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Old 09-18-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
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stolen airstreams

Last weekend my wife and I met a woman who owned a 1950's Bubble that had been redone (quite nicely). As she showed us the trailer she commented that the reason that it wasn't polished was because she had heard that if you polish a vintage airstream it contibutes to it being stolen. I was not aware of this problem. Is it fact or (Airstream) urban legend. Anyone know???
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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Last weekend my wife and I met a woman who owned a 1950's Bubble that had been redone (quite nicely). As she showed us the trailer she commented that the reason that it wasn't polished was because she had heard that if you polish a vintage airstream it contibutes to it being stolen. I was not aware of this problem. Is it fact or (Airstream) urban legend. Anyone know???
I would say maybe, but probably not.

If the trailer was stolen for a quick sale, a polished trailer would sell faster and at a higher price.

I would think that most stolen trailers wind up sitting in the woods on leased land or get parted out. I doubt a thief would take a highly polished trailer because it would draw too much attention.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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I agree with Richard - the highly polished trailers are much more memorable to people so towing one any distance would be a risk. The more mundane it looks, the easier it is to secret it away.

Sure there have been polished Airstreams stolen, but I doubt it is because it is polished, but more for resale, use in some out of the way location, or parts . If I were trying to hide a trailer the non-shiny one would be far easier, even if it is out in the open.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:22 PM   #4
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Simply put, my next airstream will have unique markings like nonstandard colored trim, to make it easy for a non-airstreamer to recognize. It will have large, helicopter visible numbers on the roof. Something that looks the same from left or right, like 88 or 69. I will engrave the window glass with the VIN/SN.

It will also have a GPS tracking system/alarm. Because thieves are stupid and may ignore all of that. If it gets stolen anyway, I *will* know where it is. The GPS signal issue will be solved by running a 12v supply to the AC, and installing the device inside the AC shroud where it will be inaccessible, yet have a good, non-blocked view of the sky. Used car dealers can buy these units for around $200 now, with a certain number of location inquiries included in the price. Solar will keep it running.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:16 PM   #5
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I was thinking a polished Airstream would be less likely to be stolen, like a bright orange Corvette with yellow racing stripes. The more eye catching and distinctive, the less appealing to the discriminating thief who does not want to get caught.

It would also be easier to find even in Google Earth photos.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:32 AM   #6
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It's been almost a month now since my trailer was stolen and nary a word. Police don't care, too many other more important things to look for. It's bright and shiny even if it's old, anything that looks sexy will attract a thief and Airstreams qualify. Cities have red light cameras and cameras up and down the highways but getting the right people to spot it is the problem. I will put a GPS tracker on my next rig, just need info on what to buy besides LoJack.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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It's been almost a month now since my trailer was stolen and nary a word. Police don't care, too many other more important things to look for. It's bright and shiny even if it's old, anything that looks sexy will attract a thief and Airstreams qualify. Cities have red light cameras and cameras up and down the highways but getting the right people to spot it is the problem. I will put a GPS tracker on my next rig, just need info on what to buy besides LoJack.
Onstar "in a box" will be sold soon through BestBuy. Don't know the details of exactly what all features will be in the non-OEM version sold this way. Stay tuned.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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Just curious - how often are the trailers that are stolen locked up? I am assuming, as in most cases, it doesn't matter all that much to a dedicated thief as they can cut through most locks.

But what about one of those boot devices that cities put on cars when they want to immobilize them? I know from experience that those things are nearly impossible to remove Would be a pain to lug around, but especially when parked for any length of time at home or in storage in particular I would think these would deter a thief.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:13 AM   #9
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Nightwatch many posts on this, do a search.

It seems to me, from the reports here, that most trailer thefts are planned in advance with the thief arriving with tools and equipment and with a destination in mind.

I don't believe stolen trailers get parted out, because there is no ready market for used RV parts.

I believe that most of them end up being used as stationary living quarters so there is no need for title or registration.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:21 AM   #10
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Dave - just what sort of GPS/alarm system are you referring to? I'd love to have one that is solar powered and located up top so it would be out of sight to people but hopefully open to the sky for good signal.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #11
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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Putting GPS on your A/S is a great idea but please Mr. Park, don't put anything on the roof. Street cops can't see it and the fact of the matter is, most police departments don't have aircraft. You are just putting things against the metal that don't need to be there.

As far as GPS goes, LandAirSea make some very good units. You can find them on the internet at www.landairsea.com

Placing your VIN number on more than one spot is also a great idea but not on the windows, put it where only you know so if its stolen you can tell the Officer taking the report and he can add it to the NCIC record. That way, if a thief gets rid of the VIN he will be unlikely to find the one you've hidden and aids in recovery.

Most vehicle's (any vehicle) are stolen because they are easy targets. Making your A/S a tougher target will help. Try to store it inside and place an alarm on it that will make noise if broken into. Thiefs hate noise and light, they attract the attention they are trying to avoid.

Also, try to keep valuables out of sight when away from your A/S. A thief will look through a window and come back later when you aren't around and break into it.

Don't store your LP tanks with your A/S. A good number of thiefs want the tanks so they can make meth with them.

A little common sense goes a long way but try not to be paranoid, it takes away the fun we are trying to have with our A/S. Also remember, that no matter what you do there will be theft out there and nothing is 100%.

Shiny side up!!!
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:55 AM   #13
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From this forum I think polished Airstreams are stolen more than non-polished and many have already been pre-sold for a pool cabana etc. or shipped to a foreign buyer, my guess. I'm getting that GPS when it comes out, but I don't think I have to worry about anyone stealing a 28ft shiny trailer, not as cute as the little ones, and can't fit in a Cargo box.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:17 PM   #14
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Just curious - how often are the trailers that are stolen locked up? I am assuming, as in most cases, it doesn't matter all that much to a dedicated thief as they can cut through most locks.

But what about one of those boot devices that cities put on cars when they want to immobilize them? I know from experience that those things are nearly impossible to remove Would be a pain to lug around, but especially when parked for any length of time at home or in storage in particular I would think these would deter a thief.
While driving around in England a few years back I noticed that many parked caravans (travel trailers) did indeed have those bright yellow 'boots' secured to their wheels. Even my cousin in Cornwall had one on their caravan....and it was in their yard behind a locked gate!
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