As mentioned in my earlier post, Securing the Rig (where I talked about window security film), we did a couple other things to help improve the security of our vehicle.
Reading other travel blogs, we found that a common way to gain entry is the feared “screw driver attack.” Basically, the thief punches a screw driver right through the car door, just below the lock. Then, they just tweak the screw driver and pop the lock up. Now they can open the door and loot all your goodies.
On the bright side, your window isn’t smashed in. On the downside, this is a very subtle attack and an experienced thief would be able to make it look like they were just fumbling with their keys while they gain entry into your vehicle. In addition, this attack ruins the vehicle door.
So, how do you avoid this? We’ve seen a couple different methods:
- install exterior locks on the car doors
- install a metal plate between the door and the lock
Exterior locks are a pretty great signal to a thief that they aren’t going to get in easily. Unfortunately, they are a bit cumbersome and it’s an extra lock you always have to remember to lock.
On the other hand, the metal plate is completely invisible to the thief, so it may prevent the thief access to your car, but the door may still get messed up, because the thief can’t see the metal plate.
We decided to go with the metal plate solution. I purchased a “Jimmi Jammer” for my truck, and installed it on all the doors (here’s a link to the guys who create this product). Side note, but I think Jimmi Jammer tries to make money by selling you plates for all your doors. I bought and installed them on all the doors of our truck, but it was clear the locking rod for the back doors was nowhere near the door handle where the plate is installed.
In addition, we also decided to tear out our back seats. Shannon and Brenton of Ruined Adventures recommended we do this several months back, but it’s taken me months to convince Erica. Brenton and Shannon joked that if you have an extra seat then you’ll always have family or friends showing up along the route, expecting you to chauffeur them around.
So, we ripped the back seats out and installed a locking utility box. We’ve heard that a lot of vehicles are broken into because you leave something visible through the windows. Well, with the utility box, at least we can get things out of view and lock them up. This should be more secure, however, if any thief is dedicated enough and has enough time, you’re probably in trouble!