Anti-Theft Gadget for Caravans

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:01
ThreadID: 136210 Views:1451 Replies:15 FollowUps:9
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I'm re-wording my idea,

I'm looking for a gadget or lock to apply to my vans tow-ball coupling, to STOP others from stealing my van whilst I'm out touring

One member suggested a tow ball hitch lock, which fits over the caravans towball hitch housing, the part that hooks onto the tow vehicle, it's hard without a picture to describe what I want and I don't have one

The member who suggested the lock, is what I'm after, but there could be others

It has nothing to do with the tow vehicle, only the caravan

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Reply By: OutBack Wanderers - Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:04

Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:04
Thank you Bob Y from Qld, that's what I'm looking for

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Reply By: Batt's - Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:26

Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:26
If you are concerned you could always fit an alarm wired to the house battery and may be look at also a tracking system so you have a better chance of finding it and the police can do their thing. It would be even better if the battery was able to be locked up so it is more of a hassle to disconnect the system.
AnswerID: 616641

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:29

Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:29
Nothing will STOP a determined thief Outback Wanderers. With a hitch obstacle they can can towing it with the chains, or another chain. What sort of circumstances will you be leaving the caravan? Just for day trips or for several days?
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Reply By: Member - PhilD_NT - Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:35

Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 22:35
Personally I would regard the van hitch lock as a false sense of security. While it would stop someone just hooking up and towing away, they could just as easily wrap your chains over their towball and take it all to somewhere where they can deal with your lock or have their own piece of chain. I have a DO35 hitch with the centre pin lock for it but there's still the probability that they can over come that by the chain method. My backup is a heavy duty chain through the spokes of a rim and wrapped around the springs and a heavy duty padlock. Multiple would be better. There's also the various wheel locks that cover the nuts. Not much though is going to stop the determined and well equiped thief with a portable angle grinder.
AnswerID: 616643

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 10:27

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 10:27
If stopping for any length of time I take the wheels of my van and put them in the back of the tow vehicle. :)
Dave.
Added the smiley just in case.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:35

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:35
Really ???
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 23:23

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 23:23
That gives them easy access to the brakes, axels and springs so your wheels will be useless when you get back.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 23:05

Saturday, Feb 03, 2018 at 23:05
I had just picked up a new Kimberley Camper, I had unhitched it from the car, and both were parked on the street. I had a Tregg Coupling and had purchased a pin lock for the pin. When I got up in the morning, the camper was gone. Fortunately there was a drag mark on the road which went for about 100 m and around a corner where I found my camper sitting behind a station wagon with its engine still running. The bastards had used a light rope to attach the camper to the car, and drove off with it. They had not lifted the jockey wheel as there was nothing to support the draw bar, and this is what had left the drag marks until it had collapsed and the rope snapped. The pin lock was still attached. The police were called, the car had been stolen the night before. Thankfully I got my camper back with very little damage, and the owner of the car got his car back. Not sure if they ever caught the thieves.

Macca.
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 00:32

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 00:32
.
As has been said, there are ways to overcome a coupling lock by utilising chains to couple the van to a tow vehicle. So perhaps it is better to use a wheel clamp. But be sure it is a type that covers the wheel nuts, otherwise it is all too easy for a thief to refit the wheel with a spare. Google "security wheel clamps" to view a variety.

Any form of security using a padlock or chains can be easily defeated by bolt cutters, and if noise is not an issue, battery powered angle grinders do a good job. Security devices with good built-in locks are better, but even then, take a look at this video before being too complacent. It is hard to beat a determined thief.

This video also provides a review of trailer locks.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 09:24

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 09:24
He's a bit hard on the drill bits, Allan! Wonder how many he broke once he started with the 240v drill?

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:28

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:28
I think you are right Allan, good wheel clamps, each wheel would be best and captive locks are harder to defeat. Or those sideway style padlocks that can be closed under a security plate. I lost a new Nissan mag wheel and new BFG AT tyre off the back door of my Patrol when it was new, I put the lock on with the hardened loop sticking out the front, big mistake. Bolt cutters for sure but everything they touched, they took, Wheel ,nuts and lock, all gone. Michael.
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired Xmas 2016 and now we are Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 13:46

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 13:46
.
Michael, Hardened chain links and hardened padlock hasps make it difficult for a hacksaw to cut but have very little resistance to an angle grinder or bolt cutters. They are only 'case hardened' on the surface. I have used bolt cutters (legally) on both several times and it was easy.
To guard padlocks against bolt cutters you need those that have the hasp shrouded so that bolt cutters cannot get to them, but angle grinders would probably manage it easily.

Amusingly, in light of the recent Canberra filing cabinet absurdity, I am reminded of the need, some years ago at the Woomera Range, to open a locked filing cabinet without the keys. The cabinet did not depend on the built-in lock but had a hefty steel bar with a "Hardened Hasp" Lockwood padlock. We took security seriously in those days! The operation was supervised by a Security Officer who scorned my proposed use of bolt cutters. His scorn turned to astonishment and concern when the cutters dealt with the hasp with no effort. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I easily cut a hefty hardened chain with bolt cutters. No keeping out a 'practised crook'!
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 09:11

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 09:11
For trailer security we run a chain through the wheels and around the springs with a sturdy padlock
AnswerID: 616648

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 10:50

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 10:50
Locks are only for honest people, Better off with an old i Phone with the "Find my Phone" feature set up so you can at least recover your van. If they want it, they will take it !
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired Xmas 2016 and now we are Out and About!

There's time to rest when you're dead,
Get out and do something instead!

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 15:47

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 15:47
Ha ha, the pic is a good example of how NOT to secure something.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:34

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:34
Why do you say that Les, the wheels are nice and safe.
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:00

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:00
If leaving the vehicle hitched up or overnight somewhere reasonably safe (you sleeping in it), the lock Bob posted should be fine.



If in any doubt, a loud wheel clamp or the heavy chain and very good padlock through a wheel and around axle or other such suspension.

Make it hard 99% will move on rather then use noisy cordless grinders or take too much time.

Keep money and valuables with you, and have insurance as a last ditch need for the professionals.

Thankfully most people’s concerns are not usually as needed as they think when careful to take basic precautions.
AnswerID: 616652

Reply By: PeterInSa - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 11:54
We use wheel clamps ( 1 each side of our tandem van), Towball lock and 3G Tracker yet to be purchased our 2G stopped working when Telstra switched off their 2G network.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/New-13-15-Heavy-Duty-Steel-Car-Wheel-Clamp-Van-Safety-Lock-for-Trailer-caravan/390537598946?hash=item5aeddad7e2:g:CHoAAOSwgLlaVHaz

Insurance will not cover our van replacement and the mods I have installed.

Peter
AnswerID: 616654

Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 16:56

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 16:56
I have a cordless angle grinder with a 1 mm 125 mm cutting disk that will go through chain and lock with ease. My approach to security is based on making it easier to go to the next van because it will take a long time and lots of mucking around to get the chains and lock off mine. I have short lengths of chain through both wheels as a deterrent against theft.
AnswerID: 616663

Reply By: Member - PhilD_NT - Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 17:34

Sunday, Feb 04, 2018 at 17:34
Just as here in the tropics with Cyclones there are 2 words that get confused, proof and resistant, when it comes to protecting things.

In the case of caravans and their like when away from home, nothing short of having someone stay with your gear is likely to be truly classified as theft proof. The best you can probably do is make it difficult to steal by minimising the time they have by making it a difficult job and encouraging the thieves to go take someone else’s gear that is less protected. I don't agree with the view that chain and padlocks are not worth it as there is easy availability of high strength in both. Decent positioning of both can make it difficult to get large bolt cutters in close enough to work. I have chain on some gates around here that it's a struggle with my large bolt cutters to get through it and I resorted to the angle grinder with a cutting blade. Even the supplier did it that way to cut off the amount I wanted after their own bolt cutters failed to do the job.

Unfortunately, you can get battery operated bolt cutters so how far do we go to get to that mythical “theft proof”? That and/or an angle grinder with cutting blade will deal with most things so multiple levels of difficulty are worth it.

Recent experiences with local thieves in our neighbourhood have shown a reluctance to create unnecessary noise by not taking the easy and short route of glass smashing and instead took the time for jemmying doors and locks. From the damage caused in one recent episode they were there for some time.

I also don’t think that GPS trackers are enough by themselves as if you are out of mobile range they are useless until it goes back in range of a Base Station. I’d even bet that some vans have a sticker on them advertising its presence. Easily dealt with if you are warned of it. I wonder how many people have their GPS unit set with their home address or here on their personal details have their home location identified and let thieves know they are away from home. Many people are their own worst enemy in making it easy for thieves.
AnswerID: 616664

Reply By: Malcom M - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:42

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 06:42
Needs to be a combination of things.
Hitch locks are a waste of time but may slow the thief down.
Wheel clamps are pretty useless but will slow things down etc etc.

I have the safety chains wrapped around things and padlocked - slows things down.
Also have wheel clamps.
Also have a 25mm stainless rod running side to side through both wheels with a shrouded lock at one end and a welded 6mm plate at the other.
All simply slow the thief down and may hopefully make noise.
Add to that, I have a tracking alarm which may or may not work depending on battery state.
Don't forget the insurance.

There are several comparison reviews of hitch locks plus wheel clamps. I think they were done by Pat Callinans Unsealed 4x4 online magazine.
AnswerID: 616677

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 07:25

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 07:25
A determined thief will take anything.

I would make it as difficult as possible by taking a couple of the measures outlined here without going overboard.

And just get out there and enjoy yourself, don't stress about it too much, in years of outback travel I've never had anything stolen. In fact, it isn't when touring that you should worry, it is in the urban environment where thieves thrive that is your problem.

And best protection against those who are inclined to steal is to ensure your insurance premiums are up-to-date...

Life's too short to worry about things you'll never control and remember most people are honest!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”

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AnswerID: 616678

Reply By: Crusier 91 - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 08:15

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 08:15
I plan to do something like this on the back of my van/camper...........
"If this van/camper is not being towed by a SA white 100 Series please call police immediately"
or
"Tow vehicle is a SA white 100 series if not, call police immediately"
AnswerID: 616680

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 10:51

Monday, Feb 05, 2018 at 10:51
Wonder how many others would care whats towing your rig?

Bit of a problem if your out of mobile coverage and the kind Samaritan hasn't got a sat phone.
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