! Can't remove the tires either.

 

If you choose this route you'll need to purchase a few extra grade "C" lock nuts and bolts from a supplier. These bolts are readily available, but are only good for a couple of bolt ups. However, they're still less expensive than whatever locks you'll find on the market. Just be sure to torque them up when you reinstall the hitch; say 80 ft.lbs.

 

I also have chained the trailer to a tree using a square link chain with a substantial Rockwell Hardness. Very hard to cut, even with a cut-off wheel, and time consuming.

 

The tougher you make it to steal the faster they'll move on.

 

Best,

 

Bob

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Bob, I fixed your link.

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090C4VFE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1CVIH2BOJVEI3&coliid=I20WGFDQN8KTZ8&psc=1

 

I like the Master Python cable lock. The basic one is only 3/8 inch x 6 feet but you can get really long version, up to 30 feet, and you can draw it up tight to eliminate slack. By keeping it off the ground it is much harder to cut. The extra length lets you use it for securing other gear besides the trailer, like bikes or kayaks.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-Python-Adjustable-8413-30/dp/B004VZ1UDG/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1473129620&sr=1-2&keywords=Master+Python+lock+long+cable

 

I have had the 16 footer for many years and it has been most useful.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Bob,

 

As I've continued my research there are a couple of things I've found that both cause concern and curiosity regarding security solutions.  I wonder if I'm just getting overly concerned and should adopt the "Get good insurance" position.  As we're interested in boondocking in lonely places mostly on our own, I'd hate to come back to the spot where the trailer was supposed to be to discover it had walked off, so it was with this mind set that I began my quest for something to secure the trailer.  I've looked at the coupler guards/locks like the proven locks :

 

http://provenlocks.com/products/model-2178-b-fits-2-bulldog-couplers

 

You answered one of my key questions, since we've not picked up our Oliver yet, and that was how are the couplers attached to the frame (bolted and easily removed) which causes me pause on the protective capability of the coupler locks.  Although I think they would work well with the casual thief.

 

To solve the problem with the coupler being very easily removed I researched the following and was wondering if you or anyone has had any experience with these lock nuts and whether you think they are viable and strong enough (They do come in grade 8 as indicated).

 

http://www.lok-mor.com/products/key-loc.htm

 

The cables seemed like a really good solution to me in the beginning.  I've had motorcycles for years and have depended on them quite often.  However, seeing the attached video may require a rethink on my part as to the security they really provide.  I'm not sure if there is some significant difference between different cable wire materials that could foil this, but the video is disturbing, nonetheless.

 

 

I'm coming to the conclusion that many other owners have come to, there is no complete solution and the best we can hope for is to slow them down and make another target more attractive than our trailer.  Perhaps installing a tracking device as follows

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GA98XAE/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

 

I've looked at many solutions to GPS tracking and have found prices ranging from $30- $100's, with service plans that run the gamut from $9-$70/month.

 

Most of the cheaper solutions are based on a Chinese product referred to as the TK102, TK103, TK 102B, TK103B.  The 103B seems to be the latest one I've found.  These devices allow the user to put their own SIM card in them, and then make them do things by sending them coded text messages.  With the 103B you can send a text message that will turn on relays, activate the mic inputs so you can listen etc.  They also will send text messages to whatever phones you program into them.  Overall they are capable devices, but to me they seem fiddly and I was looking for something a bit easier to interact with.

 

Then I discovered trackmategps.com who sells their version of the TK103B, at a premium of course, but then has a website that allows me to track my trailer easily (verses sending multiple texts to it to get its location as it moves).  They also take care of the SIM card issues with no contract.  What I don't know at this time is how easily I can activate the other capabilities of the TK103B through their website such as mic activation, alarms, brakes etc.

 

I've looked at many of them and for me it looks like the dash 2.1 from trackmategps.com solves a the issues I've had with the tracking services

 

1) There is a sim provided by them, I don't have to add any additional device to my service.  (this could be viewed as a negative since there is no indication as to whose service is behind this device - T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon etc.). To add an additional SIM to my service costs a minimum of $10/month.

 

2) Web access to tracking information.

 

3) The DASH 2.1 brings the ability to add additional alarm situations - (i.e. door open, sirens if you like etc.) The only thing I haven't figured out is if there is an alarm situation can I activate the electric brakes, which I know I can with this system, but what is the effect of doing that and leaving them locked on until someone arrives?

 

4) The service, according to their website is $9/month which seems the same as me adding an additional line to my cell service, but I get the web site in addition with them.

 

5) an inherent capability of the TK103B devices is that they will continue to save GPS locations locally and then when they get into a cell service area you can retrieve the path they followed in addition to their current location.

 

So, all this said, I’m leaning towards the coupler lock for elimination lazy thieves, potentially using the lok-nuts for the more energetic/smarter thieves who might’ve already thought through the “remove the coupler” alternative. Using a chain for locking wheels etc. to the axle AND the tracking device.

 

I hope with all this that I’ll have enough GVW left for my camping gear!

 

 

 

 


John Marilyn and Gracie


2017 Legacy Elite II Hull 172


TV 2017 F250 Diesel 

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So, all this said, I’m leaning towards the coupler lock for elimination lazy thieves, potentially using the lok-nuts for the more energetic/smarter thieves who might’ve already thought through the “remove the coupler” alternative. Using a chain for locking wheels etc. to the axle AND the tracking device. I hope with all this that I’ll have enough GVW left for my camping gear!

 

When boondocking you need to focus on the casual larcenous passerby - the drunken hunter, the bored country guys out for a drive, the young stud aiming to show off to his girlfriend.... You are never going to see professional car thieves cruising the back country. In this scenario, several layers of protection are probably the best approach. But they need to be very (blatantly) obvious. Consider a brightly painted hitch lock, hanging a red streamer on a cabled wheel, etc.

 

The idea is to make that idiot look at those layers for 30 seconds and quickly decide that it just isn't worth the bother. Especially when a completely unsecured rig may be right around the next bend in the road.

 

The location you need to be really concerned about is an urban storage lot, where a thief might show up with a box-truck full of metal cutting tools, three strong friends, chains and winch. There is nothing in the world you can do to stop somebody like that, if they really want your trailer. Modern battery powered cutting tools will go through any lock in less than a minute. Bolt cutters are even faster and are dead silent.

 

The "security system" for most storage lots is pretty much meaningless....

 

http://jalopnik.com/thieves-steal-wheels-from-48-dealership-cars-in-just-fo-1785764601

 

I have never heard of those one-way locknuts. They seem interesting, until you need to remove them one day. Then you will have to torch or saw them off.

 

Layers and layers..... and stay vigilant. Keeping your Ollie completely out of sight during long term storage is the best approach, but that won't work in the woods, unless you can find a really hidden campsite that is not visible from the road.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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JMS and John,

 

Thanks for the research and thoughts.

 

John, as far as lock nuts.....you may be more used to a "Nyloc" nut. Those are the ones with a nylon insert and are made not to come loose. They serve the same purpose as a lock washer. you can buy a nut that does the same in stainless steel and a grade "C" strength. They do come off. It's just that they do not want to be used more than once, maybe twice.

 

Unfortunately, I've resigned to the same philosophy of layering, visibility, P.I.T.A. opportunity,and insurance. I might mention asking your insurance agent about replacement insurance in case of a theft instead of a prorated settlement.

 

Yes, I did watch all of the You-Tube videos and like those guys given a few minutes, I too can get through just about anything with modern, battery operated tools. You're back to how much of a P.I.T.A. and visible it is before you move on.

 

The idea of a GPS tracker has been a thought. However, ....... I think I'll just put a car in front of it when I park the trailer at home.

 

Thanks once again, with luck I'll see you on the road.

 

Bob

 

 

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