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Author Topic: Fuel Theives  (Read 4429 times)
larryh
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« on: May 30, 2007, 01:40:30 PM »

I was headed to the North West and stopped in Battle Mountain NV at the Flying J truck stop. I went inside to get a bite to eat.

As I came out to bus I noticed a pickup parked along side of bus and did my walk around and retighten hold down on straps on Toad Dolly. I notice the Pickup had a white and a blue plastic drum in back.

As I came up the passenger side of bus I notice fuel door was open on the side of bus and the fuel cap was open.

I closed both and not suspecting anything I started North to Jordan Valley I was about 2 miles from Jordan Valley and ran out of fuel &^%$*&^%$ I now realize what the two guys did was hit me for about 85 to 100 gallons of fuel plus a service call of 130 dollars plus 50 gal of fuel at 3.59 per gallon needless to say I will be putting a lock on fuel compartment door.

Larry H

in North Idaho to see 1st grandson graduate from High school.
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 01:59:31 PM »

Larry, That stinks.....

Time to get a lock on the fuel door.

Nick-
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 02:13:16 PM »

I though of that happing, so put locking fuel caps on.

      Pete & Jean
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 02:32:54 PM »

dang...

If you can't trust people at truck stops, who can you trust...
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 03:13:33 PM »

I have a spiral spring in the filler neck on my coach, making it impossible to steal my fuel in that manner. I'm sure they'll think of another way to get it.

Jay
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 04:23:20 PM »

Hi larryh,
Thank you for alerting us to the problem of fuel theft at a truck stop. We have stopped at and stayed at truck stops on many of our trips and never felt at risk to ourselves or our bus. That has now changed. We will be adding a lock to our fuel compartment door too. I'm so sorry that you had this bad experience but thanks again for the warning.
Sam 4106
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007, 05:00:36 PM »

I hope there is a front row seat in Hell for someone like that. Angry
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2007, 03:21:39 AM »

I read over on another RV board of someone with an HDT pulling a fiver losing almost 270 gallons.  He had the HDT and fiver parked in a corner of his yard at home.

I need to get new locks for my fuel doors as I didn't get the keys and my local locksmith won't rekey them.  For some reason, Dina put great big doors on each side of the bus for the fuel tank, but they also put little doors that could be used for fueling.  The little doors are worthless and don't have locks so I am going to fasten them shut.
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cody
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2007, 05:45:06 AM »

We put locks on each of the fuel doors last year, had talked to a guy that had been hit for over 100 gallons and he was having them put on so we did too, it was a simple painless process, just fold over latchs with 2 master locks on them, wouldn't stop a set of bolt cutters but would discourage most of the would be thieves.
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2007, 06:11:10 PM »

I don't want to hijack this thread but I have a semi-related question. Has anyone connected a recorder to their backup camera? I have not bought a camera yet but I was thinking about a 3 camera setup (rear & both sides) & wondering if I could send the signals to a recorder. It would be very handy for situations like this.
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2007, 09:33:54 PM »

We had this happen in a campground one night.  We filled before leaving home and drove about 100 miles.  When we got ready to leave, we checked the fuel.  Just because we always checked it.  Well, it was almost empty.  We had to use our five gallon can to get to a station.  They did it at night and we never heard a thing.  There is a chain and lock on the fill cap now. 

Don and Cary
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2007, 03:07:11 AM »

Maybe we should figure out a way to put the Black water tank where the fuel tank is.
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2007, 04:02:16 AM »

Now that is a novel idea  Grin

Paul
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2007, 06:11:02 AM »

And a VEEEEEEEERY GOOD one!!!!!!!!!!! Grin
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2007, 08:42:06 AM »

Reminds me of the old story about the fuel thief that got a mouth full of black water after going to the WRONG tank. Don't know how that is possible but makes a good story. Today's courts would probably go after you for setting up the thief to hurt himself.
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2007, 09:24:03 AM »

Im sorry, but I would have found it HIGHLY suspicous to see my Fuel door and cap open..  Huh
Sherlock Holms time for sure..

I dont have a Fuel gauge and the neck on my Fill spout is so long and it curves, you cant get a stick in there to check ?
Do most tanks have a place/cover, you can put a guage in ?
How do you know What type to get ?
Can I get a Troll to live in the tank and send me Emails ?
Or, would I need an Diesel Gremlin   Roll Eyes
I suppose I could cut a hole in the floor over tha tank and ask my Wife to dangle her tootsies in it, But I KNOW, shed complain  Undecided


Paul.....
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Dallas
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2007, 11:17:43 AM »

Paul,
I use a piece of Romex about 4' long painte flat black. It follows the bend nicely, and the fuel shows up on the black paint quite well.

Dallas

Im sorry, but I would have found it HIGHLY suspicous to see my Fuel door and cap open..  Huh
Sherlock Holms time for sure..

I dont have a Fuel gauge and the neck on my Fill spout is so long and it curves, you cant get a stick in there to check ?
Do most tanks have a place/cover, you can put a guage in ?
How do you know What type to get ?
Can I get a Troll to live in the tank and send me Emails ?
Or, would I need an Diesel Gremlin   Roll Eyes
I suppose I could cut a hole in the floor over tha tank and ask my Wife to dangle her tootsies in it, But I KNOW, shed complain  Undecided


Paul.....
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2007, 03:20:34 PM »

Reminds me of the old story about the fuel thief that got a mouth full of black water after going to the WRONG tank. Don't know how that is possible but makes a good story. Today's courts would probably go after you for setting up the thief to hurt himself.


Makes the bus run like $**t too
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2007, 09:07:57 AM »

 I'm very cynical, when I seen that door open I would have known some evildoer lurked around! Just becuse I am paranoid does not mean they are not after me! My first reaction is the truck parked there would not have stole the fuel, nobody would be that stupid!! But then again I've seen the worlds dumbest crooks on video.
 As I look over the fuel security options, I'm at a loss. When I park my bus somewhere, I generally do not lock the bay doors. I would rather have what is inside stolen than have a door destroyed. This is only when sitting somewhere, not when traveling. The entrance door has a weak lock for when I leave bus. If someone went after it with a bar of any kind it would snap without damageing door. If they are that determined they are getting in anyhow. The inside lock, for when I am in bus is substantial and backed up by traumatized combat veteran with large Huh?.
  The MCI5C fuel door is thin stainless steel. Any lock mounted to it would be easily defeated. The fuel would be gone and the door destroyed.  The fill cap is not lock ready. There must be an easy way to do this. Any suggestions? Or am I better off just loseing the fuel?
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2007, 09:32:08 AM »

LOL  Grin Tripple Dittos on the Traumatized Combat Vet LOL  LOL 
A couple of Large Dogs helps as well..  Roll Eyes
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I'm very cynical, when I seen that door open I would have known some evildoer lurked around! Just becuse I am paranoid does not mean they are not after me! My first reaction is the truck parked there would not have stole the fuel, nobody would be that stupid!! But then again I've seen the worlds dumbest crooks on video.
 As I look over the fuel security options, I'm at a loss. When I park my bus somewhere, I generally do not lock the bay doors. I would rather have what is inside stolen than have a door destroyed. This is only when sitting somewhere, not when traveling. The entrance door has a weak lock for when I leave bus. If someone went after it with a bar of any kind it would snap without damageing door. If they are that determined they are getting in anyhow. The inside lock, for when I am in bus is substantial and backed up by traumatized combat veteran with large Huh?.
  The MCI5C fuel door is thin stainless steel. Any lock mounted to it would be easily defeated. The fuel would be gone and the door destroyed.  The fill cap is not lock ready. There must be an easy way to do this. Any suggestions? Or am I better off just loseing the fuel?
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2007, 09:53:51 AM »

As far as storage goes, I have my bus in a large storage lot right now.  I cleaned everything not bolted down out of my storage bays.    I don't have a way to lock my luggage bays right now, but I figured leaving them unlocked would stop damage to the doors.  I hope my fuel is still there.

I'm thinking I should go up there next Saturday, start the thing up and take it for a drive.
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2007, 01:48:04 PM »

 I went on an extended camping trip in the beautiful sub tropical Paradise of Viet Nam in 1967. I decided to spend my time helping the people learn about democracy with Hotel Co. 2nd Batt 3rd Marines.
 I spent  the Lunar New Year (TET) of 1968 outside the charming city of Hue. Then for the remainder of TET I decided to camp and hike in the gorgeous mountains surrounding  Khe Sanh. I spent much time there interacting with the people of N Viet Nam, exercising my bowels and learning to pray.
 My tour ended during TET, my employer offered me many incentives to stay. But I was sick of people trying to kill me.
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2007, 02:17:10 PM »

Jjrbus,
Thanks for your service. I also have a 5C and I will check if the fuel flap is close enough to the bay so as a "rod" could be extended thru the bulkhead, from just above the service disconnect, thru to the filler cap.
I lock the baggage bays on a trip, but never thought of the fuel thief...

Take care,

Gary
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2007, 06:14:10 PM »

The MCI5C fuel door is thin stainless steel. Any lock mounted to it would be easily defeated. The fuel would be gone and the door destroyed.  The fill cap is not lock ready. There must be an easy way to do this. Any suggestions? Or am I better off just loseing the fuel?

It is a tough call.  Thieves once did a thousand dollars damage to the door of my pickup to get at my cheap stereo.  But here are couple thoughts.

  • Idea #1 - For stopping the theft - It wouldn't stop them from putting scratches around your fuel door, but they wouldn't get in or bend anything.  Reinforce the back of the fuel door and the surrounding panel out to 4-6 inches with very heavy gauge steel and install a serious hardened steel key lock.
  • Idea #2 - Cheap lock that would break before damage to the door or surrounding metal.  This would be just to keep kids and other curious people out.  Then install an alarm system on it tied in to a VERY loud screeching alarm speaker inside the panel.  Perhaps also tie it in to the bus horn as well.  The screecher will make it very hard for them to stay there.  The horns will draw attention they don't want.  Put a decal informing them that the fuel door and bus is protected by an alarm system (in English and Spanish) just above the fuel door.
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2007, 02:02:05 PM »

Although I do have a spiral wire in my fuel neck to prevent siphoning fuel, I'm still concerned with an attempt at theft, or perhaps tampering.
While at the local hardware today, I saw just the lock I needed for my fuel door. Cost? $5.00

Jay
87 SaftLiner

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« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2007, 08:13:18 AM »

Before I had my big sleeper on my truck, I used to check into Motels nearly every night on the road.  One time, I was in the Motel pool with the kid of the truck driver playing games while the father syphoned a full 150 gal tank dry on the truck.  If you see a truck with a 4 inch or so hose on it, look out, it may be used for obtaining fuel!  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2007, 09:23:09 PM »

These guys have a snap in anti siphon. They want your fill neck ID and length. Nothing broken and still have your fuel. fueltankaccessories.com


http://fueltankaccessories.com/

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« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2007, 06:41:17 AM »

That looks like a nifty invention.  Any idea on how much one cost?  I did not see any prices listed, only an inquiry.
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« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2007, 06:48:33 AM »

Seems like a really good idea, but we have no filler neck on MCI's. How would that affect it?
                                     Jim
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« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2007, 07:12:12 AM »

Jim -

If you read the "Request Pricing" page of their website, it says to send them the measurement in inches of the inside diameter of the filler neck, and also it's length.  It also asks for your vehicle's make, model and year, be it a truck or bus.  From that info, it appears that they will either say "yay" or "nay" on availability.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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Dallas
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« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2007, 07:23:57 AM »

On my Pete, IH and Mack I had strainer cups installed. These are cups that fit down inside the filler neck and have a bunch of 3/8" holes in them. This allows high volume fueling with no foaming back up the filler tube.
The nice thing about them is that if you really needed to get at the fuel for something like priming an engine, you can get a piece of 3/8" plastic airline through the holes and siphon enough fuel to do the job, but no one will be able to get a large volume out quickly, which is the goal of most fuel thieves.
Mine were welded in but I suppose you could install them with rivets too, since once the tank is inside the skin of the bus it would be really difficult to get to them to remove them.
I don't know if Freightliner handles those, but maybe TomC could check and see who the manufacturer is.

Dallas

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« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2007, 08:22:50 AM »

Maybe the best idea is not to try to keep them out of the filler door (on an MCI, anyway).  Perhaps a stud (bolt) could be put through the right side  of the compartment with a piece of steel pipe over it.  If a nut is welded to the other end of the pipe,  a bolt can be screwed into it through a hole drilled through the wall dividing the fuel compartment and the battery compartment.  I'm having a hard time describing what I'm thinking of, but basically a metal bar or pipe blocking the filler cap is what I'm talking about.  It would require that the battery compartment be opened and the bolt removed to fuel the bus.  It wouldn't be all that much trouble to remove and replace for a fill-up.  Mainly, it would prevent the theft of fuel (hopefully) without anybody damaging the bus trying to steal the fuel.  I have some 1" square tube that I used for covering the window openings that would work nicely for this, so I may try it.

David
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« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2007, 01:43:19 PM »

David,
   I like your thinking.  I'm thinking maybe bolt a pipe flange to the bulkhead between the fuel tank and front tire. Then drill a hole in the bulkhead between the fuel tank compartment and the battery compartment just large enough for a piece of pipe to slide across the fuel cap and thread into the pipe flange. If you wanted you could add a lock on the pipe in the battery compartment.  Jack
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