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Old 09-15-2015, 10:41 PM   #21
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I would also suggest an ignition immobilizer that is certified by your insurance company.

Yes it would be bad to have your stuff stolen. But worse to have your whole rig stolen.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:28 AM   #22
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Another "outside the box" option might be a home security system like the wireless GSM system from Fortress Security Store. They have a fairly decent selection of sensing methods including PIR motion, glass break, and standard door/window contacts, and some extremely painful sirens with strobes built in. It can't use the vehicle's ECM for breach control but that isn't necessarily a show stopper. It uses a standard SIM card which you supply and when triggered can call or SMS up to 3 phone numbers that you choose and program. I'm using a low cost year long airtime expiry SIM supplier in my home system. The system brain and sirens are powered by 120VAC with long duration battery backup and all the sensors and sirens are wireless and battery powered. Makes mounting location choices more flexible.
I have a typical car alarm similar to Avantis, but if I had to do it again I would consider this somewhat off the wall option. If you want to get notified on your smartphone this does it. Some arm/disarm and live dial in and listen and talk functions are also available via your smartphone too. It's all password protected at 2 levels so it's a pretty secure setup.
Just a thought.
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:57 PM   #23
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Back in the 1990s, there were inside sirens that were part of various alarm setups. So far, the best alarm I've seen was one called the Dragon.

It would spew pink fog when the alarm went off and flashed a strobe light. Can't see the stuff in the vehicle, can't steal it, and a car spewing smoke is a lot more interesting to bystanders than an alarm sounding.
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:25 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
Back in the 1990s, there were inside sirens that were part of various alarm setups. So far, the best alarm I've seen was one called the Dragon.

It would spew pink fog when the alarm went off and flashed a strobe light. Can't see the stuff in the vehicle, can't steal it, and a car spewing smoke is a lot more interesting to bystanders than an alarm sounding.
I remember these systems. I'm sure that they'd work well in an RV but I'd have some concerns about an RV's wooden cabinetry. You'd probably have to pick one that put out the driest, non-oily fog. In any case, I did some Googling and could only find a few systems available. I seem to remember more being available. Here's what I found. I have no idea about the quality/reliability of any of these.

Smoke Machines Pea Soup (British company--Contact them for info about delivery in the U.S.)
12V DC Car Security Smoke Screen

Fog Machines (British company--Contact them for info about delivery in the U.S.)
Fog Machines - Buy Car Security Fog Machine System

Defender (Florida--Also carries a Xenon Strobe Light and a Sound Barrier)
Defender | Concept Smoke Screen
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:18 AM   #25
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There are two facets to auto crime. One are people who want to steal the vehicle. The other is people who want to grab contents of the vehicle.

Here in Texas, BOV (burglary of a vehicle) is a common crime. It is a high misdemeanor, but from what I learned in criminal justice, it just means the crook spends a night in the clink and then gets booted because the bed space is needed for a DWI or someone who had a joint. Most of the time, the police will come, look around, give a report number for insurance, and that will be that. The big issue is that insurance usually won't cover an item, or will have such a high deductible that it isn't worth it.

Actual theft of a new vehicle is relatively rare, unless someone left a key to the vehicle somewhere in it.

For additional protection against vehicle theft, I'd see if I could put a kill switch on the fuel pump's power, making 100% sure it isn't going to cut any CANBus leads. This way, the bad guy gets the vehicle started, it gets in the street, stalls, and now the crook has to get out of the vehicle while people are honking behind them and create a major scene with tons of witnesses.

For protection against theft of items, alarms don't do much other than the fog/strobes mentioned above, because people are so used to ignoring car alarms. The two choices people have for items are a strongbox or a hidden compartment. So far, the best I've seen for securing a laptop is the vertical strongbox that Davydd has. Barring that, having a metal shop fab one to custom dimensions with a Simplex 9600 lock, and have that bolted down to something sturdy (something crowbar and long screwdriver resistant) will be good enough. We are talking meth-heads here who will bang at the lock a bit, as opposed to professional safecrackers. Hidden compartments work as well, but a "B" tends to have the fewest of any RV type just due to size.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:27 PM   #26
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Does anyone manufacture an alarm with the option of a customized recording? Something like "You thieving piece of ****, get the hell out of my RV right now. Can you believe this people, this jerk is breaking into my vehicle. Could someone please record this on your phone?!" loudly blaring inside and outside of the RV might by unusual enough to get the thief's and bystanders' attention. This approach probably runs the risk of ticking off the thief which might result in extra damage....
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:59 PM   #27
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There are alarms that do that. I think BMW has an alarm that has a recorded voice of someone shouting, "Unauthorized entry" or some brain-dead stuff like that.

When I was in college, there was a psychology experiment about what recorded shouts would get people to bother to look at a car being broken into. Shouts of "rape" caused people to quietly leave the area. However, a recorded voice shouting "Fire!" or "Its gonna explode!" brought crowds.
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:17 PM   #28
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eBay is full of cheap little sound recording boards from Asia that you could trigger from most any alarm. Random example:

voice recorder.jpg
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Old 09-21-2015, 09:23 PM   #29
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There was such an alarm, the ScyTek SR-MP3. To use it, you had to use some very unreliable software that only ran in Windows 2000 or XP. ScyTek also had another version that ran in Windows Vista. There are a few online retailers that still carry it. I just remember the complaints about the software. I haven't found any others that play a customizable sound. They may be out there, but I haven't seen them.

I've always want an alarm that played "It's a Small World After All" over and over inside the vehicle. The thief would leave ASAP!
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:28 AM   #30
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Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:33 AM   #31
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Recently had a Ravelco Anti Theft Device installed in my Sportsmobile, but always looking for extra security measures.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:12 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islandrog View Post
Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php
Security has been on my mind lately, so I've done a lot of research. My major concern with all of them is Internet access. Many of us have camped in places without a cell connection and several systems rely on making a cell call to you and/or the authorities. I've kept my eye out for systems that can send a text message out. Sometimes when I couldn't make a cell call in a remote campground, I could get and send text messages. I've also thought about the possibility that the intruder might be a bear or other animal and not a human thief. You should have the option to call the cops or not. If the problem is a raccoon, waking the police up in the middle of the night might not be a good idea. I tend not to like systems that have elaborate keypad controlled command centers, so I ignored those. I haven't finished doing my homework, but here's the preliminary report. Opinions are mine and are subject to change and I haven't tried any of them yet.

The Tattletale: The best part of it is that it's portable, and that if a thief tampers with it, it supposedly won't disable it. I don't know how they do that and I assume that it's proprietary information. They call it "Rattlesnake Technology" and they have something about it on their site:
http://www.tattletale.com/blog/porta...ke-technology/
The Tattletale can send out a text and/or an email to alert you. More details are here: http://www.tattletale.com

The Canary: The Wendlands (the Roadtreking.com folks) use a similar portable device, the Canary. I can't find info about how tamper-proof the Canary is, but here's what the Wendlands have to say about it:
http://roadtreking.com/canary/
The Canary will send you HD video and you can remotely sound the alarm (again relying on a cell connection). Here's the Canary website: https://canary.is/

The Piper: It's activated by sound or motion and like the Canary, has a camera. It will send you your choice of email, text message, phone call or a push notification. It also has two-way audio, so if there's a burglar, you can activate a very loud siren (relying, once more, on a cell connection). I couldn't find info on how tamper-proof the unit is. More info at: https://getpiper.com

The Scout system: It's not portable, but the system looks pretty good. I especially like the fact that their sensors aren't the usual white plastic that sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm not sure, but their sensors look like they can be mounted just inside the storage compartments to protect those areas, as well. It can connect to the Internet on its own, so even if the home or RV Internet connection is down, it can let you know that something's wrong. Again, that all depends on the RV being parked where there's a cellular connection. https://www.scoutalarm.com

For general info on DIY systems: Here's a good article that reviews these DIY alarm systems and others. Not all of them can be used in an RV, however, because of the lack of permanent AC power, but the article is here: http://www.techlicious.com/guide/do-...urity-systems/

Other options: There are tiny, battery powered, wireless hidden cameras that have DVRs in them that would be perfect inside an RV. Some are triggered by motion and others are triggered by infrared heat coming from the intruder's body. Having video of a break-in might mean fewer arguments with your insurance company and might help the police find the SOBs. My gut says that the ones that include a time and date stamp on the video might provide stronger evidence but I'm not an attorney or a cop. In any case, you can get these hidden cameras built into tissue boxes, clock radios, fake AC wall outlets, wall mirrors, smoke alarms and all sorts of other common household items. You can even get just the tiny surveillance camera to put into whatever you want. The key thing with all of these is internal battery standby time. The better ones I've seen can last up to six months on battery standby, waiting for a thief. There are some that can connect to a wi-fi system but the advantage with all of them is that the video stays on the DVR and isn't reliant on a cell connection to record. You therefore want one with as much storage as possible.

The best sites to look for hidden cameras, IMHO, are Spytec (http://www.spytecinc.com) and Brickhouse Security (http://www.brickhousesecurity.com). I've found these sites to be easy to navigate and they have clear explanations of the items that they offer. Spytec has a live chat feature that allows you to get your questions answered right away. The folks that I've chatted with have been very knowledgeable.

Tracking a stolen vehicle: Last but not least, if someone decides to take your entire vehicle, either by hot-wiring it or by towing it away, it would be nice to at least know where it's been taken. There's a device called the PocketFinder 3G GPS Vehicle Tracker just for that. What makes it different is that it can track vehicles not just in the US, but in Canada and Mexico, as well. All of the others I found covered only the US. It connects to the chassis battery and can communicate via the Internet with a computer or smart phone. I assume that a stolen vehicle would be taken, at some point, to a major street or highway, so I'm not so concerned about a cell connection with this device. You can also use the PocketFinder to let your friends and relatives know where you are. There may be other similar devices out there, but I haven't found them yet. Here's the company's site: http://pocketfinder.com/gpsvehicletracker/
Amazon carries it:
http://www.amazon.com/PocketFinder-C...9926616&sr=8-3
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:15 PM   #33
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Quote:
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Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php
Looks similar to, albeit maybe a bit more portable than, the Fortress Security Store home alarm option I mentioned a while back in this thread. The issue with these GSM ready systems being cell tower access, when set up to call/email/SMS you in the event of a break and enter event.
That said, it might be a good option (depending on the price of these things?) in combination with a more typical car/auto alarm system with a loud siren for deterrence, when you're within range of the alarm 2-way fob, like the NuStart remote start/alarm system. I have one installed in my Roadtrek. Works well within it's limits.
I have experience with both of these systems, and as long as you're within around 2500 feet of the vehicle, the Nustart 2-way fob alarm/remote notification works well. If you're going to be farther from the vehicle, a GSM ready system with auto-dial or auto-SMS or email options would be your only option, assuming cell service was also available. When I added my Nustart system to my Roadtrek, it was around $500 (including the remote start feature) installed by Geek Squad/Best Buy. That was a while back. No idea what it would cost now.
How much is a basic Tattletale system? Looks like the base unit itself would suffice, based on some youtube demo videos I've just browsed.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:50 PM   #34
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As reported above, I self-installed a typical Viper car alarm. In addition to normal "door open" triggers, it has vibration and "warn-away" motion sensors. I picked that particular unit precisely because it has long-range (up to a mile) communications with its fob without requiring a cellular connection (which we rarely have).

The reason I am repeating myself is that I am currently working on a nice upgrade:
I recently installed one of those 360-degree "bird view" camera systems that uses four cameras to synthesize a "top-down" view of the area around the vehicle:

IMG_7197.jpg

IMG_7196.jpg

You can get these systems from Asia for less than $250. Mine works really well.

The main reason I did this was that these systems can continuously record while driving--I got tired of bogus traffic tickets. What I am working on now is connecting it to the alarm system so that it automatically starts recording whenever the alarm or "warn-away" triggers. I think this will be about as thorough system as can readily be achieved, at least without requiring a cell signal.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:03 PM   #35
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Interesting camera setup, mini satellite view

What kind of bogus tickets would this show? Around here it is mostly no turn signal stuff they use to stop you. Would the camera show if the turn signal was used?
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:54 PM   #36
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Agreed on the multi-directional surveillance setup. Very nice. I think it would definitely give a better 360 view of the complete traffic situation during any incidents while moving, good or bad. Better than the typical dash cam setup used by truckers and people who drive a lot in bad traffic (read as bad drivers ). Only sees what the camera is pointed at.
Is your 4 way camera device hidden on top of your van somehow? Could I simply throw a cardboard box or some other nearby object over it, and defeat it's functionality?
btw, I underestimated the range of the NuStart 2-way notification system I have. It's rated up to 1 mile, like your Viper, assuming a clear line of sight transmission pathway. These things do tend to be overrated by the manufacturers, based on laboratory test bench results, versus the real world. I did manage to trigger the panic alarm on mine from about 3/4 mile away once, in almost ideal weather conditions, and with some significant obstacles in the way. Remote fob battery strength may affect your range, as well I guess.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:05 PM   #37
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What kind of bogus tickets would this show? Around here it is mostly no turn signal stuff they use to stop you. Would the camera show if the turn signal was used?
It certainly would show the turn signals at night. Not sure about the daytime. Actually, the turn signals are connected to the device (to auto-select the left- or right-side camera). Not sure whether it is recorded, but it certainly could be.

The recording will show stuff like whether or not you stopped at a stop sign, yielded to traffic, etc.

The event that pushed me over the edge was getting trapped in a scam that a local municipality was running in which they had a woman (a town employee) stand just off the curb in a crosswalk. Then they stop everybody who drives by for "failing to yield to a pedestrian". The woman wasn't crossing (not even facing the right direction), so the cam would have shown it as clearly bogus. I had to go up to the county-level appeals court before they threw it out. The video would have made this a lot easier.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:14 PM   #38
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Quote:
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Is your 4 way camera device hidden on top of your van somehow? Could I simply throw a cardboard box or some other nearby object over it, and defeat it's functionality?
No, it is actually four tiny cameras that are hard to even notice:

Hidden in the Mercedes "star":
IMG_7189.jpg

tucked into the porch lights:
IMG_7190.jpg

and just behind the OEM backup camera:
IMG_7185.jpg
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:18 PM   #39
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Mike, the tattletail base unit and 1 fob is $399. What seems excessive after talking to them is the $20 a month to get txt, email when triggered. For an additional $8 they call the police. I pay $15 a month for my home security for txt, email and police notification.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:20 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
No, it is actually four tiny cameras that are hard to even notice:

Hidden in the Mercedes "star":
Attachment 3343

tucked into the porch lights:
Attachment 3344

and just behind the OEM backup camera:
Attachment 3342
Aha, of course.
I had pictured something more like the Google periscopes on the Streetview recording vehicles. Should have realized yours were separate based on the downward angles of view, had I looked more closely. Pardons.

You do nice work, btw.
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