Trailhead vehicle(s)

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montezumawell
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Trailhead vehicle(s)

Post by montezumawell » Nov 16 2003 4:43 pm

The basic idea of this topic is to discuss what kind of vehicle you use to go to a trailhead. Naturally, there are a lot of permutations of the topic.

Our basic interest in creating this topic is multi-purpose.

First, we want to know if you use your "daily driver" to go to the TH's.

Or, do you have a "road warrior" beater-type vehicle that your park at TH's?

Do you have opinions and insights on how to "park" your vehicle at a TH?

Doors unlocked? windows down?

Or a "club" locked on the steering wheel?

Lastly, have you ever had a "problem" with your vehicle parked at a TH?

Broken window(s)? Slashed tires? Dents, dings? Stuff stolen? Scratches?

Ok, now that we have stated the obligatory disclaimers as to our purpose in creating this post, here is our perspective:

We are increasingly paranoid about TH parking.

Currently, we are using a beatup 1987 Suzuki. Dents in doors, ripped seats, no stereo, no nothing inside. We keep the vehicle "clean" and take the registration out of the glove box to go hiking. We lock the doors but leave the windows down enough for a trouble maker to jimmy the lock handles.
We keep locking lug nuts on the tires and the spare. We keep a small padlock on the battery hold down. Not enough to deter anyone with even medium-decent fence pliers--just enough to deter casual thieves.

We put a small but obvious sign on the windows that states: "This vehicles contains no tools, no money, no guns, no ammo, no electronicfs, no cameras, NO NOTHING!"

Then we leave two one dollar bills in the glove box with a note that says, "Thanks for takin' care of our truck."

We've had the two bucks swiped once on the Oregon Coast but we've never had anything damaged of "jimmied." (A friend of ours up there leaves two beers instead of two bucks. He's had both beers "drunk" but both set respectfully back where they were and nothing damaged.)

Ok, so what are your thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings, etc.

J&S

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Daryl
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Post by Daryl » Nov 16 2003 5:18 pm

Knock on wood, I never had a problem. My trailhead vehicle is my old paid for daily driver/beater, so not many would be interested in stealing it. If they took it I'd appreciate the insurance money once I found a way back home... I don't keep anything of value in it so I don't really have a lot to lose.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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montezumawell
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Interesting point.

Post by montezumawell » Nov 16 2003 5:37 pm

interesting! we don't keep "comp" on ours so, if we take a "hit," we suffer the full loss. If the vehicle disappears, it's gone and we're "outta luck."
Maybe we should think about gettin' a vehicle that would be worth paying for the "comprehensive coverage" and worrying less. Very valid point!

J&S

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Daryl
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Post by Daryl » Nov 16 2003 7:35 pm

I think you can add just theft insurance without adding full comp.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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hegstrom
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Post by hegstrom » Nov 16 2003 7:41 pm

We haven't had any problems so we blissfully haven't thought of it. We are limited to only our daily vehicles anyway, so if it's taken or damaged we've got problems.
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RedRoxx44
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Post by RedRoxx44 » Nov 16 2003 8:27 pm

I have an old Jeep Wrangler thats dented, scratched- you name it. Most of the trailheads I use are remote. Sometimes I will take several wires from the distributor and stash them- I also carry a spare battery in case that's stolen. I've had a CD changer stolen but that was in the city. No problems yet in the back country. I use the club but leave it unlocked as it is a canvas top. I have a secure metal box for valuables.

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joebartels
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Post by joebartels » Nov 16 2003 8:40 pm

mentions of...
padlock on the battery
spare battery

:? is there some kind of battery black market I don't know about?
I'm just curious because there was a battery near the end of the paved section of the Apache Trail this week. Also came across what appeared to be burned battery remains out in the middle of NOWHERE.(though obviously not a liquid cell car battery) And now two mentions of cautious battery tactics. Just seems odd because it would be easier to steal a car than a battery. If it's just some cruel act to render the user stranded it would be easier to slash the tires. I must be missing something :?
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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RedRoxx44
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Post by RedRoxx44 » Nov 16 2003 8:48 pm

The main reason I carry a battery is in case I perform bonehead manuever #1- leave the lights on at the trailhead and you have a dead vehicle when you return. I've done this but again in the city- stuffed the battery in and went on my way. I carry a lot of things really for mechanical breakdown, but would come in handy if something "walked " away (other than the vehicle!!!).

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montezumawell
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batteries

Post by montezumawell » Nov 16 2003 10:19 pm

Yes, people steal batteries quite often. It's easier than buying one when you need one. They steal spare tires, tailgates, even engine "bolt ons." I had the alternator and water pump stripped off of a vehicle in 1989 hre in the Verde Valley. On our old Dodge pickup we recently sold, we had a welder put some fitting under the hood with apermanent chain attached so we could padlock the hood in such a way it would be impossible to get bolt cutters in there. We've never carried a spare battery, though. Real good idea if youhave room for it and it doesn't tip over and spill acid everywhere. We REALLY like the distributor wire gig. We're definitely gonna do that trick. THANKS. We will probably just go for the coil wire.
We'll DEFINITELY check on just theft insurance as soon as the ins. office opens tomorrow morning. Thanks for the idea!
But, for sure, batteries and various car parts are definitely at risk in the backcountry. I once knew a guy who actually bragged about his ability to steal driveshafts "in a wink" while vehicles were parked in shopping centers. He used to stand off at a distance and wait to see the people try to drive their cars and laugh his behind off. Sick? Yep, you bet. We parted ways long ago, he wasn't our type.

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » Nov 16 2003 11:03 pm

I have an old jeep pickup truck and the tumbler in the ignition switch gave out. All you had to do to start it was turn the cylinder, key or no key. I decided to put a kill switch into the dash. I just ran a break off the solenoid and ran it on a momentary switch on the dash. Right next to it is another momentary switch hooked to the horn. If somone mistakenly hits the horn insead of the kill switch, the horn goes off. Its my high-tech security alarm system. (I know 50/50 odds, but it helps me sleep at night :lol: )

...of course I can't actually imagine anyone WANTING to steal my truck. Shes not much to look at, and the granny gears don't make for quick get-aways...
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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Wiz
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Post by Wiz » Nov 17 2003 5:50 am

For normal trailheads, I take my daily driver/beater. I had my windows shot out recently while hiking. Pure vandalism, no theft involved. I guess I'm lucky they only shot out the windows.
For remote trailheads, I have a jeep with an alarm, locking everything, club, and I take the coil wire with me. But I've never had any problem at remote places. I guess the punks don't want to go to all the trouble of getting there.
"The older I get, the better I was."

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RedRoxx44
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Post by RedRoxx44 » Nov 17 2003 6:30 am

As far as the battery goes, its expensive but worth it- I carry an Optima battery as my spare and in my Jeep. It will not spill and can be mounted at any angle. The deep cycle is especially good- I have a winch that I sometimes use and it helps to not drain the battery.

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Daryl
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Post by Daryl » Nov 17 2003 8:23 am

I was going to suggest the same thing Matt did. A kill switch is very easy to install and if you hide it well it's very effective. A lot of jeepers put them in.

Another thing, those of us with 4x4, put your T-case in neutral. Many theives are to dumb to figure out why the thing won't move.
“Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid”
John Wayne as Sergeant John M. Stryker, USMC in “The Sands of Iwo Jima”

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scottmackey
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Post by scottmackey » Nov 17 2003 11:45 am

Monte - I love your vehicle idea! Myself, being a po' boy, just use my regular truck (a little ford ranger) which always rolls when I need it to and I've never had vandalism problems at the trailhead.

For the past few months though I've been toying with the idea of getting an older jeep-like vehicle (probably close to what you have) or an old VW bus. I'm guessing no more than 3 or 4 grand and I could have myself a decent trail/backcountry/roadtrip car ... but that's 3 or 4 gurr that I don't have lying around. :?

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Abe
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Post by Abe » Nov 17 2003 6:15 pm

I use my run of the mill, every day, Jeep Cherokee to get to trailheads. I have been lucky thus far. Knock on wood.

I lock the door, take my wallet, say a silent prayer asking the jeep still be there when I come back, and go for my hike.

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Sredfield
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Vandals

Post by Sredfield » Nov 18 2003 6:06 am

The only vandalism I've experienced was in So. Mtn. Park, some Neanderthal threw rocks at the car and dented it up badly. I've left my Explorer unlocked at the 260 TH for 5 days while we hiked the Highline, in the Winds for 7 days, on the Big Rez last week while we did Rainbow Bridge. So far no more problems. I am going to get one of those battery packs, Costco has them I believe, just to feel better.

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chihiggs
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Post by chihiggs » Nov 18 2003 9:55 am

I've got an old 1976 Blazer, fire engine red, a little ugly but the motor, tranny and transfer case I have rebuilt as well as replacing the drive shafts, axles and pinion gears. So she doesn't look like much but is as reliable as a new truck. Now if I just had the nerve to try rebuilding the carb, she would be new.

Vandalism, I had my high-lift jack stolen from the right rear quarter panel at Salome Jug TH. The thing was double bolted on so someone went to work with no fear. But that's it. When I leave the truck, the only thing in it, is a water bowl for my dog and 3 flares....don't have a radio by theft at ASU. Don't lock the doors for fear of loosing my keys while hiking so I find a spot near the Blazer and hide or bury them. I do have a hidden kill switch which I use but leave the club for the grocery store... :roll:

Now that you know where to look, I don't want to come back and see someone around my truck with a metal detector... :lol:

My bet is that 99.99999% of the people at a TH are good people with honorable intentions. It's the one creep in a million that even has us sharing tricks for security....
Higgs

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Wiz
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Post by Wiz » Nov 18 2003 10:28 am

chihiggs wrote: My bet is that 99.99999% of the people at a TH are good people with honorable intentions. It's the one creep in a million that even has us sharing tricks for security....
That's exactly what I think about people in general.
"The older I get, the better I was."

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mttgilbert
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Post by mttgilbert » Nov 18 2003 1:52 pm

chihiggs wrote: Now if I just had the nerve to try rebuilding the carb, she would be new.

Go ahead and give it a try. They're a little intimidating because of the large quantity of small parts. But ultimately they are pretty easy to do. You just have to put the parts back in the same order you took them out. :wink:
Cogito ergo ambulo cum sacculo
-Matt Gilbert

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Delfindle
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Post by Delfindle » Dec 29 2003 11:14 am

matt gilbert wrote:I have an old jeep pickup truck and the tumbler in the ignition switch gave out. All you had to do to start it was turn the cylinder, key or no key. I decided to put a kill switch into the dash. I just ran a break off the solenoid and ran it on a momentary switch on the dash. Right next to it is another momentary switch hooked to the horn. If somone mistakenly hits the horn insead of the kill switch, the horn goes off. Its my high-tech security alarm system. (I know 50/50 odds, but it helps me sleep at night :lol: )

...of course I can't actually imagine anyone WANTING to steal my truck. Shes not much to look at, and the granny gears don't make for quick get-aways...
Heh, is it a commanche or even older J-truck? either way, i'd steal it :D Then again i'm a Jeep addict.
i wouldn't really steal it, but i wouldn't mind having a jeep truck, they get more rare by the day.

My TH vehicle is my beloved 92 Cherokee.. gets me to any trailhead i could ever think of :)
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