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Old 06-04-2020, 02:18 PM   #1
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,984
Securing Property: When Boondocking

Thieves are not concerned about being caught. This you can discover watching television news. This is the first consideration you must understand. You are at financial risk. The bad guys… shopping for items they can sell for a quick buck are not much concerned.

Securing the Rear Storage Area:

- The problem with securing the rear storage area is a thief will do more damage, than the cost of replacing what you are keeping in there. I write in magic marker a name or ID, on all of our plastic blocks or tire wedges, so I can probably find them easier among the campers. I have Yellow Plastic Ones and use black magic markers. Deface them well with a name or some other ID. Something you can remember, as it helps if you can remember what you did mark.

It is easier to steal your Aluminum Rear Bumper as the thief can sell it, or needed one. Those cost $400, or so. Lots of bumper draggers out there with an Airstream in tow. Check it out, you will understand. Someone may know the current price.

My current 27 footer Aluminum Bumper: Four philips screws, 2 up and 2 down. My 25 footer had four on top to secure the bumper, I can recall. A thief... under five minutes would be SLOW. (I have not tried to remove the Bumper on the 2019 for how much time, but it looks easy.) I did remove the 25 footer's Bumper and it was REAL Easy with a battery hand held unit. Cleaned it up the easy way.

Front Storage Door:

- I also leave the Front Storage area closed, BUT NOT LOCKED. It will cost hundreds of dollars to repair the crow bar or nail puller damaged aluminum, used to break the low quality locks. Items I keep in there are odd ball items that would require a shopping cart to handle it all the odds and ends. Paper towels. Window washer. Odd parts, pieces, some tools. Nothing of value. Items that can be easily replaced at WalMart. Toilet Paper may have been a hot item… but over supply currently.

The more secure it is... the thief considers what is inside is more valuable. They also know where to find hidden Cash, if you know what I mean. This is ‘hit fast and run faster’ kind of breaking and entering.

A small skinny Thief can also crawl in and try to push the bed up or crawl out of a cabinet storage area. These people work at this by examining how to do all of this stuff. Youths climb through Pet Doors at homes... kind of operation. And if caught... they are returned to their... parents.

An Airstream owner should know ALL of the entry options. So should YOU.

Front Door:

- Yes we do lock the Front Door. The thief will most likely break a window to gain access.

Securing Awnings from coming Loose:

- I have used a five gallon bucket to stand on and pull the awning down on my 23 and 25 footers. A step stool is better, but I like living on the ‘edge’.

- The 'crab claw' to secure the awning is deceiving. The one bolt can back out from road vibrations, become loose or fall out. Find a way to secure the bolt. Tightening it is not easy. You will discover that when in the process. Maybe give YOUR solution that works. Epoxy Cement. Burr the threads. Longer bolt so to add a nut and lock washer? Lets hear it. My FIX on the Road at Flaming Gorge with a 40 to 50 mph cross wind is next.

- The crab claw to secure an awning can vibrate loose and cause the awning to be... unsecured. It could swivel with just touching and pushing the claw with no effort. I have now begun to secure the crab claw AND use a nylon zip tie to secure the awning to the latch riveted onto the trailer. You will see the two openings to secure with the Zip Tie. I have left overs from Securing the Cabinet Hinges in the Interior. If the bolt vibrates out, at least the parts will be there… lacking the bolt. The awning is then… unsecured.

- An End Rod could be secured to the side of the Airstream. If you have some imagination, tell us how and parts you used. Older models had the knurled knobs that were excellent. Those are not on our 2019 27 foot International.

You say it never has happened… to YOU? Good. It did for me and had I not seen something in my rear view mirror on the right side of the trailer… I would have never thought of this. The crab claw was easily swinging.

I keep the ‘good stuff’ in the Tow Vehicle. Usually YOU are near the tow vehicle or it is parked at a parking lot with patrons wandering around… among the thieves, if there are some at that time.

Boondocking Off the Grid Security:

Same as above. Thieves prefer RV Parks and Public Parking areas as it is close to their… homes. Safer for Thieves, as well. An owner yelling may bring attention, but by the time the Police arrive… these guys already know the routine. Practice makes Perfect… they say.

Boondockers OTG can be a bit of a problem. Often Hunting Season with rifles with scopes. Off Season they also carry Defensive Weapons to deter Bear attacks and not be… helpless. No cell service out there, either. The risk now can be among the aggressive Thieves. But an Airstream along a Forest Service Road is observed easily by locals that know what is going on in the area. A thief does not know what your tow vehicle looks like, unless they are sitting somewhere… and you are day dreaming and did not notice the vehicle a quarter mile down the road… with occupant(s) smoking cigarettes and just, ‘hanging out’.

Leaving the Campsite Temporarily?

Lawn chairs, folding table, portable grill and potential items attracting interest? Toss them into the tow vehicle or inside your Airstream. Temptation for morons can be a nice lawn chair or two and they come back later for the propane grill and tank… kind of plan. Think like a Thief… and you are on your way to avoiding these poor excuses as Human Beans.

Any other ideas? We travel and camp away from population centers and towns most often. RV Parks and Public Campgrounds have different concerns.
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Human Bean
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Old 06-05-2020, 09:25 AM   #2
Rivet Master
Ray Eklund's Avatar
2019 27' International
2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
Fort Saunders , Wyoming
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3,984
Securing the Airstream

ZZZZzzzzzz. Yawn.....

The Trimax will deter amateurs wanting your Airstream for themselves. Looks indestructible to me.

It uses an Ace Key, the circular key. It is a tough one to drill out.

Lose both keys... you are screwed.

The straight keyed locks... even I can break/drill into one. You drill a small hole. Increase the drill size until the tumblers begin to fall out in the debris. Eventually the larger drill bit will unlock the unit. (I have not tried this, but give the following example.)

I would buy a 1940's slot machine with a double keyed 10 pin cylinder secure lock. They were Brass and were inside a Casino or a Bar. Could not be picked. I could drill one out in less than five minutes. Ruined a wonderful lock. I kept several hundred keys for these Mills Slot Machines and to save the lock would insert a key. If it did not work, flipped the key over and tried the other pattern. Half the time I could manage to open the lock. I then could take it apart and refit a close key to work and reassemble it. Saving me $40.

With a stout Hitch Lock for the Ball someone would need to cut the bar securing it to the Airstream. At a campground, or a dealership... could be noticed.

A hardened cold chisel would wake up the dead.

When locking the Front Door. I only use the Dead Bolt. No matter, the damage will be severe if the crow bar did not break it during the process of breaking into the trailer.

Keep your Equalizer or other Hitch in the back of the Tow Vehicle. I secure mine in a longer Milk Crate from the 1960's from, to prevent if from flipping around the bed of the tow vehicle.
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