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Old 02-20-2012, 06:43 PM   #1
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Safety when leaving trailer

We are planning to boondock this summer , hopefully in a National Forest. With all the thefts of airstreams , especially the little ones, I would like some advice on how to safeguard the trailer when leaving it to go into town for supplies etc. All the help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Beecavetx View Post
We are planning to boondock this summer , hopefully in a National Forest. With all the thefts of airstreams , especially the little ones, I would like some advice on how to safeguard the trailer when leaving it to go into town for supplies etc. All the help will be greatly appreciated.
Airstreams get stolen from places where they're stored, typically. People see them and figured out how to come by and steal it after casing the situation for a while. If you're setup on levelers & a hitch lock in a quiet spot in the woods, you very likely won't have problems - the odds of someone who is driving by your camping spot wanting to steal your Airstream and having the tools & tow vehicle to do it is pretty da** low.

-= Bart
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Yup.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
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Its still a good question. My globetrotter was vandalized while I was boondocking in Colorado. I have had other weird things happen too. I have wondered if the shiny trailer incites crazy people in some way. Seriously.. like a fish strikes at a shiny silver lure.nx
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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There are several things that can help, but nothing will really stop a deranged Meth-head from messing with your beloved trailer, other than a kind Karmic transfer to the next life... That said, you should have:

1. A really solid and good fitting hitch lock that surrounds hitch assembly with a lot of metal that can't be cut easily with a hacksaw or bolt cutter... That is NOT the little padlock that goes through the hole in the hitch lever, but one that completely blocks the underside of the hitch and prevents someone from hitching up the trailer and towing it away.
2. A deadbolt lock added to door, with key only from either side, though this often just compels someone to do more damage to windows in an effort to get in..
3. If battery/solar power permits, leave a small radio/iPod on inside with music or news playing (assuming you don't have a PitBull or German Shepherd to leave behind..) to make it seem occupied, with curtains drawn, and a light on...
4. Others have suggested good steel cable locks for propane tanks (especially the aluminum ones..) inside the cover box, to discourage removal of those...

Beyond these, anything left outside in campground is likely to be targeted as well, so generators or bikes or chairs should be stashed inside for the time you're gone..

Good luck!
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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Arrow Theft

I do most of the above and in addition use a BAL X-Chock with a lock. The chock helps stabilize the trailer and when Locked is a great theft deterrent.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
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In the Pacific NW, I am careful but not paranoid about security, and I almost only boondock in NFS campgrounds and the like. I have a cable lock system on my propane tanks, and a deadbolt on the door. I have a lock on the hitch, but it might not slow anyone down much. I also usually take the Argosy, not quite so shiny and good looking as a polished Airstream.

But, basically I agree with Barts, the problems are mostly when the unit is in storage, not when you are out camping. And I personally feel safer in a quiet NFS campground than in commercial ones with a lot of in and out traffic.

Be careful, but don't let the "what if's" keep you from enjoying yourself. Theft is a personal violation, but probably much more damage is done to the AS by water, blown out tires, backing into objects and the like, than theft.

Or, maybe I live in a world that no longer exists. Not watching TV news helps me stay sane.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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You could buy a boot - big yellow thing that locks around a wheel and keeps it from turning. You can't even remove the tire and drag it on three wheels. Also just MUD UP and hide the shine under layers of dirt. (Here in Virginia, they'll grow green algae or moss if you don't clean them for a year!)

Signs that say "love me, love my python" might also help. So will a stack of dirty diapers outside of the door.

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Old 02-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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I use a security chain (available from Tulsa Chain or your local locksmith) and a really good padlock between the wheel spokes on one side when parked without the tow vehicle for an extended period.

Site selection matters. The worst locations are the ones that have fairly frequent casual traffic, so that someone with larceny in their heart is likely to see the trailer, combined with enough isolation that no one is likely to observe a theft in progress.

Nearly all the thefts that are reported here involve trailers being stolen while being stored at a commercial or industrial location, or a remote location visible from a highway. I don't think we've had any reports of thefts from campgrounds or boondocking locations where the trailer was in daily use. Doesn't mean that such thefts don't exist, just that they're less common.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:58 PM   #10
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I have had zero trouble camping and/or boondocking in national forests and I have spent a lot of nights there.
Trouble seems to be endemic to urban areas.
The only precaution I take is to lock the door...chairs, grill ect are left outside. I do put the Honda generator in the truck. Why tempt a potential thief with something valuable? Really? Who wants to steal your propane bottles? Theft targets are something that can be fenced.
I feel more secure in a campground because there are others around which discourages theft but I have never had trouble even in a solitary campsite.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:46 AM   #11
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All of the above are great. If you dont have a ball/tongue lock yet or latch lock,look for the new un-pickable locks. I also think the BOOT is a great investment. You will never stop a PRO from stealing your trailer. He will posses all the tools he needs. Just take as many anti-theft measures as you can and then go enjoy yourself. Just make sure your premiums are paid. I think there also are tracking devises these days Check into that.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I have had zero trouble camping and/or boondocking in national forests and I have spent a lot of nights there.
Trouble seems to be endemic to urban areas.
The only precaution I take is to lock the door...chairs, grill ect are left outside. I do put the Honda generator in the truck. Why tempt a potential thief with something valuable? Really? Who wants to steal your propane bottles? Theft targets are something that can be fenced.
I feel more secure in a campground because there are others around which discourages theft but I have never had trouble even in a solitary campsite.
I agree 100 % with the above post. I have never had, or seen a problem in 40 years of national forest camping, some quite remote.
I have seen non airstream trailers and even motorhomes left unattended in Hunt camps in the Florida forests for months at a time with no problems.

Take reasonable precautions and don't let paranoia ruin your fun. That's what insurance is for.

successfully stealing a trailer and making it disappear takes a reasonable amount of knowledge and brains. Stealing a trailer from federal land is not too bright.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:24 AM   #13
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All the above are very helpful ideas.....

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:59 AM   #14
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Get a sticker made up that says "This vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft GPS tracking device installed and monitored by Advanced Equipment Inc." and put it in a conspicuous location. It doesn't matter that you don't have a GPS unit, the thought that there is one is a deterrent in itself.
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