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Old 05-24-2015, 08:06 PM   #41
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

Assuming there is a usable power lead, and it isn't part of the CAN, I wonder about putting a switch on the fuel pump power. The advantage of doing this is that the thief might move the vehicle, but it won't move far, so there is a good chance witnesses will see what is going on when the would-be thieves flee.

Ages ago, I had a vehicle that had multiple kill switches on it. It had its steering column broken often... but the thieves never moved the vehicle. Had they found the ignition key switch, there was the fuel pump switch.

Realistically, I'm keeping my vehicle insured, and not worrying about it. It isn't 1989, and the anti-theft systems on ECMs is good enough to keep my vehicle out of hands 99.9% of the time, and no car alarm protects against towing.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:19 PM   #42
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Assuming there is a usable power lead, and it isn't part of the CAN, I wonder about putting a switch on the fuel pump power. The advantage of doing this is that the thief might move the vehicle, but it won't move far, so there is a good chance witnesses will see what is going on when the would-be thieves flee.

Ages ago, I had a vehicle that had multiple kill switches on it. It had its steering column broken often... but the thieves never moved the vehicle. Had they found the ignition key switch, there was the fuel pump switch.

Realistically, I'm keeping my vehicle insured, and not worrying about it. It isn't 1989, and the anti-theft systems on ECMs is good enough to keep my vehicle out of hands 99.9% of the time, and no car alarm protects against towing.
Our 07 Chevy didn't even come with a chipped key (Passkey was available then). I don't have any idea why Roadtrek would order them that way, with the minimal extra cost. At least on ours, you can interrupt the fuel pump power without messing up anything, at least that I know of. It will run until the fuel pressure drops and then stumble and die.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:50 PM   #43
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

There are at least 3 easy to access fuel pump related relays in the under hood fuse/relay block that I know of on our model year. Pull one or all, and a thief would need a quick trip to NAPA to move your vehicle.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:52 PM   #44
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

I have read about replacing a single relay with an "intelligent relay immobilizer system", like what is sold on mobilistics.com or nostart.com. That would be useful, especially if the fuel pump relay was done as opposed to the starter. Those use either a remote or a key which goes into a cig lighter socket. Nice thing about those is if they give you trouble, you just pop the hood, toss it, reach for a plain relay and put it in, so an alarm failure isn't a major trip-killer.

One thing I have been tempted to with a Ford is to put a switch inline with the RFID antenna near the ignition. Done right, it would mean that no matter what key a thief tried, even if the key is normally a good one, they would not be able to start the vehicle. However, that is a path I'll leave for others, since I worry about the impedance/capacitance of the leads of the antenna.
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:37 PM   #45
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Has anyone actually ever heard of a B-van being stolen? I'm sure it happens, but I myself am far more worried about theft of contents than I am about theft of vehicle.
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Old 05-26-2015, 08:26 PM   #46
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There was mention of one stolen in San Antonio on a RT group a few weeks ago, a RT 210.
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:33 PM   #47
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

Agreed about theft of contents and the damage done to get at it. I wonder if the alarm's little blue flashing led "alarm activated" light and the windshield mounted 2 way system transmitter antenna is more of a deterrent? The flashing light is barely visible during the day. I always hope that at night it might cause a thief to move on to something that looks less protected. I've never had any problems with break ins but I can't assume it's because of the alarm. Might just be good fortune. Living right. Eating healthy. (Add your karma/fate related reason here.... )
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:50 PM   #48
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A few years ago there was a rash of whole vans stolen on the Roadtrek Yahoo board. I think it was 3 within a few months, one from public parking in San Diego, I think, right on the street.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:24 PM   #49
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

It's relatively difficult to actually steal a car these days. With all the smart-keys and imobilizers, it takes some professional know-how to do it.

So what you get is either car-jakings (yikes!) or these smash and grabs.

It probably doesn't help matters to have those big ole' MB logos on your van. Probably makes theives think you're rich and a great target.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:23 PM   #50
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It's relatively difficult to actually steal a car these days. With all the smart-keys and imobilizers, it takes some professional know-how to do it.

So what you get is either car-jakings (yikes!) or these smash and grabs.

It probably doesn't help matters to have those big ole' MB logos on your van. Probably makes theives think you're rich and a great target.
If your vehicle actually has the cool stuff. As I mentioned earlier, Roadtrek chose to order our 2007 Chevy with NO security on it at all, not even the cheap, chipped Passkey setup.
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:36 PM   #51
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If your vehicle actually has the cool stuff. As I mentioned earlier, Roadtrek chose to order our 2007 Chevy with NO security on it at all, not even the cheap, chipped Passkey setup.
This is an interesting point, perhaps worthy of its own thread:
It would be nice to document how well-equipped are the base vans as ordered by the various upfitters. i suspect they vary greatly and this can make a BIG difference in the driving experience, and should be taken into account when comparing prices. This factor tends to be kind of "invisible" in the glare of all the RV-specific bells and whistles. For example, our Sprinter came very well-equipped, including the active safety package (lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, etc), which has come to be one of my favorite features. We also got the 4-cylinder/7-speed engine, which I wouldn't have ordered, but turns out to be the best thing ever. A clear apples-to-apples comparison among upfitters along this dimension would be very useful.
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:07 PM   #52
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

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Originally Posted by avanti
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
If your vehicle actually has the cool stuff. As I mentioned earlier, Roadtrek chose to order our 2007 Chevy with NO security on it at all, not even the cheap, chipped Passkey setup.
This is an interesting point, perhaps worthy of its own thread:
It would be nice to document how well-equipped are the base vans as ordered by the various upfitters. i suspect they vary greatly and this can make a BIG difference in the driving experience, and should be taken into account when comparing prices. This factor tends to be kind of "invisible" in the glare of all the RV-specific bells and whistles. For example, our Sprinter came very well-equipped, including the active safety package (lane-keeping, blind-spot monitoring, etc), which has come to be one of my favorite features. We also got the 4-cylinder/7-speed engine, which I wouldn't have ordered, but turns out to be the best thing ever. A clear apples-to-apples comparison among upfitters along this dimension would be very useful.
I turn all that crap off in my Honda. Nothing but beeps and buzzers going off all the time - could be my driving style

I think the engine setup you have is interesting. The transmission probably makes that little engine perform - the V6 could really benefit from a more advanced transmission. What kind of mileage are you getting?
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:32 PM   #53
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I turn all that crap off in my Honda. Nothing but beeps and buzzers going off all the time - could be my driving style
I suspect it depends on how well-tuned the systems are. The Mercedes system is genuinely useful--especially the blind-spot detection, which works perfectly (given that we are all gearing up for self-driving cars, I guess it'd better. ). The lane-keeping thing has genuinely improved my driving.
Quote:
I think the engine setup you have is interesting. The transmission probably makes that little engine perform - the V6 could really benefit from a more advanced transmission. What kind of mileage are you getting?
If I drive with wild abandon, I usually see at least 18mpg. With a little care, I can easily stay above 20. I NEVER lack for power. I am totally sold on this drivetrain, and I have never seen a negative review by an actual owner.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:35 AM   #54
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Didn't read his blog, didn't know the man. Still- it's disconcerting and sad to hear of theft from an RVer. AND he had a big dog? Must have ben someone who watched enough to know the dog was harmless.
I have travelled solo a lot. Don't have much truly expensive stuff. I guess if someone got in, my protection would be how many cupboards, baskets, storage pods, etc one would have to look through to find the good stuff.
I hope his insurance covers this.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti
Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
I turn all that crap off in my Honda. Nothing but beeps and buzzers going off all the time - could be my driving style
I suspect it depends on how well-tuned the systems are. The Mercedes system is genuinely useful--especially the blind-spot detection, which works perfectly (given that we are all gearing up for self-driving cars, I guess it'd better. ). The lane-keeping thing has genuinely improved my driving.
Quote:
I think the engine setup you have is interesting. The transmission probably makes that little engine perform - the V6 could really benefit from a more advanced transmission. What kind of mileage are you getting?
If I drive with wild abandon, I usually see at least 18mpg. With a little care, I can easily stay above 20. I NEVER lack for power. I am totally sold on this drivetrain, and I have never seen a negative review by an actual owner.

Avanti-i'm curious. Could you describe what 'driving with wild abandon' is for you?
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:13 PM   #56
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Avanti-i'm curious. Could you describe what 'driving with wild abandon' is for you?
Oh, nothing that exciting. Usually setting the cruise control to slightly above the speed limit and forgetting about it.
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Old 05-30-2015, 10:36 PM   #57
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
Avanti-i'm curious. Could you describe what 'driving with wild abandon' is for you?
Oh, nothing that exciting. Usually setting the cruise control to slightly above the speed limit and forgetting about it.
So, not "commando"??? Just when this thread was getting good.....
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:41 PM   #58
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Default Re: Mike Wendland is off the air

Just saw this thread, and Mike's experience had also caught my attention. Thought I'd mention one possible security/monitoring solution that requires no custom installation: see http://www.vanscapes.net/blog/2015/5/31 ... e-security
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:06 PM   #59
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With no sign of breaking in, I assume that Wendlund had to be a victim of someone poaching his remote code? If so, as long as it is not one that is on and opens up everything when you walk up, wouldn't we all be better to lock and unlock the doors manually, when we are going to leave the van for a while?
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:26 PM   #60
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Have you ever forgotten to lock your vehicle? Probably not, or not very often, but I'm sure it happens.
Perhaps he was in a hurry and forgot to lock it, or hit the wrong button on his remote fob. I'm sure that happens too.
I'm not sure modern factory installed or other equipment manufacturer systems are as fallible now as when remote keyless entry first became popular and eventually standard on most vehicles. I read that mid 90s systems could be recorded and used for unauthorized access but that newer systems rotate codes like CDMA technology in cellphones. Sort of like signal encryption, but I may be mistaken. I haven't read much about this issue for a few years. I didn't think it was still possible or cost effective as a tool of crime. A brick or crowbar is faster and cheaper.
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