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Old 04-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #41
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

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Originally Posted by Mike
Just re-reading this thread and had some (more) random thoughts on it. For what they're worth.

The Ravelco system does seem like a highly effective way of disabling the engine of the vehicle. It does not glue it to the spot where it is parked, however. It is also not noisy, to draw attention to your vehicle if it is being victimized.

If your main concern is losing the van, then you could probably come up with a simpler, hard to find, engine disabling methodology yourself, for a lot less money than the Ravelco system, which we have decided can be defeated by a flatbed. You said an audible alarm is ignored, which may or may not be true, but when was the last time you saw, or know of someone, challenging a tow truck driver to explain why he was towing a vehicle? btw, that small safe you mentioned might encourage a professional thief to immediately choose the flatbed method having seen the Ravelco on the dash, for no other reason than curiosity as to the contents, and the knowledge that starting the vehicle quickly will be almost impossible.

If an amateur thief who just wants a camera or an iPad, sees a Ravelco on the dash somewhere, and actually knows what it is, he'll still slim jim a door, or do a smash and grab. However, I think that if an amateur sees a little blue LED flashing beside it as well, to indicate there is an audible companion alarm, he may bypass you and move to another vehicle. Again, I think the amateur is more likely to bypass the vehicle with the audible alarm.

If a pro has decided to steal the whole vehicle and sees the Ravelco on the dash somewhere, and knows what it is, you'll be saving him some time by making the flatbed decision for him much more quickly, than if he had to try to get around a homemade immobilizer, that wasn't as obvious at first glance. Or, he may bypass you and move on to another vehicle.

So, if the thief wants the whole van and doesn't have a flatbed, the Ravelco probably wins. But so might a homemade immobilizer system. Or, the amateur smash and grab thief may be deterred, if there is an audible alarm as well as an immobilizer, which is probably the best overall combination.

I would go with the lowest draw audible alarm system you can find, to deter the amateurs, and add your own design of engine disabling system, to at least force the pros to use up a lot of time and/or a tow truck to get the whole vehicle.
Or, you could get a dog......
yep, I think there are about a million different ways to try to protect the van and contents, and about 5 million ways to get around them! Ravelco's claim that a tow truck or flatbed can't get the van is that you turn the wheels when you park it. That makes the rear wheels not roll (in park) and the front not track straight if towed from the rear. I would think if they broke in and punched the steering column they could release both the steering and transmission, though. I continue to read and the more I see of regular alarms, the less I like the idea. The internet is overflowing with issues of false alarms, dead batteries, no start lock outs, failed remotes, etc. I have also been reading up on the kill switches, which are pretty trouble free and effective if they aren't found. A security expert on one site mentioned that the more clever you think the hiding spot is, the more likely an experienced car thief will find it (makes sense). Probably a good spot would be with the RV switches for the TV and such, but a long wire route. As was mentioned earlier, all the Roadtrek thefts I have heard about were hotwired and driven away, not towed, so that is probably not as big a problem as the hotwiring. Snatch and grab is not something I would want to happen, but livable, IMO, as long as the stuff in the safe survives.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:35 AM   #42
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

Too bad there aren't a handful of critical wiring connections that could be easily disconnected and taken with you, even the main control module. I'd be looking at removing some small critical component that couldn't be easily replaced except through the dealer parts ordering process. I don't have the automotive engineering smarts to know if there are any components that would meet that criteria. How about a quick release removable section in the negative battery cable? Between the battery and the starter or whatever it's attached to? Or a non-conductive sleeve for one of the battery posts that fits discreetly inside the cable clamp, and insulates the battery post from the clamp.

I guess it depends on how far you're willing to go to prevent the van from being taken easily.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:57 AM   #43
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

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Originally Posted by Mike
Too bad there aren't a handful of critical wiring connections that could be easily disconnected and taken with you, even the main control module. I'd be looking at removing some small critical component that couldn't be easily replaced except through the dealer parts ordering process. I don't have the automotive engineering smarts to know if there are any components that would meet that criteria. How about a quick release removable section in the negative battery cable? Between the battery and the starter or whatever it's attached to? Or a non-conductive sleeve for one of the battery posts that fits discreetly inside the cable clamp, and insulates the battery post from the clamp.

I guess it depends on how far you're willing to go to prevent the van from being taken easily.
When I was in junior and senior high school (and probably afterwards), it was very common for the parents to disable any cars left at home if the left for the weekend or vacation, and they had teens at home (especially if they had muscle cars or street rods). Usually, it would be removing the rotor from the distributor or a fuse for the ignition.

The wiring tap in for the switch appears to be what gives away the location to the thieves. They know where the computer, starter, fuse boxes, etc are, and then look for wiring out of them that isn't factory, or looks added. They can follow them right to the switch or cut them open to jump them out right there. One of the big selling points of Ravelco is that they do all their splicing inside of the factory harnesses.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:25 AM   #44
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

Sounds like a thief not only needs motive and opportunity, but plenty of time. I can't imagine that there are many thieves with that much knowledge of the wiring, locations of fuse block(s), relays, breakers, and all the rest of it, for multiple makes and models of vehicles. They must have to specialize. I doubt that they'd be as quick to steal a Chev Van as they would stealing a Honda Civic, if Honda was their favorite target. They must have to specialize to speed up the process of figuring out the disabling points and additions or subtractions in the factory wiring. I think you'd have to hope the thieves in your area are experts in the Hondas, and not your type of vehicle.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:57 PM   #45
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

I've had a few "smash and grab" thefts in my car. Blaring alarms, even in my quiet neighborhood, didn't seem to stop them at all. The next vehicle I get will have the following:

1. An interior strobe light attached to the alarm. When the alarm is triggered the strobe light will start flashing, disorienting a thief and making it difficult to see. This will also slow a thief down.

2. Instead of an alarm siren, it will play "It's a Small World" over and over, driving the thief nuts.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:39 PM   #46
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

For the Sprinter folks out there; Do you know if MB offers their version of OnStar (I forget their name for it) as an aftermarket option on Sprinters? That would provide stolen vehicle tracking and remote disable.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:42 PM   #47
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

I was just going through the options for Sprinter cargo vans and didn't see any mention of OnStar or anything similar.
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Old 06-03-2014, 10:23 PM   #48
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

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I was just going through the options for Sprinter cargo vans and didn't see any mention of OnStar or anything similar.
onstar can now be purchased aftermarket-for all brands
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:19 AM   #49
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

How about the barking dog alarm system. You can also buy volumetric alarms which work with internal batteries and not on car battery system.

AT : GUARDOG.NET

This advanced alarm system uses radar technology to detect motion through doors, walls, or windows up to 4" thick. When an intruder approaches your door, it begins to bark like a large German Shepherd. If the motion continues, the barking becomes more frequent and more threatening. It's range and loudness can be controlled by setting sensitive and volume controls. It plugs into a standard 110 VAC outlet or it can be powered by by 8 AA batteries during a power outage. Batteries are not included.
Great for Homes, RVs, offices, factories, or warehouses. It can be used outdoors to keep wildlife away, but must be protected from the weather.
This barking dog alarm has a realistic sound. It's well known that prowlers will avoid
homes that have a dog. Testing shows that it's so realistic, it will cause other dogs in the area to start barking.



Includes a handy remote control to arm and disarm the alarm from a distance.
Also has a panic function to use in an emergency.
A CR2032 battery is included.



Set it to sound like an angry dog when it detects an intruder on the other side of your door, or set it to chime when it detects visitors approaching.

Click Here to Listen to the Barking Dog Alarm

AL18 Barking Dog Alarm
Regular Price $89.95 Special Sale Price $69.95

Special Offer: $62.95 each, when you order two or more



Dimensions:
Approx. 6"x 7"x 4"
2 Lbs, 12oz Weight
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:12 AM   #50
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

Fast, thanks for this great info, however, you forgot a "D" in the name of the site. It's:
http://www.guarddog.net
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:52 AM   #51
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

Why not just get a dog? I think the barking sound is more realistic?


I saw another one on the net that said it can't see through metal, as in a van body, because it uses microwave technology to detect motion. It appears to be the same size and shape as the AL18.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... 5247,d.b2k

The AL18 says it uses radar, but if that's as in "radar range" (microwave), it may also not work in a van.
I would ask before buying.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:56 PM   #52
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

I just talked with the "Sprinter Guy" at my local MB dealer, who just returned from a Sprinter sales meeting. MBrace is not yet available on Sprinters, but they expect it to be soon. They are now taking orders for 2015 models with expected delivery in Aug. or early Sep., but MBrace is not yet listed as on option for the 2015's.
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Old 06-07-2014, 02:38 AM   #53
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Default Re: what is the best alarm for a campervan etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiennaGuy
Fast, thanks for this great info, however, you forgot a "D" in the name of the site. It's:
http://www.guarddog.net
Sorry, my real guard dog Holly cannot spell but she has an incredibly loud bark for such a small dog. Never had an RV breakin(yet) with my pooch in the RV. The one on that net site might work too.
AL
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