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Old 06-10-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
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Preventing trailer theft

The dreadful theft of the Escape 19' of forum member SimonHayes' parents (under discussion here), has got us wondering about the best ways to prevent trailer theft.

What practices, precautions, and products do experienced Escape owners use to decrease the risk of trailer theft and, while we're at it, theft from their trailers?

Presumably in campgrounds neighbours could look out for neighbours who are away in their tow vehicle exploring the area. Likewise, neighbours at home could do the same for owners who store their Escapes on their property.

Not to dwell on negative possibilities, but perhaps it would be worth asking campground staff at check-in time if there have been any problems and, if so, what precautions a camper could take to prevent another one.

Please recommend specific hitch locks, wheel locks, and other security devices, and any other precautions that campers might take.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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The Solar Traffic Info Trailers I see on Highways etc., here in British Columbia, always have one wheel removed and on a set of levelers/jacks.
If someone wants your trailer, they'll haul it away by the chains.
Insurance, insurance, insurance.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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I'm with JMac, do the very BEST you can. And have good insurance, this whole topic still makes me ill...
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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I was thinking about LoJack on an Escape. It could then be tracked down after a theft and the thieves promptly hung. I keep my Escape locked behind an 8' fence at home with a locked vehicle in front of that.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:42 PM   #5
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Hi: All... Saw a sign on a gate post that read "We don't call 911". Sorry about the theft, but the horse has bolted!!! Alf
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:56 AM   #6
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Here are the locks that we use:

1. Hitch Receiver Lock - Let's Go Aero 5/8" Class III Silent Hitch Pin - locks ball mount to the receiver

2. Coupler Lock - Reese Towpower Universal Coupler Lock - locks the coupler

3. Coupler latch lock - Master Lock 2847DAT Stainless Steel Adjustable Coupler Latch Lock - locks the latch on the coupler

We park our trailer in our back yard with fence and gate.

All of these will slow down but not prevent a determined thief.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:53 AM   #7
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What about a wheel locking device such as this: Trailer Lock by Trailer Keeper.
You could also pay for a tracking service like this: SPOT Trace Services. Or, you could place a sign SAYING you have such a device hidden on the trailer, thus creating an additional theft deterrence. The SPOT device probably wouldn't work as it may need a clear view of the sky and thus be easily found and removed if you posted warnings of it's existence.

This is of concern to us as we will on occasion, park our trailer at a remote trailhead and head into a back country hut or campsite for 3 to as much as 7 days.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:19 AM   #8
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I keep mine in a fenced in yard with security by Newfoundland.

I try to make it harder to steal mine than someone else's and over-insure it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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I probably should do more, but can't seem to be bothered. I think I will start using a bit of a deterrent though. Heck, I wintered my trailer beside a storage garage I rent, which has alley access, and never locked it up. Never even thought to.

Like others though, I do carry good insurance.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I keep mine in a fenced in yard with security by Newfoundland.
LOL.. Yup Mr. & Mrs. Newfoundland, Shepherd, and their relatives achieve fantastic results especially when there's a fence to focus their already strong sense of perimeter defence. You never seem to hear about a lot of thefts from junk yards
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:19 AM   #11
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
I probably should do more, but can't seem to be bothered. I think I will start using a bit of a deterrent though. Heck, I wintered my trailer beside a storage garage I rent, which has alley access, and never locked it up. Never even thought to.

Like others though, I do carry good insurance.
Well Jim the snow piled in front might be a deterrent even in late October when you showed me your 19 there
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Well Jim the snow piled in front might be a deterrent even in late October when you showed me your 19 there
You are right. Having a pile of snow in front of your Escape is a good theft deterrent.



Of course, when the weather gets cold, it would be a lot nicer to go south to somewhere warm.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:13 PM   #14
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For security on my Escape, I do use several types of locks, all of which could probably be circumvented quite easily by any determined or innovative thief. These are what I use:



They are simple to use, but provide no guarantees that things are secure.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:43 PM   #15
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Dave W

Yes that certainly was a deterrent for you. As for us as you say going south is the solution, and that is primarily why we just got our 5.0, to be snowbirds, next January AZ and NM here we come!

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Old 06-11-2014, 07:26 PM   #16
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The most effective and convenient looking trailer locking device I've seen is from AL-KO in Europe: AL-KO Secure. (See Will It Fit? for the design.) It works specifically with AL-KO's Euro suspension, which is similar in design to the Dexter Torflex used on Escape trailers (other than the 5.0 TA), but to do something similar on a Torflex would require significant custom work. I'm currently not nearly concerned enough about theft to resort to this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yardsale View Post
What about a wheel locking device such as this: Trailer Lock by Trailer Keeper.
I can see how this device would be effective, but I would not use it.

When the Trailer Keeper came up in a discussion in another forum, had concerns about the crude bracket which is installed under a wheel nut (and intended to be left there all the time): it will unbalance the wheel, and will prevent proper seating of the nut (and thus proper location of the wheel). I asked the manufacturer about these concerns with their product; their answers convinced me that my concerns were valid and that I didn't want anything from them which attaches to a vehicle wheel.

To remove the Trailer Keeper's bracket each time the lock is removed is far too much hassle for me.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:59 PM   #17
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I found this one on a vintage trailer site. It's from a Canadian company and it looks like nothing stays on the wheel like Brian mentioned when it's not in use: Rittenhouse - Heavy Duty Wheel Lock - Boot Wheel Lock
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:13 PM   #18
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Here's another less expensive option. The ability to prevent wheel removal is an important feature. Trailer Lock by Trailer Keeper
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:19 PM   #19
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I donno.
Saw a flat-bed tow truck in operation yesterday. Simple to jack up the wheels, place a wheel dolly under and winch it aboard.
I use a $12 hitch lock, but beyond that, I think the determined thief can outwit and out resource the owner.
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:49 PM   #20
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I donno.
Saw a flat-bed tow truck in operation yesterday. Simple to jack up the wheels, place a wheel dolly under and winch it aboard.
I use a $12 hitch lock, but beyond that, I think the determined thief can outwit and out resource the owner.
Ok, that's depressing.
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