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Old 06-08-2014, 11:21 PM   #1
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To Alarm or Not to ALarm

I can't believe the attentions in the city…and all alone in the backwoods?!?...have the factory Ford auto lock-alarm, which I am sure deters no thief…still can't believe the attention...and am thinking about aftermarket alarms...or if the want it they will take it?…and how easy is it to hide a SMB? So should I alarm it? Even Onstar it? Or roll on? Thoughts and experiences? Thanks in advance crew, you all always have the best answers!

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Old 06-09-2014, 12:30 AM   #2
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Re: To Alarm or Not to ALarm

I've been broke into at home and the alarm ran them off. Lost a window though. I think most modified vans will be used as a quick fun ride and dumped or taken to a nearby place to be chopped because only an idiot would drive around with something that stands out like most SMB's. An alarm might run off the smash and grab guys. I think devices that keep the vehicle from starting that are difficult to defeat might be of value coupled with an alarm.
Things like a Low Jack might be good if the owner can find it before the van is ripped apart.

I kind of look at it from the standpoint of what's in the van and how much that is worth compared to the damage they do to get at it, then try to make it difficult to crank up the engine and drive it away. My only concern is an alarm or something that leaves me stranded in the backcountry. That would be bad.

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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Re: To Alarm or Not to ALarm

I put an inexpensive Autopage alarm on my van recently. It's not the best but should deter thieves a little I hope. I don't live in a high crime area, I just figure a little protection is better than nothing. If money wasn't a factor I would do this, as many here have.

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Old 06-13-2014, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: To Alarm or Not to ALarm

I've got an alarm and I'd probably leave it off next time. It caused me issues when I had a battery go down (had a hard time getting it off). And it hasn't malfunctioned so that I couldn't start the vehicle, but it could. Getting a key to a person via a lockbox or some other method is also easier since I don't have to give them a code and explain the valet switch inside. And I wouldn't have to worry about trashing the remote or losing it (keys are easy to hide, and some remotes are really expensive these days). And I hate false alarms. When in the boonies, I don't even use the alarm function and prefer to work with a key anyway.

A concern for theft when I'm away is often leaving the van, sometimes for days, at put-ins, trailheads, etc. An alarm is of very limited use there, and if it ran until it depleted you're battery you could be not only burglarized but stuck. And in any case I use a kill switch since I don't want the battery to drain, so they aren't gonna drive off with it.

At home (Oakland, so a good test of theftproofness) I've never had a break in on the SMB, even though we've had a neighbor's SUV stolen, serveral home burgs, and my daily driver was burgled multiple times. I leave the van covered with a tarp; maybe that helps. Maybe thieves aren't interested in some pervy white van; dunno.

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Old 06-14-2014, 12:34 AM   #5
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Re: To Alarm or Not to ALarm

There are some good alarm options out there, had a mid level Clifford put in several years ago, has glass sensors, another nice feature is remote start(love that for warming up my diesel in winter), didn't get it but they have a 2 way remote that warns you if your alarm is going off, great for city dwellers that are in proximity to their parked rig, they might all come with that feature now. Could just get a kill switch or that ravelco but If I'm in a place where I don't want to use my alarm or I know it will be triggered I just bypass the alarm and use the interior lock button, esp with my sensors. As an added bonus to my DP tuner, the switch can be set to 0, no start, and/or also removed from the vehicle making it impossible to start until the switch is plugged back in and the proper sequence to unlock it are entered to switch it out of no start mode. Most thefts that occur are opportunistic, don't make it easy or leave things of value in plain sight for the smash and grabbers, an alarm just might be the deterrent needed to keep them from targeting your ride, I like my sensors for that reason, you can usually dial in the sensitivity to where the alarm will chirp if someone is trying to jimmy the lock, or sometimes they will test for an alarm with glass sensors by whacking their targeted ride to see if they get a warning chirp, if they do, they will usually move on, at least that's the idea..
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