Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RV theft

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I learned a lot last week reading various comments to your column on securing the “toad.” You might also want to mention tow vehicles. We had our pickup stolen right out of a busy campground. Locked up, no key inside, never found. I never gave it a thought before it happened to me. Now I use a kill switch and a wheel lock. My wife thinks I am a bit paranoid about the whole issue. We were made whole by the insurance company, but you never recover the time, effort and mental strain of being targeted by thieves and having to replace a vehicle. The experience can really put a damper on your travel experience.
--Ripped off in Rockford

Dear Rip:
Your experience is not uncommon. We are presently camped in Big Bend National Park. We met a couple last week with a beautiful 5th Wheel and a 2013 Ford Dually all decked out for towing. They had found a great deal on the truck with extremely low miles. We got their email so that we could keep in touch. Unfortunately, the first email we received reported they had their truck stolen a couple days later in a San Antonio city parking area. Ford pickups are at the top of the stolen vehicle list in the US, but any vehicle can be a target. Manufacturers are adding techie devices to make it harder to accomplish, but an accomplished thief is hard to deter. I personally do not put any trust in electronic security devices. I have had tow truck drivers open my vehicle without getting out of their cab. If they have some type of scanning device that opens vehicles you can bet the bad guys have them too. Like I said last week, if you read the comments after this column you will get some varied and great advice from people who have given a lot of thought to holding on to what they have. The National Parks actually have a lot of crime. The bad guys know that people are traveling and often have their guard down. Common sense and staying alert can save a lot of grief.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink



PapPappy said...

Way back in the day, I installed a simple cut-off switch on my P/U, under the dash. Would it stop a determined thief with a lot of time, probably not, but it was a simple fix, and would make it more difficult.

I've heard of folks who take a tire off their vehicle (truck or TT) to deter thieves. Seems a bit extreme, but if it works......

As the original post mentions, he was a victim of a theft....and smart enough (not paranoid) to do things to avoid it happening again!

Jerry X Shea said...

I always turn my wheels all the way to the left or right (so if the car moves it will hit a tree, house, another car, whatever) every time I park - any place - even to run into the store for milk. No one can just roll the car back and "hook up. Anytime I park for over 10 minutes, I put a steering wheel lock on it and always at night. HINT -take your remote key to bed at night (right next to your bed) and if you hear any suspicious sound - hit the alarm button on your remote.

Anonymous said...

There are several alarms that will page the owner. The distance they work is about a mile from the vehicle. If the alarm goes off I get a page and the person messing with my vehicle gets to see how good I am with a baseball bat.

The alarms are not that expensive, around 150.00. Small price to pay for piece of mind.