Van Safe / Item Security

Hi all,

I’m thinking about the security of my items in case someone does manage to break in. I don’t like the idea of lock boxes since they can be carried out of the vehicle and opened at the thief’s leisure. Plus I have large items like a laptop, drone, hard drives, memory cards, and personal documents.

Besides good hiding spots, one thought is a floor mounted safe. Does anyone have any experience with this or recommendations?

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If they can break into you car they probably would not have much trouble cutting your safe out either. Especially if they just take the van with them and can do it at their leisure.

Please leave your stupid drone where you found it. They’re really not welcome in public spaces and are seriously obnoxious in nature.

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Sorry the fact that I own a drone offends you.

Does anyone have a helpful answer?

It does offend me because plenty of experiences have been ruined by some idiot running one where signs are blatantly posted against their use. e.g. national parks everywhere. Their loud and obnoxious, it is a simple fact.

As for my answer you see it is helpful. If you do not want something expensive stolen, it is likely best not to keep it in a vehicle, whether that be a van, a car, a truck, whatever. Locked safe or not, nothing is stopping anyone from taking it but good will.

Well, I’ve never done anything you mentioned with my drone, so I find you lashing out at me prejudice and ridiculous. I also posted to ask about security for valuables, not to argue about drones.

So, your advice is don’t travel at all unless you can do it without valuables? This isn’t an option for me as I’ll be in the van for weeks at a time. Does anyone have advice for the question I asked about securing valuables?

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Greetings!

Living in a van puts us in a vulnerable situation. Hidden probably works best, because if they find a safe of lockbox, there is a high probability that if they can’t get into it they’ll steal the whole rig.

Disabling the vehicle can help, but it won’t stop a tow truck or tow rope. A hidden GPS tracker can help you find your vehicle, but usually only after the thieves have pleasured themselves to whatever they want.

Out of sight, out of mind usually works for smash & grab thieves.

One trick is to have storage under your bed that is only accessible through the back door(s), but this doesn’t work well with cargo vans since the back doors are frequently the target for thieves looking for tools. You might be able to fake a solid empty box under your bed with no obvious access…

Good Luck!

Cheers!


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller


Thanks, @Van_Dweller! That makes sense.

I was thinking a safe might deter thieves in most places, like parking lots or any heavily trafficked area …where they would need to get in and out before being noticed.

But, I guess if I’m parked at a trailhead or away from public view, they definitely can take their time. I was thinking that most thieves are opportunistic and probably won’t have the kind of tools required to open or remove a safe …or the power source to run those tools. But, I think you are right that it is possible if they’re determined enough …and maybe hiding spots are a better option. You’ve given me something to think about.

One idea I’ve been kicking around is designing removable toekicks under my cabinetry. That would give me enough space to fit almost all of my valuables (like laptop, hard drives, & documents), and it could be built so that it takes some effort to remove and seem to be permanently affixed. I guess I would also want a slightly raised platform in case there’s a water leak.

Do you see a flaw in that idea?

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Greetings!

Removable toe kicks is what I have, with magnetic locks on them, so without knowing where to place the magnetic key, which isn’t obvious, no-one would ever know they’re removable.

Cheers!


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller


I love it! I may go that route.

In the VW world people have picked spots and built in (welded) metal locking boxes that give them a place for laptops, passports, etc. when they are away from the van. You make the door hard to see/hidden but easy to open. Works well for someone just rooting for stuff to sell.
There is a nice spot for this under the Vanagon front seats but I have read where other people have welded the box under &/or to the metal floor.
Good luck.

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@becida - I like that too. I’ll probably put my heater under the seat, but I could do that somewhere else. Even bolting a lockbox to my 80/20 in a hidden location might help …like a spot where you’d have to disassemble the cabinetry to unbolt it.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Do you have a link to the magnetic locks and toe kick? Thank you.

I don’t know if @Van_Dweller has a link for you, but I think what he’s talking about is something like this…
https://a.co/d/gQKfrKu

Toekicks are the gaps under cabinetry so that you don’t bang your toe against your cabinet base. You usually see it in households (many people forget them in van builds) so it’s something you’ll have to build yourself.

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I hope you are able to ignore the ridiculous feedback about the drones! I have a safe in the back of my van, bolted down. I intentially went with a dial combo version because too many of the keyed types are way to easy to break into. Of course, no matter what we do, if someone wants it bad enough, there is a way to get it. Anything you can do to make that harder, of course is good. I am glad I have mine.

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Hi there, someone needs to take a chill pill. A time and place for everything.
I agree with some of the other posters about finding hidey holes during your build and some places just happen to come about by accident.
Instead of the toe kick access I cut out the bottoms of my cabinets and created removable panels. Close tolerances create an almost unnoticeable seams and easy access. Also a great place to store wine. I have a few others but you’ll have to pm me to find out.
Cheers

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Greetings!

That’s kind of my point, I feel like hidden is better than a safe or lockbox that screams there might be something valuable inside.

Cheers!


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller


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You may have to build metal boxes that attach directly to the floor. Bolting through the body itself insures that the box isn’t going anywhere.
There are plenty of solid locks on the market and maybe a Combo lock would be harder to crack.
If this is for backcountry use, I’d put in a kill switch to the ignition series.

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Greetings!

A kill switch is a great van theft protection.

Cheers!


"Be the reason someone smiles today!" ~ Van_Dweller