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John E Davies

How to: Santa Cruz locking shotgun mount in the closet

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The forum is being really weird today and there were a couple of duplicate posts.

 

Those of you that don't have any interest in firearms can read for enjoyment or skip the thread entirely. I want a 12 gauge shotgun stored securely yet close at hand for primitive camping and bears, and it is a weapon that is 100% legal to take into Canada.

 

I had a Santa Cruz vertical locking mount installed in my master bedroom closet for 13 years. We moved and I decided to put it in Mouse. The mount is typical of what you see in police cars - the shotgun rides vertically with the butt resting in a floor saddle, and the barrel is clamped into a padded and ratcheting steel ring, that is released electrically by way of a 12 volt dc solenoid. In my house I had to install a power supply, but the Ollie has no need for that.

 

http://santacruzgunlocks.com/products/

 

Here are all the bits, laid out and pretty:

 

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The hardened steel bar slides into the lock assembly, which gets positioned properly and is secured by an internal Allen screw, which is hidden when the lock arm is closed.

 

[attachment file=IMG_1981.jpg]

 

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Lower saddle:

 

Because I wanted the bulky lock to clear the coat hangers, I raised the entire setup 2 inches off the floor. I fabricated a stand-off using a piece of 2 x 2 aircraft aluminum channel. Because the installation needs to be as secure as possible, I used steel nutserts where I could (regular nuts could be loosened). The bottom part attaches with #12 Philips sheet metal screws into the floor, but access to them is difficult due to the shape of the channel and the overlying rubber pad. For installation, I drilled 1/2 inch holes in the top of the channel: these are covered by the actual Santa Cruz saddle assembly. I sealed the screws and bedded the saddle with clear RTV sealant, to prevent water ingress.

 

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Main gun lock assembly:

 

The bar is held on by two 3/8-16x 1.5 stainless "security bolts" and self locking nuts. The bolts have a tamper proof head design that you often see in public restrooms. It is an Allen head with a center post. You must have the special drilled bit to install or remove. Since the nuts are accessible, it is critical that the bolt heads be impervious to attempts to turn them.

 

[attachment file=IMG_1979.jpg]

 

The mount bar and lock fit neatly just outboard of the closet door frame. I had to move the clips for the awning center brace. (I put them on beside the entry door, rear side.) The wall is half an inch thick with fiberglass surfaces and apparently a wood core (???). I used sealer on the hardware, just in case.

 

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Here are the security screws, viewed from the cabin side:

 

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I'll get this stuff posted and work on the last part.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

IMG_1998.thumb.jpg.ff2b0ae7a2c7e26207ce7d8429d30850.jpg

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"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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Electrical Installation:

 

I needed 12 volts to run the circuit. I decided to use the closet LED light circuit since it was directly overhead. By switching on the closet light, using the switch near the microwave oven, the lock is "enabled" or armed. The lock is controlled by a momentary (spring loaded OFF) toggle switch. I found a sturdy and high quality switch at Ace Hardware - it is intended for cabinet door actuation (internal lighting). Cost was $10:

 

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Added to the circuit is a 10 second solid state timer. When the switch is toggled up, the timer powers the solenoid, releasing the arm. After ten seconds it automatically resets. It also has a failsafe design: if the switch fails (shorts) the timer will deactivate itself until the switch is replaced, protecting the solenoid. The timer also came from Santa Cruz. It was originally installed in my home closet.

 

Here are all the bits hanging down from the closet light opening:

 

IMG_1986.thumb.jpg.0060ba9b34d6bc0c50b1c584f1fa4ce6.jpg

 

The LED light, a very nice little unit! It was held on with two 1/8 inch aluminum pop rivets which I drilled out. I used small stainless screws for reassembly.:

 

IMG_1987.thumb.jpg.893f2d90f1abb69a90f6cae4c0bc804b.jpg

 

I used a 20 AWG inline fuse holder, which goes above the ceiling panel. I used a 3 amp fuse. Because the color coding was every which way, I labelled the gun wires + and - :

 

IMG_1988.thumb.jpg.c65be1cbcef0e28b1008d951252c1842.jpg

 

All splices were done using regular crimp connectors, and the wires were covered either with heat shrink tubing or spiral wrap. I used 3M mounting tape to secure the timer to the ceiling. The finished installation:

 

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Closeup of the timer unit:

 

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Wiring schematic: ... http://ledguy.net/santa-cruz/pdf/Timer.pdf

 

I ran the two shrink wrapped wires for the gun lock solenoid down inside the exposed channel of the door frame. I secured them there with dabs of silicone sealer every few inches. I added self stick nylon wire tie anchors at top, to finish it off professionally:

 

IMG_2062.thumb.jpg.9fedff852d2909ec941d3f8707c4fd34.jpg

 

Operation:

 

The shotgun is a Mossberg 930 SPX (Special Purpose), with a 20 inch Cylinder bore barrel (no choke). It's very well built and reasonably affordable, and a great choice for a home or trailer defense weapon, agains humans, moose, bears or rabid coyotes. The semi-auto action reduces the brutal kick of a 12 gauge, a little ;) My bear load is Brenneke Black Magic 3 inch magnum slugs. They are hardened so that they will penetrate deeply without slowing down. There is even a picture of an angry brown bear on the box;) They are Big Medicine, but they hurt your shoulder, a lot.

 

To secure the gun, place the butt into the saddle, maneuver the barrel and mag tube into the open arm of the lock. Squeeze the arm closed while wiggling the barrel to eliminate any play. It click click clicks and locks into place.

 

To retrieve the gun, the closet light must be switched ON. Reach up past the stereo speaker and flip the toggle switch straight up. The timer activates the solenoid, the lock arm is freed and you can remove the gun. If you do nothing within 10 seconds, it will re-lock itself. Cool!

 

The shotgun clears all the coat hangers by a good margin. There is enough clearance, toward the outside of the trailer,  to mount a scoped rifle. There is about 8 inches of vertical adjustment in the lock, in both directions, to allow for different stock and barrel lengths.

 

When locked, it is possible for someone to lift the butt up and out of the saddle, but it is impossible to get the barrel out of the lock assembly: the front sight prevents that. A shotgun with no front sight would require a different setup.

 

The mount is not fully burglar proof, nor is it intended to be. It is intended to be handy and quick to access, and secure in terms of an unsupervised child or thief with minimal time to hammer and pry on the parts. With a towel or shirt draped over the muzzle and lock, it looks completely innocuous.

 

Transport laws vary widely: some states allow you to transport a loaded, but secured, long gun, others require you to unload it and place the ammo in a separate container. Sometimes, it has to be a locked container, in a separate area. Always check local and state laws before transporting any firearm!

 

This setup is fully legal to bring across the border into Canada, if declared ahead of time and the fee is paid, eh!

 

This thread was a LOT of work, thanks very much for reading.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

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"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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John, nice install and write up.  Guns aren't everyone's cup of tea but good insurance when camping "out there".  After 40 years in the Army I've had plenty exposure to weapons.  But, I still don't have anything for the trailer, something easy to handle but that still packs a punch.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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John, nice install and write up. Guns aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but good insurance when camping “out there”. After 40 years in the Army I’ve had plenty exposure to weapons. But, I still don’t have anything for the trailer, something easy to handle but that still packs a punch. Mike

Thanks Mike. If you can stand Kel-Tecs, their SU16C carbine folds up _really_ small and fits into a tennis racquet carry backpack. That could ride in your closet for quick access and not attract any notice.

 

I have had one for a long while. It is not a quality firearm but it is cheap, shoots fine, is very light, 30 rounds of 5.56 NATO will get anybody's attention, and if it gets stolen I will not weep bitter tears about it. In a Nike bag, it can rest against the outer wall behind the shotgun. I would not willingly face down up a 1000 pound animal with it, but it is way better than a stick and pepper spray.... if the animal doesn't retreat.

 

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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That is a nice installation, but it seems you are relying on a LOT of electronics, some you have no control over, such as the internal Oliver wiring.   I had a lighting circuit quit working in my Ollie and had to track down the cause.  In the process, I found workmanship that I would definitely not count on to save my life.   Troubleshooting in an emergency is not viable.    Even something as simple as a dead battery or a breaker being off would stop you.  In an emergency, wouldn't something simpler be better?  Simpler always equals more reliable.

 

Seems like a 6" .357 revolver in a mounted holster would be more reliably available, quicker to access and perfectly serviceable for all but the most angry bears.  If you want it locked, you could have it padlocked in place with the key in the lock waiting.  Plus, if you wanted to go for a hike, or wanted both hands free while investigating, it wold ride well on your hip.  I understand it wouldn't work in Canada, but electronics can fail there too.

 

I bet you could devise a floor bracket and barrel snap clip that would hold the shotgun just fine.  Then an easily released mechanical lock that could be left unlocked while you are home and locked when away, if desired.   Absolutely simple and reliable.  No back of your mind worry about wether it will work when needed.  And, in an emergency, if you had to yell to your buddy to go get the shotgun, while a bear was dismantling your trailer, you wouldn't have to teach him how to release it.


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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That is a nice installation, but it seems you are relying on a LOT of electronics, some you have no control over, such as the internal Oliver wiring. I had a lighting circuit quit working in my Ollie and had to track down the cause. In the process, I found workmanship that I would definitely not count on to save my life. Troubleshooting in an emergency is not viable. Even something as simple as a dead battery or a breaker being off would stop you. In an emergency, wouldn’t something simpler be better? Simpler always equals more reliable. Seems like a 6″ .357 revolver in a mounted holster would be more reliably available, quicker to access and perfectly serviceable for all but the most angry bears. If you want it locked, you could have it padlocked in place with the key in the lock waiting. Plus, if you wanted to go for a hike, or wanted both hands free while investigating, it wold ride well on your hip. I understand it wouldn’t work in Canada, but electronics can fail there too. I bet you could devise a floor bracket and barrel snap clip that would hold the shotgun just fine. Then an easily released mechanical lock that could be left unlocked while you are home and locked when away, if desired. Absolutely simple and reliable. No back of your mind worry about wether it will work when needed. And, in an emergency, if you had to yell to your buddy to go get the shotgun, while a bear was dismantling your trailer, you wouldn’t have to teach him how to release it.

You make some great comments. I do understand the "relying on electronics" issue. However, the lock can be opened in a few seconds with a security key that over rides everything with a single twist. The electronics of the lock and timer are proven over many decades of use in police cars, I do not worry about that part of the equation.

 

I always carry a handgun during waking hours, even at home or sitting in the trailer. I have a big magnum revolver (Super Redhawk Alaskan .480R) for walking in the remote woods. This shotgun would be unlocked (the ratcheting arm swung out of the way) when the trailer is parked and occupied. The only reason it is there is to secure it while towing, or when there might be a nosy kid around. If somebody comes to visit, I can reach in, squeeze, and the gun is locked again in an instant.

 

I didn't choose this approach lightly, I spent a lot of time discussing pros and cons at ShotgunWorld.com years ago. This just made the most sense to me. It has been 100% reliable in my home for over a decade.

 

The HUGE issue with any long gun is that, unlike a handgun, in most places you can't keep it loaded while moving. So you have to either break that law, or load and unload it every time you stop for the night in a bad or remote place. Loading a conventional shotgun is darned slow, a magazine fed long gun in a big caliber, like an AR10, really makes more sense.

 

But International border concerns pointed me toward a conventional shotgun. Many other guns are too scary for Canada, eh!

 

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 Mike. If you can stand Kel-Tecs, their SU16C carbine folds up _really_ small and fits into a tennis racquet carry backpack. That could ride in your closet for quick access and not attract any notice. I have had one for a long while. It is not a quality firearm but it is cheap, shoots fine, is very light, 30 rounds of 5.56 NATO will get anybody’s attention, and if it gets stolen I will not weep bitter tears about it. In a Nike bag, it can rest against the outer wall behind the shotgun. I would not willingly face down up a 1000 pound animal with it, but it is way better than a stick and pepper spray…. if the animal doesn’t retreat. John Davies Spokane WA

 

John, a Kel-Tec wouldn't be a problem, it's not something that would get frequent use.  I've been considering a Judge or Governer with their flexibility on types of ammunition that could be used depending on where we are and what we're doing.  Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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I showed it to Karen... She wants one too ,:)

 

Thanks John :)

 

Reed


Happy Camping,


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Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Never lock up a firearm. (Sensible and politically incorrect) law enforcement will tell you that milliseconds count. You don't want to be searching for that key when the bad guy or bear are approaching. And...you always want to get off the first shot - you won't in the case of a locked firearm. Further...if that bad guy or bear are carrying a knife, never, never let them get that close. You never want either to get close enough to begin with - thus the bad idea for a lock of any kind. Also, I never go where my guns are unwanted! After all, if you don't intend to use it when needed, you have no business carrying it.


Cash - AKA Sitting Bull


http://www.shot-in-texas.com

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Never lock up a firearm?

 

Get serious.  When I leave home, any that I don't have with me are locked in my safe.  If I step out of my trailer to run an errand, and leave one there, it is locked.

 

When my grandkids come to visit, my safe stays locked.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Indeed, in some Sates one is criminally (if not socially) liable for unsecured firearms.  But, I think that it is likely that we just might not be talking about the same thing here.  Having a firearm on your person and/or ready for possible use is a bit different than securing a firearm that is not being readily used or subject to unauthorized use.

 

Bill

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

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I received a PM asking about this mod, and I realized that the forum had lost a ton of the pictures I uploaded. Also I cannot edit my first post, so I am just going to replace the lost pics here. If there are any specific questions please ask for clarification.

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"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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Weird. I reposted the pictures here at the end, and they reappeared in the original first post by digital magic. I hope they stay there.

 

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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Sold my 12 gauge shotgun, it was just getting too brutal for my aging joints.... I readjusted the barrel clamp a little lower and mounted my Kel-Tec SU16C 5.56 carbine. It has a tactical light clamped onto the end - I was able to adjust it and the clamp so that everything fits and the switch at the rear of the light is well protected.

 

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There is still lots of room behind it for the telescoping leaf rake, kite and a brolly.

 

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And here it is ready to travel with an old sock over the business end to keep out spiders and make it less noticeable.

 

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Unlike the shotgun, I can’t bring that carbine into Canada, but I can figure out something legal if I ever actually go there.... my last trip was in 1988.... ;)

 

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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If you want instant deployment, easy manipulation in tight spaces,  not having to rely on switches and electric catches to release something stuck in the back of a closet, that only you know the secret to, that then has to be unwrapped, in the dark, while in a hurry, look elsewhere.   If you want 17 rounds of  "go away", you need a strategically placed pistol that your hand can find in the dark.  Or your partner or a friend can find without learning where the secret switch is and all the rest.  There are at least four places that meet this criteria in an LE2.  And none of them will accept a long gun.  Further, if you get stranded in the mountains and have to walk out overnight, a smaller gun is much easier to carry.  Or you might have two,  so you can leave one with whoever stays behind.  Not at all saying anybody needs to shoot someone or some animal, but a lot of noise and the presence of a gun can go a long way toward scaring off a bear or showing intention.  Remember the recent story of the hiker that killed a mountain lion with his bare hands after being attacked?  A shotgun packed away back at the trailer, would have been no help, but a pistol in his pocket, might have.  Of course, while just sitting around camp in the evening with a few friends, a gun should be out of sight in the trailer, or locked up.   A few years ago, a buddy of mine had some friends that were out camping together.  One night, sitting around the fire,  some weirdo walked into camp with a gun and started taking to them. The conversation deteriorated. Everyone was nervous and finally one guy ran to his car and started fumbling around for his gun.  The stranger shot him and disappeared back into the forest.

 

I never look for trouble.  I would never go camping where I suspected there were dangerous people around.  I don't hunt.  And I would never shoot an animal unless necessary.   But I can imagine a few scenarios where I would be very glad I was armed. We really enjoy going to rallies, where everything is safe, fun and friendly, and we also enjoy getting about as far off the beaten path as possible.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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I agree Raspy.  As Walt Rauch said, "the best place to carry a gun is in your hand."  I interpret that as a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement that any place we can actually carry/store a gun (legally/practically speaking) involves trade-offs and is sub-optimal from a tactical sense.

 

Last year there was some nutjob that went driving around the Rampart Range (National Forest area popular for dry camping) here just west of USAFA shooting at campers.  Thankfully nobody got injured.  But one of the nutjob's victims had a rifle handy and was able to return fire, wounding him.  The camper kept the nutjob pinned down long enough for sherrif's deputies to arrive on the scene and arrest said nutjob.  Now I would assume that this is a relatively rare occurrence, but it's a case of when seconds count, and your gun is buried far inside the trailer, well, you do the math.

 

This is a free country and everybody has their own risk tolerance, or lengths they are willing to go to mitigate low probability/high impact risks.  Just providing a data point for contemplation.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


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I agree 100% with both of you and my comments are on the first page of this thread when this was brought up a year back. I am never unarmed, this carbine is not my primary defense tool by any means. Nor is it my primary bear gun. The purpose of the closet lock system is to keep a long gun within close reach, with ammo next to it, in case bad things turn terrible. Perhaps I even have to hike out of the woods. I can leave the closet light on, I can have this gun out, loaded and ready in very little time. It is in NO way blocked in the back of the closet. Cops use these locks daily in their patrol cars and they have proven to be very reliable over decades of use.

 

If something looked at all sketchy I would remove it ASAP and keep it handy anyway, loaded or even slung over a shoulder. As stated before, this is to keep curious hands off it in case some little kid should wander into my campsite and climb in unaware... it also allows me to transport the gun unloaded in full compliance with WA and other state laws and not have to worry about gun cases and such. Because of the way the Ollie’s closet door is mounted, nobody can see in from outside the trailer.... it is a fairly safe location. Better than under a seat cushion.

 

It looks cool, tho, I hope you will at least agree about that? You could always lock a brolly in it. LOL. This is not a firearms forum, so we need to understand that there are some members who find this whole subject uncomfortable to talk about. I understand but can’t really sympathize with that viewpoint. I hope those persons will just skip this thread and not get offended.

 

I started the thread not to talk specifically about firearms or camp protection, but about how to carry a long gun securely in an Oliver. I will provide a link, maybe it will encourage the purchase of at least a couple of large cans of bear spray ... https://geology.com/stories/13/bear-areas/

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

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"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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John, I did not intend my post to disparage your locking system at all.  This mod has been on my to-do list since before I took delivery of my trailer.   Good job on the write-up, as always.

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2018 OLEII #344   |   2018 Ford Expedition


AZCACOGAKSMONMTNWYsm.jpg

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