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Jeffrey 05-28-2007 10:36 PM

Let's talk Security
I am concerned with the level of security that my soon to be built van will afford me. No, I'm not talking about being lonely and having a compassionate vehicle to talk to me soothingly and tell me that everyone loves me. I mean security from theft and break-ins. I will be traveling with lots of valuable gear. I ordered the steel door'd under floor box already. I've researched for additional door locks and only came up with a sort of nice puck lock that uses a rivetted on hasp and works on two adjoining doors such as the rears and sides. I am getting a basic alarm system installed along with the sound system. Lot's of noise, and you still get ripped off. What have you done? Are these vehicles thief magnets? I live in Southern CA and lots of SUV's are never seen again, destined for south of the border. Anyone have a Lo-jack installed?

jage 05-28-2007 10:54 PM

The Badgers have a nice install of that hasp lock that eliminates the wings... looks a lot better.

I too wonder how much of a theft magnet these are... anyone know?

Jammyauto 05-28-2007 11:01 PM

Jeffrey, Imobilizing the van is pretty simple. Hidden switches, brake line locks etc. Securing the contents however is a far trickier thing. Here are a few options I have considered deadbolts Very clean but lots of work to install. Here is another How about this ... _alarm.htm Pretty trick. Wonder what this set up goes for.
In my opinion the biggest problem is the windows. I don't think that there is a really elegant solution to this other than a pager alarm which also has it's drawbacks, sepecially in the wilderness like trailheads etc.
You could go really James Bond on it and use an output from a interior motion sensor alarm to power up a 12v smoke generator and fill the interior up with smoke. We use a 12v smoke generator in my auto repair business all the time to check car evap systems and look for vacume leaks. The system is about the size of a shoebox and puts out lots of odorless harmless smoke. Now that would get peoples attention!!

scatter 05-29-2007 09:49 AM

Pretty tough keeping someone out of a rig that they really want into. As was mentioned, the windows are the tough part. From what I've read, if the locks are tough on a car, the bad guys just take out a window. How about a set of bullet proof glass.... Hummm.

Here is another source for door locks.

For vehicle theft, I've been using this on all my rigs.
The only way around this to start the rig is to either install a different starter or pull the old one and go to work on chipping out a bunch of epoxy to get at the starter terminal. Probably too much work and would take too long for most of the bandidos.

No easy answer to the theft problem and if anyone has an answer other then a good insurance policy and crossing your fingers, don't be shy on sharing.

BroncoHauler 05-29-2007 11:31 AM

Here's what I had installed. It won't keep someone from breaking in, but it will make your SMB very, very hard to steal with nothing less than a large tow truck. If you have a remote start feature, or a cool down timer, they will not work with this system. I also have an alarm that the previous owner installed.


JoeyNick 05-30-2007 12:58 AM

Let's talk Security
Right after I installed a computer mount in the cab of my SMB, somebody smashed the passenger side window in an attempt to steal the mounted "computer", which we don't leave in the vehicle. Earlier that day, I had parked the van in front of a schoolyard where they were having a big soccer tournament and I'm guessing one of the nice attendees took notice and came back that night.

Fortunately, I lost nothing but a window.

Needless to say, I replaced the window and installed a Viper alarm (with remote pager) the next day.

Since then, I've been trying to figure out what to do about the next smash and grab attempt. Here's the best solution I've found so far:
(Click on Clear Protection.)

This is a thick protective film, like regular window tint, but much thicker. it's supposed to make the glass much harder to break AND keps it from shattering into a billion pieces if it is broken.

So far, I haven't been able to find an installer that has used the stuff in my area but a couple of the regular window tint places have said they would give it a shot if I buy the film. I'm still hoping to find a quasi-local installer who has used this stuff before.

-Joey "Nick"
in New "Yawk" City

jage 05-30-2007 01:31 AM

I thought vehicle glass (windshields at least) already had a plastic coating?

Also this stuff is for home, non-safety glass... is it really going to help with anything but keeping the glass chunks out of the van?

Maybe get a junkyard window, sideglass or something cheap and do a little experiment with this coating the typical "key on a string" window entry. (PM if you don't already know how to shatter a car window...)

Also wondering how it will hold up to long term heat abuse (you don't leave your house parked in the sun with a baking interior).

The more I think about it the more interesting the idea seems...

BroncoHauler 05-30-2007 11:07 AM

A while back, there was someone selling an SMB they had used to travel through Central America, and on to South America. I remember that they had bullet proof film installed on their van windows to minimize any smash and grab thefts. It wasn't put to the test. I can't remember the name, but maybe it will trigger someone's memory. I can't seem to log into the Yahoo-based SMB For Sale site, if it's even there.


canyonclan 05-30-2007 07:29 PM

Check out and click the 4x4 icon on the top navigation bar.


jage 05-30-2007 08:51 PM

ooooh. I'm so doing the bullet proof film. Any idea what it costs?

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