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Old 06-14-2014, 03:15 PM   #1
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Question In Airstream: Securing Documents & Valuables

Pardon the "n00b" level question. We haven't purchased an airstream yet. But today while going thru all our important documents I just started to think how I should handle storing some of these. It's a little different from when we just keep our passports with us traveling normally.

I should probably point out we're going to be full timers. I'm thinking of a small safe. Any thoughts? How do most of you handle storing sensitive items? Should I store in the Airstream? Or maybe get a vehicle safe for the truck?

Just curious.

Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #2
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You can get a firearm safe. I have one that we use at home. It is opened by a series of button presses.. Which are laid out in a typical human hand shape. This makes it easy to open "in the dark"... If needed.

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Old 06-14-2014, 03:39 PM   #3
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Even a full-timer needs to have a "domicile" address. An official residence for taxation purposes, registering to vote, getting driver's licenses and vehicle/trailer license plates, etc. You get the picture. If you don't have a domicile then you're legally a vagrant, not a full-timer.

Rent a safe deposit box at a bank in the town you use as your domicile address. Use it to store documents that you don't need to have on the road with you, but that you need to have somewhere. Last will and testament, birth certificates, marriage licenses, military discharge, titles to your vehicle and Airstream, whatever.

Then you only have to carry those documents that you'd carry in your vehicle or in your wallet all the time anywayŚ plus copies of your prescriptions; which hopefully you have the foresight to fill at a nationwide pharmacy such as Walgreen's or Walmart so you can get them filled anywhere. Also keep in your safe deposit box photocopies of all of your portable documents such as passport, driver's license, vehicle registrations, etc. so if you are mugged or something, you have copies until you can get them replaced.

Having a safe inside a piece of chattel property isn't terribly secure no matter what kind of safe you get. The safe doesn't help if they can just take the whole trailer. That's why I suggest storing important documents at a bank's safe deposit box.
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:46 PM   #4
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I installed a fake furnace vent and made a safe out of the back area with PVC pipe. Add it in an obvious place. Hide in plain sight. Good for jewelery, cash, wallets. Not so good for guns, computers and the like.
Mine is big enough to keep $50k in cash.... you'll have to pass my ppk in hand to get the cash....
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have researched domicile already, and will be following a plan there, thanks for the info. I already have an LLC and use a registered agent who collects my mail for the LLC as well, and we have a lawyer who handles or documents for life insurance, living will, who to contact incase of death yada yada...

I'm not keen on safety deposit boxes, because they're in fact not safe if the local branch goes insolvent. You could find yourself without access to your box for an extended period of time, or losing your possessions all together, as has already happened to plenty of folks since the 2008 crisis. It can be avoided though by picking a stable branch, and making sure your bank isn't on the watch list. FDIC btw, does not cover a box. IT can be a shocker, just like families who have to deal with probate because a relative didn't have a will and they discover the government involved in the affairs of their loved one suddenly.

Also I don't want to have to travel to collect things. The documents I'd keep on us are titles to vehicles, birth certificates, those sort of things, but even that might be more danger than it's worth. Certainly a lot to think over carefully.

And I'm probably over thinking this whole thing.
Family of 4 living, working & exploring the USA in our Airstream.
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:51 PM   #6
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Agree, I think. Good hiding place is better than a safe, except you might use a portable safe as a decoy....
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 06-14-2014, 04:04 PM   #7
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I second the firearm safe. Place it in an inconspicuous location hidden from direct sight. It must be bolted down to something solid. If you're really sneaky you might install a second safe with a few bucks in it unlocked and in an obvious location near the door. This might keep the crook from looking for your "real" safe. You're only going to be able to keep the contents away from the snatch-and-grab types, however. A dedicated thief can get whatever you have including your truck and your trailer.

I don't have any opinions on what you should or shouldn't keep in your safe. To each his own.
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Old 06-14-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Perhaps see if your attorney offers a service to be an agent on a safe deposit box with you at a mutually agreed site? Meaning either party is able to sign to access the contents. This might be a way to have a home base contact for things that could then be directed to you on the road if necessary.

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Old 06-14-2014, 05:04 PM   #9
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mikekey, PM me and I'll tell you about a slick way to do this. Don't want to broadcast it to the masses.
- wayne
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:23 PM   #10
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Some law enforcement agencies use these to store weapons:

Console Vault Truck Safe - YouTube

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