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Old 05-31-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
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Theft and locking

After countless hours of work not to mention tons of money re-furbishing our baby, I am wondering how to lock it.

If we are camping somewhere and decide to leave the trailer with our tow vehicle-how can we lock it ? Should we lock the hitch ? Tires ?

Please, this isn't meant to be a question of should we lock it or how many trailer are stolen per year etc...we would just like to know how to lock it and where to get the lock.

Thanks ahead of time foe your help. Denise
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:55 PM   #2
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For the coupler latch, I purchased a very high security commercial grade Master Lock, Proseries, re-keyable padlock. I had to buy it through a locksmith. It arrived un-assembled. He assembled it and keyed to a key code that I gave him. I also bought a Master Lock Universal Trailer Coupler lock that fits into the 2-5/16" coupler on an Airstream. Model # may be 379DAT
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:55 PM   #3
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With a trailer, if a thief can't hitch to it, they can still tow it by hanging the trailer tongue on the safety chains. But if the wheels don't turn, they won't be able to tow it very far. So as long as we're answering "how to lock it" and not "should you lock it" my vote would be to immobilize the tires, not to use a tongue lock.

There are several ways to immobilize the tires, and I'm no expert on which is easiest to use or most theft-resistant.

The issue of "theft" versus "break-in" is a matter for another thread, I guess.
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Old 05-31-2014, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdenise View Post
After countless hours of work not to mention tons of money re-furbishing our baby, I am wondering how to lock it.
Insurance

Quote:
If we are camping somewhere and decide to leave the trailer with our tow vehicle-how can we lock it ? Should we lock the hitch ? Tires ?
You have single-axle trailers. If I were in your situation and concerned about trailer theft, I would padlock the safety chains to the loop for them on the tow vehicle. I have done that in the past. In general, it is more secure than a coupler lock, IMO. You can also get a security chain (more difficult to cut) and loop it around the A frame and the hitch frame on your tow vehicle, and lock it with a padlock. Tulsa Chain sells security chain on line.

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Please, this isn't meant to be a question of should we lock it or how many trailer are stolen per year etc...we would just like to know how to lock it and where to get the lock.

Thanks ahead of time foe your help. Denise
Your call, so I answered the question you asked. But trailers being stolen from campsites just doesn't happen
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:00 AM   #5
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Sorry, I wasn't clear-I meant to say if we leave in our tow vehicle i.e. the tow vehicle isn't with the trailer.
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Old 06-01-2014, 12:12 AM   #6
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I think the only secure way is with a wheel lock.

The best I have seen is the Brahma Wheel Lock. Any tongue lock is a waste as most can be defeated in less than 2 minutes. There is a good youtube video showing a guy defeating about a dozen tongue locks in less than a minute.

Also the thief can just rig the tongue to his vehicle with chains, tow it to a secluded spot and defeat the lock.

Last year was a record year for RV theft. Most were stolen from lots or storage but many were stolen right from the campsite.
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by markdenise View Post
Sorry, I wasn't clear-I meant to say if we leave in our tow vehicle i.e. the tow vehicle isn't with the trailer.
With a single axle trailer you can't chain the wheels together, which is the best deterrent IMO.

There are some minor measures you can use as a deterrent to casual theft -- tongue locks, disabling the tongue jack, wheel locks. But theft of an Airstream trailer, when it occurs, is not a casual crime. It is something that is planned ahead.

My advice would be situational:
1) Don't store your trailer outdoors in an industrial area. Nearly all Airstream thefts are from such locations. Store it by your house, or indoors, or in an RV storage facility
2) Don't leave your trailer unattended overnight at a campsite or hotel
3) Be especially careful of locations where the trailer is visible from a road or street but where there is no one around at night.

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Last year was a record year for RV theft. Most were stolen from lots or storage but many were stolen right from the campsite.
I would like to see a cite for your claim that "many were stolen right from the campsite." I have never heard a reliable report of a single instance of this happening, and would like to educate myself.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:17 AM   #8
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With a single axle trailer you can't chain the wheels together, which is the best deterrent IMO.
But you can "boot" a wheel on a single-axle trailer, as others have suggested (Brahma Wheel Lock). And if you do it on the street side, it doesn't affect the look of your under-awning area when you're entertaining.
Quote:
My advice would be situational:
2) Don't leave your trailer unattended overnight at a campsite or hotel.
If your campsite is your base camp for exploring the surrounding area, it's difficult to NOT leave your Airstream unattended. You can't be so paranoid about having your Airstream stolen that you keep it chained to your hip like a trucker's wallet!

Take reasonable precautions, and then trust that a thief will go after an easier target.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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I would like to see a cite for your claim that "many were stolen right from the campsite." I have never heard a reliable report of a single instance of this happening, and would like to educate myself.[/QUOTE]

Below are three incidents of travel trailer being stolen from RV parks in West Texas as was reported in the Odessa American. In these cases the thieves just hooked onto them and drove away. In one case the owners were only gone for a few minutes. It does happen, there has been several other incidents. Sorry, I could not get the full articles to open up.

Jan 7, 2014 | KOSA
... for some, but there is a downside that people here in West Texas have been discovering lately. They can be easily stolen. The latest couple to have their home taken in West Odessa is Sherri and Shawn. The couple says their travel trailer was parked ...

Jan 3, 2014 | KOSA
DeAnn Lopez CBS 7 News dlopez@cbs7.com January 3, 2014 WEST ODESSA-It's been nearly three weeks since an Odessa family of five had their Travel Trailer stolen, with their two Chihuahuas inside, leaving them homeless.

Dec 16, 2013 | KOSA
DeAnn Lopez CBS 7 News dlopez@cbs7.com December 16, 2013 ODESSA-A West Texas family is left homeless after their travel trailer is stolen in the middle of the night.
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
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Since the MH area is commenting on what seems to be a trailer issue I shall pipe in. We have a two axle 30' Excella. I USUALLY do not concern myself enough to lock the hitch coupler. I DO have a long piece of stainless steel 3/8" chain and a common padlock that, should I feel the need, I can thread through the trailer wheels. I hope that this would serve to slow down anyone thinking to steal it. Hopefully just enough to make them look suspicious to someone in the area. BUT, if they get it we are insured. We do what we can do. If we can't live with the little risk involved maybe we should not be there.

See ya'll on the road sometime.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #11
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Where can you purchase a Brahma Wheel Lock?
Watched their video/impressive
Catherine
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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I would like to see a cite for your claim that "many were stolen right from the campsite." I have never heard a reliable report of a single instance of this happening, and would like to educate myself.
I didn't get the information from a website. There was a segment on Denver's local NBC News. It cited how RV thefts dramatically increased in 2013 based on insurance claims. It also said that an unusually large number of RVs were being stolen right out of the state parks. The worst states were Texas and Arizona.

They quoted percentages but I don't remember what they were. Lot thefts from the dealer and storage unit thefts were the greatest but the number of RV units stolen directly from the campsite was significant and rising.
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:44 AM   #13
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Since the MH area is commenting on what seems to be a trailer issue I shall pipe in.
Considering that my Airstream was burglarized a mere 16 hours after I bought it, I have a personal interest in Airstream-related crime prevention. Yes, my Airstream is a motorhome, but it has a trailer hitch and I have pulled a trailer with it. So I'm not entirely unfamiliar with trailer security.

But if you feel that a motorhome owner has nothing to add to the issue, I'll be glad to "ignore" this thread and leave you guys to it. Bye!
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:58 AM   #14
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But if you feel that a motorhome owner has nothing to add to the issue, I'll be glad to "ignore" this thread and leave you guys to it. Bye!
I think the poster was referring to the fact that this thread is taking place in the Motorhome Forums section of the site.
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