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Author Topic: A question of security  (Read 4723 times)
Merlin
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« on: June 09, 2006, 06:48:48 AM »

A question of security

We are steadily progressing toward the goal of full-time travel/retirement in the bus conversion.  During this bus conversion ordeal little things pop up that need attention before continuing.  Such a situation appeared yesterday.  I’m completing one of many small storage areas, and we want a lock box or safe that will be securely fastened to the floor or walls.  OK so far.  Then thoughts began to swirl; how to get important stuff (including cash) out of this safe quickly in case of a fire.

Some safes have a key and/or a combination dial lock.  Others have electronic keypads.

Here is the list of what we consider important enough to store in the safe:
   Cash
   Password info for on-line banking (encoded in ancient Iberian-Punic)
   Credit card(s)
   CDs with many scanned files (all are encrypted)
   SS cards
   Spare car keys

While I’m still in the paranoid phase of “fear of losing stuff”, here is another issue: What if I lose the key to the bus entry door?  Spare key in the wallet has, in the past, served me well.  However, worst case scenario is … the wallet is lost too.

I’ve yet to secret away an entry key in one of those little magnetic holders that are intended to be attached under a car fender, or wherever.  Thinking of a place to stick a key holder on a bus is a challenge.  Engine compartment comes to mind, but whoa … so much dirt and a tad of oil too !!  The rest of the bus underpinnings are stainless steel (not very magnetically inclined), or … the carbon steel that is under there is well covered with sprayed on insulation and tar.

I know I’m making a big deal out of this, but little things that are handled during the process of a bus conversion are much easier to solve than after everything is sealed up and finished.

Any thoughts on my dance with paranoia?
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Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2006, 06:57:24 AM »

Merlin,
An ex girlfriend of mine many many many years ago had a bad habit of locking herself out of her car.
Her solution was to unlace her shoes and putting a spare key in above the tongue and below the laces with the little hole having a lace through it.
It worked for her!

Dallas
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2006, 06:58:02 AM »

Merlin,

Here's an Idea. If your entry steps pertrude into your spare tire compartment. Mabe you can position a small safe in a way

that you can access the safe from either the stepwell or the spare tire compartment! This may be the last spot to loose in a

fire. But mabe the first in a crash! Just Thinking out loud!! Huh

Nick-
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2006, 07:08:03 AM »

buy a fire-proof safe. That way you don't have to worry about it. Once the fire is out you can retrieve your valuables. As far as a magnetic key box... just attach it with screws anywhere you want. I've had them lose their bond before and fall off. Now I attach it with screws. Just be sure the little slide door is facing down (if mouning verticaly) so vibration etc... won't open it
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belfert
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2006, 07:16:40 AM »

A fireproof safe needs to be media rated to keep CDs in it.

Brian Elfert
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gumpy
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 07:20:29 AM »

My thoughts on your questions...

The safe... install a fire proof (resistant) safe. This will withstand the flames up to a certain temp, and should provide enough time for the fire department to get the flames out. Select a location in the coach that is less likely to burn in the event of fire, such as the front living area, or in the bay by the water tanks. As for securing, I put a small safe on my rear step area in the MC9. I wrapped it with steel angle iron frame, and bolted it to the floor. Eventually it'll be enclosed in the closet and out of view, and the bolts will be nearly impossible to access then. For now, it would take someone a good long time to get it out of there. They might then be somewhat disappointed as there most likely won't be anything of value in it anyway Cheesy

I'd recommend using a dial lock rather than key. The combo can be written in a hidden place inside the bus where you can find it when you forget it. No keys to lose or break off in the lock. No batteries to go dead when not in use.

Another option is to just build a simple strong box out of a piece of pipe that can be locked with a padlock and install it in a cabinet through the floor. Bolt it to the floor or frame. Won't provide much fire protection, but location might be enough. It's unlikely the entire coach will burn in the even of a fire.

As for the door key, I put a spare in the engine compartment. Use a metal shower curtain hook or u-joint clip and clip it over one of the wires or pipes somewhere where only you can see it. Yes, it's dirty in there, but my thoughts are that for as little as you'll ever need it, you can take the time to wash you hands (and change your clothes?) afterward. Dip it in wax or tool dip if you really want to protect it. The wax can then be peeled off when you need it. I think I've only used my spare one time.  Another option is to put it in the spare tire compartment or in the compartment under the driver, or even in the fuel door. Might need a screwdriver or coin to get into the driver's compartment, but again, it's seldom you will need to get to it. Oh, and I keep a spare on my toad keys, which have to be in the toad to tow it.

I get locked out more often by forgetting to unlatch the air claw on the door when I park. Then, when I start the bus up, and go outside while it's building air, I get locked out when the air gets up enough to activate the claw. No way to defeat that one. Just have to shut down at the rear control panel and bleed off the air till it opens. One time I was able to slide the driver's window and push the release with a broom handle.  Eventually, I'm going to redo the claw so I can use it as the primary door lock when parked. I'll hide a switch outside somewhere.


craig
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 05:27:43 PM »

Bait and switch and deception.  Poorly hidden lockbox with a fair amount of cash, some $20's, $5's $1's expired credit cards ect. Legal papers, wallet?  you get the idea. Hopefully they will grab this and run!!! I then keep a well hidden and I mean really well hidden. ( I do not even lock it) fire resistent box with all important papers.
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2006, 06:22:15 PM »

What about building a compartment into the water tanks

It could be camouflaged and it wouldn't burn very easily

Build your safe into there

Just a thought

Melbo
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2006, 06:29:14 PM »

I put all my valuables in the tires to  balance them. Family treasures are superior to golf balls and balancing powder in every way.
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2006, 06:58:33 PM »

What about building a compartment into the water tanks



Or the black tank.  Anyone who goes in there to get your stuff deserves whatever they find. Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2006, 11:46:31 PM »

Duct tape + key inside front or rear bumper or inside any accessible compartment. On a hidden side of a battery if that compartment is unlocked. Or underneath anywhere that isn't covered in undercoat. Just clean the surface you're going to duct tape it to first. And use fresh duct tape to replace it if you ever have to use it.
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2006, 04:34:51 AM »

We hid a key in an unlocked compartment on our bus and have not needed to use it in about 4 years.  Now if I could just remember where I hid it. LOL   Jack
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Merlin
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2006, 07:29:14 AM »

... An ex girlfriend of mine many many many years ago had a bad habit of locking herself out of her car.
Her solution was to unlace her shoes and putting a spare key in above the tongue and below the laces with the little hole having a lace through it.
It worked for her!

Dallas

Great ideas, guys.  Food for thought and this process of idea exchange has pushed me forward.  Last night we did a complete inspection of all possible locations for a safe, as well as a place/method for hiding a spare door key.

Here is what developed.  The safe can be mounted face up, and recessed into the floor under a rubber tread covered “secret” door.  This will be under the co-pilot’s feet.  We don’t have the standard front entry in the bus.  It came from the Prevost factory with a mid-entry door.  Being a non-standard deal, I now see where the factory simply sealed off an area about 9” deep under the co-pilots chair area.  For some reason this cavity is empty … and can be used as I wish for storage, if only there is a way to get into it.  With a drill and saw, we will at least have part of the room necessary for a sunken safe.  The area below that cavity is also not used, but is open to a small panel the width of a bus door, and about 30” high.  It was used for spare electric cords when I purchased the bus.

So to make this a short story … the safe will fit nicely in a sunken position and with lots of welded angle, I will make it an unappealing target for snatch and grab low-life.

Now as to a place to hide a spare entry key, we had a surprise.  I doubt I can locate Dallas’ old girlfriend to carry my key in her tennis shoe, so we moved on to other ideas.

Although our bus shell was factory ordered as a motorhome, it still has the vestiges of an over-the-road bus.  That is, it still has the exterior flap/door that would have been used to service the restroom water tank.  The little flap is head-high on the far right rear corner of the bus.  As it is now, there is a fiberglass pocket behind the door about 2” deep.  I figure a nice little keypad lockable key safe would nestle in there.

I’ll do a web search for small key safes today.

Wow, this is all so easy (on paper).  Now to get-r-done for real.
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2006, 03:05:28 PM »

Can't wait to take a .... errr ..... tour of Jim's bus .... kinda be like Treasure Hunt!
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NCbob
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2006, 01:10:03 PM »

Most of us probably carry some sort of weapon aboard when we're traveling and not all States conform to the general 'reciprocity' arrangement agreed to my most states...but have any of you given thought to what you want to have aboard for a sidearm, what caliber and most important what load you would use in the event someone should try to break in while you're parked overnight at the local Wal-Mart?

I'm have a CHP (Concealed Handgun Permit) for the State of NC and most States in which I travel honor it.  My choice to carry is a Glock 40 w/laser sight.  But in a campground, Wal-mart or other perhaps a .38 Cal. wheel-gun (revolver) with rat-shot (snake shot, if you will) would be a better choice than my favorite because.....Notwithstanding the fact that you would prefer the perp to take a dirt nap for violating your personal space...there's peripheral consequences.  Like firing a hard round through the partition and taking out a family member or the neighbor.

I, personally, prefer to have more than one weapon secured in places that only I or my wife know (there are never going to be minor children on our bus) loaded with loads of my choice based on my best determination of how they might be used.

I mentioned above that my Glock 40 has a laser sight.  I purposely spent $375 clams on it for one reason.  Should I place that pulsating dot on the nose of someone who is threatening me or mine...I truly believe he'll have a change of heart and the bucks I paid for it are nothing in contrast to the ordeal I might have to face for shooting some 'poor, abused person who was only asking for help in my bedroom in the middle of the night"

My .02

NCbob
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