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Light Overland Vehicle Tech Tech issues, tips and hints, prepping for travel
Under 3500kg vehicles, e.g. Land Cruiser, Land Rover, Subaru etc.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 12 Nov 2009
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Under-floor safes: worth it??

Just wanting to get a feel of opinion out there on whether cutting a hole in the front passenger's floor of my 60-series Landcruiser, allowing access to a lockable and concealed safe welded to the underside of the vehicle is worthwhile addition. Gonna be overlanding it around South and Central America, hitting pretty much every country on the way. Aside from all other possession safety precautions, is this one recommended too?

Advice and thoughts appreciated!

ThisRoad
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  #2  
Old 12 Nov 2009
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Hey ThisRoad and welcome. A lot of people would say don't bother. If its certain country reputations the your worried about don't, from my experiences (allbeit not the americas) people hype up concerns. Those who get mugged, generally speaking, stick out like a sore thumb and make themselves targets.

My advice; keep all items on yourself, and don't take anything stupid (like your gold plated wrist watch) thats going to attract attention. Also what if the car gets nicked or sinks to the bottom of a river, or the safe jams when you hit a pot hole?

Just my two-cents.
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  #3  
Old 13 Nov 2009
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Disagree

Totally disagree from Tommy, but then the world would be boring otherwise ...

Hidden around our vehicle in under floor safes and other such places are lots of stuff, but most importantly is the final piece of the hansel and gretal trail to our spare keys! So you may find the 3 other keys needed to get there, but still there is this final part of the jogsaw puzzle.

Also you can hide:

Spare passorts
emegency money
etc
etc

But its not essential, especially if you have a good imagination.

PS we've not had anyhting nicked yet, and the world, from our view, is a lot safer than the UK. I have heard rumours South America may not be this way, but haven't been myself, so take that as only rumour!
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  #4  
Old 13 Nov 2009
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Plus 1 in favour of an underfloor safe, had one fitted in a Merc campervan when overland to Syria and Jordan, passports, money, and all paperwork safely in one lockable place so as to have no headaches whilst swimming sightseeing etc. If your vehicle security is up to scratch you need not worry too much about vehicle theft.
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  #5  
Old 14 Nov 2009
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Hi, I'm another safe advocate, I have two!

One is fitted behind the drivers seat of my truck, it is fairly obvious, easily accessed and very secure for the day to day stuff, passports, doc's and 3-4 days of cash.

The other is very well hidden and contains copies of all documents and the bulk of the cash.


I always use multiple hiding places as I think that no self respecting bandit will believe that a foreign tourist driving a £20,000 truck will have no money.

You can have the strongest safe welded to your chassis but if you have an AK47 up your nose it is probably best to open it for them and if the contents are believable you might get away with just loosing this small amount.

Not that this has ever happened to me or anyone I know, I just like to be prepared.

I have always found that the reality of travel is always far safer than the rumours.

I also keep spare keys inside and hidden under the vehicle
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  #6  
Old 14 Nov 2009
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i had a small ammo box bolted thru the floor of my lr101 and then had a padlock, hidden in a cupboard

very usefull , although frech customs got a little excited about it once, ended up unlocking it with 2 big armed customs guys one either side, sure they'd found something interesting

they saw the funny side when it had a photopcopy of my documents and 93 eurocents in change in it
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  #7  
Old 14 Nov 2009
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hi
cheap and cheerful get your self an mot safe of ebay and bolt to the floor, ours is such a pain to get Mr bandit will get bored before he gets rich, good for passports and cash when in countries like iran with no atms

Mark
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  #8  
Old 15 Nov 2009
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Totaly agree with Ollie on this one.

forget the expensive hidden safes just get one that holds an A4 size paperwork, thats the size of your carnet, from a hardware store then bolt it to the floor. preferably where you can lock the car doors then open it as if you try to open one in the wheelarch after you cross a border then forget it you will be surounded LOL.

But put everthing in water proof bags ie zip lock freezer bags as it will get a bit soggy after a deep water crossing or if you spill water on the top of the safe (Experiance counts LOL)

We just hide the key on the car. If they are percistant enough to break in the car find the key then find the safe they deserv it LOL.
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Old 15 Nov 2009
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I agree with Mark.

Thats an old MOT safe in my last picture. It would take some getting in to (I hope)

Andy
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  #10  
Old 16 Nov 2009
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We've fitted a few in-floor safes. some people end up never using them and put valuable stuff in the lockable cubby box, other occasionally use them.

Safe,
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Lockable cubby box,
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Cheers,
Matt
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  #11  
Old 25 Nov 2009
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I was looking to source a lockable cubby box for 100 series LCs and one UK manufacturer basically said don't bother - a visible locked cubby box attracts the thieves rather than deters them - I can see the logic.

For floor safes you can get cheap floor safes that are designed to go between floorboards and sink that in the floor, although could do with some decent sealing.

If you have a roof tent your best bet is to keep your money and paperwork under your mattress :-)
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  #12  
Old 7 Dec 2009
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Thanks guys for your advice- much appreciated. I particularly like the idea of keeping your money and docs under the roof-tent mattress! But I think I will try to fit a safe, time permitting; we ship the Landcruiser to Buenos Aires on Sat 09 Jan. Gotta fit Christmas and New Year in between now and then! If anyone wants to follow our bolg, go to thisroadhq@blogspot.com and see how we're getting on..!

Cheers,
ThisRoad
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  #13  
Old 16 Dec 2009
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Spare keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by CornishDeity View Post
Hidden around our vehicle in under floor safes and other such places are lots of stuff, but most importantly is the final piece of the hansel and gretal trail to our spare keys! So you may find the 3 other keys needed to get there, but still there is this final part of the jogsaw puzzle.
Not completely with you because you will need the same keys to open the door. I keep mine in the roof top tent, saves me from having to smash the window and other things to get the vehicle open.
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  #14  
Old 17 Dec 2009
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No - its OK!

I wouldnt say on an internet forum where I keep my spares keys (well not today anyhow) but I certainly don't need to break a window to get back in the car.

But should the initial key have somehow been lost option 2 is to break the window. But this is only if that key is lost. So not only do I have an option of not breaking a window, but also, because it is not the actual keys that are outside the vehicle, then if something has gone wrong, it is still possible to find the keys inside that finally get me to the final key.

All bases covered - but not needed yet.
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  #15  
Old 26 Dec 2009
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Bit late, but just too add my two penneth:

I lifted the carpet and had a hole cut in the bed of the rear of my surf - then welded in a lockable safe. You can't see it because it is hidden by the underslung spare wheel (which is also locked in place).

We found it very usefull in Zim during the days of hyperinflation and for storing bundles of USD, krugerrands, diamonds etc!
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