After reading dozens of blogs and reading about vehicle break-ins, we decided we really needed to beef up the security of our rig. There are several common weak points that thieves exploit, but the most common were the door locks and the windows.
The simplest method thieves use is to break the windows of the vehicle. This isn’t subtle, but for a quick smash and grab, especially when you are in the middle of nowhere, it is very effective.
Another common method is to push a screw driver through the side of the door, just below the lock. This allows the thief to disengage the lock and open the door. This method can be very subtle; it may just look like someone is fumbling with their keys, trying to unlock the door.
Security Film to the Rescue
Our research to improve the strength of our windows led us to a company called LLumar. They make a security film for cars that makes the windows much more difficult to break. This video showing off the film is quite impressive:
So all you have to do is find an LLumar dealer, right?
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so easy. After making several inquiries, I found that LLumar automotive security film has been discontinued.
I continued to call shops that installed window tinting, hoping that I would find some sort of solution. Most tint shops just blew me off, saying they didn’t do stuff like this. However, I finally got lucky when I called Royal Tinting in North Salt Lake City, Utah. The owner took time to listen to my requirements and then spent some time on the phone with his LLumar rep.
It turns out that LLumar Automotive Security Film has been discontinued in North America, but it is still sold in South America! Go figure! However, on the bright side, the LLumar rep said that if you install 2 applications of their normal tinting, it is nearly as strong as the security film. In addition, the warranty on the tinting will still be valid. Royal Tinting also found another option for a true security film, but it would have been more expensive because they would have had to special order it.
Happy to finally find a solution, we went with the option to tint all the windows in our rig. Royal Tinting installed one layer of “Air 80″ on our windshield (a clear UV and infrared blocking tinting), two layers of “Air 80″ on the front side windows, and two layers of a cheaper dark tinting on the back windows.
I’ll talk about how we secured our rig against the “screw driver attack” in a future post…