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Old 01-26-2010, 02:17 AM   #1
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Default Security

We are going to purchase a 1995 Dodge van conversion here in South America. The van was converted by Great West in British Columbia and has no security system although it has central door locks. The previous owners drove this van for one year in South America and had at least one break in and, as a result, rarely let the van out of their site. Here in SA theft is rampant, foreign vans are great targets and nothing is sacred. However, we don't want to be tied to the van all the time and want to install some type security system that will at least make a really loud noise and perhaps alert us electronically. Can anyone give us advise on good systems, that can easily be installed by me and are available in North America. I can buy it there this summer and install it later in the year? Many thanks for your input.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Security

Mike looked into this and might have some advice for you.

In the meantime, here's a link with some info: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...php?f=9&t=1200
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Security

As markopolo says, I did a bit of research on it and found that (for me) it's probably
better to have a system installed by people who've done it before. Best Buy has several
auto-alarm systems with silent remote alarm fobs that were what I was originally
interested in. The systems vary in price, and functional range of the transmitter
which signals the fobs when a breach occurs. The one with the furthest range, which
I believe was almost a mile, was also the most expensive at around C$ 500. I think
the staffer said you could add extra sensors for extra dollars. They come with basic
installation by Best Buy Install Geeks. I would imagine you could DIY, given good
instructions and enough time, but I didn't look into that.

A simpler/cheaper method are those portable battery operated "noise makers"
that Hallibagger mentioned on the linked thread.
I picked up 2 of them for around C$40. They're passive I/R motion sensing, and are
quite loud when tripped. Fairly easy to use, but you have to position them such that
they face the access points, and I think they might be sensitive to people just walking
by near your windows, so maybe not a perfect solution either. We haven't had any false
alarms so far. They also only activate once the unauthorized entry has occurred,
so the damage has probably been done, but you get what you pay for I guess.

Eventually, I plan to get the long range alarm system with the silent (and/or noisy siren)
remote fobs, but for now we use the motion sensing noise makers.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Security

By way of update, the best deal I can find is probably the Viper 5901 combo remote starter
and alarm system. Has a decent reputation as a company (bought by DEI recently, so it must
have something going for it). Most comments I can find online are pretty positive.
It has both an LCD and a non-LCD fob and says it's range is almost one mile (under ideal conditions).
It has several different types of detection, including "bump" or "contact" sensing, and can operate
with a loud siren, or silently notify you of a breach attempt. It's available at Best Buy Canada,
for $449.00+tax, but includes "basic" installation which is a $99 value according to the "Geek
Squad" people. It's a 4 hour install according to their specs so be prepared to wait a while.
The one near me is in a larger mall, so I'm sure I can find something to do, while they're doing it.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Security

Ok, I lied. So shoot me!
I just got the NuStart NUAS 8000 remote starter and alarm system today.
I went with it because I spotted it on sale at Best Buy (it's their other major alarm/starter company).
Got it installed, along with an extra (required to work the door locks with the factory system) module,
and all labour, for just under $500 including taxes. Not all vehicles need the extra door lock module.
The alarm by itself, including installation was on for $299.99 + tax.

The Viper 5901 would have also required the door lock module ($89 + $49 extra to install),
so it would have come in closer to $750 installed.
Both starter/alarms do about the same thing, according to my extensive, but unscientific research,
so it came down to price.

The NuStart (which is actually a Compustar rebranded) uses the existing factory on board computer
to sense and watch the doors, and has a "bump" sensor which is user adjustable to the point where
it'll trigger when the wind blows, or you can disable it for sleeping, and just leave the doors armed.
It comes with one of those funky sirens that does impressions of any number of emergency vehicles.
It has (most importantly) Valet mode which keeps the unsuspecting service man from starting the
engine, or triggering the alarm while doing whatever other vehicle maintenance might be required
from time to time. It also has several shutdowns which disables only the engine start function,
including a hidden under hood switch, so your mechanic doesn't fire up the engine, while up to his elbows.
It comes with one 2 way LCD remote, and one 1 way "dumb" manual remote. The 2 way has a small screen
with numerous status indicators in text and symbols to tell you what's happening with your RV, when
you're not in it. If something happens while you're elsewhere, the LCD remote starts chiming.
The display shows the type of event by symbols that indicate a "contact" problem, or a door opened.
They both have a published range of 5,000 feet, under optimal conditions. I'll let you know
about that after a few weeks. It's an FM send/receive, so it should probably be pretty decent. If it
works up to 2500 feet, I'd be satisfied.

The installation took 2 installers the better part of 6 hours to complete, including several support
calls to the manufacturer to resolve various vehicle specific issues.
I think it has to be a professional installation, as they had the van plugged in to an external computer
to get the software in the NUAS 8000 brain to talk to and work with the Chev on board brain.
The good news is it seems to be working as designed.
I left the box with the serial information at Best Buy (I was tired and in a hurry to get home, after
all day at the mall) and still have to get the installer to show me a couple of things, but the basics
are described pretty well in the manual. Just a bit of reading tonight, and a return trip to Best Buy
tomorrow.

So, so far, so good. If there are any other significant events worth noting, I'll update this thread.
I hope this helps anyone considering adding a non-factory starter/alarm system.
Any other questions, please ask here, or PM me.
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RV - 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular (Chevy) - SOLD.
TV - 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited
RV - 2016 Winnebago Sunstar 26HE (Ford F53, Triton V10 3 valve, 6 speed transmission) - SOLD (sort of)
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