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Old 12-01-2016, 09:24 AM   #21
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Jim, please keep us informed as to your progress. Protag speaks highly of Viper equipment (and he was also broken into). I'm considering a suite of additional security devices right now, and I haven't ruled that one out.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:56 AM   #22
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Will do! Strong believer in KISS principle. Let me know if you want more details. PM me, if desired.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:29 AM   #23
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Bill Goldman (Vanscapes) replied to Mike Wendland's Roadtreking thread with this link to his own analysis of these emerging internal security devices. He chose the Piper, not the Canary. He made some interesting observations that I hadn't seen elsewhere, not in CNET and not in PC Mag, particularly about the motion detection issues that plagued the Canary and how they have their basis in the tech itself (i.e., video detection only; no true motion detection using a physical detector).

However, Bill's analysis, too, is over a year old and the Canary has been modified since that time. Who knows which is best now?! The tech evolves so quickly that it's almost impossible to keep up. The good news is that the devices are relatively inexpensive so buyer's remorse on any one of them should be minimal if they don't prove to function optimally.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:54 AM   #24
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FWIW, I pulled the fuse on the keyless entry on my pickup. Not much of a sacrifice. Better a broken window than denial of claim.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:09 AM   #25
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An update to my Canary inquiries.

First, one item of backstory I don't recall mentioning on this particular thread:

Some years back, my stick house was burglarized and every single item of value was trucked out of it (literally trucked, as in, physically loaded out by pick-up truck through the attached garage), resulting in an insurance situation that took almost a full year to resolve. Because of this history, I'm pretty interested in security generally, and our house has more layers of security than a typical residence.

I went ahead and bought the original Canary device (not the Flex) and it has been running for about a week in our house. My ultimate intention was to also use it in our Interstate when the situation calls for it, but if I can get dual use out of an item, it becomes a much easier sell. Use it in the house when at home, use it on the road when on the road. My Bluetooth stereo speaker also falls into that category.

Anyway, so far I'm pleased. It operates as advertised. I have had zero false alarms, so apparently they did improve the earlier over-sensitivity issue. In a week's time, I had one alert when someone entered our house and the device did not recognize that person (it was a legit entry).

So for less than $200, you can get a device that is going to send you a text message when it sees something it doesn't like. And it's not going to bother you with a lot of useless overhead when it does not see anything questionable. It's not an comprehensive security system in itself, but there's something to be said for the service that it does provide.

Next task will be Interstate trials. That's a bit down the road as we first have to deal with the issue of powering it on the road.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:34 AM   #26
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I recently had an attempted break in through the wing window on the sliding door. The yahoo just pried it up until the supporting bracket of the closure mechanism broke off. This is quite fragile-looking, and could probably be done without tools, especially if the window was cracked open a little for ventilation. The potential intruder could have just reached in and unlocked the door after he got the window off, but for some reason he stopped there. Maybe frightened off by a passer-by . . . I don't know, but this is a seriously weak area in the security of the Interstate. Has anyone had to have this mechanism repaired? Any advice on where to take it, or on a DIY repair? I am thinking about closing it permanently :-(
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:39 PM   #27
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The wing window is a weak point that I hadn't even thought of. Thanks for the heads-up.

As explained earlier in this thread, after much research, I went the way of the Wendlands, but I still don't have our Canary installed yet. It got bumped down the priority list because the lithium and cellular improvements needed to happen first. Now that we've got those done and also the roof done with reflective paint, the Canary is actually next on my priority list.

If someone stuck their arm in an Interstate sliding door wing window, it might be enough motion for a Canary (if properly installed) to detect, such that an alert could be sent to the owner's smart phone and the alarm manually triggered by the owner before the thief even opened the door. Maybe.

Incidentally, after this thread was hatched initially, my daughter got a Viper system installed in her car. I absolutely detest the thing. Its purpose is to safeguard the car, and to hell with its owner. It prioritizes the car over every other consideration. By design, it's difficult to work with and I know of no way to temporarily disable it (e.g., while camping and not wanting to be bothered by it). I'd have to see some really great ergonomic add-ons before I'd consider a system like that for our Interstate.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:24 AM   #28
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A little bit sideways to the topic of the thread, but this issue came up briefly also on the Lounge To Twin Conversion thread.

My husband and I have increasingly realized that one of the keys to Interstate security is to turn the tables and leverage the vehicle's difficulties to our advantage.

It requires a bit of a paradigm shift. Rather than protecting it conventionally with alarms and whatnot - and those still have a place because the best security involves multiple complementary layers - part of this issue involves protecting the contents in less conventional ways.

Case in point, this device. When Pahaska yanked his couches, if it were me, I would have installed a couple of these in the floor beneath the new twin beds, while the space was opened up and accessible. These, then, become lashing points for valuables. And yes, a thief could defeat them in a number of ways. But THE WORKING SPACE WITHIN AN INTERSTATE IS SO RESTRICTED, that it's hardly worthwhile. It would take two hours! And it would require tools. Tools that cannot be inserted into the available space in order to operate, because there is so little available space. It becomes naturally defeating by virtue of the Interstate's small size.

Plus there's the psychological factor. If a thief comes upon the likes of this with something valuable chained to it, his or her first reaction will be, "Oh, sh**!"

Anyway, point being, if you have reason to secure valuables, by all means - devote some effort into keeping thieves OUT of the vehicle. But also think about the flip side as a Plan B - keeping valuables IN the vehicle. In that regard, this photo shows some pretty cheap security for less than ten bucks at Lowes.

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Old 04-23-2017, 07:42 AM   #29
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Incidentally, after this thread was hatched initially, my daughter got a Viper system installed in her car. I absolutely detest the thing. Its purpose is to safeguard the car, and to hell with its owner. It prioritizes the car over every other consideration. By design, it's difficult to work with and I know of no way to temporarily disable it (e.g., while camping and not wanting to be bothered by it). I'd have to see some really great ergonomic add-ons before I'd consider a system like that for our Interstate.
After my Classic 28 was broken into and trashed at the storage yard, I installed a Viper system. I had a simple hidden toggle switch that cut power to the Viper when we were actively using the trailer.

Although the Viper was not meant for that use and had a lot of superfluous stuff like remote start, it really worked out pretty well. I had motion and glass break sensors as well as door switches and a switch on the front tinted glass that was the initial entry of the thieves. They raised the gravel shield by breaking the rubber loops at the bottom and smashed the front window. They then exited by the door. The first sensor switch I installed was on that gravel shield.

If someone thinks there is a security system, it is about as good as actually having a system. I put little Viper blinking Electro-Luminescent Indicators in the trailer windows, front and rear. They are a negligible electrical load and are something thieves will see and recognize. I kept them when I sold the trailer and I may install them in the AI. One could be put adjacent to the windows on the sliding door that is the most probable point of entry. They only cost about $12 and even WalMart has them. They are about 1 1/2" square and 1/8" thick and simply hook to 12v.
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Old 05-26-2017, 08:22 AM   #30
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FYI from Instagram this morning. I see a lot of this on Insta and the variability in the targets is substantial - new Sprinter, old Sprinter, expensive Sprinter, spartan Sprinter - I've seen smashed pics of them all. And although one thread poster noted a security weakness at the sliding door, the majority of entries seem to take place at the driver's cab window, as this one did. This owner reportedly lost a laptop and recreational gear, and he said he was only 100 yards from his rig when it happened. And obviously it was a public place.

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Old 03-03-2018, 07:18 AM   #31
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Apparently I never posted back an update on how our Canary worked out. Or if I did, it wasn't on this thread where the Canary option was discussed.

We ended up wiring a dedicated 12V outlet for it and permanently mounting it behind the passenger's side pillar (the Wendlands simply leave theirs on a table, IRRC). It broadcasts by pairing with my Verizon air card.

It's the kind of device we don't always choose to use, but on those occasions when we need it, we REALLY need it.

Yesterday was my nightmare scenario: Surface parking right downtown in an urban core surrounded by skyscrapers with our dog in the van. If ever the eye candy vehicle is going to draw criminal attention, those are the optimal conditions.

I realize that prioritizing the welfare of pets reliably draws scorn from a subset of forum users, but it's important to us that our dog remain safe. She is not street-smart. A break-in within a dense urban core would send her bolting from the van in terror, and she would be run over and killed in the streets. I don't care about losing possessions and filing insurance claims, but the dog cannot be replaced.

So, during my skyscraper meeting, I was able to keep the Canary channel open, running live feed (including audio) on my iPhone continuously from our Interstate. That allowed me to concentrate on the meeting and not be distracted by anxiety about the dog. Should anything have happened, there would have been a great sprinting from the meeting back to the van, which was close by.

Think of it as being like Facetime with your Interstate. Here's our pooch on the couch, showing disgruntled body language at being left alone. The foreground video feed is better resolution, so I put the red arrow as she is a bit blurry. You can see the two buttons in the lower right hand corner of this screenshot - one for an emergency call and the other for manual activation of the audible alarm. It's not a bad device for about $130.

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Old 04-05-2018, 11:02 AM   #32
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Another information-backfilling effort here... much of the security discussion to date has been on the topic of break-ins and how to prevent them and safeguard Interstate contents. This entry provides information pertaining to theft potential of the Sprinter itself.

A contributor to another forum experienced someone attempting to steal their TV (tow vehicle, not television). The theft was stopped because the owner had a gizmo installed that alerted their phone in real time.

That ensuing thread discussion revealed how easy it is to steal a vehicle that is supposedly protected by electronic chips tied into the ignition system (this came as a surprise to me). One of the posters recommended the Ravelco mechanism as a security option. This device has only been mentioned one previous time here on Sprinter and B Van Forum, and even with that, it was not mentioned in the context of the Interstate itself. Here is a photograph of the device installed on a MB Sprinter.

Looking in the context of Sprinters generally, I couldn't get a feel for how much of a theft risk there actually is. This Sprinter Forum thread wanders all over the place and isn't very definitive on the answer to that question.

During those web wanderings, I also stumbled across this thread describing a well-known custom Sportsmobile that was stolen outright. I didn't find any evidence that it was ever recovered.

Anyway, a bit more food for thought there.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #33
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Are you using a hot spot or how are you connecting to wifi?
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:18 PM   #34
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Are you using a hot spot or how are you connecting to wifi?
If you're referring to my interior Canary pic above, it communicates via a Netgear AC791L.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:17 PM   #35
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To me, the obvious way for someone to break into my AI is to pry open the opening window in the sliding door to pull up the lock button. I just ordered one of the blinking Viper electroluminescent logos to place by that opening window.

The Viper logo is recognized by a lot of thieves and I put two of them on my Classic 28 after a break-in at the storage yard. Those logos blinked reliably for years, but did not survive removal from the trailer.

I'll need 12v in the sliding door for the display. I'll get that by using a stretchy, curly cord from the gray cover, near my battery disconnect, to the sliding door. I happen to have a couple of cords on hand that I can use from old CBs and the like.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:05 AM   #36
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I think you might mean this one (?). Please post pics of the installation that you do. None of the product pages that I've seen describe how it is powered.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:25 AM   #37
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I think you might mean this one (?). Please post pics of the installation that you do. None of the product pages that I've seen describe how it is powered.
That's the one. It simply takes 12v. I'm hoping that I can find a suitable source at the battery disconnect switch by the sliding door that is hot with the battery off. If not, I'll run a non-switched hot wire as needed. The current drain is very low. On the trailer, I had switches in the 12v feed, but I never bothered to use them and I will omit them on the AI.

It is bright! At one rally, someone asked me what that was that was blinking on my Airstream which was well over a hundred yards away.

We're off to the Region 9 rally for a week. It should be in the hold mail when I return and I will publish photos of the install.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:31 AM   #38
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To me, the obvious way for someone to break into my AI is to pry open the opening window in the sliding door to pull up the lock button. ...
That's the OBVIOUS way, agreed. But to thieves, it may not be the way they choose. Here's something I may have mentioned previously: Most people who break into Sprinters are practiced at breaking into vehicles generally. Out of habit, they tend to come in through the driver's door (habit tends to trump intelligence in these types). Hence my pic of broken glass in the other poster's footwell above.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:43 AM   #39
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A blinking logo on the window just aft of the driver's door would discourage break-ins at that door. Not hard to get raw power from the chassis battery to that area.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:19 AM   #40
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To me, the obvious way for someone to break into my AI is to pry open the opening window in the sliding door to pull up the lock button. ....
Again back to this issue, courtesy of the interwebs, which are currently bombarding me with targeted ads on account of (1) this discussion, (2) firearms discussions here and on another forum, and (3) people emailing me to ask about Interstate security.

One of the targeted ads was for this component, which allegedly addresses the vulnerability represented by the slider.

I have seen products like this on contractor Sprinters and other vans, and I wondered where the owners had gotten them. I sent an email to David at Sprinter Parts Depot asking if such a product exists for the T1N Sprinters.
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