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Old 12-05-2014, 06:19 AM   #1
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Installing a safe in an Interstate?

Has anyone installed a safe (as in the security device for storage of valuables) in their Interstate?

You might not want to put that info on a forum, especially if you announce yourself by WBCCI, so if you have and would like to PM me, I could later summarize by making generic references to what "some owners" have done. Or I could say nothing whatsoever.

In my case, I'm not looking to store great riches in the vehicle, but rather my Interstate usage sometimes intersects with my job, which requires me to adhere to certain confidentiality protocols.

I do know one AI owner who installed their own safe, and Sprinter Store does offer one option. Those are the only ideas I know about thus far.

Sprinter Safe Stor

Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:55 AM   #2
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The Sprinter Safe won't work with your 2006 Interstate, since it would occupy the same space as your house battery. But there are a variety of automotive safes that could be made to work, and home handgun safes that could be adapted.

I haven't installed a safe in mine (though I wouldn't admit it if I had), but I have looked at various mounting options if I choose to add one in the future. After all, in the event of a hurricane evacuation I will be carrying some vital documents with me, and a secure place to store them would not be amiss.

One key feature is that a safe would have to be mounted to the metal of the original van in some position. That means fastened to the roof inside an overhead locker, fastened to the floor inside a full-height closet (or fastened to the floor under a galley drawer that would have to be removed to access the safe if you really want it concealed), or fastened to a rear wheelwell under my side-facing seat (or under a twin bed if you have a twin bed model). Anything fastened to the sheet metal of the van could be reinforced using a backing plate to prevent the fasteners from being pulled out by brute force, which kind of eliminates the possibility of fasteneing it to the van's sides; roof or floor only.

I don't know if it's like this on the 2006 models, but on mine, there is a compartment under the passenger-side front seat footwell, that holds tire-changing tools. One excellent possibility would be to relocate the tire-changing tools, and install a shallow recessed floor safe in place of the tool compartment.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The Sprinter Safe won't work with your 2006 Interstate, since it would occupy the same space as your house battery. But there are a variety of automotive safes that could be made to work, and home handgun safes that could be adapted.

I haven't installed a safe in mine (though I wouldn't admit it if I had), but I have looked at various mounting options if I choose to add one in the future. After all, in the event of a hurricane evacuation I will be carrying some vital documents with me, and a secure place to store them would not be amiss.

One key feature is that a safe would have to be mounted to the metal of the original van in some position. ....
FRONT SEAT SAFE - Yup. The front seat Sprinter safe is a popular option for some owners but not workable for us due to the house battery being there.

SMALL GUN SAFES - Let me speak in generic terms. This being Texas, almost everyone we know has at least one gun safe placed strategically somewhere in their house. Most people report that they are superb (especially the ones that have the electronic code pop-open buttons, not the biometric ones which can have a higher fail rate), and I can see where they'd work in a vehicle. I agree that is a potentially good option for certain applications in any motorhome or trailer.

VEHICLE SAFES - I've had trouble searching for products because the word "safe" is used in so many different contexts. A lot of returns have to do with "safety".

FRAME-MOUNTED SAFES - Here we get into the Catch-22 of sorts because a safe designed to deter thieves is really great at attracting thieves. Most of the homeowners I have personally known who have suffered serious losses had safes that were focused on to the exclusion of most other contents of the home. Thieves will drive a truck through the wall of a tract home and use heavy chains to yank a bolted safe off the floor if necessary. I've seen cases where homeowners under-insured themselves because they had this high-dollar safe that they thought would provide the protection for them. Wrong answer.

So where is the sweet spot of protection vs. attraction? I'm thinking that a safe in a trailer or motorhome would primarily offer limited protection from the simple smash-and-grab scenario. Anything more sophisticated and they will manage to get into it no matter what.

Word of advice to anyone who uses one - much like a personal safe in a cruise ship or hotel room, leave it open whenever you are not using it. That way if you do get broken into, they won't destroy your infrastructure trying to crack open an empty safe.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:56 AM   #4
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Come to think of it, at least in the imterim, the idea of removing a galley drawer for access made me think of something.

As long as you're storing documents and not valuable goods, just slip them into a document-sized Ziplock bag to protect them against leaky plumbing, and remove a bottom galley drawer. Put the documents under the drawer, and put the drawer back in place. I doubt that casual thieves would go to the trouble of completely removing a drawer to look under it; they're more likely to look in the drawers for pilferables, not under the drawers.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Come to think of it, at least in the imterim, the idea of removing a galley drawer for access made me think of something.

As long as you're storing documents and not valuable goods, just slip them into a document-sized Ziplock bag to protect them against leaky plumbing, and remove a bottom galley drawer. Put the documents under the drawer, and put the drawer back in place. I doubt that casual thieves would go to the trouble of completely removing a drawer to look under it; they're more likely to look in the drawers for pilferables, not under the drawers.
It generally goes beyond documents into electronic media despite lack of theft value.

There is another consideration here and that is weight. I called our biggest area security-related brick-and-mortar and said WHAT IF I wanted to put a small safe in a motorhome and WHAT IF I maybe wanted to think about investing in something a bit better quality than the toy safes that I see on the internet?

They had two specific recommendations for use in a motorhome but the problem is, as soon as you get into better quality, they start to weigh as much as a small adult. So that idea sorta goes out the Airstream-retrofitted flap window.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:56 AM   #6
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Ran across these on the Costco Website. Not sure if these will fit in an Interstate, but they look like they are well-made:

http://www.costco.com/Console-Vault-....11318704.html
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
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We purchased an under seat (passenger side) safe from sprinterstore.com for our 2005 Interstate. Our house battery was under the street side couch.
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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This company makes safes for all types of vehicles
Console Vault | Buy Direct For Lowest Price + Free Shipping
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:11 PM   #9
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Note: Costco link is also for Console Vault, but price is a little less. Not sure about this item, but Costco usually includes shipping in online prices.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:16 PM   #10
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This company had laptop safes which might work.

View All Laptop Safes - Free Shipping over $99 | NationwideSafes.com
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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I installed one of these in my prior RV. Great little safe and totally hidden by a rug. I haven't assessed the underside of the AI to determine if one of these would work.

Q200K RV Wood Floor safe
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:57 PM   #12
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I dunno…….

If the bad guys found a safe, they would think something valuable was in there. The damage done while ripping it out would cost more than whatever i could afford to put in it.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Has anyone installed a safe (as in the security device for storage of valuables) in their Interstate?
...........
I do know one AI owner who installed their own safe, and Sprinter Store does offer one option. Those are the only ideas I know about thus far.

Sprinter Safe Stor

Thanks.
Neither of those Sprinter Store "Safe Stor" panels will work on late model Interstates. The Seat Pivot blocks the use of the top plate and the front passenger seat side area on my and other late model Interstate contains the electrical switches for the awning.

I have not installed a safe or secure box in my Interstate, but I have looked at several possible areas to install one.

I found that there is a sizeable void under the second row passenger seats in my Lounge model with seating for eight. Even if I don't install a safe that area under the seats provides yet another area to store small items. Every cubic inch counts in these small B-vans, especially when you live in it for three months like I did this summer.
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Old 12-06-2014, 06:36 AM   #14
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This company had laptop safes which might work.

View All Laptop Safes - Free Shipping over $99 | NationwideSafes.com
Those look better quality than some of the "dorm room" safes that are clearly designed to prevent casual grabs only (you could break into most of them with a bit of effort).
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