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Old 12-12-2011, 08:15 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by FreshAir View Post
It's been a few years since our trip to Engand but while there many caravans (travel trailers) were 'sporting' those wheel boots. My cousins caravan was in their yard with a locked gate AND one of those boots. There must be quite a theft problem over there.
Neil
There is. Caravans are too easy to pinch so you have to take all the precautions you can.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:21 AM   #16
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It occurred to me that if you have a tandem or triple axle and alloy wheels with holes in, a good quality motorcycle anti-theft chain and heavy duty padlock would work, threaded through said holes between two of the wheels. They'd be easier to carry than a 'boot' but the padlock is still the weak point.

Whenever I leave our Airstream unattended, I put a padlock in the ball release mechanism (locked in the open position) and I take the fuse out of the electric jack. I know that wouldn't stop a determined thief but it makes it harder to steal than a trailer with no precautions.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:33 AM   #17
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In addition to the grinder, you can apparently unlock simpler locks with an aluminum soda can:

Open a Padlock with an Aluminum Can
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Globie64 View Post
I'm looking for the be-all end-all lock for my 64 Globetrotter. I know that's a tall order, but I think I'd feel safest leaving the trailer while camping if there was something that immobilized the wheel and covered the wheel lugs.
Hello Peter

That's a question that comes up often.

I've attached a photo of my answer to this which involves a security chain from Tulsa Chain and a high quality padlock. It's not perfect but I believe it's more secure than a tongue lock and provides the same level of practical security as a Denver boot. Removing and replacing the tires requires considerable time and effort, and I would consider a thief more likely to use tow dollies or bring cutting equipment sufficient to remove any chain lock or boot that might be present.

Airstreams are inherently portable and there's no way to provide a meaningful amount of security that would deter someone serious. We get a steady stream of theft reports on the forums, mostly from people who realized they were taking a risk by leaving a trailer in an unattended location and who thought they were taking suitable measures by locking the gate or using a tongue lock or other immobilizing device. They just don't work because the prize is large enough to attract people working in teams who have access to any tools they want to use and any truck they want. If two guys show up with a tow truck, dollies, cutting torches, and a cutoff saw well it doesn't really matter much what you do they'll be on the road in 10 minutes.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:37 PM   #19
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In addition to the grinder, you can apparently unlock simpler locks with an aluminum soda can:

Open a Padlock with an Aluminum Can
The cheaper consumer padlocks are subject to shimming although an aluminum can isn't really up to the job in most cases -- the metal is too soft. It's by and large a trick for the high school kids to use on their friend's locker.

I like Best padlocks but there are plenty of good ones out there. For any of those cutting through the shackle is the fastest way to get them open and that's something that can't be done quickly without power tools or a torch.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #20
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The cheaper consumer padlocks are subject to shimming although an aluminum can isn't really up to the job in most cases -- the metal is too soft. It's by and large a trick for the high school kids to use on their friend's locker.

I like Best padlocks but there are plenty of good ones out there. For any of those cutting through the shackle is the fastest way to get them open and that's something that can't be done quickly without power tools or a torch.
I have seen a master padlock destroyed in 5 minutes with a hacksaw blade and a hammer. Locks only keep honest people out. Sal.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:54 PM   #21
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We'll do what we can.

I cut through one of these today with an angle grinder 9/10's of the way and knocked it loose with a 3-lb hammer. Time was under 1-minute. Had I a helper with a moving pad, it would also have been "quiet" though not silent. Darn near as fast as the key I lost.

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Old 12-16-2011, 08:04 PM   #22
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the whole issue of security is as much philosophical as it is mechanical. I think I've said that to me, it's kind of a matter of making it more difficult to steal- hitch lock, one kind of thief; denver boot type, more difficult to wheel away. If someone is determined and equipped, there is probably nothing we can do. My concern was while camping in a state park, and wanting to go for a hike during the day. I'd like to be comfortable enough to take off for 6 hours or so and not have trailer security always on my mind.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:13 PM   #23
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I have seen a master padlock destroyed in 5 minutes with a hacksaw blade and a hammer. Locks only keep honest people out. Sal.

I have seen and have defeated pad locks with a sliver of a coke can aluminum - look on youtube - padlocks are a false sense of security. Can be done as quick as having the key.

After Katrina it was not all that uncommon to see tow balls with about a third of the ball cut off. This allows the user to slide it up into a locked trailer hitch around the catch and then rotate the head 90 degrees to secure (done with the lock on the hitch). Only takes seconds, looks like to the casual observer you are just hooking up, no cutting, no tools really in your hands, no noise - slip it in, rotate the ball and tighten the nut on bottom (the last step can wait until you are in a secure place).
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:49 PM   #24
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Dead Man Switch

Has anyone thought of a modified version of a "Dead Man Switch"?

I was thinking about doing something like:
- hide an on / off switch
- turn it on when the trailer is set up and level
- have a bounce-sensitive switch lock the brakes if the trailer moves when set
- if I forget to disarm it when breaking camp, simply turn off the switch

Obviously, one drawback is to have the switch trigger too easily, burning out the battery or brakes. An inline buzzer, horn or timer should solve that problem.

Think it would deter a thief? This isn't available commercially, is it?

John
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:48 AM   #25
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Has anyone thought of a modified version of a "Dead Man Switch"?

I was thinking about doing something like:
- hide an on / off switch
- turn it on when the trailer is set up and level
- have a bounce-sensitive switch lock the brakes if the trailer moves when set
- if I forget to disarm it when breaking camp, simply turn off the switch

Obviously, one drawback is to have the switch trigger too easily, burning out the battery or brakes. An inline buzzer, horn or timer should solve that problem.

Think it would deter a thief? This isn't available commercially, is it?

John
As my mother used to tell me when I spoke of what I thought was a good idea, "'Market' it and make some money".
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:06 AM   #26
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I have seen harden locks cut in one swipe with RIDGED bolt cutters with about 4 ft handles, my old boss called it his MASTER KEY. We often ran into semi-trailers with these harden,seemingly unbreakable,inpenatrable locks and never were defeated. THE key I feel is to make it as DIFFICULT to steal as one can. Like I have said before if the thief is a professional he will get it if he wants it.
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