LEAVING YOUR CAR IN THE OUTBACK

Submitted: Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2785 Views:1231 Replies:11 FollowUps:5
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HOW SAFE IS IT TO LEAVE YOUR CAR IN OUTBACK TOWNS
AND TOURIST SPOTS ALONE I HAVE HEARD OF STORIES WHERE THE CAR HAS BEEN LEFT ONLY TO COME BACK TO FIND PARTS STOLEN AND THE CAR VANDALISED THIS WORRIES ME AS I PLAN TO DO SOME OVERNITE HIKES HOPE EVERY ONE HAS A GREAT NEW YEAR
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
Robert,

It is a good question however remember that most people in outback towns are not the same as our city friends. Also most outback people rely on passing trade and as such incidents of vehicle theft and vandalism do not sit well with them. Bad words do spread and this will serverly impact on tourist dollars.

We have never had or even heard of anything too serious as far as this goes, but I must admit is is always a concern, when you think of the equipment that you have sitting in the vehicle. However, I think you are a lot worse off when parking the car in a major city to run into the shopping centre than you are in the outback areas.

Enjoy your trips and hikes, do not worry to much but take all precautions.

David
AnswerID: 10494

Follow Up By: Robert - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
THANKS DAVID ANY INFORMATION I GET WILL COME IN HANDY
REGARDS ROB
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FollowupID: 5524

Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
Robert, I agree with the above reply that it is generally safer in the bush than in the city. However, I have heard of driving lights being removed, sump plugs undone etc. Some towns have shocking reputations (eg Wilcannia). So I think it isn't possible to generalise. I'd make some local enquiries about particular trouble spots, and take reasonable steps to make your vehicle less attractive to opportunistic thieves (secure valuables in lockable compartment, hide attractive items - even loose change in an ashtray can motivate some people to smash your window).
AnswerID: 10501

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
Bob,

You're right about Wilcannia. My folks left their caravan in the CVP many years ago. The park manager had them move their van up by his house and warned them to look everything up tight, including the roof hatch as thieves had been known to get in through there. He was very blunt about the risk of theft/damage because it happened so often he had to make sure people understood the risks so he didn't cop the backlash when/if something went wrong.

Fortunately, problems of this degree are scarce in our outback towns.

:o) Melissa
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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
Hi Robert,

I agree with Davids comments...I believe the risks of theft or damage to car in the outback is far less than leaving it parked anywhere in the city. In 12 years of touring we've never experienced any problems but the same can't be said for malicious damage received in shopping centre carparks (twice now) and a car broken into parked in our driveway right under our bedroom window.

Having said all that, we believe in taking precautions such as making sure valuables left in the car or at camp are out of sight, spare wheels on carriers are locked, locks on jerry can holders, gas bottle holders etc, locking nuts on the wheels on our campertrailers etc. Nothing too extreme, just common sense. None of this will stop a determined thief but will hopefully deter the opportunistic thief.

We always close up our tent when leaving it and even used to put a little padlock through the zipper pulls where they met at the bottom. However, we came to conclusion that if someone wanted to get into the tent they would simply cut or rip it and therefore just make our losses all the more greater, so we gave up on this practise.

Only other advise I can give is to make sure you have adequate insurance. Make sure your vehicle insurance gives you some cover for contents stolen from the vehicle (most standard policies don't or it is very limited). Also, consider obtaining "special valuables" insurance for items like camera's, laptops, fridges etc. Our campertrailer insurance gives us contents cover to the value of $1000 which is a help but doesn't give us full cover on its own.

I still believe the risk of theft or malicious damage in the outback is minimal, but adequate insurance and taking a few simple precautions should give you some peace of mind.

Hope this helps.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 10502

Follow Up By: Robert - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
THANKS BOB AND MELISSA IT ME THAT LITTLE MORE CONFIDENCE THAT I WAS AFTER
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Reply By: Member - Mike - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
Agreeing with what has been said so far - two points - 1 serious 1 frivolous!!
Living in the country as we do, we can always spot a "townie" - they lock their car!
Now being serious - I recommend as an additional precaution TCIS Insurance which is now available to all 4WD Club members. Insure and trake precautions already outlined and life should be kind to you.
regards
Mike
AnswerID: 10508

Reply By: OziExplorer - Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00

Friday, Jan 03, 2003 at 01:00
This is a major problem and today you are lucky if you car has not been broken into when you get back. Just ask how severe a problem this is on the newsgroup:
aus.bushwalking
Many have old bombs they drive to the places and leave open so they don't break into them. However they still steal the batteries and break windows and things like that. One guy even has welded the battery in after having it stolen twice.
AnswerID: 10520

Reply By: Truckster - Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00

Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00
I'll get flammed for this, but I did the Wynns Safari yrs ago, and our car was broken into 2 times in the 3 weeks we were away (there and back)...

The cops caught who did it, but to our amazement LET THEM GO! The reason as told to me by the cop, their colour, and the fact that nothing ever happened to them when they were caught by the court..

As lots have said, your normally safe, but depends what you have in plain view that they can grab and run with..
AnswerID: 10554

Reply By: CJ - Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00

Saturday, Jan 04, 2003 at 01:00
The worst areas seem to be near populated areas in southern Aus - Jarvis Bay near Nowra has signs advising not to leave cars unattended! In Tasie a friend spoke to a couple who had everything stolen from there car while looking at the sights! Bushwalkers in the Canberra region frequently have their cars broken into. What can you do ? If you are on holidays, nothing really!
AnswerID: 10578

Reply By: Member - Peter- Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00

Sunday, Jan 05, 2003 at 01:00
HI I live in a small country town (York )W.A you can walk our streets at any time and see cars left unlocked with the keys still in them ,I have been here 8 years and have never heard of a car being taken yet, I wish all towns were as safe as ours .When I stop in unknown towns I try to park in a very visual spot ( the local police carpark works well for me to ).Travel safe Peter.
AnswerID: 10610

Follow Up By: Truckster - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
I remember living in a town like that, never had to lock the house, car, could leave stuff in the back of your ute with the keys in it, and come back it would be there...

Ahhh.... If only it was the same on th' east coast these days.
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FollowupID: 5626

Reply By: Member - Mal - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
My two experiences so far have been useless acts of dangerous vandalism: Had rear passenger wheel nuts loosened (the wheel the driver is least likely to see) and the safety pin securing the main pin in the tow hitch removed. The cops said it wasn't uncommon, had a fair idea who it was doing it, but could do nothing about it. Whose being discriminated against ??? Mal T.
AnswerID: 10661

Follow Up By: Robert - Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00

Monday, Jan 06, 2003 at 01:00
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR INFORMATION THIS A GREAT CONCERN IT SEEMS MOST OF THESE PROBLEMS HAPPEN IN TOWNS WHAT ABOUT
THE TOURIST AREA LIKE KING CANYON AND MAC RANGERS IS IT SAFE TO LEAVE YOUR CAR AND GO FOR DAY HIKES
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FollowupID: 5641

Reply By: Member - Mal - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00
Robert,
The great thing about this forum is that we all learn from other peoples experiences. Don't let what has preceeded stop you from doing ANYTHING. Just be aware and take normal precautions. The two incidences that I had are all that has happened in 120,000 Km of travel over 20 years. I had worse than that happen to me in America in three weeks. I would have no hesitation in leaving my vehicle in a car park for a day or overnight. Just check it before you drive away. My experiences happened in a caravan park while I was sleeping two metres away. It could also happen in my driveway or at the local shops. Have a look at the local population and ask for advice and then make your decisions.

Travel safely,


Mal T.
AnswerID: 10708

Reply By: ROBERT - Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2003 at 01:00
THANKS MEL I WONT LET THESE PROBLEMS STOP ME FROM DOING
WHAT I ENJOY JUST NEED TO KEEP MY EYES OPEN TO WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THIS GREAT COUNTRY JUST NEED TO FIND A
FAIR INSURANCE COMPANY IF THEIR IS SUCH A THING ONCE AGAIN
THANKS FOR EVERY ONES ADVICE
ROBERT
AnswerID: 10709

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