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Old 05-20-2015, 06:19 AM   #21
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Thanks all for the varied comments. It's interesting to see what kind of measures different folks take with their vehicle security. Protagonist is correct this was more of a topic of unattended vehicle security than personal security although at some point in some situations they are combined.

I asked my wife of her opinion and she felt that an alarm would not do much as in almost every case bystanders just ignore it. A motivated thief will find a way.

It seems the best defense is a combination of electronics, visual deterrents , concealment and more importantly operational and situational awareness.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:26 AM   #22
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No. A dog inside an Interstate van would actually CAUSE break-ins… by animal rights activists who want to "rescue" the animal that is obviously being mistreated by being left alone in a hot van— unless you also left the generator and air conditioner running and said activists were smart enough to understand that the air conditioner is running…
I worried about this exact thing with the B190 and my cat - that is, even though I had the generator and A/C running, that someone would need to SAVE THE CAT!!!!! and break in. Fortunately, it never happened. I tried to limit my time away from the vehicle as much as possible - for example, if I stopped at a fast food joint, I'd get my food and bring it back to the camper.

I also agree with you on the gun thread issue. I was reading with interest because someone had broken into my B190 before I owned it, and I saw people giving it the hairy eyeball a couple times (and not in the good "Hey, it's an Airstream!" way), though no one ever broke in while I owned it.
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Old 05-20-2015, 06:59 AM   #23
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Vehicle Security - What have you done?

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On the tangental subject of personal security... why would anyone have issues with the topic of people defending themselves, with firearms or any other weapon? That makes no sense, whatsoever.

There are evil scumbags out there who place no value whatsoever on your well-being or your life and would snuff it out in an instant, under any circumstances playing out against their getting away with an evil intent.

Those, especially road travelers and those who camp in remote or secluded places, who don't recognize this and pay heed to it simply have their heads buried in the sand.

Who would recommend not being prepared to defend their life or the lives of their loved ones?

Weapons, especially firearms, help level a very unlevel playing field when law abiding citizens are confronted by law breaking evil doers who have no respect for you or your life.

I'll bet it would be a very rare gun control freak who wouldn't absolutely pray to have a firearm in his/her possession when unexpectedly finding themselves faced with evil-doers who would slit their throats in an instant, just to avoid being caught doing some evil deed against them.

When mere seconds make the difference between survival or death in a self-defense situation, the police are only about, oh, 20 minutes+ away? That is, if one even had the opportunity or time to call 911, once the threat was recognized.

People who can't/won't look after their own self-defense get what they get, when calling 911 just doesn't quite cut it in time to save their lives or the lives of their loved ones.

Because firearms discussion is not relevant to this thread as the issue is not about self defense. The Community Rules address the topic of weapons discussion.

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We cleaned up several firearm posts from this thread. Please keep material on topic or the thread will be closed.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:07 AM   #24
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:17 AM   #25
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Vehicle Security - What have you done?

I may be wrong but see this as two issues:

First, when one is in the trailer or motorhome - best is can of bear spray or wasp spray. Blinds actor does no permanent harm.

Second, when one is absent from trailer of motorhome - I've been advised by multiple LEO friends several stickers in the windows indicating security and possibly a sign placed outside when camping. In most cases actor will move on to a target that has no stickers or signs or obvious protection.
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:37 AM   #26
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Speaking of stickers and signs...... maybe some of this across the door or around the trailer....

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Old 05-20-2015, 07:49 AM   #27
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Bear spray in an enclosed area isn't a good idea......nor is spraying in an upwind situation.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:56 AM   #28
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Vehicle Security - What have you done?

There's an update on Mike Wendland's Facebook page: to add to his pain it seems his insurance is balking on payout on the basis the thieves probably used an electronic device to open the doors. Their warped reasoning? No break-in suggests the Wendland's may have forgotten to lock up.


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Old 05-20-2015, 03:02 PM   #29
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There's an update on Mike Wendland's Facebook page: to add to his pain it seems his insurance is balking on payout on the basis the thieves probably used an electronic device to open the doors. Their warped reasoning? No break-in suggests the Wendland's may have forgotten to lock up.


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That insurance co. will be in for some bad PR and loss of policies if they hold firm to that position. Look forward to see which insurance co. the Wendlands use.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:06 PM   #30
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There's an update on Mike Wendland's Facebook page: to add to his pain it seems his insurance is balking on payout on the basis the thieves probably used an electronic device to open the doors. Their warped reasoning? No break-in suggests the Wendland's may have forgotten to lock up.
That is self-contradictory reasoning.

As soon as the insurance company accepts that a device that mimics the RFID signal from a key could have been used to unlock the van— and such devices do exist according to news coverage I've found from television news station websites— they cannot also claim that the van was left unlocked to begin with. Sounds to me like the Wendlands need to hire an attorney and sue the insurance company— as well as getting a new insurance company before their present one drops their coverage in retaliation for being sued.
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Old 05-20-2015, 03:48 PM   #31
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Why is leaving your vehicle unlocked weighed against the owner when someone gets into it and steals stuff? The person stealing stuff is the one breaking the law. I should be able to leave it wide open with the keys in it, and it is still mine, and anyone who touches it is still the person in the wrong.

This kind of thing makes me particularly angry because as a convertible owner, I never lock my vehicles. I learned a long time ago that the price of replacing anything in the vehicle (and usually there is nothing in there to steal) is less than replacing a cut soft top.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:15 PM   #32
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This was discussed on the fb page....but it struck me as I read the comment.

The logic from the insurance is entirely flawed.

If owners wanted to fake the whole thing, they could simply break their own window.

I also highly doubt a policy will stipulate that say an accidental episode of leaving your vehicle unlocked will disqualify coverage from theft.

They have a photo of the likely suspect (one of perhaps 2 per the couple) and they have the two intruders on audio from their dash cam recording.

It really is unbelievable that the ins. company would balk like this. After hearing about the robbers, what they did, and how they spoke on recording about "the nice dog", and knocking before coming in, the ins. company seems far worse.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:20 PM   #33
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This has all got me to thinking...

Only my camera gear would be worth a quick grab, ...I guess the two small TV's could be ripped off the wall...we do not carry computers with us at this point, but I guess if we ever take longer trips that would happen. otherwise some desperate person could steal food...

Now I want to speak with my insurance company (progressive) and ask about my coverage for theft and review it in writing!

Also, I too will be reviewing the thought in my mind about storing my camera bag (for example) in a secretive place hard to access and/or locked up.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:27 PM   #34
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Why is leaving your vehicle unlocked weighed against the owner when someone gets into it and steals stuff? The person stealing stuff is the one breaking the law. I should be able to leave it wide open with the keys in it, and it is still mine, and anyone who touches it is still the person in the wrong.

This kind of thing makes me particularly angry because as a convertible owner, I never lock my vehicles. I learned a long time ago that the price of replacing anything in the vehicle (and usually there is nothing in there to steal) is less than replacing a cut soft top.
Personally I agree with you. Should the vile miscreant be caught, he should still be convicted of burglary even if the vehicle was left unlocked since he entered the vehicle without permission and absconded with property that was not his.

However, insurance is not about criminal prosecution; it is about civil liability. If the insurance company can show that the owner was negligent in not safeguarding the insured goods, the policy contractually says that the company doesn't have to pay.

Problem is, it's entirely possible for a well-prepared burglar to gain entry to a Sprinter even without high-tech toys, and without leaving any evidence of forced entry. All he has to do is bend the top rear corner of the door out far enough to reach inside with a coat hanger, and pull up on the convenient lock button; this is how a Mercedes dealer gets into a Sprinter that has the keys locked inside— I watched them do it when a tow truck driver accidentally locked my keys in my van. The tool used to bend the door looked like an inflatable tube, slipped into the crack deflated, then inflated until the gap was wide enough. The door will flex far enough, and spring right back to its original position afterward without leaving any evidence of the break-in.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:29 PM   #35
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its worth pointing out that the same burglers busted a window out of a uhaul van in the same parking lot right after that....so it all seems annoying moot
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:34 PM   #36
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However, insurance is not about criminal prosecution; it is about civil liability. If the insurance company can show that the owner was negligent in not safeguarding the insured goods, the policy contractually says that the company doesn't have to pay.
That just seems ridiculous to me. That could cover anything from forgetting to lock your doors to parking in a bad part of town. The only way to truly safeguard it would be to lock it up in your garage and never use it. As you say, any crook can get in in a few seconds. Locks only keep out the honest people (or really lazy crooks).

I hope they name their insurance company, because I would want to steer clear of them. That is a terrible way to treat their customers, especially with all the evidence of a break in.
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Old 05-20-2015, 04:48 PM   #37
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I hope they name their insurance company, because I would want to steer clear of them. That is a terrible way to treat their customers, especially with all the evidence of a break in.
In my book, contract law is a protection racket that would put mafia leg-breakers to shame. The only reason you ever need a lawyer in civil law is to protect you from another lawyer; and both lawyers get paid in full no matter who wins.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:02 PM   #38
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Bear spray in an enclosed area isn't a good idea......nor is spraying in an upwind situation.
Better than the alternative, I've used it, it works. Should not be windy inside the AS.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:04 PM   #39
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Fact is, if you have something nice (like a shiny Airstream or a cool Interstate), there are those who see that as a signal that there are goodies to be had. I also participate in the Lamborghini Forum. It would break your heart to hear the stories of owners who have had their car smashed out of sheer jealousy, meanness, or who knows what. There are rules that you follow to minimize these possibilities -- primarily situational awareness -- but if someone wants to steal it or trash it, there's not a lot you can do except keep it locked in your garage at home. Sad that our society is so uncivil, but there it is.
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Old 05-20-2015, 05:37 PM   #40
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As noted by others there is no way to prevent this situation other than not leave anything of value that is visible through the windows. These smash and grab thieves work so fast that in most cases they are gone before anyone can respond. When I read about these incidents I'm always surprised at the kind of items that were stolen and the fact that these people took no steps to conceal them. Then there are those who choose to do the concealment when they get out of the vehicle. The thieves in many cases are in the area and they watch you take the items and store them in hidden areas of your vehicle.

The real shame is that certain vehicle types are known treasure troves to thieves and to combat theft, you need to look at the environment where you are parking the vehicle. In one case we have seen motor homes that are kept in storage facilities as frequent targets. One person I know had the Airstream MH broken into twice. Once in the storage facility where they keep it and once in the dealer's fenced lot as it was waiting for service. In both cases these folks lost clothes, electronic devices, tools and other items in the basement storage, and physical damage as electronics were pried out of their enclosures. These thieves know that folks with motor homes keep a lot of stuff in them to avoid packing so they usually are the target of choice. Interesting in this case, none of the Airstreams were touched. The treasure trove was the Motor Home.

The other folks experiencing thefts are those visiting destination locales where parking for their longer vehicles is sparse. These folks in many cases park away from general parking facilities so the locations where they find may be isolated or makes their vehicle stand out. Again the thieves look for these vehicles since they know that these people are traveling and probably have their possessions in that vehicle.

I've had one theft in 45 years of camping and that was in Ocean Lakes campground in Myrtle Beach SC. In that incident I pretty much know who the thieves were but can't prove it. In that theft I lost a set of aircraft wheel chocks that my brother gave me, and the end caps on the rear bumper that secured my drain hose. The folks camped next to me had neither. They were packing up to leave as Patty and I left for the post office to mail some bills. Upon returning they and my items were gone.

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