Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Storage Compartment Theft
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 > Storage Compartment Theft

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jdealcpa

St Charles MO

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Posted: 10/01/19 02:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My brothers new MH was broke into, they stole the radio, tv and some trinkets. Not very costly or hard to replace. The real cost in time and money was the damage done to get into the MH. The damaged area was never as good as new. As a consequence I don’t lock my MH. I don’t advertise that it’s not locked. I figure if they decide to steal from me their going to do it regardless. So I want to have as little damage as possible to the RV.

happy2rv

Huntsville, AL, USA

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Posted: 10/01/19 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Security is always a trade off. You trade usability and aesthetics for security. The question that each must answer for themselves is: What is the appropriate balance? What's appropriate for one, for example leaving an empty compartment unlocked, will likely be wholly inappropriate for others.

There are many ways, some legal and some not, some practical and some not, to improve security. It is entirely possible to reinforce the compartment access door to the point that its "practically" impenetrable. However, doing so only does so much good... The rest of the RV isn't as easily secured. So for instance, you could replace the access door with a solid steel door, but the wall of the RV is made of an thin skin of fiberglass on the outside, thin plywood on the inside, and Styrofoam in the middle. The compartment is probably also at least partially accessible from inside the RV, so they could simply break a window climb in and access it that way. Etc...

So what makes sense? There are a few simple things that can make you less attractive than your neighbors. Some of them are simple and not too invasive aesthetically. Some are less simple and more invasive.

  • You can choose from an array of replacement cam-locks with varying degrees of improvement is quality/security.
  • You can look at increasing the length of the locking tab on the cam locks, again with varying levels of quality
  • As I suggested above, you can reinforce where the cam locks engage. This can be easily done with modest cost and modest security improvement or it can be much more extensive. For simple, just screwing an L channel to the existing door flange and the plywood floor will add a fair amount of security. To take this further, you could add reinforcement under the floor of the compartment and securely screw/bolt the L bracket to the reinforcement.
  • Look at the reinforcing the area the cam locks are installed in. You can fabricate a plate similar to what opnspaces suggested. If you search for cam lock mounting plate, you can find them for a couple of bucks. One on the inside with a couple of short screws will provide a modest increase in security. One on each side with bolts through would significantly increase security at the cost of aesthetics. These prevent the lock from spinning in the hole in addition to spreading the force.
  • Reinforce the door with some type of wood or metal backing. Again, this will likely come with some aesthetic trade offs.
  • Add reinforced locking mechanism or bar only accessible from inside the trailer, assuming you have access from inside.
  • Add a locking mechanism that only opens from inside if you have access from inside.
  • You could add locking hasps as other suggested, quite effective, but not so aesthetically pleasing.
  • As I already suggested consider an alarm system for the compartment and the RV. Hopefully the blaring alarm would scare them away. Most don't want the attention. You could even get something with cellular notification to alert you something has happened. As a side benefit, you could add fire alarms to the same system.



2018 Forrest River Salem Hemisphere 282RK - 2017 RAM 1500 TV

Previous RVs and TOADS
2004 Fleetwood Bounder 32W on WH W20
2000 Four Winds 5000 21RB
1986 27' Allegro
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2005 Ford Ranger XLT 2WD
2004 Suzuki Aerio
1988 Chevrolet Sprint

GrandpaKip

Flat Rock

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Posted: 10/02/19 01:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

After reading all the suggestions here, I would go the simple route. Empty the compartment. Take the stuff home or store inside, then leave the compartment unlocked.
I would not want the damage that could happen with a more secure door.
I do the same with my vehicles. Usually leave them unlocked with nothing valuable in there. My insurance will cover a broken window, but it’s such a PITA to get it replaced.


Kip
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Heymon

Torrance

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Posted: 10/02/19 01:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yeah, that compartment on my rig has a lot of stuff in there. Most of it is cheap, but together it is a few hundred dollars. Much too much to empty every time. Also not realistic to leave it unlocked, as you can get into the inside that way. I am going to beef up the lock/security and try to keep the more important items like the griddle inside or in the better secured storage compartment I have. We will see what they think of next. My storage yard is improving the cameras to a motion sensor/monitored set up so that someone can look and see what is going on and actually speak to them via a PA system while they call the cops. At least they are trying to do something.

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 10/03/19 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heymon wrote:

Yeah, that compartment on my rig has a lot of stuff in there. Most of it is cheap, but together it is a few hundred dollars. Much too much to empty every time. Also not realistic to leave it unlocked, as you can get into the inside that way. I am going to beef up the lock/security and try to keep the more important items like the griddle inside or in the better secured storage compartment I have. We will see what they think of next. My storage yard is improving the cameras to a motion sensor/monitored set up so that someone can look and see what is going on and actually speak to them via a PA system while they call the cops. At least they are trying to do something.

Yep, I getcha. I’ve got a lot of stuff in the compartment, too. It would be a real hassle to unload it every time.
Hope everything works out for you.
Oh, just thought of something. How about a cover? Though that might be a pain to take on and off.
Good luck.

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