Camper van.

Some may remember the story of my mate's camper van. Stolen from outside his home at 3 weeks old. It has a tracker, so was found hours later parked up in a side road not
far away.
AA got it started, and driven home.
Next day, the insurance company arranged for it to be collected for safe storage and repair.
Damage was a broken window and a smashed steering lock. It had been started by accessing the diagnostic port, and the cover for that was also damaged.
6 weeks later, it is fixed. Or rather sort of. The housing for the steering lock is a poor fit. The damage port cover still damaged.
They changed all the locks so new keys.
Pal was in a hurry to get to their place in Spain (with dog) so left today to catch the Eurostar. Got a phone call from them saying they'd stopped on route to Folkestone to fill up, and they couldn't unlock the filler cap...
They drove home and called the insurance approved garage who fixed it - many miles away. They admitted they'd failed to change the filler cap lock. But wanted the vehicle returned to fix it. So at least another couple of days. With family arriving at their place in Spain next week. And about a 5 day drive there.
AA got it off. Quite an odd cap, so not something you could buy in Halfords. Maker spare only, by the look of it.
Odd the way insurance companies don't tell you this sort of story in their ads. ;-)
The van is a Fiat, BTW. A company who can't supply (apparently) a new steering lock to match the existing keys. And an immobiliser which can be bypassed by accessing the diagnostic port inside the vehicle. Such a secure system it takes weeks to fix, but only minutes to get round.
--
*Why were the Indians here first? They had reservations.*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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May have Fiat badges, but it's a Sevel van, a joint venture between the French and the Italians. What could possibly go wrong?
(To be fair, they're the most common camper / coachbuilt platform, particularly badged as a Ducato for some reason!)
--
Steve H

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It is normal on motorhomes (and it sounds more like a motorhome than a camper) for the diesel (or rarely petrol) cap to be keyed to the base vehicle, even if (as in our case) it isn’t obvious what the base vehicle is ( we have an A class, the ones which look like boxes on wheels).
A Fiat dealer should be able to supply a matching cap.
There is generally a second key for other locks - including the habitation door, any lockers, water filler etc. Cab doors, other than on an A class, are keyed to the base vehicle.
Central locking coverage varies. Low end it may be absent or just cover the cab doors.
The Fiat Ducato is the most popular base vehicle for motorhome conversions- either the Fiat badged one or the Peugeot version. They are supplied to converters as vans- they become your campervans, larger versions of the old VW. Cab + chassis or cab only, they become Coach build motorhomes, engine + transmission + front wheels with/without chassis and rear wheels which become A class motorhomes.
There has been some fuss in motorhome circles re thefts recently but not of Fiats. Fords have been the subject of at least one special insurance company notice re extra measures being required. Insurance companies vary, typically they have threshold values at which they demand a Cat 1 alarm, then a tracker etc, but make does seem to influence this, at least recently.
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Not sure about the distinction, but this one uses most of the van body, including side and rear doors. Unlike their previous one which was coach built and leaked after a few years.

Seems the repair company had a new lock barrel for the existing cap.

On this one the central locking covers all doors. But sadly not the fuel filler flap. Oddly, only one master key (remote etc) with the new vehicle. other key looked like a valet key. New key set comes with two remotes, but no valet key.

Anything which can be broken into and driven away within about 1/2 hour with no audible warning seems rather badly designed to me. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 04/10/2019 16:07, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Staggering, considering the cost of those camper things.

Back in the, er, day I used to fit an ignition isolator switch somewhere hidden, behind the dash. Strikes me that'd be considerably more effective than these modern deterrents, and cost pennies.
--
Cheers, Rob

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On 04/10/2019 16:40, RJH wrote:

years ago a customer of mine made an ingenious antitheft device out of a couple of relays: If you tried to operate the starter, it would not turn over but the horn would sound instead, to over-ride this effect, you had to flash the headlights to engage a relay in the starter circuit, before operating the starter. Simple, cheap, hard to guess at and draws attention.
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On 04/10/2019 16:57, MrCheerful wrote:

I do like that!
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My Mk1 Golf Cabrio had a pressure switch under the carpet in the driver's footwell - but you had to know where to press to start the engine!
--
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I'd guess near any home brewed thing like that would confuse most thieves. Considering how few even decent mechanics have much of a clue about car electrics.
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*Verbs HAS to agree with their subjects *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Yes. I did wonder if there was something dishonest going on there - since I've never known any car to come with only one key.
But given the damage the thieves did, they didn't have the other key. ;-)
--
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 04/10/2019 16:07, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Ok, a camper then.
Just to add to the confusion, the French call them all 'Camping Cars'.
Coach builts, especially the older design ones, can be prone to leaks- some more than others. Sometimes the problem is actually condensation which is confused for water ingress.
That is why you (should) have regular habitation checks.

A one time it was possible to rearrange/swap the bits in the actual lock, which was held together by a circlip. I remember adapting one for a friend.

With the base vehicle Fiat supply a remote 'flip' key and a normal key. They unlock all the base vehicle locks.
Unless you get an alarm as an extra, you don't get a second remote. If you do have an alarm, you may end up with 3 remotes- not all utilise the Fiat one.
By no Valet key, I assume you mean no second key- the Ducato doesn't have a true Valet key. That seems rather naff. Having only one key (especially if you have a wife/partner etc) is a pain in the posterior).

That applies to most cars/vehicles.
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Pretty well every car I've owned in ages has an audible alarm if a door was opened. Triggered by the interior light. And most have movement sensors too.
It was just by chance they looked out at it and saw it missing. It was close enough for an alarm to be heard.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 04/10/2019 18:11, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Why wasn't it parked on their own drive ?.
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In London? ;-)
Their street is a cul-de-sac in an 80s estate. They can and do park their car outside their house, but the van is too wide for that narrow steet. So park on the feeder road.
--
*Save the whale - I'll have it for my supper*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 05/10/2019 13:00, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

so they need a paging alarm system.
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On 05/10/2019 19:49, MrCheerful wrote:

Or store it in secure off-road location, not take up valuable on-street parking space.
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Luckily the estate has resident's parking which you have to pay for. To stop the likes of you parking there to hop on the tube.
--
*Reality is a crutch for people who can't handle drugs.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On 08/10/2019 19:33, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

I had a scruffy old camper van, which was not too big and not valuable, so I would park it wherever without worry, but although I would like another better one now, I would not get one unless I had secure indoor parking with power, for it to live in very locally.
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Such places do exist but they are rare.
‘Secure’ (note the quotes) outdoor storage is more common and there is a some kind of rating scheme. Insurance company attitudes to them seem to vary. In general they seem to prefer you to keep it on your drive.
Photos of vehicles damaged, including having things removed (racks etc) appear from time to time when stored in secured sites, even ones with CCTV.
Sadly, there is no 100% safe place to store / park a motorhome. You can have an alarm, a tracker, clamps, etc. Even raise it using the levelling system. At the end of the day, if someone wants it, they will take it.
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And would cost a fortune anywhere within a reasonable distance to London. Beauty of the camper van is you can decide at the last minute to go away for the weekend or whatever. Not so if it is locked up miles away.

The very fact they couldn't meant insurance was difficult to get. But silly me thought paying more meant you'd get a decent service from them.
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*If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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