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Old 10-19-2014, 06:01 PM   #1
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Always have a spare key...

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I was a fan of those magnetic key boxes since I was always afraid of locking my keys in my car. I only did that once and the magnetic key box had long disappeared by the time I needed it. (A friend/passenger with me quickly borrowed a metal coat hanger from the owner of a pickup camper parked nearby and had the door open in seconds.)

So, a dozen years ago when we got our SMB, wanted to make sure that I would have an extra key if needed. But, no magnetic key box this time! Instead I put the key on top of the bottom web of one of the C channel frame members and "locked" it in place with a zip tie through a factory-made hole in that C channel.

Fast-forward to a trip to the Mammoth area east of the Sierras this past week. After driving several miles on a dirt road and getting back to camp, the water heater was acting up (starting fine but continually loosing the flame). Figuring that dust around the burner might be the cause of the problem, I started up the engine and turned on the air compressor.

I had turned on the engine while standing in the van with the side doors open and then got out and closed the doors so that dust wouldn't get inside the van. After blowing out the dust, I tried to open the doors to turn off the van but they were all locked!

So, the van is locked with the keys inside with the engine running. Of course I remembered my key zip-tied to the frame and slid under the van. Yes, it was still there, firmly zip-tied in place. And fortunately, I had my Buck folding knife with its 4", razor-sharp blade secure in its sheath on my belt. The zip-tie was quickly dispensed with and I was able to retrieve that key hidden so long ago. With the spare key in hand, I unlocked the driver's side door and turned off the engine.

Moral....always carry a big knife...
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Old 10-19-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
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Re: Always have a spare key...

I always carry both. I've never zip tied one of those key boxes and never had one fall off, but securing it is certainly a good idea.

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Old 10-19-2014, 07:14 PM   #3
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Re: Always have a spare key...

I use a magnetic box. Never had an issue them : /
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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Re: Always have a spare key...

I've lost a couple of magnetic boxes over the last 20 years... zip tie is a great idea. I have a key-hide locked into my receiver hitch.
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Old 10-19-2014, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: Always have a spare key...

One of those factory key pad's have always been on the list of to do mods.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:08 PM   #6
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Re: Always have a spare key...

G'day. I have a spare key screwed behind the rear number plate. With one of the number plate screws. I always wear my Leatherman, which has a phillips head driver. Cheers.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: Always have a spare key...

I prefer a key that can be recovered from a secret place without tools. A good quality magnetic box will hold like glue.

I've also stepped out with the engine running and been locked out. Whenever we travel now I wear a spare key on a thong around my neck.
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Old 10-19-2014, 11:22 PM   #8
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Re: Always have a spare key...

Hmmmm.... a thong around your neck sounds like something after a heck of a lot of partying I think pictures might better explain this
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:02 AM   #9
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Re: Always have a spare key...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer
One of those factory key pad's have always been on the list of to do mods.
Oh yeah, I think my van doesn't have that. I wonder how hard it would be to add? I have one on my raptor and totally love it!
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:29 AM   #10
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Re: Always have a spare key...

Quote:
Originally Posted by twogone
I've lost a couple of magnetic boxes over the last 20 years... zip tie is a great idea. I have a key-hide locked into my receiver hitch.
I like that idea. And if your hitch is being used, something like this might work.

http://www.carid.com/curt-trailer-hitch ... Mgod3FgApw

Or mount one of these to the frame and cover it in tape to keep dirt out.

http://www.shopkidde.com/key-safes-key- ... ESfWb7UM21

Or put one empty magnetic key holder in an obvious location and hide another one really well. A thief probably wouldn't bother looking for a second one.
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