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A CHEAP MULTI-PURPOSE MOTORHOME SECURITY DEVICE (Author = Grizzly)

The personal attack alarm, aka a rape alarm has a variety of uses in a MH. In general they cost below £5 and, in Autumn 2008 were on sale at Tesco for £1.99 among the goods for students.

The come in a number of different forms but the cheapest - and in this context, most useful - looks something like this:

A small BOX with a peg inserted in one end. A CORD is attached to the PEG. When the peg is pulled out the powerful alarm in the box is activated and will keep sounding until the peg is re-inserted or the batteries run out. This can take up to an hour. Choose the highest decibel (dB) rated one you can see as this will be the loudest. Be aware that these alarms are VERY loud and can make you physically sick if you are close to them so test with care ! If your alarm has gone off several times then it is probably a good idea to fit a new one as usually the batteries are not replacable.

USES

1.In cab security
2.Habitation door security
3.Drop down locker protection and warning
4.Window warning
5.Bike rack security
6.Security for items left outside the van
7.Handbag / wallet security
8.As a personal attack alarm.

1. In cab security

Many people like to tie or chain their cab doors together when they are parked at an aire. I am unhappy with this as a fire exit is thus blocked. A compromise is to tie the doors together with an alarmed tape or ribbon or thin cord.

You will need enough tape and a bit more to reach between your cab doors. Make sure the tape is firm and non-stretch. Cut this piece in half.

Tie one piece of tape to the internal passenger door handle. Tie or stick the other end of this piece of tape firmly to the box of the alarm. Tie the second piece of tape to the internal door handle on the driver's side. Tie the other end of this piece of tape to the cord on the end of the alarm peg. The alarm can be on a seat or wherever is convenient. The tape should be fairly taut.

When either of the cab doors is opened the peg will be yanked out of the box and the alarm will alert you. If you need to exit the van in a hurry then you will have to put up with this noise but, if you are leaving because of fire or theft, then having the alarm going off and alerting others is no bad thing.

2. Habitation door security

Cut a piece of stick-onVelcro or a sticky pad to the exact size of the alarm box. Use it to stick your alarm to the wall inside your habitation area and close to the door handle (not on the external door itself). At night hook the alarm cord over the internal door handle. If the door is opened in the night the peg is pulled from the alarm and alerts you. It can be used when you leave the van in the day if you exit via the cab doors. I can't imagine a thief would be happy inside your van with the alarm going off. Unless he is quite quick on the uptake he is unlikely to work out how to put the peg in as it will be flapping on the external door.

A similar arrangement can be attached to a sliding door so that if the door is slid open then the peg is pulled out.

3. External drop down lockers and (some) garage doors

When we first got our van I used to have a fear of either the underbed locker door being levered open and thieves getting in or forgetting to lock the locker and it opening on the road and strewing our belongings all over the place.

Use velcro or a sticky pad to fix the box of an alarm to the inside motorhome side wall of the locker or garage door ( not the locker door) From the inside of the locker or - if you can reach it- garage twist the cord round a stick- on hook that you have attached firmly to the locker door itself. If the door opens accidentally or on purpose the peg should be pulled out of the box and, believe me, you will hear it above any road noise.

4.Windows

Using Velcro or a sticky pad, stick the alarm box to the wall inside the van just below the window you wish to protect. It can be concealed below the curtains. You can then hook the cord round the nearest window closer which is attached to the window. When the window is opened from outside the pin will be pulled out of the box.

5.Bike racks.

Stick an alarm firmly to the underside of the horizontal bars of a bike rack. Tie the cord firmly round either a spoke of the bike or the whole width of the tyre. When the bike is lifted from the rack the alarm will go off as the peg will be pulled from the box. The noise will alert you - and everyone else- if you are asleep in the van. You will have to get into the habit of untying the cord before you remove the bikes.

6. Security for items left outside the van.

You'll be getting the idea now ! If you put portable solar panels, satellite dishes, chairs etc outside your van on an aire and are concerned about theft then it is usually possible to fix an alarm to them somewhere. The alarm box itself can be attached to the item of value and the cord extended with a piece of string and tied to the van somewhere.

7. Handbags, wallets etc.

When you are out sight-seeing it is easy to forget to be alert to pick-pockets and handbag thieves. There are many ways to use these alarm to make sure that anyone opening your bag or taking your wallet out of a pocket or your camera off your shoulder sets off the alarm.

8. As a personal attack alarm

I hope these are never going to be needed but it can do no harm carrying one if you are sight-seeing in less populated areas or at night.

A note to all newbies : 99.999 % of motorhome trips pass without the slightest hint that anyone aims to either break into your motorhome or attack you. It is a very safe pastime. However, it is always a good idea to be careful and, I hope, these various uses for a cheap gizmo, will provide some reassurance. You should always park in a place that feels right and, if you are at all unhappy, move on.

 
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